Like the name suggests, the Financial District is home to much of San Francisco's corporate headquarters, banks, law firms, etc. Apart from all the high rise office buildings and skyscrapers, high end apartments and condominiums are the primary residential choices. Demand for living here is increasing due to the proximity to all kinds of luxury goods and services meant to serve the businessmen clientele.
Thick with workers and business people at all hours of the weekday, the financial district turns majestic and desolate on weekends, as the tall buildings cast giant lonely shadows across the sidewalks. If you're at leisure here on a weekday, you have a crazy number of lunch spots available to you, along the street level of the high buildings.
Then: Early settlers found themselves here after coming ashore, and first homes and businesses were built here and in the area that is now Chinatown. For some years, this small concentration of development was San Francisco. The population explosion fueled by the gold rush drew larger businesses and financial institutions, all wanting to be headquartered in the busiest part of the city. High rise clusters that survived the 1906 earthquake were augmented during a late 20th-century skyscaper boom, forming the skyline. The distinctive Transamerica Pyramid was completed in 1972. One reason for the unusual shape was apparently to allow light to filter down from the sky to ground level. See related postcards.
The Financial District is a short walk from Union Square, zig-zagging a couple of blocks toward the northeast. You'll know you're there when you can't see the sun anymore. It's an even shorter walk from either the Montgomery or Embarcadero Muni/BART stations, due north or northwest, respectively.
MICHAEL MINA in the Financial District offers contemporary seafood and refined American cuisine uniquely prepared using seasonal products and produce.
5A5 Steak Lounge
244 Jackson St., San Francisco CA 94111; Tel. 415.989.2539
5A5 Steak Lounge blends steakhouse with lounge atmosphere to create an upscale dining experience. Located in the Financial District, this San Francisco restaurant provides diners with innovative American cuisine. Whether looking for cocktails or a hearty meal, customers can satisfy all 5 senses at 5A5 Steak Lounge.
659 Merchant St., San Francisco CA 94111; Tel. 415.781.7058
Steak reigns here, but there is consideration of other tastes with a little seafood and some Italian pastas. Comfortable and quiet, it's a good place for a little business wrap-up, a romantic kickoff or a party. This San Francisco restaurant provides private dining accommodations as well as a full bar with happy hour.
The Slanted Door
1 Ferry Building #3
San Francisco, CA 94111; (415) 861-8032
Slanted Door is Charles Phan's modern Vietnamese restaurant. Charles aims to showcase the abundance of sustainably farmed produce as well as meat, game and poultry found at farms around the San Francisco Bay Area and globe.