Cheet sheet to San Francisco shopping

(this list from the Economist’s City Guides: )


880 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94102
Tel: +1 (415) 434-2210

Anthropologie’s clothes are the ultimate in urban chic—a mix of retro, girlish and ethnic, all in fine fabrics. The funky décor, which changes often, keeps things fresh. Don’t miss the 1950’s cottage housewares and silk bedding.

222 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94108-4445
Tel: +1 (415) 982 3215

Discerning consumers head to this grande dame of discount shopping. There’s no better place to find a winter coat or that little black dress—all designer names at reasonable prices.

309 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94108
Tel: +1 (415) 392-1742

This welcoming shop carries women’s prêt-a-porter from up-and-coming designers in Tokyo, Berlin and Paris, not found elsewhere in North America. There is something for everyone, from crinkly to sheer, tailored to flowing, with an emphasis on creative mixing and matching.
Positively Haight Street
1400 Haight St (at Masonic)
San Francisco, CA 94117
Tel: +1 (415) 252-8747

Nostalgic for the psychedelic Sixties? If you’re after a tie-dyed T-shirt, hemp trousers or a Janis Joplin poster to take back with you, look no further. Expect a patchouli-scented walk down memory lane.
Wilkes Bashford
375 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94108
Tel: +1 (415) 986-4380

Six floors of European menswear and womenswear in a shop that caters to San Francisco’s society set. The city’s nattily turned out mayor, Willie Brown is an habitué. You’ll find famous brands like Brioni, Gucci, and Miyake alongside more casual sportswear.

Jewellery and accessories

San Francisco’s diamond row, which stretches down Post Street off Union Square, includes Tiffany’s, Cartier and Bulgari as you head east (between Grant and Stockton).
Kate Spade
227 Grant Ave
San Francisco, CA 94108-4610
Tel: +1 (415) 216-0880

A bright new star in American fashion, Kate Spade designs attractive handbags and leather accessories for the preppy set.
Lang Antiques & Estate Jewelry
323 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94108-4301
Tel: +1 (415) 982-2213

This small shop is crammed with goodies, including San Francisco’s largest selection of vintage engagement and wedding rings.
North Beach Leather
224 Grant Ave
San Francisco, CA 94108-4604
Tel: +1 (415) 362-8300

Michael Hoban began designing leather garments for hippies back in 1962, dressing everyone from the Black Panthers to Jackie Onassis. There are now five shops across the country, but this is ground zero for custom and unusual leather goods.
3253 16th St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
Tel: +1 (415) 255-7900

Eco-shoppers will revel in the eclecticism of this “vegan boutique,” whose wares include stylish shoes not made from leather, vegan marshmallows, old records, independent comics and guitar straps.

1971 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94115
Tel: +1 (415) 885-5701

This Italian shoe designer revels in exotic hides. The results are high-quality and certainly unique, for both men and women.

Shreve & Co.
200 Post St
San Francisco, CA 94108
Tel: +1 (415) 421-2600

This 150-year-old jeweller was born of the 1850s silver and gold rushes and occupies one of the few buildings to withstand the 1906 earthquake and fire. It’s a lovely, old-fashioned shop with an air of unrushed permanence, stocking all the top designers.
Under One Roof
549 Castro St.
San Francisco, CA 94114
Tel: +1 (415) 503-2300
The store donates its profits to AIDS charities, and its charming, varied offerings—such as scented candles, kitchenware, handbags and books—have netted nearly $10m to date.

Velvet da Vinci
508 Hayes St
San Francisco, CA 94102
Tel: +1 (415) 626-7478

In Hayes Valley, near the civic centre, there are plenty of artsy, upscale boutiques. This one is a particularly good find for unique jewellery, with rings, brooches, sculptures and more from 50 contemporary artists worldwide.

Gifts, toys and gadgets

8 Brady St (near Market St)
San Francisco, CA 94103
Tel: +1 (415) 864-4048

For the finest collection of French frou-frou, sift through this charming atelier in a tiny alley off Market Street. Bell’occhio is filled with sumptuous satin ribbon, silk flowers, fine soaps, antique Alsatian linens and face powder reminiscent of the cosmetics used by Marie Antoinette. Prefer a precious tin of bonbons from Ladurée? You’ll find it all here.

Britex Fabrics
Post St (between Kearny & Grant)
San Francisco, CA 94108
Tel: +1 (415) 392-2910

Anyone who loves yardage will swoon at what can be found here. Fifty years in business, acres of fabric, more ribbons and buttons than you thought existed, all sold with aplomb by old-world experts who speak a total of 18 languages. Regular patrons will be relieved to learn that this temple of textile worship has not gone out of business; it’s merely moved around the corner during a retrofit of its original digs.
Fry’s Electronics
340 Portage Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94306
Tel: +1 (650) 496-6000

Fry’s is to computer paraphernalia what Marks & Spencers was to underwear. A vast selection fills the warehouse-size store, including the double-strength Coca-Cola once preferred by Silicon Valley programmers.
Good Vibrations
603 Valencia St (at 17th St)
San Francisco, CA 94110
Tel: +1 (415) 522-5460

The women’s collective that owns and runs this store is widely thanked for taking the seaminess out of shopping for sex-related products. Still, you may have a bit of red-faced explaining to do at customs.
Happy Trails
1615 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94117
Tel: +1 (415) 431-7232

Pop Americana at its finest: you’ll find the requisite dashboard fuzzy dice, hula girls, Elvis clocks and all manner of rodeo-inspired kitsch. A fine place for that nutty American gift for the folks at home.

