- Location: Fillmore Street between Post and Jackson west of downtown, driving directions below
- How Long: Allow an hour for a brief stroll and up to half a day if you like to shop or people-watch
- Best Time to Visit: More fun after the shops open in mid-morning and livelier in the early evening.
One of the city's vibrant shopping streets, the Fillmore has a rich history. Young people who grew up on Fillmore Street include violinists Yehudi Menuhin and Issac Stern, poet Maya Angelou and comedian Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny. During the 40's, 50's, and 60's the Fillmore was one of the world's leading jazz centers.
ExploringIt's not possible to explore the Fillmore without doing some window-shopping. Shopping here is a leisurely activity - many stores don't open until 11:00 a.m., some are closed on Mondays and most are closed on holidays. You'll find a few chain stores, but more locally-owned boutiques offering home furnishings, clothing and gift items. Several vintage clothing shops and upscale thrift shops offer bargain-hunting opportunities. One of shoppers' long-standing favorites here is Mrs. Dewson's Hats (2050 Fillmore) providing fashionable toppers to many San Franciscans, including former Mayor Willie Brown.
EatsYou'll find plenty of places to eat on Fillmore Street, and one of the easiest ways to pick one is to simply walk around, checking menus and seeing what's popular.
EntertainmentClay Theatre (2261 Fillmore) shows art and independent films. Nearby in Japantown is the Kabuki Sundance, where you can get a bite to eat and take your bar drinks with you while you watch of a movie in the upstairs balcony or at some over-21 screenings.
The Fillmore Auditorium (1805 Geary St.) has been the site of concerts and shows in San Franciscans for almost a century. Top-name jazz performers appear regularly at Yoshi's, the San Francisco venue of the long-time Oakland jazz club.
Events on Fillmore StreetEvery Fourth of July, Fillmore Street is the site of one of the city's most vibrant jazz and arts festivals. The area also hosts a Holiday Village and Jazz Festival in late December.
Where Is Fillmore Street?To get to Fillmore by car, take Geary Blvd. west across Van Ness and turn right onto Fillmore (just after you pass the Japantown tower).
Parking is scarce in the Fillmore area. Metered streetside parking spaces are seldom available and you can count on a parking ticket if you forget to feed the meter. Try the Pacific Medical Center garage on Webster between Clay and Sacramento or the Japantown Center lot at Fillmore and Geary.