San Francisco's Tiny Yerba Buena Lane Packs a Big Punch

Where to eat, drink, play and get cultured in Yerba Buena Lane

Yerba Buena Lane is a short pedestrain thoroughfare connecting the bustling Union Square and Market Street area with the nearby SoMa neighborhood, home to museums, cultural venues and the peaceful Yerba Buena Gardens. Here are a few of our favorite spots located in or near this small but central strip.

California-based fast-casual restaurant Lemonade

The Best Restaurants in Yerba Buena Lane

Step into sunshine at Lemonade's comfort-food cafeteria, now serving breakfast burritos, parfait bowls and pretty pastries starting at 8 am. Delarosa keeps it casual at communal tables where Roman-style pizza (thin, crispy crusts) and family-style plates curb Italian cravings. Tasty and especially lively at happy hour, Tropisueño delivers quick Mexican fare and a classic margarita. Japanese noodles hit the spot at Ippudo, where the popular imported chain serves up izakaya-style dishes like its 18-hour tonkotsu pork broth ramen.

Restaurant interior

Where to Drink

On the upper terrace at Yerba Buena Gardens, Samovar Tea Lounge has a zen vibe and an artisanal tea selection, from whole leaf chai to organic yerba mate. Sip a martini at Bluestem Brasserie's sleek bar, taking it all in through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Press Club's beer and wine lounge celebrates viticulture, down to its cellar-like ambiance. Choose from charcuterie platters, cheese plates and a seasonal menu paired with rare wines from California and beyond.

Light installation outside the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Culture

The Contemporary Jewish Museum honors the past and present, inside and out. Both architectural marvel and historical art house, rotating exhibits explore people and culture. (And if it's more of a matzo ball soup day, there's a Wise Sons Jewish Deli open for lunch). Yerba Buena Center For The Arts hosts free-thinking exhibits, films and workshops, as well as ice skating and bowling around the corner.

Things to Do

Find a respite from the city's bustle at the lush landscape and fountains in Yerba Buena Gardens. From a butterfly garden to a green glass ship, you'll stumble upon various wonders strolling through the five-acre esplanade that hosts ongoing festivals and free concerts. All ages can enjoy a whimsical ride on the LeRoy King Carousel, originally built in 1906 and since restored, at the Children's Creativity Museum.

The Victorian-era LeRoy King Carousel

Samantha Durbin
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