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San Francisco Shopping

A neighborhood-by-neighborhood guide to each area's distinct retail flair.


From big-box stores to funky local fashion and eccentric boutiques, San Francisco offers plenty to bring out the shopoholic in you.

Union Square

Courtesy Westfield Center
The city’s most famous shopping district surrounds the historic 150-year-old square of the same name and is in the heart of downtown. Compact and walkable (with some gentle hills), Union Square is the address of the city’s high-end retailers, from Frette to Ferragamo and Gump’s to Bulgari. You’ll also find a range of department stores, including Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Neiman Marcus. The newest draw is the Westfield San Francisco Center, a glittering shopping arena with its own Bloomingdale’s and H&M. There is an international food court where you can munch spring rolls and sip Chardonnay.

Location: Stockton and Geary Streets
Getting There: Union Square is two blocks from the Powell Street Muni and Bart stations.

Fillmore Street

Courtesy Shabby Chic
You’ll find a wealth of compelling items for the home on Fillmore Street, just north of Japantown. Shabby Chic offers slip-covered furniture and sweetly romantic accessories. Zinc Details features housewares and furnishings for the modernist. The tiny, charming Nest is jam-packed with one-of-a-kind linens, dishes, and furnishings. Smith & Hawken displays gorgeous garden goods; Design Within Reach houses sleek modern pieces.

Location: Fillmore Street between Jackson and Bush Streets
Getting There: Bus line #22 or #4

Union Street

Courtesy David Clay Jewelers
Nestled between Pacific Heights and the Marina, Union Street boasts unique upscale shops. If you suffer from allergies, you’ll love the hypoallergenic products and aromatherapy potions at Gazoontite. If you are shopping for kids, Mudpie is the place for you; the Gallery of Jewels features handcrafted jewelry and accessories by local and international designers.

Location: Union Street between Divisadero and Gough Streets <
Getting There: Bus lines #22, #24, #45, #49

Hayes Street

Courtesy Worldware
Hayes Street, the core of Hayes Valley, is a great place for design lovers. The area’s one-of-a-kind boutiques and a scarcity of chain stores make it one of San Francisco’s most distinct shopping enclaves. The aptly named Worldware is a global bazaar, with home furnishings and accessories hand selected from more than 49 countries. Zonal sells vintage furnishings, hand-painted armoires, and sleek new sofas. The rarefied atmosphere at Alabaster is in keeping with its eclectic collection of antiques. Shaped like the hull of a 747 jet, Flight 001 sells a stylish mix of travel bags, globes, watches, and travel guides.

Location: Hayes Street between Franklin and Webster Streets
Getting There: Bus line #21 or #49

The Mission

Courtesy Sunhee Moon
If not the city’s geographic heart, its soul is The Mission. The predominantly Latin- American neighborhood bustles with artists studios and trendy restaurants. Shops are clustered along Mission and Valencia Streets, from 16th to 24th Street. The area’s creative flair is apparent at shops like Paxton Gate, where framed butterflies, decorative fossils, and unusual gardening implements fill the space. The Curiosity Shoppe sells everything from birdhouse kits to rubber stamps. The ever-popular Therapy offers modern furnishings and trendy gifts.

Location: Mission and Valencia Streets between 16th and 24th Streets
Getting There: Bus line #14 or #26; 16th Street or 24th Street Bart Stations
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