A view of Union Street. (Courtesy of @natasha.curated)

Modern Guide to Union Street: Sweaty Workouts, Boozy Brunch, Boutiques + More

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San Francisco is in flux, and the yuppie haven of Union Street is no exception, with a slew of new shops and more soon to come.

We've rounded up some of our old favorites alongside the street's fresh faces for a definitive guide to where to shop, work out, dine, and drink when you're in the 'hood.


Sweat + Juice

(Image by Karma Yoga)

Cow Hollow's Union Street is ground zero for the mesh-legging, black Nike-wearing set, who can be seen zipping between yoga and SoulCycle with green juices in hand. Whether you live in the hood or are just looking for a great workout, this stretch of SF has a class for even the pickiest of yoga bunnies.

Sweat

At Karma Yoga (1906 Union St), try the signature Inferno Hot Pilates—a mix of Pilates and yoga principles with the added intensity of a HIIT workout. // Align your breathing and movement at Yoga Flow SF (1892 Union St), which focuses on Vinyasa flow yoga classes. // Check out The Pad (1694 Union St)—a spacious studio that provides reformer Pilates instruction in addition to yoga classes 364 days a year. // Practice Yoga Studio (1958 Union St) offers an integrated range of prenatal and postnatal yoga classes, along with teen, youth and family wellness programs aimed at fostering mindfulness and reconnection. // The Bendy Bulldog (2087 Union St) is a Pilates studio whose instructor Nancy serves up both group and individual classes. // Mercury Fitness (2904 Laguna St) focuses on high performance Pilates workouts within a spa-like ambiance. // The Lotus Method (1775 Union St) is a holistic studio that focuses on pre-and-postnatal yoga instruction. // Those looking for a high-intensity cardio workout can sign up for a spin cycle class at SoulCycle (2095 Union Street). // If it's an all-out gym session you're looking for then Crunch (1725 Union St) and Equinox (2055 Union St) will help you work up a sweat. The latter has taken over the old Metro cinema spot while retaining key elements of the icon's original façade, and includes an Earth Bar and spa for a touch of post-workout indulgence. // For a shot of vitamin-enriched hydration after a good sweat, pick up a Dandelion Pear at Pressed Juicery (2162A Union St) or a refreshing Watermelon Ginger at Urban Remedy (1957 Union St), which also stocks organic ready-to-eat meals for those feeling peckish on the fly.

Shop: Fashion for Gals and Guys

The delightful Birdies slipper boutique on Union Street.

(Janie Cai)

For the Ladies

Shoe lovers should head directly to Birdies (1934 Union St.) to check out their collection of lounge-worthy slippers made from lush velvets, leathers and silks, all artistically displayed in a bright airy showroom decked out with beautiful furniture. // For separates and gifts, Anomie (2149 Union St.) is an independently owned boutique that started as an online retailer in 2014, but thankfully now has its own brick-and-mortar space that stocks handcrafted objects and apparel, including Australian label Finders Keepers and botanical soaps by Portland-based Midnight Collective. // Those in the mood for some designer indulgence at wallet-friendly prices would do well to check out upscale consignment store Sui Generis (2147 Union St.), which stocks their women's range of pre-loved luxury labels and designer accessories. // Floral-print enthusiasts will adore Morning Lavender (2150 Union St.), a pretty little shop with the perfect selection of outfits to take along on your next summer holiday. // Get your European style fix at Union Street stalwart Danielle, which stocks hard to find French and Italian labels (they carry select pieces from Parisian label Majestic Filatures) alongside U.S. brands. // Head to Marmalade (1843 Union St.), a boutique that aces boho-chic with its range of independent designers, including LA-based brand Olivaceous. Or check out Carats and Stones (1833 Union St.) for their selection of stunning bling rings. // As the throngs of athleisure-clad women in the 'hood will indicate, fitness is a big deal here. And there are no shortage of shops ready to outfit you in the latest sport-tech gear. Newest to the scene is The North Face (1974 Union St.). Designed as a community-focused space, it's one of just two women's-only stores in the U.S. Suss out their specifically curated range of apparel, including premium running and training lines, as well as your favorite best-sellers from Lucy, which was recently acquired by the brand. // Want to level up on your weekend style? You can also get your atheleisure fix at Sweaty Betty (2086 Union St) and stock up on hip yoga apparel at Lululemon (1981 Union St).

For Gents

Surf-style dudes would do well to pop into Chubbies (1980 Union St.), which sells striking vacay-worthy shorts for guys who want to rock the weekend (they also have a cute range of swimsuits for the ladies). // Bonobos (1964 Union St.) stocks a stylish range of contemporary men's apparel, ranging from suiting to resort-wear. // Nearby, Untuckit (1872 Union St) carries the brand's signature casual and collared shirts, all meant to be worn effortlessly untucked of course.

Shop: For Home, Gifts + More

The innovative Casper showroom, with its space-within-a-space concept.

