San Francisco

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Every designer and chain store one could hope for can be found around the thriving Union Square area, with Market and Powell Streets a hotbed for spending activity. For a more intimate shopping experience, complete with one-off boutiques, head further out of the center of town to the quieter, sophisticated rows of the Marina neighborhood. Hunting for cheaper, more Bohemian digs? Chances are Haight-Ashbury will have what you seek.

Shopping in San Francisco

826 Valencia

826 Valencia, San Francisco’s only “pirate” supply store, stocks seafaring essentials like eye-patches and mermaid bait (and repellant). Proceeds from the store go to funding cofounder Dave Eggers’s nonprofit writing center, which produces a journal of students’ stories and poems, also for sale at the store.

826 Valencia St., CA, 415-642-5905, www.826valencia.org
Tags: family | shopping | clothing

Amoeba Music

Amoeba is an independent music store that buys, sells, and trades a huge, constantly-changing, selection of artists. This place rocks, literally, with live in-store performances, too.

1855 Haight St., CA, 415-831-1200, www.amoeba.com
Tags: family | shopping | live entertainment | novelty

Candystore Collective

Candystore Collective stocks apparel and home goods by independent designers, many of whom it has supported since their beginnings. Founder Jennifer Jones promises a personal approach to sales and a dedication to the clothes, art, and décor in stock.

3153 16th St., CA, 415-887-7637, www.candystorecollective.com
Tags: shopping | expensive | art | designer | clothing | accessories

City Beer Store

City Beer Store has San Francisco’s best selection of brews, including hard-to-find labels like Alesmith and Russian River Brewery, plus a staff of beer gurus. Before purchasing, visit City Beer’s tasting room to sample brews and nosh on artisanal cheeses and freshly baked bread.

1168 Folsom St., Suite 101, CA, 415-503-1033, www.citybeerstore.com
Tags: shopping | local favorite | notable beer list

Clary Sage Organics

Clary Sage Organics, one of a bevy of upscale stores infiltrating the Fillmore from northern neighbor Pacific Heights, counts yoga togs and homeopathic remedies among its many wellness products. All of the merchandise, including cotton apparel, is entirely organic or sustainable.

2241 Fillmore St., CA, 415-673-7300, www.clarysageorganics.com
Tags: shopping | moderate | clothing

Ferry Building Marketplace

The stately Ferry Building has been a magnet for visitors and locals alike since a major renovation in 2003, which introduced the popular MarketBar restaurant. The building holds a bustling farmers’ market Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings/early afternoons, and the gourmet food shops are great sources for a picnic lunch.

1 Ferry Building, CA, 415-983-8000, www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com
Tags: shopping | things to do | market

Fiddlesticks

Shop for miniature renditions of the newest fashions at Fiddlesticks, which equips San Francisco’s youngest trendsetters with high-quality, hard-to-find apparel, accessories, and shoes. The store stocks pieces for boys and girls up to 12-years-old; to keep the little ones from getting too antsy while trying on shoes, a substantial toy department sells books, dress-up clothes, and classic board games like Mancala and Chinese checkers.

540 Hayes St., CA, 415-565-0508, www.shopfiddlesticks.com
Tags: shopping | moderate | clothing

Glory Chen

A homegrown standout along Maiden Lane is Glory Chen, which offers fashionable, yet comfortable footwear that typifies San Francisco style. The current collection takes inspiration from whimsical sources (culinary utensils inspire a collection called “the creative methodology of culinary art”), and molds it into practical forms, like shoes that turn into boots.

134 Maiden Lane, CA, 415-788-8168, www.glorychen.com
Tags: shopping | expensive | local favorite | accessories

Lava9

Lava9 stocks a well-chosen collection of jewelry, accessories, and handbags for men and women. Pay particular attention to the leather goods and accessories, many of which are handmade.  

542 Hayes St., CA, 415-552-6468
Tags: shopping | accessories

Maiden Lane

Set in a narrow alley with a European feel just off the Union Square plaza, by day, Maiden Lane is closed to traffic and filled with café tables, where one can refuel between shops. The pedestrian walkway is also home to many of San Francisco’s upscale retailers, including Marc Jacobs, Hermes, and Yves Saint Laurent.

Maiden Lane & Stockton, CA, 94108
Tags: shopping | expensive | things to do | outdoors | designer

Manika Jewelry

Opened in 2006, Manika Jewelry stocks well-curated pieces, many made from reclaimed precious metal. The reliable inventory of artisanal, small-batch jewelry by domestic and international designers draws shoppers with a trained eye for style. 

11 Maiden Lane, CA, 415-399-1990, www.manikajewelry.com
Tags: shopping | expensive | jewelry | designer

Metreon

More than a just a mall, this 350,000 square-foot entertainment complex has great restaurants, familiar and unique stores, theatres, and the West Coast's largest IMAX theatre.

101 Fourth St., CA, 415-369-6000, www.westfield.com/metreon
Tags: shopping | shopping mall | culinary | cinema

Paolo

Shoppers will be hard-pressed to take a fashion misstep at Paolo, a local chain with two San Francisco locations. The store stocks high-style, Italian leather men’s and women’s shoes made in batches of 25 or less, guaranteeing that few pairs are the same; leather handbags are also on offer.

2000 Fillmore St., CA, 415-771-1944, www.paoloshoes.com
Tags: shopping | expensive | accessories | shoes

Sunhee Moon

The influence of ritzy Pacific Heights is filtering south with the arrival of shops like Sunhee Moon, the namesake boutique by one of San Francisco’s best-known clothing designers. Highlights include gauzy tunics and flowing sundresses in bright, ‘60s-inspired prints, most sewn from made-in-America materials.

3167 16th St., CA, 415-928-1800, www.sunheemoon.com
Tags: shopping | moderate | clothing

True Sake

Opened in 2003, True Sake bills itself as both the country’s first dedicated sake store and a veritable shrine to the Japanese rice wine. Browse the backlit shelves to find more than 220 sakes, including seasonal brews, sparkling versions, and unfiltered varieties. Watch also for special events, including tastings, workshops, and sake-themed vacations.

560 Hayes St., CA, 415-355-9555, www.truesake.com
Tags: shopping | moderate

Union Square

Flagship locations for Macy’s, Levi’s, and Williams-Sonoma are just the beginning. Cross the great square and find high-end boutiques mingling with discount shops on every side street.

Union Square, CA, www.unionsquareshop.com
Tags: shopping | boutique | things to do | souvenirs | designer | clothing | department store

Union Street Shops

Located on Union Street between Gough and Steiner, this area feels like an old-fashioned shopping area but with a modern ritzy twist. Think up-and-coming designer boutiques and high-end chains like Bebe.

CA, www.unionstreet.com
Tags: shopping | expensive | boutique | designer

Valencia Street

Valencia Street is the central artery for the The Mission: Home to quirky specialty stores like the Borderlands Bookstore (offering sci-fi books), the street also features an array of ethnic and street foods. Be sure to walk down Clarion Alley to see the famous collection of graffiti masterworks littered on its walls.

Valencia St., CA,
Tags: shopping | moderate | local favorite | eclectic

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