Mint Plaza is a wonderful spot to relax and soak up some history while enjoying great food off the beaten path.  Only a block away from the bustling cable car turn around at Powell and Market Street, Mint Plaza is a hidden gem where locals hang.  Located off of 5th Street between Market and Mission Street adjacent to the Old U.S. Mint, Mint Plaza is a public space where you can take a rest from your busy day of shopping or sightseeing on one of the cool orange chairs.  In the summer there are free music concerts at noon on Fridays.  On Wednesday's the Plaza hosts a wonderful local Farmer's Market.  On the Plaza you'll find Chez Papa Resto, a fabulous French bistro, Thermidor, new American restaurant with an interiors from a page out of Mad Men and delightful 54 Mint, an Italian Vineria and Alimentari from two suave Umbrians.  Finally, probably the most popular coffee spot with lines down the block, Blue Bottle, is located at the far end.  Mint Plaza is adjacent to an important San Francisco Historic Landmark, the Old U.S. Mint, famous for weighing gold nuggets for miners in the 1800's and becoming a refuge for San Franciscans after the 1906 earthquake.  The "Granite Lady", built in 1874 is a San Francisco site not to be missed.  Skip the Wharf and come to a truly authentic San Francisco hang out, Mint Plaza.