Shopping in San Francisco


Along with the regular high end shops that mark every city, there are a variety of clever gift shops, unique antiques, and everything in between in San Francisco.

  • The Other Shop #2 (327 Divisadero, (415) 621-5424): Not just another antique shop, this store specializes in mid-20th century artifacts. Furniture, housewares, and "kitsch" pieces are plentiful. Another thing that sets the shop apart is that it rents their goods as props.
  • SCRAP: aka Scroungers' Center for Recycled Art Parts, this place was created by SF Public Schools art teachers as a central place for businesses and individuals to donate materials. It is now a mammoth collection of neat stuff like frames, tile and stone samples, graphic materials, artificial flowers & plants, kids' books, and more.
  • Queen of the Meadow (351 Divisadero St; (415) 355-1051): This trendy clothing shops features brands like Seven Jeans, Free People, easel, co-operative and Bulldog, plus stuff from local designers.
  • Argonaut Book Shop: Thought to be an inspiration for the Argosy Book Shop in Hitchcock's "Vertigo" (in which the owner was a local expert on San Francisco lore), the Argonaut is spectacular first and foremost as a bookshop of California and the American West.
  • Huf: shop of Former pro skater Keith "Huf" Hufnagel, this sneaker shop offers a highly exclusive selection of skater and sports shoes, focusing on hard-to-find old-school and new model Adidas, Vans and Nikes, as well as pro-skater brands DVS and Path.

Besides these quirky shops, there are major shopping zones.

Union Square Shopping centered on Post and Stockton Street is marked by palm trees and high end stores. Macy's, Saks, Neiman Marcus, Virgin Megastore, Coach, Bulgari, Cartier, Thomas Pink, Louis Vuitton, Emporio Armani, Diesel, Betsey Johnson, and Levi's stores are made more personal by the colorful beds of flowers and street performers.

Westfield San Francisco Centre is a fancy mall center decorated in gold and marble. Some big American chains have impressive strongholds such as a five-story Nordstrom's, a two-level Abercrombie & Fitch, and outlets like Victoria's Secret.

Chinatown Shopping can be found past the Dragon Gates into the red and gold neighborhood. Lampposts and pagodas fake the far East as import shops sell anything Asian.

Haight Street Shopping is the site of 60s flower child rebellion, but has now mellowed into "Upper Haight", with yuppie stores Ben & Jerry's and The Gap. Still lovely, there are classic Victorian houses, anarchist bookstores, piercing salons, funky clothing shops, and Amoeba Records (one the Haight's biggest attractions) remind visitors of another time.

Mission Street Shopping showcases a colorful Mexican heritage as well as offbeat boutiques and funky ethnic clothing. The weird is the norm here with snakeskin boots for toddlers, velvet hunting hats, and other hipster fashions.

Polk Street Shopping is quite different than other shopping areas of San Francisco. High-end consignment shops, affordable retail outfits shops and low-end clothing stores all exist here. Travel up north of California Street for the best shops and the lest chance of downtown danger.

Remember there is a 8.5% sales tax on items you purchase . For more shopping info:

Update 2/01/2009


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