Deck Your Halls with the Best San Francisco Shopping Spots of 2016

Getting your Christmas shopping done can turn into a real headache. If you're checking a long list twice to get something special for everyone back home while you're trying to enjoy a vacation, that can end up being a gift for no one involved. Instead of complicating matters and splitting up the group into "shoppers" and "sightseers," make everyone happy by organizing your shopping through an exploration of iconic San Francisco neighborhoods. 

You can window shop through quaint antique stores in the North Beach, then continue your stroll through chinatown for some truly unique gifts. Take a cable car downtown to visit Westfield Mall, or take it the other direction to the ocean and loads of tourist shops at Fisherman's Wharf.

Head to the electric Mission District for cultural art, or take a taxi over to Chestnut Street for some higher end purchases. Historic Haight-Ashbury has wonderful boutiques, and Fillmore Street is a favorite shopping spot for locals. And, if the kids in tow behave, you can head back downtown for yummy chocolate treats all around at Ghiradeli Square.

However you organize your San Francisco holiday shopping day, just remember to keep your spirits up. Tis' the season to be jolly, remember?



If you want an authentic, truly quirky and memorable California shopping experience, 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,...  Read More

Haight and Ashbury Streets
Photo courtesy of used in book.


In the 1960s, this intersection was famous for its bohemian life. Today, remnants of the hippie era mix with beautifully restored Edwardian and Victorian homes. One, now a private residence, was formerly the Grateful Dead house (710 Ashbury...  Read More



Like the cable cars and the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf is quintessential San Francisco. It's often the first destination for tourists, and its particular brand of energy mixes newcomer excitement, retail kitsch, a strong maritime...  Read More



Located in the Marina District, locals would probably say that Chestnut Street is about as Socal as Norcal gets. Almost a mirror image of Union Street (as far as appeal goes), Chestnut Street has a distinctive personality, created by Art Deco...  Read More



San Francisco bookworms find that this bookstore's selection has a little bit of everything. The independently-owned Green Apple Books offers a great selection of new and used titles broaching subject areas such as cooking, art, travel, history...  Read More

City Lights Bookstore


The first all-paperback bookstore in the US, City Lights was born out of the "Beat Generation" in 1950s San Francisco, when young authors and poets raised voices against politics and societal norms. The bookstore still offers beatnik-influenced...  Read More



If you want your Christmas shopping to include experiencing some uniquely San Francisco spots, then head to 826 Valencia in the vibrant Mission neighborhood. 826 Valencia was started by local author Dave Eggers to provide a spot for kids to...  Read More

Ghirardelli Square


Ghirardelli Square is the place to go when you're seeking top-tier San Francisco malls. The open-air complex affords great views of Angel and Alcatraz Islands and features art galleries, clothing shops and specialty stores. Shoppers can enjoy a...  Read More

Westfield San Francisco Centre


One of the best shopping malls in San Francisco, Westfield Centre is ideally located just two blocks from Union Square and features more than 170 alluring boutiques. Inside, you'll find Bloomingdale's and the second-largest Nordstrom in the...  Read More

Union Square
Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy


The Union Square neighborhood centers around Union Square, a great little urban park, which is itself surrounded by a host of upscale shopping venues. In fact, the district is generally acknowledged as the city's main shopping haven. In the...  Read More


Meet Tom Molanphy

The only thing that Tom Molanphy loves more than the food, art, music, and culture of San Francisco is sharing it with others. San Francisco never gets old for Tom.

Tom has lived in the San...  More About Tom