Family-Friendly Hot Spots In San Francisco: North Beach, Russian Hill, SOMA

The Northeastern part of San Francisco offers the most famous attractions for visitors: the mythic cable cars,  Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown…. We’ve decided to go beyond the well-known attractions to give you more local insights.

Eat

The Soap Box Cafe

One of the top three Family-Friendly coffee shops in San Francisco. This Vietnamese coffee shop and restaurant has dedicated a whole corner for kids’ play, a longtime dream of the owner. You can get your caffeine fix or eat a delicious Vietnamese sandwich in relative peace. Location: 1800 Hyde St, Russian Hill, San Francisco. Phone :(415) 829-7139.

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Gioia Pizza

Most pizzerias are family-friendly, but not all of them offer a warm, cozy ambiance. At Gioia Pizzeria, there are no neon lights or Italian-flag-colored decor, but instead, wood walls, dim lighting and plenty of space to keep bébé in the stroller next to you. Location: 2240 Polk Street, Russian Hill San Francisco. Phone: (415) 359-0971. Photo via gioiapizzeria.com.

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Samovar Tea Lounge

Both the location and the menu of this restaurant make it a PERFECT place for families. Situated in the heart of the Yerba Buena Garden, the Samovar Lounge offers lots of outdoor seating, which is very convenient for exploring toddlers. You can sip your tea while watching your bébé play in the labyrinth of little alleys separated by mini gardens. The area is entirely pedestrian, so it is super safe for bébé. Also, no worries about your stroller, as you will find plenty of space for parking it next your table. The menu is full of “easy eating” items for bébé. If you are looking for comfort food, go for the chia rice pudding or the cheese sandwich. Don’t pass on the freshly baked scone — I’m drooling over it, just thinking about it. Location: 730 Howard St, SOMA, San Francisco. Phone: (415) 227-9400. Photos: www.samovartea.com

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Batter Bakery

Don’t be misled by the name. Batter Bakery not only serves delicious sweets, but they also have a little deli corner with amazing salads and warm dishes for on-site or to-go orders. I like to take a little extra food to eat after bébé’s bedtime. This way, I can have a quality dinner and don’t have to eat the hotel’s food, which is often not that great and pricey. Location: 2127 Polk St, Russian Hill, San Francisco. Phone: (415) 674-1069.

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Loving Cup

The perfect way to take a break in a day of visiting the area. This “new, old fashioned” ice cream shop serves delicious rice pudding, frozen yogurt and yogurt pies. All yummy. Location: 2356 Polk St, Russian Hill, San Francisco. Phone: (415) 440-6900.

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Shop

Carmel Blue

THE place to go to if you are missing any type of baby gear or want to get a present. Carmel Blue’s selection is impeccable, featuring only good quality and good-looking items. There is even a cute selection of locally crafted products, so you can find a great souvenir to take back home! Carmel Blue is also an education center, providing various pre- and post-partum classes. Taking a Mommy & Baby yoga class could be a fun way to bond with bébé on your trip and also experience a bit of local life. Location: 1418 Grant Ave, North Beach, San Francisco. Phone:(415) 362-2583.

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Lola Of North Beach

In front of Carmel Blue, this cute little stationary and gift store is the perfect stop for local souvenirs. The nice thing here is that you will find gifts for him, her and bébé. The onesies and bibs are adorable! Location: 1415 Grant Avenue, North Beach San Francisco. Phone: (415) 781 1817.

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Glammic

A truly unique kids’ store. The founder is always coming up with new designs of clothing and toys, which she creates in the little workshop within her store (see below). All the items here are made to foster your kid’s imagination. Glammic is especially famous for its variety of shirtcapes, born in her son’s imagination. Location: 1488 Vallejo St, Russian Hill, San Francisco. Phone:(415) 409-4200.

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Family Fun

Little Italy

Little Italy is a nice neighborhood to visit together, as it will keep every family member delighted for a couple of hours. Maman and Papa will enjoy the Italian feel that pervades the streets, with little flags everywhere, the Italian language in the air and great espresso. Bébé will have a blast at the playground in Washington Square Park. The whole family will bond around delicious treats, including ice cream, Italian sweets, pizza and pasta. Location: North Beach

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Yerba Buena Garden

This large public garden in the middle of San Francisco’s busy downtown offers a fantastic play area for kiddos. You’ll find plenty to do for all age groups. The little ones will enjoy seeing and listening to the waterfalls and fountains in the park, or trying a first carousel ride. The older ones will love the fast slides of the Yerba Buena Gardens playground and learning new skills at the Children’s Creativity Museum. And for even more family fun, there is an ice skating rink and a bowling center. Location: 221 4th St, SOMA San Francisco. Phone: (415) 820-3320. Photos: http://creativity.org

The Candy Store

This old-fashioned candy store is a fun stop. The display of colorful jars of retro sweets will please all your senses and might bring up some great childhood memories to share with bébé. Location: 1507 Vallejo St, Russian Hill, San Francisco. Phone: (415) 921-8000.

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 Others

Sprout: Born in San Francisco, this kids’ shop offers only organic clothing and toys. Location: 1828 Union Street & Octavia, Russian Hill, San Francisco. Phone: (415) 359-9205.

City View: The prices are low, the atmosphere lively (important when you’ve got a vocal, wiggly little one) and the food is, in a word, delicious. Follow it up with a trip to the Willie “Woo Woo” Wong playground (Sacramento St and Hang Ah St) just a few blocks away so bébé can get out that post-lunch energy. Location: 662 Commercial St, San Francisco, (415) 398-2838.

Pier 39: Also known as Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39 offers a mix of restaurants and souvenir shops. At its end, you’ll get great views of the Golden Gate Bridge and will meet San Francisco’s most famous — and noisy! — residents, the sea-lions! Location: Beach Street & The Embarcadero, North Beach, San Francisco. 

The Ferry Building: Shops, eateries, coffee shops and The Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Location: The Embarcadero at Market St, San Francisco.

You liked this article? Stay tuned, a new guide on San Francisco’s best spots for families will be published in the next dew days!

 

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