Candy stripe figs from Capay Organic Farm, available at Rainbow Grocery — Photo courtesy of Rainbow Grocery Cooperative Produce Department
Since tourism is San Francisco's #1 industry, you'll find no end of shopping opportunities, from vintage boutiques on Chestnut Street to the big-name stores surrounding Union Square. But if you want an authentic, truly quirky and memorable California shopping experience, then head to locally beloved Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco's Mission District.
Since California produces more fruit and vegetables than any other state in the US, eating some healthy, organic, locally grown produce should be part of everyone's California trip. Trust us: you haven't really eaten a plum until you've eaten a California plum.
Blossom Bluff Orchards' elephant heart plums from Parlier, CA — Photo courtesy of Rainbow Grocery Cooperative Produce Department
We don't expect you to fill your suitcase with produce, though - especially since transport of fruits and vegetables between certain states is illegal. But Rainbow Grocery offers plenty of other authentic California mementos, too. These include an extensive bath and body collection, an impressive library of cookbooks and healthy lifestyle manuals, plus candles and incense to make that romantic San Francisco night feel - and smell - just right.
All of this is run by a staff that are part-owners, since Rainbow Grocery has long been a worker-owned cooperative.
If you really want a taste of what it means to shop locally and "mindfully" in San Francisco, a visit to Rainbow Grocery is a must. Did we mention the produce?