The Charming Area of San Francisco Known as Belden Place

By Samuel Phineas Upham

Belden Place is part of the Financial District in San Francisco, and it is the cultural hub of the city’s French-American community. The street is colloquially known as Belden “Lane” or “Alley”, and it is often referred to as the French Quarter.

When the French first came to San Francisco, they settled on Belden. The French Government sponsored 3,000 new immigrants to the area near the end of the California Gold Rush. The French became neighbors with the Chinese on Dupont Street, and the two sides developed a mutual respect during that time.

In fact, the two cultures shared many traditions. The writings of Alexandre Dumas included vivid descriptions of Chinese cooks making French fusion food.

Today, Belden is a charming spot full of delicious restaurants and that French charm. The physical location is just south of Bank of America Tower, and one can easily get to either Chinatown or the Financial District from that location.

Tourists and city residents flock to the French quarter to sample Italian, French and Catalan cooking. The alley features some incredible names, like Sam’s Grill and Café Tiramisu. The French Consulate is also nearby. One can attend mass at the Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church, where mass is still conducted in French.

Visitors say that there is a certain “joie de vivre” in the area, a kind of joy for living. The restaurants have a wonderful street dining scene, thanks to the moderate temperatures at night. Each day during lunch and dinner, the lane is filled with tables and eager diners.

About the Author: Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Samuel Phineas Upham website or LinkedIn.