San Francisco Shopping

No trip to San Francisco would be complete without experiencing one of this wonderful city’s favourite pastimes – shopping! With a wealth of styles and a district to suit every taste and budget, you’re sure to find your kind of shops here. 

To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of some of the San Francisco shopping highlights. Take your pick! 

Union Square

When you put “San Francisco” and “shopping” in the same sentence, this is the first place that springs to mind. It’s real department store territory, where you’ll find all the major labels and some serious luxury items. Just a ten-minute walk away is the Westfield San Francisco Centre mall, famous for its huge Bloomingdale’s and a jaw-dropping range of other stores. 


Right at the other end of the shopping spectrum, San Francisco Chinatown is centred around Grant Avenue and Stockton Street. It’s true that some of the stores here are decidedly touristy (although they’re still great for unusual souvenirs). Venture further into the markets and bazaars, however, and there are some really interesting items, from antique ornaments to Chinese tea and even furniture. There are some great bargains to be had, and as shopping experiences go, just visiting Chinatown is a pretty memorable experience. 

Mission District

Mission District brings out the arty side of San Francisco, with independent boutiques, cafés and restaurants dotted the length of Valencia Street. Let out your inner hipster at the many vintage clothing stores, or spend hours browsing the treasures hidden in the depths of the second-hand bookshops. And speaking of treasure, where else can you shop at a Pirate Supply Store? Mission District shopping is an experience like no other. 

North Beach

North Beach is San Francisco’s very own ‘Little Italy’, and it’s perfect for visitors who want to get a little off the beaten track. The boutiques and vintage stores here are known as much for their impressive displays as their quality wares, so it’s a perfect spot for an afternoon of window shopping – and of course, you can pop inside if anything catches your eye! As you stroll past more Italian restaurants and coffee houses than you could possibly visit, you’d be forgiven for forgetting you were in America at all. 


The Embarcadero Centre is a shopping behemoth, with over 100 stores, bars, restaurants, cinemas and more all under one roof. Located in the financial district, it’s popular with tourists and San Francisco office workers alike, so it can get crowded, but you can be sure that the shopping won’t let you down. In fact, if you can’t find what you’re looking for here, it probably doesn’t exist. 

If you are planning to visit California, and San Francisco, then please do get in touch with Gray Line San Francisco. We are the local sightseeing experts. We’ve been the global leader in sightseeing tours since 1910. We can help you explore the whole Bay and Coast area as well as giving you all the information you need to make the most of your shopping experience!