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A photo of the Heath Ceramics storefront in SF.
Photograph: Mariko Reed

The best shopping in San Francisco

Use this guide to the best shopping in San Francisco and you'll walk away with new shoes, clothes, and furniture

Written by
Clara Hogan
Contributor
Gail Goldberg
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If there’s one thing that San Francisco natives and visitors can all agree on, it’s that shopping in San Francisco is pretty damn cool. Whether you're a techie, fashion guru, hipster or hippie, there are plenty of stores that stock high-quality goods.

Indeed, SF's eclectic shopping neighborhoods are home to many clothing stores, jewelry stores, furniture stores, and vintage stores filled with items you can only find in San Fransisco. 

Our list of favorites, often worth checking out for their funky displays or standout design alone, focuses on indie boutiques and local brands. Now, get shopping—and don't forget to bring that extra reusable tote.

RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in San Francisco

Best shopping in San Francisco

  • Shopping
  • Mission
  • price 2 of 4

It all started with Michael Preysman's desire to create a great tee shirt in 2010. Fast-forward to today and the founder's SF brand has become a favorite IRL shopping destination where hipsters, moms and dads, creatives, and regular Joes and Janes of every age load up on quality basics. The digitally native retailer brings "radically transparent" pricing (and a neutral-leaning color palette) to life in its 3,000-square-foot flagship. It's clean, bright and airy—not a mannequin in sight. What you will find: expertly folded stacks of denim and cotton tees, beckoning cashmere sweaters, regiments of neatly arranged wrap dresses, and hoodies and sweatshirts lounging on minimalist wood displays. Plus, shoes, plenty of shoes, including ugly sneakers and ugly-chic flats. Long queues are known to pop up, mostly on weekends, but Everlane's integrated pay system allows for quick and seamless checkouts.

  • Shopping
  • Designer
  • Tenderloin
  • price 3 of 4

Denimheads have been visiting this bastion of men's and women's jeans for almost 30 years. Situated in its original, still charming, spot in North Beach, loyal shoppers come for a collection of blues that very few stores could rival. Sure, you'll find familiar-ish labels like A.P.C., Raleigh Denim, Tellason, and DL1961 Premium Denim. But discovering obscure, high-quality brands from around the globe (Matias, Freenote Cloth, C.O.F. Studio and I and Me, etc.) is the really fun part. Along with the crazy-good jeans lineup, AB Fits owes its success to the guy who finds them: the owner, denim genius, and all-around nice guy Howard Gee. Make sure to check out the store's own AB Fits jeans, which make great souvenirs. Don't worry, you'll also find a smattering of equally stylish tops, jackets, and accessories to wear with your fly jeans.

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  • Shopping
  • Jewelry
  • Upper Haight
  • price 2 of 4

Synonymous with cool, edgy vintage, this thirty-something Haight Street store is a must-shop. Along with true vintage finds from the '60s to '90s, the cavernous space is rife with vintage-inspired clothing from the aughts to present-day. You'll see everything from denim jumpsuits and grungy plaid to awesome band tees and one-of-a-kinds, courtesy of contemporary and high-end brands. Serious shoppers could easily spend an afternoon flipping through racks, trying on shoes and reminiscing about the good old days (Summer of Love or 500 Days of Summer, perhaps?)

Topdrawer is a Japanese-American company that sells a variety of tools and gear for “creative nomads." Inside, you'll find a tidy and organized space filled with sustainable products that “can be used for a lifetime and handed down to children and grandchildren." What does all of this mean, exactly? Expect items like backpacks, notebooks, writing tools, bento boxes, house shoes, and sunglasses.

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  • Shopping
  • Nob Hill
  • price 2 of 4

This Nob Hill boutique is worth a visit for ladies and gents who get weak in the knees for high-end labels (like Chanel, Giorgio Armani, and Gucci) at reasonable prices. All the classic and contemporary dresses, shirts, suits, and accessories are in stellar condition and arranged by color. And since the clean, bright space is on the smaller side, poring through racks and ogling shelves won’t feel overwhelming—even for not-a-fan-of-shopping types.

  • Shopping
  • SoMa
  • price 3 of 4

Founded in Sausalito in 1948, this storied tile and ceramics company moved into a cavernous old linen supply and laundry facility in 2012 and has been a hub of design ever since. The working tile factory is also a wonderland that includes a gallery and showroom where shoppers browse the brand’s famously minimalist dinnerware, ceramics (Heath's signature bud vase is a go-to gift for locals), bags (courtesy of Heath Sews), and jewelry. Bonus points for the more recent addition of Heath Newsstand, stuffed with glossies, design mags, travel guides, and other hard-to-find printed matter. Plus, when you get hungry, the connected Tartine Manufactory is right there to satisfy your morning bun and water-buffalo-milk ice cream fix.

