We've spent time on Market Street during several trips to San Francisco in the past and have always felt you are taking the good with the bad with this street. During the day, it has always felt safe and comfortable but at night there just seem to be times and areas along Market Street that seem too dodgy for us.
There is good shopping along Market street and some nice places, particularly in and near Powell street towards Union Square. Also, the area in the opposite direction towards Yerba Gardens has always seemed ok. However, there does seem to be a lot of street folks in various areas along Market Street and they are not bashful about approaching you, which can be quite uncomfortable for some.
There is also a helpful Tourist Information Center along Market Street at the Powell Street (BART Station), this can be found under street level near where you buy tickets for the Cable Car at its depot on Market Street.
What we do like about Market Street is the F-line street car which connects Embarcadero all the way to the Castro. We much enjoy boarding and taking this historic street car while visiting San Francisco, finding it more enjoyable than the wildly popular Cable Car which is normally crawling with tourists.
Overall, we don't really enjoy Market Street that much when visiting San Francisco but really like the street cars that make their way up and down this street so it sort of average out.
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