Ghirardelli Square

sights / Squares & plazas

Lonely Planet review

Willy Wonka would tip his hat to Domingo Ghirardelli (g ear -ar-deli), whose business became the West’s largest chocolate factory in 1893. After the company moved to the East Bay, two sweet-talking developers reinvented the factory as a mall and landmark ice-cream parlor in 1964. Today, the square is entering its third incarnation as a boutique luxury timeshare/spa complex with wine-tasting rooms – care for a massage and some merlot with your Ghirardelli chocolate sundae? The square is already looking spiffy, with local boutiques such as elizabethW and a branch of Lola of North Beach , along with the charming tearoom Crown & Crumpet and tempting branch of Kara’s Cupcakes .