San Francisco Playhouse is located in downtown San Francisco on the 2nd Floor in the Kensington Park Hotel at 450 Post Street (between Mason and Powell Streets) less than one block from Union Square in the heart of San Francisco’s theatre district.
Note: Sandbox Series productions are not held at our Mainstage venue. Please consult the individual show page for info and directions.
The San Francisco Playhouse
450 Post Street
(2nd Floor of Kensington Park Hotel)
San Francisco, CA 94102
We’re located on Post St. between Mason St. and Powell St.
If possible, we recommend Muni or BART, as we’re just a 10 minute walk from the Powell Street station.
Parking is easy and convenient in Union Square. Below is a list of local parking garages.
In October 2012, San Francisco Playhouse moved into a new home! We moved into a beautiful 199-seat theatre at 450 Post Street on the second floor of the Kensington Park Hotel at the start of our 10th anniversary season.
In 1982, noted local theatre architect Eugene Angell transformed the second-story Elks Lodge and its flat-floored assembly hall into a state-of-the-art theatre. Originally constructed in 1924 by the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Spanish-Gothic structure now houses the Kensington Park Hotel, Farallon Restaurant, the theatre and various shops.
To maintain the intimate theater experience it’s known for, San Francisco Playhouse reduced the current seating to nine rows, converting the 400 seat theatre to 199 seats. A new stage was built and the lobby & bar area got a facelift, making the new venue the most exciting destination in San Francisco’s Theatre District.
Go for a nice view of Lombard Street
You have probably heard about Lombard Street and even if it really does look like the picture in your Lonely Planet book it is worth a visit. Park yourself among the tourists at the top of Hyde Street or at the bottom at Leavenworth Street and view the cars crisscrossing down this pinkish flower lined miracle of a street. Don’t forget the camera to catch the spectacle and show it to your less fortunate friends that have yet not been to San Francisco.
Go shopping at Union Square
If retail therapy is your bag, the historic Union Square area in downtown San Francisco is the ideal place to spend the afternoon. Centered on the beautiful Union Square Park, the neighborhood is home to fashion stores, tech shops, discount outlets, malls, and more. Grab lunch at one of the numerous cafes and restaurants that dot the area, or take in a matinee at one of the theatres in the nearby theatre district.
Hop on a cable car
San Francisco’s iconic cable car is a one-of-a-kind mode of transportation, and an essential tourist staple. Catch one at the Market and Powell terminus, and watch the cars spin on the manually-operated turntable. Don’t miss your chance to grab a photo of Alcatraz in the distance as you roll down Hyde street towards Fisherman’s Wharf. At the wharf, don’t overlook the sea lion colony on Pier 39 – these long-time denizens of the wooden docks are always eager for a photo opportunity.
Have some ice cream at Ghirardelli Square
Have you been in San Francisco a while you’ve probably noticed that most drugstores around are crammed with chocolate bars of a special brand called Ghirardelli. This is not as an inexplicable enigma as one might think, but the solution is found down by the water close to Fisherman’s wharf where Ghirardelli Square is positioned. This is an old chocolate factory established in the 1800’s by an Italian immigrant. Nowadays the factory has enough restaurants, ice cream shops and gift stores to satisfy anyone with a craving for sugar. Of course this is also where you should buy some real San Francisco chocolate gifts to bring home to your chocolate loving friends.
Saturday Brunch at the Ferry Building
Do not miss the Farmers market on Saturdays down by the Ferry Building in Embarcadero. What a sight! If good food is your passion you’ve found your place. A Saturday morning the plaza around the serenely blue Ferry building, is a sizzling melting pot of life. The sparkling impressions of colorful fruits, vegetables and flowers mixed with the smells of different cheeses, sausages and newly baked bread will literally overthrow you into a moment of silence well needed just to grasp it all. Take your time to saunter the market, taste all there is to taste (a lot!) and then if you’re not too full, have a brunch or a coffee in the sunshine at the patio of one of the Ferry building Cafes. Is there a better way to start the weekend?
