San Francisco's Mid-Market Neighborhood

Restaurants, bars, and performance spaces are blooming between Powell Street and the Civic Center.

picture of the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco at night with crowds outside
The SFJAZZ Center was the first building in the country designed entirely for jazz performance.
Henrik Kam / SFJAZZ

San Francisco’s long-defunct Mid-Market district has roared back to life, partly to serve the growing number of tech outfits, including Twitter and Uber, that have settled on or near the stretch of Market Street between Fifth and 11th streets. Loads of restaurants have popped up, as have nightlife venues such as The Strand, a 1917 movie theater the American Conservatory Theater transformed into a 300-seat performance space. 

The bar at PianoFight in San Francisco, picture

The "californicorn" behind the bar at PianoFight suggests the new venue will have a lighthearted and irreverent style.

Chris Alongi

PianoFight boasts a pair of black box theaters and a cabaret stage hosting all sorts of acts, from local sketch comedy to science lectures. Oh, and live music, plays, films—all of it right in the restaurant, along with classic cocktails and no-fuss eats such as a fried chicken sandwich with spicy slaw.

Marin-based roaster Equator Coffees & Teas specializes in sustainable coffees including a luscious Mocha Java with notes of dark chocolate, almond, and berry. Its downtown location features a curved stone and mahogany bar and a vivid botanical mural by internationally known San Francisco artist Mona Caron.

picture of a slice of sour cream cheesecake from The Bake Shop in The Market

The Bake Shop is one of many stores in The Market.

Asta Karalis

The country's first stand-alone venue built specifically for jazz, the SFJAZZ Center boasts an intimate concert hall and a full schedule of top performers from around the globe. The second floor features three spectacular tiled murals created by Sandow Birk and Elyse Pignolet.

Tacos, sushi, or oysters? Pizza, tapas, or Malaysian noodles? At The Market, a food hall and marketplace on the ground floor of the Twitter building, the choices are many. Visit the grocery to take some of the gourmet treats home. 

This article was first published in March 2015 and updated in March 2019.