With so many local flower suppliers, it’s hard to tell whose blooms make the cut. Don’t sweat it: We’ve plucked our favorite Bay Area flower shop for every price range, each offering delivery and stunning arrangements year round. Looking to go the extra mile? Treat your recipient to dinner at one of the city’s best restaurants or pick up a little something extra at one of these impressive gift shops.
RECOMMENDED: Valentine’s Day ideas for San Francisco
Pick your perfect flower shop
Owner Christina Stembel grew up on a Northern Indiana farm, and though her family harvested corn and soybeans, not flowers, it sparked an early appreciation for local agriculture. With Farmgirl Flowers, Stembel limits waste and environmental impact with a novel business model: creating just one arrangement every day. She buys a dozen fresh varieties of locally grown flowers and foliage each morning—she never imports internationally—and incorporates the blooms into one standout bouquet-of-the-day. The arrangements are wrapped in repurposed burlap coffee bags from SF roasters and delivered by bicycle or scooter.
This online-only mobile florist streamlines the flower delivery process. The year-old company was hatched by three busy friends—David Bladow, Chad Powell and Matt Schwab—who wanted a quicker, easier way to woo their girlfriends and atone for mistakes. The company keeps seven to eight seasonal arrangements in stock at a time, each incorporating a handful of flowers or succulents. The most popular option? The Pixley bouquet, an arrangement of seasonal tulips: That might mean scarlet tulips intermixed with pine in December or bright yellow blooms in June. (The brand offers occasional food and beverage deliveries, as well, like Dynamo Doughnuts and Stumptown Coffee.) Your bouquet and hand-written note will be arranged day-of and delivered in 90 minutes or less.
Utsuwa owner Hiro Hayama ran a flower shop in Tokyo for a decade before opening his inviting San Francisco studio, where air plants and moss balls dangle from the ceiling. He frequently incorporates bonsai, air plants, and succulents into his work to create distinctive, ikebana-style bouquets. Alongside the fresh blooms, which are replenished three to four times a week with supplies from the San Francisco Flower Mart, the shop’s walls are lined with potted exotic plants and miniature gingko trees. Hayama is also known for custom terrariums, which he can whip up while you wait.
The bouquets at this three-year-old shop skew rustic—“loose and garden-y” is how co-owner Courtney Sayner puts it. She and her counterpart, Jason Gonzalez, keep between 25 and 50 varieties of blooms in store, most from nearby growers in Half Moon Bay and Petaluma. You can always count on a supply of dahlias—the official flower of San Francisco—and garden roses. “We like to do things that are romantic, but not overly standard or traditional,” says Sayner. That extends to the presentation options, like the popular Mini Milk Crate ($49), in which blooms fill an array of tiny glass bottles within a wire crate.
The owners behind Church Street Flowers know their stuff: The trio has a combined 35 years of flower shop experience, and two of them were raised by florists and landscape designers. (Co-owner Brianna Foehr’s grandfather helped design the gardens in Golden Gate Park.) You’ll find anywhere from 100 to 200 varieties of blooms in the store at any time, plus various types of protea, banksia, pods, grasses, branches and tropical plants. The shop is known for bold, statement-making custom bouquets—“the weirder, the better!” declares co-owner Rachel Shinfeld. Most of the blooms hail from California, Oregon and Washington, but the trio will occasionally reach into South America, Holland, Israel and New Zealand for particular rarities.
In Water’s fresh creations are known to last up to two weeks. Co-owners Andrei Abramov and Natasha Tchesnokova specialize in orchids, often complemented by moss and branches. The pair revels in the rare and exotic, incorporating lotus pods, pincushion flowers and succulents into floral arrangements and custom terrariums. Most of the plants come from the Bay Area and Half Moon Bay, though imports also arrive from Holland, Colombia and Ecuador. The European-style hand-tied bouquets are always delivered in a distinctive lime-green box.
Crimson Horticulture isn’t a florist in the traditional sense. The Secret Garden-like nook down Oakland’s Temescal Alley is filled with handmade treasures and gifts, as well as potted and air plants of all varieties. Co-owners Lonna Lopez and Allison Futeral have developed a cult following among those seeking nontraditional arrangements. “We tend to go darker—a little creepier—if left to our own devices,” says Lopez. The pair favors varieties like chocolate cosmos, dark dahlias and ferns, often interspersed with foraged treasures like preserved butterfly specimens (which Lopez collects and frames), berries and seedpods. Due to the one-off nature of its bouquets, Crimson requests that orders be placed two to three days in advance.
Friends Jill Rizzo and Alethea Harampolis create gorgeous, organic, justifiably splurgy floral arrangements from their South San Francisco studio. “Each arrangement is treated like a sculptural art piece,” says Rizzo, and no two are alike. The duo buys blooms from the Flower Mart and local farmers, then forages for unconventional extras, including feathers and sprigs. The creations are arranged in personalized, reusable containers designed to be kept long after the flowers fade, like gold-painted mason jars and angular porcelain vases.
Want to cut out the middle-man and save some cash? Go straight to the source. The San Francisco Flower Mart contains the largest selection of floral product under one roof in the country, and it’s open to the public. The wholesale stash includes blooming plants, cut flowers and greens, foliage and more from growers across the state and far beyond. You’ll find time-honored favorites like dahlias, roses, tulips and ranunculus—plus exotic and rare varieties—for a fraction of what a florist would charge. Word to the wise: Wear layers (the mart is refrigerated to keep the flowers fresh) and bring your own bucket to transport your haul home.