A simple pizza topped with Le Quercia speck, arugula, and parmesan pairs well with a glass of rosé and a new pair of shoes. (Photography by Sarah Chorey)

First Taste: Fashion lovers will cheers to Freds at Barneys in Union Square


Fashion mavens in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago have the jump on San Franciscans—for years, Barneys shoppers there have been able to refuel on fries and glasses of champs in the store before they actually shopped till they dropped.

But now, local trendsetters are safe from such fashion fatigue: Freds, the luxury retailer's iconic restaurant and lounge, has opened its fifth location at our Union Square store.

(Sarah Chorey)

Nothing pairs better with shopping than a glass of wine, and Freds offers 14 options by the glass. In the mood for a cocktail? There's a full bar, of course.

The restaurant overlooks its slice of downtown SF from on high in a modern, white-washed perch where the urban architecture framed by sunny windows is nearly all the art in the space. Designed by Steven Harris Architects and Lalire March, the interiors could not be more simple—think all-white Maison Margiela vibes save for velvet seating in shades of slate and celery, and a 36-foot-long mirrored bar in the entry lounge.

Order up a glass of bubbly or perhaps the Margerum rosé and look around—you're here to see and be seen (and you're sure to detect a Getty or a Traina in your midst). Make no mistake, the setting and the scene are the reason to be at Freds, but you'll find plenty on the menu—devised by chef Mark Strausman with the intent of putting a California spin on the restaurant's New York classics—to put some pep back into your well-heeled step. Keep it simple with salads, pizzas, and the OG options of Estelle's chicken soup and Freds spaghetti. But remember, nothing goes better with rosé than pomme frites (they might be our favorite thing on the menu).

// 77 O'Farrell Street (Union Square), barneys.com

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