In the 1960s, the remaining 19th century Ghirardelli chocolate factory building was empty and slated for possible destruction when the chocolate manufacturing business transferred out of town; a group of concerned San Franciscans stepped up, rescued the grand old complex and created within the factory walls a unique collection of over 40 interesting, of-the-day shops and fine restaurants; their project opened officially to the public in 1964. Today, visitors to the Fisherman’s Wharf area in the City by the Bay can still partake of a bit of that restored old-world ambiance with a stop at the restored landmark; all are treated to delightful sample squares of various Ghirardelli chocolates as they enter this beloved attraction where the sweet scent of waffle cone fills the air!
Browse fabulously eclectic and upscale shops; choose the perfect, organic cupcake, grab a twirly, red stool and retro burger, shake and fries or treat yourselves to some beautifully fresh seafood; a fantastic variety of choices offer tantalizing treats and first-rate, expertly-prepared fare. Absolutely convinced nothing but a huge, ooey-gooey cherry-and-sprinkle-topped hot fudge sundae served up in a tall, frosty old-fashioned parfait glass will do? This is the place-savvy travelers flock to the factory for the old fashioned ice cream, alone! In a shake, mocha or frappe frame of mind? Grab something sweet from the ice cream shop to nibble while you sip your choice of any of their famously delicious specialty drinks and enjoy magnificent views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. While you’re there, remember to pick up some of Ghirardelli’s world-renowned chocolates and amazing beverage mixes to sweetly re-create your visit once you’re back home!