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This trendy shop offers a little bit of everything—swing by for new clothes, kids clothes, coffee table books, jewelry, cards, and pretty much anything (not surprisingly, it’s a great spot for gifts). Most of the goods come from local makers and artisans. Therapy has locations across the Bay Area and its San Francisco store is located on Valencia in the Mission.

  • Shopping
  • Lifestyle
  • Lower Nob Hill
  • price 4 of 4

Local celeb designer Jay Jeffers' namesake Tendernob store is filled with an eclectic mix of luxury furnishing and finds that are heavy on the glam factor. It's impossible not to be wowed by the beautiful space, especially if money is no object—pricey, contemporary, and scene-stealing pieces are everywhere you look. Marble headboard beds and brass Ouija tables by (wh)Ore Haus and hand-stitched top-grain leather saddle chairs by AMKD mix it with up vintage and antique treasures. The truly unique home accents, decorative arts (resin skull with peacock feathers by Laurence Le Constant, anyone?) and gifts are pretty amazing, too.

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Located along Divisadero in Nopa, Rare Device is one of San Francisco's favorite shops for gifts, cards, plants, home goods, and more. The store is filled with beautiful and trendy items, each chosen because they were handmade, well-designed, useful, beautiful, or all of the above. It's a great place to spend time perusing any day of the week, for yourself or for a gift. 

  • Shopping
  • Design and interiors
  • Pacific Heights

Calling all Francophiles: Get thee to this très charming Pacific Heights boutique, a treasure trove of fun and exotic finds from around the globe. With a distinct Parisian feel, the medium-sized space is jam-packed with covetable items old and new. Think delicate jewelry and Old Word baubles, handmade quilts, vintage-inspired glassware, fine stationery, sophisticated soaps, and more. The selection of European children’s toys, books, and games is stellar as well.

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  • Shopping
  • Jewelry
  • Russian Hill
  • price 3 of 4

For years, Jenny Chung's jewelry boutique has been a go-to destination for both dainty ring stacks, edgier pieces, and unique engagement rings (i.e. lots of diamonds and gemstones). In early 2019,  the store moved to a bigger, brighter location on Polk Street. You'll find the same coveted designers—Anna Sheffield, Bing Bang, Vale, Adina Reyter, Bliss Lau, and No.3 Fine Jewelry's house label. The selection of bracelets, necklaces, and rings is sharply curated with prices ranging from affordable to sky's-the-limit. The customer service is super friendly and low-pressure—especially key for the soon-to-be betrothed on the hunt for the perfect symbols of their love.

  • Shopping
  • Design and interiors
  • Mission Dolores
  • price 2 of 4

Gawking window shoppers are routinely drawn into this strange but wonderful Mission mainstay, an eclectic den of plants, animalia, and oddities. A taxidermy unicorn stationed at the door greets folks as they enter the space with an off-kilter, mystical feel, inspired by the natural sciences. Anatomical posters and scientific illustrations adorn the walls, and lush plants hang overhead. Glass cases contain jewel-toned entomology specimens, small taxidermy (including tiny stuffed mice dressed as religious figures), fossils, earrings fashioned from butterfly wings, animal bones (red fox penis bone, anyone?) and pocketknives. An assortment of garden supplies, tools, hummingbird feeders and hanging planters are also found here, as is a peaceful landscaped courtyard in back where all the plants, including flowers, succulents, ferns and air plants, are for sale.

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  • Shopping
  • Jewelry
  • Union Square
  • price 2 of 4

With its velvety midnight blue walls, teeny Metier is a sumptuous jewel box of a jewelry store overflowing with treasures. The shop artfully mingles estate and one-of-a-kind vintage brooches and pendants with modern pieces from designers like Gillian Conroy, Arielle de Pinto, Gabriella Kiss Kathleen Whitaker and more. The selection trends towards jewelry that is slightly unusual in its cut or style and quietly glamorous. The truly unique selection of wedding bands and engagement rings is fantastic. Prices range from modest to luxury.

This off-the-beaten-retail-path store is well worth the trek to the Outer Sunset for Cali-centric home items, found objects, books, and more. The neutral-colored dream space, oft photographed and 'grammed for its wondrous circular wood passageway, is stocked with everything from handmade ceramics to locally made planters, lovely kitchen linens and the like. You'll also find a selection of women's, men's and kids clothing (including really good vintage) and jewelry. Make sure to check out the lovely succulent-laden garden out back and breathe in the ocean air. Can't get enough? Check out General Store Home around the corner (3928 Irving St).

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