The Top of Market
Exploring San Francisco’s grand boulevard
From its start by the bay to its finish near Twin Peaks, here are a great street’s best bets.
1. Ferry Building. This towered gateway was restored and reopened in early 2003. Market at Embarcadero.
2. Southern Pacific Building. Corporation that helped shape California commissioned this 1916 structure by Walter Bliss and William Faville. 1 Market.
3. Matson and Pacific Gas & Electric buildings. For Matson Ship Lines, Bliss and Faville designed dolphin figures on the building’s exterior. Next door, the PG&E Building sports bighorn sheep and grizzly bears. 215 Market and 77 Beale St.
4. Rooftop garden. Tranquil retreat on the roof of the former Crocker Bank. Access from third floor of Crocker Galleria, 50 Post St.
5. Chronicle Building. Erected in 1889 at what was later called “Newspaper Angle”―where the city’s three big papers had their offices early last century. 690 Market.
6. James Flood Building. Dashiell Hammett worked in this baroque building. Market at Powell St.
7. Samuels Clock. Donated by jeweler Albert Samuels in 1915, the clock was originally across the street. 856 Market.
8. The San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center. New art gallery and community center fuses a blue Victorian building with neighboring modernist structure. 1800 Market; (415) 865-5555 or www.sfcenter.org
9. F-Line Streetcars. Think of them as moving landmarks― historic cars from around the world (our favorites: the orange ones from Milan) run from Castro to the bay, then head north along Embarcadero to Fisherman’s Wharf. (415) 956-0472 or www.streetcar.org
10. One Market Restaurant. Upscale comfort food in chic dining room in the Southern Pacific Building. 1 Market; (415) 777-5577.
11. Seasons Restaurant. Elegant bar and restaurant with a hip California menu overlooks Market in the Four Seasons Hotel. 757 Market; (415) 633-3838.
12. Fifth Floor. One of the city’s hottest fine dining spots, in the Hotel Palomar. 12 Fourth St.; (415) 348-1111.
13. Bistro Clovis. Lace- curtained French eatery. 1596 Market; (415) 864-0231.
14. Zuni Café. Fantastic roast chicken, pizzas, burgers, and bloody Marys. 1658 Market; (415) 552-2522.
15. It’s Tops Coffee Shop. Great breakfasts, late-night dinners in wedge-shaped diner with orange vinyl booths. 1801 Market; (415) 431-6395.
16. Chow. Tasty, inexpensive lunch and dinner just steps off Market. 215 Church St.; (415) 552-2469.
17. 2223 Restaurant. Nice neighborhood place. 2223 Market; (415) 431-0692.
18. Tin Pan Asian Bistro. Excellent fusion food. 2251 Market; (415) 565-0733.
19. Café Flore. Coffees as well as full meals. 2298 Market; (415) 621-8579.
20. Hyatt Regency San Francisco. The 17-story modern hotel appeared in Mel Brooks’s High Anxiety. From $179. 5 Embarcadero Center; (415) 788-1234 or www.hyatt.com.
21. Palace Hotel. Opulent rooms in one of the city’s grandest buildings. The skylighted Garden Court is a must-see, along with the Pied Piper Bar, featuring Maxfield Parrish’s mural Pied Piper of Hamelin. From $159. 2 New Montgomery St.; (415) 512-1111 or www.sfpalace.com.
22. Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco. Opened last year, with a high-end, CEO glamour. From $299. 757 Market; (415) 633-3000 or www.fourseasons.com.
23. Hotel Palomar. Opened in 1999 in an elegantly renovated century-old building; chic rooms overlook Market above the Old Navy store. From $219. 12 Fourth St.; (415) 348-1111 or www.hotelpalomar.com.
24. Inn on Castro. Victorian building houses six rooms with chic retro touches, a few doors off Market. From $120. 321 Castro St.; (415) 861-0321 or www.innoncastro2.com.