San Francisco’s Financial District, It Is Neighborly (With Residents)

San Francisco’s Financial District in many ways reminds us of a commuter college campus.

During the week it is comprised primarily of one population and on the weekend a completely different one.

For those of you who lived in college towns or cities that house them, during the week the majority of the population on campus are commuters which greatly swells the numbers of students attending.

On the weekend the population primarily dwindles down to those who stay in the dorms.

Sometimes they almost look like a ghost town. Or a library. Very quiet.

Unless its football season, then Saturdays are robust.

Having spent years in or near San Francisco, during the week the streets are swarming with business people but on the weekend it seems to team with tourists and shoppers.

Sometimes when people think of San Francisco, they don’t see the Financial District as a neighborhood but it actually is. writer, photo via San Francisco Tourism

According to the team at, a group that helps you find the best places to live in America, San Francisco’s Financial District has a population of 6,974.

The weekends are certainly quiet and if you’re into quiet weekends filled with shoppers and tourists, a one bedroom, one bath apartment goes for $1,099,000.

Just FYI.

Anyway, there actually is a population with neighbors there.

So what is the neighborhood like?

The Financial District serves as San Francisco’s main central business district.

It is home to the city's largest concentration of corporate headquarters, law firms, insurance companies, real estate firms, savings and loan banks, and other financial institutions. All six San Francisco Fortune 500 companies including McKesson, Wells Fargo, PG&E, Gap, Charles Schwab, and  are located in the district.

The city's tallest buildings, including 555 California Street and the Transamerica Pyramid, and many other tall buildings, such as 101 California Street and 345 California Street are located there. Montgomery Street (sometimes called "Wall Street of the West") is the traditional heart of the district.

One of the more famous Hotels there is the Hilton. writer, Hilton Hotels photo credit

Since the 1980s, restrictions on high-rise construction have shifted new development to the adjacent South of Market area surrounding the Transbay Transit Center.

The neighborhood is sometimes called the South Financial District by real estate developers.

About the shopping experience.

Adjacent to the Financial District to the west is the Union Square shopping district. To the northwest is Chinatown, and to the north is North Beach and Jackson Square. To the east lies the Embarcadero waterfront and the Ferry Building. To the south lies Market Street and the South of Market district.

There are several shopping malls in the area, including the Crocker Galleria, the Embarcadero Center, the Ferry Building Marketplace, and the Rincon Center complex. Parks and plazas located there include Sue Biermann Park; Justin Herman Plaza, which is the current location of the city's New Year's festivities, and Transamerica Redwood Park.

The Union Square Shopping Center is wonderful, especially if you like an endless choice of affordable cuisine from all over the world including your typical franchise styled dining. We’ve enjoyed that a ton too.

So if you resided there, fantastic Chinese food is in walking distance. We should know since we’ve spent many weekends booking a hotel and hanging around downtown San Francisco just for the fun of it.

The nickname "FiDi" is occasionally employed, though we don’t know anyone who actually refers to it by that.

Most likely a Real Estate Agent thing.

References to South of Market as SoMa, now that we have frequently heard.

Most of the people we know and ourselves included simply refer to it as Downtown San Francisco.

Several consulates are located in the financial district. Countries with consulates in the Financial District include France, Brazil, Guatemala, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Ireland, the Netherlands, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

There is breaking news. writer, photo via Domus

On January 17, 2019 reported, “Third-wave coffee purveyor Blue Bottle Coffee is continuing its rapid expansion with its latest San Francisco outpost, now open at 168 2nd St. in the FiDi.

The new location is Blue Bottle's tenth in San Francisco. It takes over a former Subway sandwich shop between Natoma and Howard streets, which shuttered last March.”

Hey, there is that description FiDi again. Perhaps it’s more commonly used than we thought.

So who is Blue Bottle Coffee?

Why don’t we have a cup of coffee and visit their home at They educate with a fascinating historical story. “The apocryphal tale goes like this: In the late 1600s, the Turkish army swept across much of Eastern and Central Europe, arriving at Vienna in 1683. Besieged and desperate, the Viennese needed an emissary who could cross Turkish lines to get a message to nearby Polish troops. Franz George Kolshitsky, who spoke Turkish and Arabic, took on the assignment disguised in Turkish uniform. After many perilous close calls, Kolshitsky completed his valiant deed, delivering news of the Poles’ imminent rescue to Vienna.

On September 13, the Turks were repelled from the city, leaving everything they brought, including strange bags of beans, which were thought to be camel feed. Kolshitsky, having lived in the Arab world for several years, knew these to be bags of coffee. Using money bestowed on him by the mayor of Vienna, Kolshitsky bought the coffee and opened Central Europe’s first-ever coffee house (The Blue Bottle), bringing coffee to a grateful Vienna.”

Now that is a first for us. Haven’t heard a coffee story quite like that one before.

The global information source adds, “Blue Bottle Coffee was founded by James Freeman in Oakland, California, in 2002. A self-declared coffee lunatic, James hand-roasted beans in a 182 square-foot potting shed and then delivered them to friends from his Peugeot wagon. Sixteen years later, Blue Bottle is now a network of 56 cafes in the U.S. and 10 cafes in Japan.”

Originally founded in Oakland, California, Blue Bottle has been rapidly expanding its operations since being acquired by international food distributor Nestle in 2017.

It now has locations throughout the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Miami, Boston and Japan.

Blue Bottle's First Cafe in Seoul, Korea is slated to open in the Second Quarter of 2019

Here was also their original concept that helped propelled their success. They will only sell coffee less than 48 hours out of the roaster to their guests, so they may enjoy coffee at peak flavor. They will only use the finest, most delicious, and responsibly sourced beans.

Sounds like a nice motto to produce and drink coffee by.

They certainly have added flavor to FiDi.

Hey, did we finally use that abbreviation ourselves?

Weekend or weekday, the San Francisco Financial District has so much to offer. We really love to sit at a sidewalk coffee café or restaurant and just people watch.

From great cuisines in the Embarcadero Center to unbelievable nearby authentic Chinese Restaurants in Chinatown and now for an exceptional coffee experience, this neighborhood is one of San Francisco’s most vibrant.

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OPENING PHOTO VIA Sprudge,_San_Francisco 


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