418 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94108
Tel: +1 (415) 434-2691

This toy boutique off Union Square is heavy on European imports, especially Tintin and Babar. Bright Italian accessories for the terribly fashionable tot are also available.
Paxton Gate
824 Valencia St (between 19th & 20th Sts)
San Francisco, CA 94110
Tel: +1 (415) 824-1872

This gardening store, on Valencia Street, is unusual. Its shelves are stocked with an eccentric assortment of fossils, rocks, dried and mounted exotic insects, garden urns, bird houses and hand-forged garden tools. Good for gifts for the green-thumbed.
SFMOMA Museum Store
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 Third St
San Francisco, CA 094103
Tel: +1 (415) 357-4035

It is hard to walk out of this large, hip museum store without a gift. Of course there are plenty of books on art and design, but the place is also a veritable gallery of high design: housewares, furnishings, artwork reproductions and even a large selection of smart, attractive toys and games for kids.

The Sharper Image
253 Post St
San Francisco, CA 94108
Tel: +1 (415) 986-1244

This emporium of techno-gadgets was founded 25 years ago, well before the technology boom. Today it carries every cool toy imaginable, from stereos to robots.

William Stout Architectural Books
804 Montgomery St (between Jackson & Pacific Sts)
San Francisco, CA 94133
Tel: +1 (415) 391-6757

Stout’s is widely considered the best source for architectural books in the country. Staff are knowledgeable and can direct you to virtually anything, in or out of print, on architecture, urban planning, landscaping, design and more. For more on books, check our “bibliophilic beat” section in Sightseeing.

Wine and gourmet groceries

Boudin Sourdough Bakery & Café
619 Market St (between Second & New Montgomery Sts)
San Francisco, CA 94105
Tel: +1 (415) 281-8200

Let the uninitiated buy the tired bread on offer at the airport on the way out of town. The real thing was invented by the Boudins (“Bo-Deen”) in 1849, the year they found gold in the Sierra, and all of San Francisco began fermenting. There are a dozen branches around the city.

Francisco Ferry Building and Marketplace
One Ferry Building (at the foot of Market on the Embarcadero)
San Francisco, CA 94111

Beneath San Francisco’s famous clocktower, you’ll find all manner of edible delights from local producers. Whether it’s grass-fed beef, warm Acme bread or fresh seafood, you’ll find it here. Tuesdays and Saturdays are best for the outdoor vendors.

Peet’s Coffee & Tea
2257 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94114
Tel: +1 (415) 626-6416

This upscale coffee chain was born in Berkeley (in 1966) and sells coffee roasted to order. You can sample any of their coffees. Many stores also offer tastings and “Coffee 101” events.

Plumpjack Wines
3201 Fillmore St (at Greenwich)
San Francisco, CA 94123
Tel: +1 (415) 346-9870

This fancy shop, part-owned by Mayor Gavin Newsom, offers some 550 wines. Staff proudly approve every single one, and are quite capable of finding that elusive bottle.

Whole Foods Market
1765 California St (at Franklin)
San Francisco, CA 94109-4509
Tel: +1 (415) 674-0500

This yuppie food emporium doesn’t just sell food—it reveres it. Expect a vast variety of organic produce, imported cheeses, pomades, vitamins and healthy concoctions of all sorts. Also a good place to cadge a gourmet sandwich for lunch.
The Wine Club
953 Harrison St (between Fifth & Sixth Sts)
San Francisco, CA 94107
Tel: +1 (415) 512-9086

This no-frills warehouse-style store offers an exceptional selection of wines at prices just above wholesale. A tasting bar and affable staff will help you sort through the possibilities. But one need not be a local to enjoy—expert shipping and online sales serve oenophiles the world over.

Under one roof

135 Post St (between Grant & Kearny Sts)
San Francisco, CA 94108
Tel: +1 (800) 766-7628

San Francisco’s finest place for home furnishings since Solomon Gump peddled gilt wares to Gold Rush millionaires. The store stocks a luxurious variety of products for the bed, bath and body, and an impressive array of Asian-style chests and screens.
San Francisco Shopping Centre
865 Market St (at Fifth St)
San Francisco, CA 94103
Tel: +1 (415) 243-8500

This retailer offers a unique department-store experience: excellent service. While shoppers sort through the racks of designer labels, a tuxedoed pianist plays classical music on a baby grand.

Golf and sports

Lombardi Sports
1600 Jackson St (between Van Ness & Polk)
San Francisco, CA 94109
Tel: +1 (415) 771-0600

This sporting-goods emporium has most everything imaginable, from in-line skates to folding bicycles. But if backpacking and extreme sports are not your cup of tea, try the Don Sherwood Golf & Tennis World downtown at 320 Grant Ave (at Sutter St).

940 Brannan St
San Francisco, CA 94103
Tel: +1 (415) 771-0600

This is the city’s best source for outdoor gear, from GPS gadgets to obscure ice-climbing widgets. There’s also a mountain of sportswear. The guaranteed return policy is a boon.