San Francisco is full of independently owned shops and boutiques where you can find the perfect items for friends, family and a little retail therapy for yourself. Instead of heading straight to the mall, take a stroll down one of these charming SF streets that are simply packed with charming local shops and pleasant surprises.
1. Divisadero Street in NoPa/Alamo Square
The NoPa (North of the Panhandle) district is a great destination for gifting and general boutique shopping, especially home goods and other handy items. Plus, there are plenty of restaurants and coffee shops along the way if you need to refuel.
- Rare Device – Gift shop with a focus on home goods, cards, prints, and other unique items.
- Perish Trust – Modern general store carrying rustic, vintage home goods & unique pieces made by local craftspeople.
- Asmbly Hall – Clothes and accessories with a focus on sophisticated “prep” style.
- Onyx – A clothing boutique that carries curated pieces from local and independent designers.
- The Mill – This bakery and cafe also carries an assortment of ceramics, curated grocery items, and coffee brewing equipment.
- Hunted– This tiny storefront is easy to miss, but inside is a treasure trove of vintage jewelry.
2. Hayes Street in Hayes Valley
Called one of the “coolest streets in the world, ” This walkable neighborhood is packed with charming gift shops and clothing stores for all styles. Here are a few to check out.
- Epicurean Trader – An upscale food shop that is the perfect place for spices, chocolate, and other fun stocking stuffers.
- Pact – Classic clothing and home goods made with organic cotton in Fair Trade certified factories.
- Reliquary – Highly curated shop showcasing vintage and contemporary fashion, home goods, and jewelry.
- Azalea – A clothing store that carries a curated selection of goods for men and women.
- Outdoor Voices – Clothing store with a focus on stylish technical apparel for recreation.
- Arden Home– this upscale home store features stylish furniture and decor. The store has a second location based in Seattle.
3. Haight Street in Haight-Ashbury
The Haight is home to shops that range from “Summer of Love” to Berlin-ready clubwear and more. There are also plenty of cute gift shops to choose from. Plus, think of Haight Street as the ultimate destination for vintage and secondhand clothing. Here’s a small taste.
- The Booksmith – Independent bookstore with great stocking stuffers and gifts.
- The Sockshop – A full range of unique socks with incredible designs and fun styles.
- SF Mercantile – T-shirts, pins, and other items that celebrate all things San Francisco.
- Amoeba Records – SF’s best selection of new and used vinyl records, CDs, DVDs, posters, and other music-related items.
- Indigo Vintage along with several other excellent vintage and thrift shops to choose from.
- Blue Bin Vintage– The vintage and second-hand store features a curated selection of clothing, plus an impressive collection of denim.
- Held Over– Another staple vintage shop where you can find plenty of faux fur coats, incredible leather jackets, and even cashmere sweaters all at your fingertips.
4. Valencia Street in the Mission District
This famously hip and fashionable street in SF is full of local designers, boutiques, and gift shops, perfect for finding unique items.
- Taylor Stitch – Men’s clothing store and brand that specializes in durable, classic looks.
- Paxton Gate – Unique shop specializing in taxidermy, crystals, plants, and other curiosities.
- Bernal Cutlery – Specialty knife and kitchen supply store for both home and professional cooks alike.
- Dandelion Chocolate – A chocolate factory and cafe selling hot chocolates as well as a variety of bean-to-bar chocolate.
- Valencia Street Vintage– This vintage store may be small, but it’s packed to the brim with beautiful clothes from the past.
- Black and Gold – This chic home decor and gift shop is filled with beautiful candles, cozy home accessories, and plenty of fun and vibrant items.
- Ministry of Scent– a store full of niche fragrances, Ministry of Scent is definitely worth a stop if you love colognes and perfumes.
5. Chestnut Street in the Marina
This upscale neighborhood by the water is very walkable and has plenty of name-brand shops if you need to cross some items off your shopping list.
- Madewell – A great spot for classic and effortless cool looks that are easy to mix and match.
- Marine Layer – An SF-based clothing store that sells “absurdly soft” tees, sweatshirts, and other staples.
- Aggregate Supply – An Industrial-chic boutique offering apparel, home decor, backpacks, blankets, and more.
- GAP – Let’s face it, we all need something from the GAP. It’s an easy place to find great clothes that won’t break the bank.
- Isalis– This boutique is filled with colorful and fun pieces of clothing, and it has three locations in SF and 2 in New York.
6. Clement Street in the Inner Richmond
This charming street is packed with extraordinary restaurants, extraordinary bakeries, and lots of fun places to shop.
- Tantrum – A boutique children’s clothing and toy store that carries unique, handcrafted items that you won’t find in the big box stores.
- Foggy Notion – A little shop that carries handmade, eco-conscious merchandise by independent designers, including lotions, bags, and home goods.
- The Spanish Table – This Spanish specialty food store is a great place to pick up unique snacks, wine cookware, and other treats.
- Park Life – A creative shop that carries a range of design-centric goods, including books, prints, and homewares.
- Green Apple Books – As one of SF’s largest and best-stocked bookstores, it’ll likely have exactly what you’re looking for.
- The Drawing Room – This local gallery space has plenty to offer beyond just shopping, but if you’re in the mood to spend (or just browse), they have beautiful pieces that are worth a look.
7. Grant Street in North Beach
Tucked away from the main drag of Columbus Avenue, Grant Avenue is home to a row of small businesses that are as unique and magical as the neighborhood itself.
- Vacation – This impeccably curated vintage store is where you might come across treasures like a ‘70s Halston gown, a vintage Bob Dylan t-shirt, and countless other treasures.
- Work – A vintage showroom that houses the constantly rotating collections of 10+ vintage sellers under one roof. They offer a balanced mix of high-end and affordable fashion.
- Professor Seagull’s Smartshop – This little shop sells a variety of herbal remedies and botanical samples that can help with relaxation, lucid, and beyond.
- Al’s Attire – This custom tailor shop uses vintage materials alongside new fabrics and leathers sourced directly from mills and tanneries.
- AB Fits – This denim-focused boutique puts people in clothes that embody character and quality.
- 101 Music – This eclectic record and music shop has no website or social media, but it’s an SF gem that absolutely worth a visit.
8. Fillmore Street in Lower Pacific Heights
If you want upscale shops, Fillmore Street in Lower Pacific Heights is the place to go. The charming street is always filled with pedestrians and people enjoying the numerous cafes and plenty of restaurants. Some of the notable upscale stores you’ll find on the street include rag & bone, FRAME, Diptyque, and Paige. While there are many upscale shops on the street, you can also find some local gems.
- Nest– This charming home decor and gift store includes a wide assortment of items, from vintage books to glassware and sparkly costume jewelry. Plus, be sure to look at the stunning light fixtures taking after the store’s name.
- Cottage Industry– This small store imports various goods, including beautiful light fixtures, charms, furniture, and more.
- The Finerie – Just as you might expect, this boutique is filled with high-end clothing and accessories. The stylish store is perfect if you’re looking for a splurge or love to window shop.
- Browser Books – Every neighborhood needs a good bookstore (or several), and Browser Books offers a great selection and a perfectly cozy vibe.
- No Rest For Bridget– This clothing and home decor store offers a range of affordable and chic styles for shoppers. They have several locations across the United States.
- Verve Wine – This wine shop has a large selection with floor-to-ceiling shelves of wine lining the walls.
By Grant MacHamer and Dana Flynn