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Fisherman's Wharf

Ghirardelli Square

London has its Trafalgar Square and San Francisco has Ghirardelli Square. Although many visitors to the latter city are unfamiliar with the square, they may know the famous Ghirardelli chocolate that gave it its colorful name. And if they don’t know it before they arrive, many will be permanently hooked by the historic San Francisco chocolate company before they leave.

Italian chocolatier and entrepreneur Domingo Ghirardelli founded the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company during the San Francisco Gold Rush of the 1850s. A savvy businessman, he grew the company and eventually purchased land for a factory on the north point of San Francisco, in the Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood. In 1893, because of crowding and land prices, he moved the factory across the bay to San Leandro, leaving the building, nicknamed Ghirardelli Square, open for new leases.

Ghirardelli is a classic chocolate of San Francisco. One taste and you may be hooked.

Ghirardelli Chocolate Bar

An Historical landmark today, Ghirardelli Square is filled with specialty shops, including Lola Toy Shop for the kids; and The Pub, a Southern-style restaurant with full bar, for the adults. And of course, for sale in the building is any kind of Ghirardelli chocolate you can imagine.

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Ghirardelli Square

Ghirardelli Square, although not the original Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory anymore, still attracts a legion of locals and travelers to Fisherman’s Wharf. Although most of the businesses are specialty stores, an original branch of Ghirardelli Chocolates sits inside the square, awaiting your arrival.

So get going. Your taste buds can’t wait forever.

Ghirardelli Chocolate Machine

How Do I Find Ghirardelli Square?

  • Located in the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square is easy to locate. It’s the brick building near the end of the Hyde Street, across from the Aquatic Park. The giant “Ghirardelli” sign is a dead giveaway.
  • You can use public transportation routes 9x, 10, 19, 20, 30, 39, 47 and bus 49; the Powell-Hyde and Powell-Mason cable car lines; or the easiest (and usually most crowded in the morning), the F-line. If you’re in a rush, just grab an uber.
  • To reach Ghirardelli Square from Union Square you can ride most of the above bus lines, the fastest being bus 30 (around 20 mins), or you can ride the F-Line (40 mins) and face crowds. And FYI — waiting for a cable car IS NOT worth your time. Instead, ride a cable car during a less-crowded time of day.

Orange Sky Co. says:

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Ghirardelli Square is an old-school chocolate factory in the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf. Although not a chocolate factory anymore, you can still grab a signature Ghirardelli chocolate bar or a classic ice cream sundae in the shop. Careful, though — Ghirardelli Square is a tourist trap.

Location of Ghirardelli Square