Washington Square

Culture / Outdoor Activity / Park / Square
Washington Square "Located in the city's official Little Italy – and often called ""North Beach's Living Room"" – the block-wide Washington Square is a popular oasis for everyone from artists, pet owners, and families to students, neighborhood..." San Francisco United States 37.8006628688144 -122.410290241241
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Washington Square - Culture | Outdoor Activity | Park | Square in San Francisco.
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Emma

Party Earth Review Located in the city’s official Little Italy – and often called “North Beach’s Living Room” – the block-wide Washington Square is a popular oasis for everyone from artists, pet owners, and families to students, neighborhood... ... read full review

  • Hours:

    Daily 6am–10pm; Park doesn’t technically close, but these are the official hours

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot

Party Earth Washington Square Review

The Scene

"Located in the city's official Little Italy – and often called ""North Beach's Living Room"" – the block-wide Washington Square is a popular oasis for everyone from artists, pet owners, and families to students, neighborhood..."

Located in the city’s official Little Italy – and often called “North Beach’s Living Room” – the block-wide Washington Square is a popular oasis for everyone from artists, pet owners, and families to students, neighborhood locals, and groups of Tai Chi practitioners from nearby Chinatown.

Hourly chiming bells from the ornate Saints Peter and Paul Church remind lunching office types of the time, as camera-happy tourists appreciate the unobstructed views of the landmark Coit Tower and Pioneer Park to the east.

Frequently cited by movie lovers for its multiple appearances in Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry, the tree-lined park also attracts history buffs, who are drawn to the 19th-century bronze statue of Benjamin Franklin at its center – which itself sits above a time capsule buried in 1979, slated to be unearthed a hundred years later.

Creative types often stake out a shaded patch of grass to work on their watercolors, though their artistic focus is regularly interrupted by long-haired college kids tossing Frisbees under the reproachful eye of old Italian locals quietly judging them.

Thanks to the park’s proximity to several sidewalk cafés and popular restaurants, diners can walk the grounds after a meal or join the barhoppers making their way to the always bustling nightlife spots along Columbus Street.

A bit of nature in a densely populated area, Washington Square is a small but scenic retreat from city life.

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Tip from Emma:

Parking is rough in North Beach, so if you have to drive, save yourself the hassle and head to one of the pay lots. There’s one right by the park at 699 Columbus Avenue.

  • Crowd

    Diverse mix of university students, young professionals, pet owners, tourists, families, elderly Italian locals, and Tai Chi practitioners. All ages.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Artist displays, guitar players, Tai Chi groups, and people-watching. Occasional film nights.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Restaurants and bars abound on Columbus Avenue and Union Street. Street parking can be difficult, especially on the weekends. Public restrooms available.

  • Prices

    Free park entry. Restaurant and bar prices run the gamut from $1 hot dogs to five-star meals.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Anything goes: business attire to swimsuits and fanny packs.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Lunchtime on weekdays for the young professional crowd, and any warm weekend for hordes of visitors enjoying the sun and the great outdoors.

  • Close By

    Molinari Delicatessen (373 Columbus Avenue) is one of the most famous Italian delis in the city, and a popular spot for picking up some lunch to enjoy in the park.

Washington Square User Reviews

Average rating:
mellower than Dolores
Rachel G. Nov 13, 2012
This is an awesome location in San Francisco. There are some GREAT food finds here. They are all unique and something you can't quite find anywhere else. For those of you that want to enjoy the sun and parks like Dolores, but don't want to deal with all the hippies, bikers, pot smoking, and odd music making this is the park for you. This park still gets full like most parks in San Francisco, but the benefit here is that it has a mellower feel. People are quieter, less chaotic, and try to just enjoy the weather that San Francisco randomly decided to give us. I like to come here and enjoy a good book and a good smoothie or any other great food finds around the park!
4 stars for amazing food!
Sunset E. Oct 5, 2012
Omg!!!! You will not find one chain restaurant in Washington's Square!!! Some of the most fantastic and fresh food that you will ever find!!! Cute area and neighborhood to check out and walk around. Shops are all around that are again all unique and not chain store clothing... Seriously amazing food and some fantastic chefs!!! Okay here's a secret there is a shop that sells ciabatta in or near Washington's square that has no sign or address on it and its to this day the best ciabatta I have ever tried!!! Try the green onion and def the one with tomatoes!
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