Hike up Telegraph Hill
The best way to explore any city is by foot so take the chance to challenge the hills of San Francisco and climb up the steep steps on either side of Telegraph hill. You will find some great hidden spots and maybe even catch a glimpse of one of the wild parrots that hide in the green lushness. The effort will be highly rewarded once you reach the top and find yourself with a stunning view of the city and the San Francisco Bay. A view is surely not unattainable at other places either but what makes Telegraph Hill so special is that at its top the Coit Tower majestically resides. There is an interesting story about the founder of this tower, Lillie Hitchcock Coit, who was saved by firemen as a child and thereafter became the constant fire brigade companion, helping in putting out fires around the city. Go there and find out more about her unusual life.
Take a lazy stroll down North Beach
North Beach is the area to explore for someone with a preference for the Italian cuisine. The neighborhood isn’t called “Little Italy” for no reason. Here you don’t have to walk far between cozy restaurants and interesting bars. Do some shopping in the numerous quirky stores spread along the streets. Naturally you can’t miss the infamous City Lights Bookstore, once the home of talented Beatnik poets like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Anyone who enjoys the silent enigmatic power of books will spend at least a couple of hours here tiptoeing over the creaky floorboards enjoying the smell of new paper, flipping the stiff book pages and inhaling the power of literature. It’s open until midnight so there’s no excuse not to go.
Eat Chinese Food in Chinatown
The tourist that dutifully has made the San Francisco background check already knows that this Chinatown is the biggest one in the USA. Stepping through the impressive entrance on Grant Street is like leaving America a little while and stepping into a different world. This, the busiest street of Chinatown, is paved with uncountable stores where you can get any knick-knack or gewgaw at much lower prices than down by Fisherman’s Wharf. Of course you can also find all the amazingly good and cheap Chinese food you can imagine in close proximity.
Discover Fisherman’s Wharf
This classic tourist spot down by the water is hectic and crammed but still a must-see. Have some clam chowder in the classic bowls of sourdough for lunch and then walk by the water while enjoying the many street artists playing music, performing magic tricks or just chasing you for money. Be sure to watch out for the notorious “Bush-man” who hides behind a bush ready to jump out and scare you any time you unknowingly pass by. The screams of startled tourists is a common streak in the buzzing symphony by the bay. While down there you should also check out the sourdough factory and buy some bread loaves in artsy shapes of animals. For the scientifically interested there is also the Exploratorium museum to see. The first Thursday of the month it’s free of charge and you can hang out there for hours experimenting your time away while discovering what a fascinating world we live in.
San Francisco Playhouse
See a play
You don’t need to go all the way to Broadway to take in some world-class theatre and performing arts. San Francisco’s Union Square is home to numerous theatres, including the San Francisco Playhouse. Check out our listings to see what’s playing now. Don’t forget to show up early and enjoy happy hour, with half-priced drinks and snacks.
The Market is an upscale food court featuring local vendors, sustainable foods, and a grocery store, located on street level in the Twitter building. Local vendors include The Market Cafe, Mara, Takeaway Station, Taco Bar, Sandwich Bar, Slice House, Azalina’s, Tapas Bar, Project Juice, Poke Bar, Blue Bottle Coffee, Manila Bar, and The Organic Coup. They are located at 1355 Market Street, Suite 100, San Francisco, CA 94103. Their hours are 8am-10pm.
Sam’s is a family business that has been serving the mid-market area for over 10 years. At Sam’s, you can enjoy American comfort foods or experience something new with unique Asian inspired dishes. They use fresh, local, and organic produce in order to bring out the best flavors in all our food. They are located at 1220 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102. To make a reservation, call (415) 626 – 1592.
Bouche restaurant is part restaurant, part wine bar. Owner and Provence native Guillaume Issaverdens opened Bouche in 2011 as a lively gathering spot to offer delicious food and a venerable wine list. The menu finds inspiration from France, the Mediterranean, and the bountiful Northern California farmers’ markets while the wine program, personally overseen by Guillaume, focuses on esoteric French wines from small appellations. They are located at 603 Bush Street, San Francisco, CA 94108. Their hours are 5:30pm-12am.
