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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Fodor's Choice

Area

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Union Square and Chinatown 55

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Chinatown 5

Union Square 50

SoMa and Civic Center 43

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Civic Center 2

Hayes Valley 18

SoMa 21

Tenderloin 2

Mission District 30

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Bernal Heights 1

Dogpatch 1

Potrero Hill 7

Pacific Heights and Japantown 22

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Japantown 7

Pacific Heights 14

Western Addition 1

The Haight, the Castro, and Noe Valley 18

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Castro 3

Haight 7

Noe Valley 8

The Marina and the Presidio 14

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Cow Hollow 11

Marina 3

North Beach 12

On the Waterfront 11

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Embarcadero 7

Financial District 2

Fisherman's Wharf 2

Western Shoreline 5

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Sunset District 4

The Richmond 1

Nob Hill and Russian Hill 4

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Nob Hill 2

Polk Gulch 2

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Category

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Antiques/ Collectibles 7

Art Galleries 23

Books/ Stationery 17

Cameras/ Electronics 2

Ceramics/ Glassware 1

Clothing 43

Convenience/ General Stores 1

Crafts 11

Department Stores 7

Flowers 1

Food/ Candy 14

Gifts/ Souvenirs 17

Household Items/ Furniture 20

Jewelry/ Accessories 11

Music Stores 6

Outdoor/ Flea/ Green Markets 2

Outlet/ Discount Stores 2

Perfume/ Cosmetics 7

Pets 1

Shoes/ Luggage/ Leather Goods 9

Shopping Centers/ Malls 1

Spa/ Beauty 8

Specialty Stores 1

Sporting Goods 5

Textiles/ Sewing 1

Toys 4

Wine/ Spirits 11

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Family 5

Green 2

San Francisco Shopping

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  • Fodor's Choice

826 Valencia

  • Toys

The brainchild of author Dave Eggers is primarily a center established to help kids with their writing skills via tutoring and storytelling...

AB fits

  • Clothing

The friendly staff can help guys and gals sort through the jeans selection, one of the hippest in the city (check out the Dope &...

ATYS

  • Cameras/Electronics

Gadgets with a sleek modern design are imported from Scandinavia, Italy, Germany, and Japan. Among the eye-catching items are fancy German...

Acrimony

  • Clothing

A handblown-glass chandelier winks at you through the store's front window, while DJs do their thing in the back. Sandwiched in between...

Aldea Home

  • Household Items/Furniture

A visit here is like being in someone's home and being able to buy everything you see, from the organic sheets to the chairs to the shampoo...

Alexander Book Co.

  • Books/Stationery

The three floors here are stocked with literature, poetry, and children's books, with a focus on hard-to-find works by men and women...

Ambiance

  • Clothing

A well-loved destination for fashion-conscious locals, this is a fun place to find 1920s-inspired dresses, velvet scarves, and dangling...

Amoeba Music

  • Music Stores

With more than 2.5 million new and used CDs, DVDs, and records at bargain prices, this warehouselike offshoot of the Berkeley original...

Anne Fontaine

  • Clothing

Brazilian-born designer Anne Fontaine's meticulously detailed button-up white shirts put a feminine touch on the menswear staple, with...

Another Time

  • Antiques/Collectibles

Specializing in beautifully restored furniture from the 1930s through the 1960s, this store sells Heywood Wakefield tambour buffets,...

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