SoMa or South of Market, is a large area encompassing the business and residential districts south of Market street; sprawling from Embarcadero to Eleventh Street, between Market and Townsend. What were once old warehouses, are newly converted trendy lofts surrounded by swanky nightspots, residential hotels, art spaces and tenacious Internet companies.
The SoMa district is large and spread out, so if you do find yourself in the area, it helps to know where you’re going. Target your exploration in the pockets of culture around Yerba Buena, South Park, and Eleventh Street, and you’ll be sure to stumble upon lots of hidden treasures and funky urban charm.
Sights & Culture
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SF MOMA)
Within the walls of this historic and beautifully constructed building, is a modern art collection that boasts excellent touring exhibits, films, and photography. The permanent collection includes works by Pollack, Warhol, Matisse, Picasso, and O’Keeffe. Enjoy an espresso at a nearby café before tackling the top-notch gift shop full of sleek gadgets and glossy art books. Half-price on Thursday nights, from 6 to 9 pm; the first Tuesday of every month is free. Located at 151 3rd St.
Located across the street from the SF MOMA, this complex provides a cultural focal point for the South of Market area with two blocks of museums, activities and peaceful gardens. The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, located at Third and Mission, hosts visual art exhibits, performances, and other events. At Fourth and Howard is Zeum, an interactive multimedia, and technology museum for kids and teens. There’s also a bowling alley, an indoor ice-skating rink with huge windows looking onto the downtown skyline and a painstakingly restored carousel from San Francisco’s old amusement park, Playland-at-the-Beach. Find more information on each location Yerba Buena, Zeum, and Skatebowl.
AT&T Park is a baseball stadium and the home of the San Francisco Giants,’ the city’s major league baseball team franchise. This classically designed stadium boasts a waterfront promenade and an elaborate playground for kids. If you and the family are keen on catching a game, find out more here.
Escape the bustling city to this tree-lined oval garden in the heart of SoMa. Established in 1852, South Park was built as an upscale residential square, inspired by London’s Berkeley Square. In the ’90s this park became the epicenter of the dot-com boom and is still a much-coveted business address. Features of the park include a garden of native plants, a hummingbird garden, and recently renovated playground areas. Located at 64 S Park St, (415) 831-6358.
Looking for something casual and healthy? Look no further! Thad Vogler’s James-Beard nominated restaurant uses local organic ingredients, and world-renowned classic cocktails sourced from small producers in France, Martinique, and beyond. Despite its name, the space provides more than a bar; diners may enjoy table service for the European-inspired Californian fare in the wood-paneled dining room or in the outdoor patio, alongside a modest indoor waterfall and restaurant’s herb garden.
Canton Dim Sum & Seafood Restaurant
This SoMa classic has been a popular fixture since the ’80s before the area reached its current fever pitch. The restaurant continues to lure foodies from around the globe to its wonderful Cantonese dishes in the banquet-style dining room. Whether you intend to stay and make a night of it or need a quick to-go order, you are sure to enjoy the food from this SoMa staple.
Eminently Instagrammable, East Coast Styles sandwiches piled high with generous portions of your choice of meat and veggie options. Take it t0-go or dine at one of the inside tables.
Enjoy an intimate Moroccan inspired meal in a dramatically decorate dining room under a large modern chandelier. The menu features perfectly executed servings of raw oysters, seared duck, salted kampachi, slow-cooked short ribs, and more, often using thematic accents of preserved lemon, olives, buttermilk, and Moroccan spices. Not to be missed is the La’acha or family-style dishes; diners can feast on generous portions of whole snappers, whole lamb shoulders, and whole chickens, served with four sides. The long L-shaped marble bar also serves delicate cocktails inspired by natural ingredients like nori, carrots, and the Moroccan spices found in the food.