San Francisco Shopping

With its grand department stores and funky secondhand boutiques, San Francisco summons a full range of shopping experiences. From the anarchist bookstore to the mouthwatering specialty-food purveyors at the gleaming Ferry Building, the local shopping opportunities reflect the city's various personalities. Visitors with limited time often focus their energies on the high-density Union Square area,

where several major department stores tower over big-name boutiques. But if you're keen to find unique local shops, consider moving beyond the square's radius.

Each neighborhood has its own distinctive finds, whether it's 1960s housewares, cheeky stationery, or vintage Levi's. If shopping in San Francisco has a downside, it's that real bargains can be few and far between. Sure, neighborhoods such as the Lower Haight and the Mission have thrift shops and other inexpensive stores, but you won't find many discount outlets in the city, where rents are sky-high and space is at a premium.

Seasonal sales, usually in late January and late July or August, are good opportunities for finding deep discounts on clothing. The San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner advertise sales. For smaller shops, check the free SF Weekly, which can be found on street corners every Wednesday. Sample sales are usually held by individual manufacturers, so check your favorite company's website before visiting.

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Union Square and Chinatown 63


Chinatown 5

Union Square 58

SoMa and Civic Center 50


Civic Center 2

Hayes Valley 23

SoMa 23

Tenderloin 2

Mission District 34


Bernal Heights 1

Dogpatch 1

Potrero Hill 8

Pacific Heights and Japantown 27


Japantown 8

Pacific Heights 17

Western Addition 1

The Haight, the Castro, and Noe Valley 27


Castro 7

Haight 11

Noe Valley 9

The Marina and the Presidio 17


Cow Hollow 14

Marina 3

On the Waterfront 15


Embarcadero 7

Financial District 4

Fisherman's Wharf 4

North Beach 13

Nob Hill and Russian Hill 11


Nob Hill 2

Polk Gulch 2

Western Shoreline 5


Sunset District 4

The Richmond 1

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Antiques/ Collectibles 11

Art Galleries 24

Books/ Stationery 22

Cameras/ Electronics 2

Ceramics/ Glassware 1

Clothing 62

Convenience/ General Stores 1

Crafts 12

Department Stores 7

Flowers 1

Food/ Candy 15

Gifts/ Souvenirs 23

Household Items/ Furniture 29

Jewelry/ Accessories 14

Music Stores 6

Outdoor/ Flea/ Green Markets 2

Outlet/ Discount Stores 2

Perfume/ Cosmetics 7

Pets 1

Shoes/ Luggage/ Leather Goods 10

Shopping Centers/ Malls 1

Spa/ Beauty 9

Specialty Stores 1

Sporting Goods 5

Textiles/ Sewing 1

Toys 5

Wine/ Spirits 12

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Family 6

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San Francisco Shopping

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  • Household Items/Furniture

Behind striped awnings and a historic facade lies the massive mother ship of the Sonoma-founded kitchen-store empire. La Cornue custom...

Wine Club

  • Wine/Spirits

The large selection and great prices make up for this wine shop's bare-bones ambience. At the self-serve wine bar you can taste wines...


  • Gifts/Souvenirs

Cards, toasters, aprons, books, candles, and even superhero Pez candy line the shelves. You'll also find fridge magnets, wisdom-spouting...


  • Gifts/Souvenirs

If you're into the quirky and whimsical—bacon-flavored lip gloss, daisy pushpins, wacky snow globes, and cutesy toys and games—you'll...

XOX Truffles

  • Food/Candy

The decadent confection comes in 27 bite-size flavors here, from the traditional (cocoa-powder-coated Amaretto) to the unusual (flavored...

Xanadu Gallery San Francisco

  • Crafts

The spectacular international art and antiquities displayed here include Latin American folk art and masks, sculptures, woven baskets,...

Xela Imports

  • Crafts

Africa, Southeast Asia, and Central America are the sources for the handicrafts sold at Xela (pronounced shay -la). They include jewelry,...


  • Jewelry/Accessories

Open only four days a week, this store carries so many types of beads that the owner has lost track—though it's probably somewhere...


  • Household Items/Furniture

You'll find refurbished authentic American sofas and recycled and reclaimed cabinets here. The antique pieces date from the 1800s up...


  • Clothing

This quaint boutique offers up fashions by dozens of brands, among them Kathy Kamei and Ulla Johnson. The clothes have been thoughtfully...


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