San Francisco offers some of the best shopping in the world, so it is no wonder that tourists and serious shopaholics alike want to spend some time (and money) in San Francisco's shopping centers, districts, and malls.
Union Square, Hayes Valley, Haight-Ashbury, Fillmore, Mission, Sacramento Street, Chinatown, and downtown's Westfield San Francisco Shopping Centre offer unique shopping experiences suited to any shopper's mood. And while many may think shopping in San Francisco is an expensive venture, savvy shoppers will realize there are possibilities for every budget.
A single Corinthian column surrounded by palm trees marks San Francisco's Mecca for shopaholics. The square is surrounded by Macy's, Saks, Neiman Marcus and Levi's stores, along with colorful flower stands and street performers. Adjacent streets feature boutiques for Coach, Bulgari, Cartier, Thomas Pink, Louis Vuitton, MaxMara, Emporio Armani, Diesel, Prada, Celine, Escada, Gucci, Guess, Hermes, Agnes B., Betsey Johnson and Wilkes Bashford.
Chinatown is between North Beach and Union Square and features everything you would expect - ornate lampposts, pagoda roofs and an amazing variety of stores and restaurants.
At every turn you will see import vendors selling nearly everything, including carved Buddhas, paper parasols and mahogany furniture, perfect for exotic gifts or indulgent tourist gifts. Apothecaries are everywhere, selling green teas, rose-scented black teas and a variety of other ailment-banishing brews. Visit the fragrant Fortune Cookie Factory on Factory on Ross Alley for a sweet adventure.
Westfield San Francisco Centre
The expansive Westfield San Francisco Centre mall is retail haven, serving as home to some of the world's largest American chains, including a five-story Nordstrom's, a two-level Abercrombie & Fitch, numerous outlets found in malls across the country.
Embarcadero Center is an open-air location offering brand names like Gap, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, among others. Although the Embarcadero holds big names, this San Francisco shopping mall has unusual niche, specialty stores, including the Giants Dugout store.
The stretch of shops on Upper Haight was the center of '60s psychedelia. It has become more gentrified but still retains its hippie counterculture credentials and is dotted with Victorian houses, anarchist bookstores, piercing salons and funky vintage and thrift clothing stores.
The Hayes Valley is a wonderful combination of art and commerce in a small San Francisco neighborhood brimming with art galleries, contemporary boutiques, interior design studios, outdoor cafes and wine bars.