Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point St, SF
Local chocolate institution
Ghirardelli Chocolate started by Domenico Ghirardelli during the Gold Rush in SF is one of two local chocolate pioneers (the other being Guittard) still in business today. Ghirardelli was bought by Swiss chocolate manufacturer, Lindt, in 1998, but continues to be a separate brand headquartered in SFBA (San Leandro).
They make chocolate bars, tiles, barks, molded chocolates, drinking chocolate, and baking chocolate. Their chocolates are available in stores nationwide, on their site, and at Ghirardelli Square in North Beach.
Ghirardelli Square is the site of the Ghirardelli factory that opened in 1893. It retains some of the original architecture and is listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks. It was first converted into a shopping complex in the 1960s, and is currently undergoing a major renovation expected to be completed in 2024.
On-site are the Ghirardelli Chocolate Experience Store, which should be completed by May 2022, the Original Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop, which includes a self-guided tour of chocolate-making, and Ghirardelli On-The-Go.
Maybe after the reno, the tour will be more substantial, but for now, it’s a display you can take in in 5 minutes or less. Good for kids or if you’ve never seen chocolate-making machinery before.
Other SFBA Ghirardelli locations:
- 2 New Montgomery Street, SF
- Corporate headquarters & outlet, San Leandro
- Livermore outlet
- Tracy outlet
- Milpitas outlet
- Monterey store & fountain