The Cannery San Francisco

Jill at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

The Cannery San Francisco is a historic, remodeled building in Fisherman's Wharf. This beautiful, brick structure sits about three blocks west of Pier 39. 

Originally built in 1907, it housed the canning operation for Del Monte in this region for 30 years. It was the largest canning location in the US for most of that time. 

the cannery san francisco

Once Del Monte closed it in 1937, it was used as a warehouse for a number of smaller businesses. In the 1960s, a local investor purchased it and transformed it into a fun, vintage retail and restaurant space. 

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Top Things to See & Do 

The Cannery San Francisco is a small building, but houses some great restaurants, shops, and other activities. Here are some of the top things to see and do here during your visit.

Enjoy Lunch in the Courtyard

One of my favorite things to do here is grab some lunch in the courtyard. This space was originally used for the trains coming in and out of the cannery. During the summer, you will find a lively setting with music, comics, and other performers that entertain visitors throughout the day. 

While you are here, make sure you also take a close look at the olive trees as some are more than 130 years old!

>> More great places to eat in Fisherman's Wharf

The courtyard of the Cannery in SF

Hop on a Fire Engine Tour of the City

Have you always wanted to ride around in a fire engine? If so, this is your chance. The Cannery San Francisco is the starting point for this small group adventure. On this open-air tour, you will ride along the waterfront to Fort Point and through the Presidio. The highlight of the tour is a ride over the Golden Gate Bridge

From there, you will spend some time in Sausalito, stop at the northern Golden Gate lookout point for some photos and head back over the bridge to the Cannery. This two-hour expedition leaves twice a day, every afternoon.

Booking Info: San Francisco Fire Engine Tour

Shop for Unique Gifts

One of the key draws to this remodeled building is the shopping. Here you will find some unique shops and galleries. The Waterfront Bakery has a great selection of gourmet cookies, artisan breads and European pastries. 

You can also step inside the Wharf Outdoors, which is a great place to find gifts for men in an old urban auto repair setting. Head to The Cable Car Store for some fun cable car and San Francisco related gifts.

Spend the Night at the Argonaut Hotel

Right next to the Cannery is one of my favorite hotels in the neighborhood, the Argonaut Hotel. You will find it on the western side of Fisherman's Wharf right across the street from the San Francisco bay. This funky, four-star hotel has a nautical theme throughout with a fun, friendly atmosphere.

Book a Room: Argonaut Hotel

Find Other Neighborhood Hotels: Fisherman's Wharf Hotels

Taste Local Wines

If you've always wanted to try some local wines, then you should head over to the Winery Collective. This small tasting room and wine shop is right next door to the courtyard in the Cannery San Francisco. 

Here you can taste several local wines from Napa, Sonoma or even Santa Barbara. Each wine tasting 'flight' includes five wines and ranges in price from $15 to around $25 per flight.

Other Fisherman's Wharf Activities & Attractions

The Cannery San Francisco is in the heart of the Fisherman's Wharf neighborhood. This thriving neighborhood is full of activities and attractions including Pier 39, Ghirardelli Square and the ferries that take you on cruises around the bay. In addition, you will find some great museums such as the Wax Museum, the Maritime Museum and the Hyde Street Pier.

Learn More: Top Things to Do in Fisherman's Wharf

How to Get to the Cannery San Francisco

From Union Square: It's easy to get from Union Square over to the Cannery San Francisco. Here are some of your best options. 

Hop On/Hop Off: If you are planning on taking the Hop On/Hop Off Tour, you can access the Cannery from stop #1. This is a great option because you can see San Francisco at your own pace without having to figure out how to get around. You can buy either the one-day or the two-day pass, which allows you to spend a good amount of time at the attractions at all twenty of the stops along the way. Find out how to book the Hop On/Hop Off Tour.

Public Transportation: If you prefer to strike out on your own, then your best option is to take public transportation

  • Bus: The 30 Stockton bus is the most direct route. Pick it up at the bus stop at Sutter and Stockton Streets. It will take you about 25 minutes to get to Fisherman's Wharf and over to the Cannery.
  • Cable Cars: This option is the most fun, but you will often encounter long lines for the cable cars in Union Square. If you aren't in a hurry -- or haven't had a chance to ride the cable cars yet -- then this is a good option for you. The final stop for both the Powell/Hyde and the Powell/Mason cable cars are in Fisherman's Wharf. The Cannery is about one block from both stops.
  • Streetcar: You can pick up the F Streetcar all along Market Street. Its final stop is at Beach and Jones in Fisherman's Wharf. This is about two blocks from the Cannery. 

From Pier 39: If you are at or near Pier 39 San Francisco, your best option is to walk over to the Cannery. The main entrance/exit to Pier 39 drops you on Jefferson Street. Take this street further into Fisherman's Wharf and you will find the Cannery. It's about four blocks away on the same street. This route is flat, so you don't have to worry about encountering any steep hills along the way.

Comments? Questions? Suggestions?

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You can ask questions, get advice for your upcoming stay, and then share your photos and advice with others when you return home. It's a great community and the fastest way to get answers to those nagging questions about your visit!

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