Shopping in San Francisco

Shopping in San Francisco

San Francisco is not one of the best-known places for shopping and most people think of New York for that purpose. Find out some of the best areas to go shopping in San Francisco.

San Francisco offers many possibilities and there are different areas and shopping malls where you can do some shopping around.

Main Shopping Areas

  • Union Square: One of the best-known shopping areas in the city. The square itself as well as its surroundings are full of stores, mostly of luxury items.
  • Union Street: The stores are remodeled Victorian houses, which definitely adds charm.
  • Upper Fillmore Street: In this area, you can find the most exclusive boutiques. If you're planning to go there you can start getting your wallet ready!
  • Market Street: This is a street with a huge variety of stores, including some more affordable ones such as "Old Navy".
  • Hayes Valley: If you're interested in more avant-garde stores, look no further.
  • Haight Street: If you would rather not spend too much money and you're interested in hippie and second-hand stores, Haight Street is the right place.

If you're going shopping in San Francisco and looking for larger shopping malls, here is a list of some of the most important ones:

Stores and Shopping Malls

  • Macy’s: Macy’s is the most famous department store in the United States. In its enormous Union Square branch you can find all kinds of products at different prices.
  • Westfield Shopping Center: Occupying a privileged location just a few minutes from Union Square, this large shopping mall has over 400 stores on 10 floors.
  • Embarcadero Center: In the heart of the commercial district of San Francisco, more than 100 shops and restaurants occupy the ground floor of the Embarcadero Center’s five office towers.
  • Ghirardelli Square: Originally, Ghirardelli Square was a chocolate factory, but now it hosts a large number of shops and restaurants.

A Special Visit

Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market is a unique shopping mall. When it was first opened, it was used as a ferry terminal, but it lost its importance when the Golden Gate Bridge was built as people started to cross the bay by car.

After reconstruction (which preserved its original appearance), the building houses a market where you can find small stores that sell artisan cheeses, fresh fish, and books, or, if you're hungry, it has plenty of restaurants to choose from.

The market can be found in Embarcadero, at the end of Market Street. You can visit it between 10 am and 4 pm.

Something to Remember

If you don't live in the United States, in order to avoid surprises when shopping in San Francis it’s good to keep in mind that in the US taxes are not included in prices, and are added at the checkout. In San Francisco VAT is 8.5%.