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 63


Chinatown 5

Union Square 58

SoMa and Civic Center 51


Civic Center 2

Hayes Valley 24

SoMa 23

Tenderloin 2

Mission District 34


Potrero Hill 3

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 12

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

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 &...


  • Cameras/Electronics

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


  • 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

  • Gifts/Souvenirs

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...


  • 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...

Another Time

  • Antiques/Collectibles

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

Antonio's Antiques

  • Antiques/Collectibles

This SoMa maze of museum-quality English and French antiques and objets d'art might include an 18th-century French harp or delicate tortoise...


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