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

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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 23

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Japantown 5

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

Nob Hill and Russian Hill 4

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Nob Hill 1

Western Shoreline 4

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Sunset District 4

Richmond 1

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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 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

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San Francisco Shopping

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Anne Fontaine

  • Clothing

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

Apple Store San Francisco

  • Cameras/Electronics

A shiny, stainless-steel box is the setting for Apple's flagship San Francisco store, a high-tech temple to Macs and the people who use...

Barneys New York

  • Department Stores

Fashion is taken seriously here (a pair of distressed shoes that look like they've been mowed down on the highway can cost you over a...

Bloomingdale's

  • Department Stores

The black-and-white checkerboard theme, the abundance of glass, and the sheer size might remind you of Vegas. This department store emphasizes...

Britex Fabrics

  • Textiles/Sewing

Walls of Italian wool in deep rich colors, yards of Faille striped silk, and neat stacks of fresh cotton prints await your creative touch.

Cable Car Clothiers/Robert Kirk Ltd.

  • Clothing

This classic British menswear store, open since 1939, is so fully stocked that a whole room is dedicated to hats, pants are cataloged...

Camper

  • Shoes/Luggage/Leather Goods

The Spanish brand's whimsical footwear is wildly popular with young adults. Unexpected embroidered patterns (leaves, butterflies) adorn...

DSW

  • Outlet/Discount Stores

Three floors of designer shoes, both dressy (Kenneth Cole, Anne Klein) and sporty (Adidas, Timberland), beckon bargain hunters. In return...

Diptyque

  • Household Items/Furniture

The original Diptyque boutique in Paris has attracted a long line of celebrities. You can find the full array of scented candles and...

Fraenkel Gallery

  • Art Galleries

This renowned gallery represents museum-caliber photographers or their estates, including Nicholas Nixon, Nan Goldin, Richard Misrach,...

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