Soluna Cafe & Lounge provides a mix of locally inspired cuisine and inventive bar selections, served by a relaxed and professional staff. Soluna Cafe & Lounge is a chic-casual restaurant with a menu featuring creative California cuisine—including grilled fish, roasted chicken, steak, pastas, and vegetarian selections. They are located at 272 McAllister St, San Francisco, CA 94102. Their hours are 11:30am-10pm.
Burritt Room + Tavern, tucked into Mystic Hotel by Charlie Palmer, is heavily influenced by film noir. Named for Burritt Alley, where detective Sam Spade’s partner Miles Archer was gunned down in 1941 classic hardboiled crime film The Maltese Falcon, the distinctive atmosphere appears in the handcrafted cocktails as well as the tavern’s walled-in and curtained booths that create dark corners for private conversation. They are located 417 Stockton Street, San Francisco, CA 94108. Their hours are 5:30pm-10:30pm.
Market Street Grill is an all-day grill in the Hotel Whitcomb serving modern American dishes beneath a vaulted ceiling. Enter through the Tavern Piano Bar with its Barbary Coast ambiance, complete with vaulted ceilings, Tiffany Glass, and rich Janesero wood paneling. Chef Ying Kee’s straightforward fare focus on using the finest farm fresh local products, prepared with a slight Euro-Asian inspired feel. Her seasonal menus pair well with approachable yet refined wine list that features extensive selections which span the globe. Their address is 1231 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103. Their hours are 5pm-10pm.
The Kensington Park Hotel is a 1925 Gothic-style building that is only a 2-minute walk from Union Square’s galleries and shops. The hotel features elegant rooms and suites with mahogany furniture and beds with cushioned headboards, pillow-top mattresses, and plush linens. All rooms offer free Wi-Fi, ceiling fans and flat-screen TVs; suites add fireplaces and formal dining rooms. The hotel is also home to the acclaimed Farallon seafood restaurant/bar and the San Francisco Playhouse. They are located at 450 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94102. Their number is (415) 788-6400.
Half a block from a Powell Street cable-car stop and a 3-minute walk from the shops and theaters of Union Square, this elegant hotel is inspired by the art and literary salons of the 1920s and 1930s. Hotel Rex features chic rooms with hand-painted lampshades and local art. Rooms offer free Wi-Fi, minifridges, TVs, and desks. A library-themed bar offers cocktails, American fare, and weekly live jazz. They are located at 562 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94102. Their number is (415) 433-4434.
A minute’s walk from the Powell Street cable car stop, this cozy family-run hotel built in 1913 in the Nob Hill area is a 4-minute walk from Chinatown and 5 minutes on foot from Union Square. Quaint, individually decorated rooms feature antique and wicker furnishings, free Wi-Fi, and cable TV. They are also dog-friendly! They are located at 775 Bush St, San Francisco, CA 94108. Their number is (415) 392-3702.
The Inn at Union Square is just a 1-minute walk from the Powell Street cable-car stop and a 2-minute walk from Union Square’s shops and restaurants. Warm rooms with plush bedding offer free Wi-Fi, work desks with ergonomic chairs, and flat-screen TVs. They are located at 440 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94102. Their number is (415) 397-3510.
Set near the shops and eateries of Union Square, this trendy hotel is a 2-minute walk from the shared Powell Street cable car, the Muni Metro, and the BART rail station. Modern rooms and suites feature free Wi-Fi, iPod docks, coffeemakers, and 42-inch flat-screen TVs. Room service is available. A lobby lounge offers colorful seating around a gas fireplace, while an adjacent Italian bar/grill serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Amenities include a 24-hour business center and a “tech menu” that allows guests to borrow or buy electronic accessories. They are located at 127 Ellis St, San Francisco, CA 94102. Their number is (415) 392-8800.
This playful boutique hotel across from the Chinatown Gate is a 5-minute walk from the restaurants and shopping of Union Square. The colorful rooms offer free Wi-Fi, room service from an adjacent French bistro, and in-room spa treatments. Specialty suites – including 1 designed by Jerry Garcia and 1 designed by Kathy Griffin – are also available. They are located at 342 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94108. Their number is (415) 394-0500.