(Janie Cai)

Gifts + Interiors

Swing by the conceptual Casper showroom (2174 Union St) where you can try out the brand's award-winning mattresses, pillows, and bed spreads whilst lounging in super cute wooden house displays. // If you want your home to look like a casbah, pick up rugs and cushion covers at Krimsa Fine Rugs & Décor (2190 Union St.). // If it's a perfect last-minute gift you're on the lookout for, then Ei home (1815 Union St.) should be your go-to stop. // Treat yourself at Jo Malone London (2157 Union St.), where botanical-based scents are sold in an extensive home collection. // Or stop in at Lush (2116 Union St.) to pick out a scented bath bomb for a Friday night soak. // Better still, swing by to pick up a posy of fresh blooms for the weekend at local icon The Bud Stop (2200 Union St), which has been selling its beautiful flowers in the area for the past 34 years.

Specialty Shops

Just off Union but worth checking out, especially for cycling enthusiasts, is the SF outpost for UK cycle brand Rapha (2198 Filbert St.), which stocks cycling gear and apparel for men and women alongside a hip coffee bar. Or roll into Trek Cycle (previously City Cycle, at 3001 Steiner St.) for a precision fit appointment with service manager Justin Lucke (call for appointment). // Fog City Leather (2060 Union St.) carries a wide variety of leather jacket styles along with a bespoke service if you don't see what you want in-store. // Nearby, TopDrawer (1840 Union St.) has all the gear you need to schlep it across the globe, along with an enviable selection of writing tools to help you achieve those #desktopgoals. // Or feast your eyes on the discerning collection of delectable small-batch goodies (craft whiskeys and mezcal) at The Epicurean Trader (1907 Union St.).

Eat + Drink

We love kicking back with mussels and beer at the Belgium-inspired brasserie Belga (2000 Union St.). // Or try the refreshing Buckland Peach cocktail at The Brixton (2140 Union St.), where the barkeeps serve up tasty tipples with an equally impressive food menu. // Don't miss the zucchini-onion haystack side at toppings-centric Roam Burger (1785 Union St.). // For something truly special, head over to The Caviar Co. (1954 Union St.), which is the first dedicated caviar-tasting room in the city to serve sustainably-raised caviar. If time's running short, pick up a tin to go before heading over to meet your friends for brunch at Hollow Cow (1875 Union St.), a hip neighborhood bar with a mouthwatering brunch menu. // Still feeling peckish? Follow up with a cheese and charcuterie platter and round of craft beers at West Coast Wine + Cheese (2165 Union St.); shop their exhaustive range of products that have been specially sourced from West Coast states.

Viva Italiana!

Union is also home to a fair amount of Italian-inspired cuisine, from Rose's Cafe (2298 Union St.), a neighborhood favorite for its locally sourced organic produce, housemade pasta and delicious baked treats, to the rustic, trattoria-style Capannina (1809 Union St.), which specializes in dishes from Southern Italy. // One block down is Pane e Vino (1715 Union St.), another homestyle eatery that focuses on Northern Italian cuisine by chef Bruno Quercini. // Or peruse the Italian-Mediterranean menu at Ottimista Restaurant & Bar (1838 Union St.) while sipping on a glass of Lambrusco at the elegant bar. // For a caffeine pick-me-up, pop into Illy Caffè (2055 Union St.) while you wait for a table at the popular Californian-Italian fusion bistro Contrada (2136 Union St.).

Cafe Culture

Stroll down to the corner of Fillmore and Union where you'll find the charming Union Street Coffee Roastery (2191 Union St.) with its delicious brews made from beans that are hand-roasted on site. // Coffee snobs will also appreciate Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters (2271 Union St.), a cozy spot that also has an impressive inventory of specialty coffee curated by husband-and-wife team Nick Cho and Trish Rothgeb. // Pair a cuppa with a freshly baked kouign amann from La Boulangerie (1909 Union St.) // Or pop into Loving Cup (2201 Union St.) for a delicious frozen yoghurt treat.

Coming Soon

Get your biltong fix at Made by True, which has a retail store opening on Union St. in the next month or two.

Change is afoot on Union Street. A couple of places to keep an eye out for in the coming months include jerky-and-biltong specialty outpost Made by True (2266 Union St.). Their protein snacks are all made in the USA and feature a wide range of unusual flavors such as blackberry merlot and Korean barbecue. // Hint Water (2124 Union St. Suite D) will soon be opening a store dedicated to selling its extremely popular fruit essence-infused water. But for now, get your Hint hydration fix opposite at their office/retail/tasting outlet (2133 Union St). // Yet another coffee spot, this time a more chi-chi Starbuck's Reserve (1895 Union St.) will make its presence felt along the street, right next to the street's pre-existing mega chain coffee house. // If make-up's your thing and you need more than a Sephora (2083 Union St.), then the news that professional make-up purveyor Kryolan (1864 Union St.) is set to open this year should get you plenty excited to start planning your Halloween face now.


Thanks to Our Partners

(Janie Cai)

The North Face has arrived on Union Street's athleisure row, bringing with it women's collections for running and training, as well as for yoga thanks to its recent acquisition of popular brand Lucy.

"Our goal was to signal that this is a fresh curation of our product through a new color and material palette, while keeping The North Face DNA central to instill some level of familiarity with the brand we know and love," says The North Face creative director David Carrewyn. "Large black and white imagery along with a wall installation of chalk bags confidently claims our brand's outdoor and active legacy, while a palette of white textures paired with an architectural use of plywood signal a definitively fresh vibe for the brand."

A special thank you to our sponsors at The North Face, 1974 Union St. (Cow Hollow), stores.thenorthface.com.

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