Neighborhood Guide: Art, fashion and stylish cuisine meet in Jackson Square


Few neighborhoods blend sophistication and charm like San Francisco's Jackson Square.

Bounded by Broadway and Washington Street on the south, Columbus Avenue on the west, and Battery Street on the east, Jackson Square is where you go for a shot of retail therapy and a stroll through streets lined with serious historical cachet. What was once a part of the notorious Barbary Coast—a nest of brothels, bars and gambling dens during the heyday of our Gold Rush era—is now a crosshatch of spotless streets and brick buildings where cool boutiques rub shoulders with contemporary art galleries and one can partake of a refreshing cucumber gimlet without feeling the crush of tourists from nearby North Beach or Chinatown.

Jackson Square's Best Restaurants

Kusakabe's sushi is a can't-miss.

Courtesy of Kusakabe

Casual Bites

You'll find freshly baked sandwiches, pastries, and a grab-and-go case of Project Juice's cold-pressed drinks at the contemporary coffee shop, The Station SF (596 Pacific Ave.). // For groups of friends who like to share, chef Gerald Hirigoyen's mainstay Bocadillos (710 Montgomery St.) is beloved for lively dinners of wine and tapas (it's also perfect for parties). // Drop in to Doc's Lab (124 Columbus Ave.) if you're in the mood for entertainment. In this subterranean performance venue, you'll catch the likes of comedians Liz Grant and Andy Garcia whilst supping on a tasty repast, courtesy of chef Justin Deering, who owns and runs the on-site restaurant Doc Ricketts. Share a charcuterie plate as you tuck into equally tasty cocktails like the Hemingway Daiquiri (rum, grapefruit, rum, maraschino) or the Star's French (cognac, cava, lemon).

Fancy Dinners

Michael Tusk's Quince (470 Pacific Ave.) has nabbed a third Michelin star. In a recent remodel, more warmth and texture were added to the intimate 62-seat dining room while the abbreviated salon remains a perfect spot to fete a special occasion with Champagne and caviar. // A towering pile of almond wood visible from the exterior hints at the dramatic open hearth that fuels Quince's handsome sibling restaurant, Cotogna (490 Pacific Ave.). Rustic spit-roasted meats complement supple handmade pastas and an extensive wine list. // Former Sushi Ran chef Nori Kusakabe introduces lesser-known sushi styles into 7 and 10-course omakase meals at Kusakabe (584 Washington St.). The serene dining room features warm wood, exposed brick, and a sommelier who suggests pairings from the extensive sake list. // Chef Daniel Patterson's first home, Coi (373 Broadway), remains the gold standard in tweezer food. // For something as comfortable as your favorite cashmere sweater, Kokkari Estiatorio (200 Jackson St.), famed for its hearth-warmed interior, aromatic meats and modernized Greek cuisine, is always worth a return visit.

Click through for more on where to shop and drink in Jackson Square.

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