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


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Union Square and Chinatown 55


Chinatown 5

Union Square 50

SoMa and Civic Center 43


Civic Center 2

Hayes Valley 18

SoMa 21

Tenderloin 2

Mission District 30


Bernal Heights 1

Dogpatch 1

Potrero Hill 7

Pacific Heights and Japantown 23


Japantown 5

Pacific Heights 14

Western Addition 1

The Haight, the Castro, and Noe Valley 18


Castro 3

Haight 7

Noe Valley 8

The Marina and the Presidio 14


Cow Hollow 11

Marina 3

North Beach 12

On the Waterfront 11


Embarcadero 7

Financial District 2

Fisherman's Wharf 2

Nob Hill and Russian Hill 4


Nob Hill 1

Western Shoreline 4


Sunset District 4

Richmond 1

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Antiques/ Collectibles 7

Art Galleries 23

Books/ Stationery 17

Cameras/ Electronics 2

Ceramics/ Glassware 1

Clothing 44

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


San Francisco Shopping

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  • Fodor's Choice


  • Cameras/Electronics

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

Blues Jean Bar

  • Clothing

At this Western-theme shop with more than a dozen different brands of jeans on tap, simply tell the "bartender" the size and style you...

Dianne's Old and New Estates

  • Jewelry/Accessories

Fine watches and platinum wedding and engagement rings are the specialties of this store that also sells antique and estate jewelry,...

Fatto a Mano

  • Household Items/Furniture

Owned by a husband and wife team who met and lived in Italy, this corner store is filled with Italian antiques and old and new works...

Itoya Topdrawer

  • Books/Stationery

The Japanese company's first U.S. store sells everything from patterned furoshiki (a Japanese wrapping cloth) to bright, and very realistic...

Lululemon Athletica

  • Clothing

This yoga-inspired company makes all kinds of athletic gear out of Luon fabric—it's nonchafing, moisture-wicking, preshrunk, and best...


  • Clothing

Filled with bright dresses and patterned tops, this Cow Hollow beacon of style has a real Californian feel. Designers both local and...

Moulin Pooch

  • Pets

Button-down sweaters, lace-trimmed dresses, sunhats, sequined leashes—who knew dogs could dress this well? This shop also sells gourmet...

PlumpJack Wines

  • Wine/Spirits

A small selection of imported wines complements the well-priced, well-stocked collection of hard-to-find California wines here. Gift...

Spa Radiance

  • Spa/Beauty

Elegant but casual Spa Radiance specializes in facials and draws the occasional celebrity. Try the warm cocoa butter body treatment,...