California, Reviews, USA

Visiting United Polaris Lounge in SFO (San Francisco International Airport)

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When my company sent me on a business trip to San Francisco (well, Mountain View to be exact), I had the privilege to fly the Singapore Airlines business class, which gave me access to the business lounge.

Singapore Airlines is part of the Star Alliance network. On the flight back to Singapore, the SQ flight entitled me to check out the United Polaris Lounge at SFO. This lounge was voted the best business lounge in the world by Skytrax in 2019, so I was excited to see how it fared against the SilverKris Lounge in Changi.

United Polaris Lounge in SFO
United Polaris Lounge in SFO

Checking into the United Polaris Lounge

When we checked in for our flight at SFO, it stated on our tickets that we were invited to the United Polaris Lounge. So, checking in was easy enough – we just showed our ticket and passport, and off we went into the lounge!

The check-in lobby is located on a lower floor than the lounge. Right after the lobby, there was some seating but most of the lounge amenities are actually located on the upper floor. So, we immediately took an escalator up to where the action was.

United Polaris Lounge in SFO

Amenities at the United Polaris Lounge

Immediately after coming up on the higher floor, we were greeted with plenty of seating. Some are the sofa type where you can sit with friends, while some are cubicles for extra privacy. There were plenty of universal plugs so you could easily work while you were in the lounge without having to bring converters.

United Polaris Lounge in SFO
Seating options at United Polaris Lounge in SFO
United Polaris Lounge in SFO
Seating options at United Polaris Lounge in SFO

There is a bar section with free alcohol for those who never think it’s too early to get boozed up! Interestingly, I spied a universal electrical plug at the bar as well, so you could still get work done while getting happy.

United Polaris Lounge in SFO
The bar at United Polaris Lounge in SFO

We had a morning flight, so we arrived during breakfast time at 9AM. The buffet hot food section had your typical suspects for breakfast – eggs, egg whites, bacon, turkey sausages, and an impossible meat option for the vegetarian.

United Polaris Lounge in SFO
Buffet at the lounge
United Polaris Lounge in SFO
Hot food options

There was also a section with bread and pastries where you could toast your bread. Next to it, some cold cuts and some spread and jams so that you can make your sandwich of choice.

United Polaris Lounge in SFO
Bread, cold cuts and pastries

There was a drinks section with variety of juices – Cranberry, Orange, and Grapefruit Juice, as well as grapefruit-infused ice water.

United Polaris Lounge in SFO
Drink station
United Polaris Lounge in SFO
Some options from the hot food sections

Overall, I thought the breakfast choices were very simple. Nothing to write home about. But, I think that’s because the real deal if you want food is located at The Dining Room! Which I will write about next.

There are toilets on the upper and lower floors. I visited it, but it was just average so I did not take any photos. The soap and lotions are provided by a brand called Sunday Riley. If you are planning to be at the lounge for longer, you might want to check out their Shower Suites on the lower level – where, as the name suggests, you could take a shower and freshen up before you get on the flight!

The Dining Room at the United Polaris Lounge

Here is a tip: If you intend to eat at the lounge, don’t bother with the hot meal outside. As soon as you enter the lounge, the first thing you should do is walk to the end of the lounge and place a reservation at The Dining Room.

United Polaris Lounge in SFO
A glimpse of the menu at The Dining Room

The Dining Room is United Polaris’ little restaurant within the lounge, where the dishes are made to order! Seating is limited, so you want to be fast. We waited about 10 minutes for a seat.

United Polaris Lounge in SFO
Seating at The Dining Room

Here is the menu for The Dining Room when I was there.

United Polaris Lounge in SFO
Menu at The Dining Room

For breakfast, there was a light bites section and an entree section. I kept it simple and ordered an egg white omelet with bacon and tomatoes. It was served with some roasted potatoes, perfect for a light breakfast. I also ordered a fruit salad with yogurt. After ordering, the food took another 10-15 minutes to arrive.

United Polaris Lounge in SFO
My egg white omelet
United Polaris Lounge in SFO
Fruit salad with yogurt

I thought the food at The Dining Room was decent. It was restaurant quality and definitely much better than what they had on the buffet outside, though I didn’t think it was anything special as well. I do wish I had arrived at the lounge during lunch or dinner because the menu looked a lot more interesting.

United Polaris Lounge in SFO
Me, Quite happy with The Dining Room!

Soon after finishing our meals, it was time to board the flight.

Overall, I thought the lounge was quite impressive and beyond decent as a place to hang out while waiting for your flight. But outside of The Dining Room, I would not have been pleased with the food offering. It felt lackluster. Though I suppose, having seen the outrageous price and below-average quality of airport food in the US, the Polaris lounge food is better.

Note: I flew business class as part of my full-time job, which is completely unrelated to Girl Eat World or Singapore Airlines and United Airlines. I was not compensated to write this review. All thoughts and opinions are honest and remain my own.

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Filed under: California, Reviews, USA

Written by Melissa

Hi there! 👋🏻 I'm the "Girl" in Girl Eat World. I love eating, traveling and sharing my travel experiences in this blog. During the day, I work as a designer in tech. More about me →

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