- San Francisco Shopping Districts Map Favorite Shopping Areas
- Bargain shopping in San Francisco’s garment district.
- SAN FRANCISCO FABRIC SHOW / DG EXPO / NOV. 2019
San Francisco Shopping Districts Map
Favorite Shopping Areas
Map of San Francisco Shopping Districts
The shopping districts shown above are the most popular streets or areas of shopping in San Francisco. Some people refer to these as San Francisco’s shopping jewels and you will see when you visit many of these districts the creative and unique shopping experience that is hard to find in most cities.
Chestnut Street has a very neighborhood vibe, yet you will find mixed in with the unique one-of-a-kind shops stores like Apple and Williams-Sonoma.
Embarcadero + Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market
Embarcadero + Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is a mixture of main stream stores in the Embarcadero Center and unusual shopping opportunities only a farmers market mixed with some high end cuisine shops can provide. This is a great place to stop and catch lunch or brunch.
Fillmore Street is a cacophony of trendy, high fashion shops mixed with some more quaint one off shops. Especially notable are some of the eateries and drinking establishments located on Fillmore Street.
Haight Street – Haight Ashbury is world renowned for its history from the sixties. Still maintaining that hippie vibe, it mixes modern cool with urban chic. It is just worth a visit for the colorful fun you will find on the street.
Hayes Valley – Hayes Street has an earthy trendy feel to it and has both some of the most interesting and chic clothing stores as well as some great eateries.
North Beach District
North Beach is full of Italian old world charm. Even though it is more heavily populated with eating and drinking establishments, you will find some of the most interesting and hip shops as well as some old fashioned Italian delis and old world shops and bakeries.
Sacramento Street has a very chic vibe to it and there are many shops catering to the more money set here as well as great restaurants and some unique stores such as one that just sells ribbons. There are also many shops catering to interior design and the home.
Union Square is the big kahuna of shopping for San Francisco. This is where you will find all the big name brands and luxury shops. Union square is made up of blocks of buildings housing all these great stores as well as two enclosed shopping areas. One is a semi-enclosed group of shops and borders on the Financial District called the Crocker Galleria and the biggest jewel of a shopping center is Westfield’s San Francisco Centre which contains Nordstrom and Bloomingdales. In the middle of everything is Union Square guarded by some of the larger department stores such as Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Saks and Barneys.
Union Street is often confused by visitors with Union Square but it is much different. The highlight of Union Street is the Victorian architecture of the shops. You will find a lot of interesting small shops running towards trendy but also including classic styles. Jewelry stores and goldsmiths abound on Union Street including Union Street Goldsmith. If you are getting engaged or looking for a gorgeous bauble… this is the street to be on. There are more jewelry stores per district on Union Street than any other.
Bargain shopping in San Francisco’s garment district.
Bargain shopping in San Francisco’s garment district Ramshackle warehouse, rumbling delivery trucks, and cramped loading docks bristling with racks of colorful clothing give San Francisco’s garment district a certain raffish glamour. The business has grown to $5 billion wholesale annually, making it the city’s number one manufacturing industry–and the district continues to draw savvy shoppers for bargains of 20 to 75 percent off retail.
Most of the hundred or so factories are between 2nd and 11th streets in the South of Market (SoMa) area. We asked industry insiders for SoMa’s top choices–considering the prices, size of selection, and variety, and focusing just on the manufacturers’ own outlets (as opposed to “off-price” stores, which sell goods from many manufacturers, usually at slightly higher prices). We list them alphabetically. For more discount houses, refer to the guidebooks and pamphlets listed on page 24.
March is a good month to shop. The stores burst with three seasons of clothing–current spring wear already returned by department stores, and fashions from last winter and fall. Here’s what to know before you go.
Garment district savvy
Don’t expect amenities–you’re more likely to find communal dressing rooms, jammed racks, poor lighting. Why the bargains? Some are discontinued lines, liquidated stock, product overruns, or odd lots (the small amount of merchandise left after orders are filled). On items marked as irregulars, check for minor flaws> on seconds, check closely for major flaws.
When to go: avoid Saturdays if possible> otherwise, shop early. Most stores get new merchandise on Fridays.
Respect “no parking” signs> a standard ticket can cost $20. We talked to one parking officer who issues up to 50 tickets a day just in the alley outside Gunne Sax. We list parking suggestions for each outlet but, if you’re coming from the South Bay, consider taking Caltrain. ACA JOE, Gunne Sax, and Eileen West outlets are within five blocks of the Caltrain station at Fourth and Townsend streets> for a schedule, call (415) 557-8661. Most outlets accept cash, check, or credit cards. All sales are final.
Six outlets–men’s casual wear
to prom growns
ACA JOE, 148 Townsend> 10 to 5 Mondays through Saturdays. Back on its feet after financial trouble, ACA JOE has a plain (and chilly) outlet that’s worth a visit. Save 25 to 75 percent on casual menswear (but women buy here too)– jackets, shirts, pants, sweats. Don’t miss the “defectives” section at the rear of the store–belts for $4, shorts for $5–and flawless sample-design tops for $22. Use the pay parking lot ($3.50 all day) on Brannan one block east of Stanford Alley.
Eileen West, 39 Bluxome Street (between Fourth and Fifth streets)> 9:30 to 5 Saturdays. Save discounts up to 75 percent off retail on home products like soaps and stationery, as well as dresses and sleep-wear (including Eileen West and the Queen Anne’s Lace line). There’s no dressing room here. Street parking is available on Bluxome on Saturdays.
Esprit Outlet, 499 Illinois at 16th Street> 10 to 8 weekdays, 10 to 7 Saturdays, 11 to 5 Sundays. Few insiders listed this outlet, assuming everybody already knew about it. But it’s the biggest, with a warehouse-size store full of casual wear reduced 30 to 70 percent. The adjacent Caffe Esprit offers small pizzas, eclectic salads, and more, 11:30 to 2:30 Mondays through Saturdays. Parking is free. If you need a midday break to picnic or to let the youngsters roam between shopping forays, visit the Esprit Park and Sculpture Garden about 1/4 mile away at Minnesota and 18th streets–with nine massive works by such artists as Henry Moore, Manuel Neri, and Mark di Suvero.
Gunne Sax, 35 Stanford Alley (between Brannan and Townsend, and Second and Third streets)> 10 to 5 weekdays, 9 to 5 Saturdays, 11 to 5 Sundays. No secret to city shoppers, Gunne Sax offers 27,000 garments (up to 70 percent off retail) on the floor above its fabric store. Prom dresses are the major draw in spring from the Gunne Sax line ($60 to $100) and the Jessica McClintock line (up to $150). Head toward the rear of the store for best bargains ($8 dresses, $5 blouses). For parking, see listing for ACA JOE.
Jeanne Marcdowns, at Third and Bryant streets> 11 to 4 Tuesdays through Saturdays. New location offers the amenities of a retail shop, including carpeting and nice lighting. You’ll find colorful, exotic-patterned cotton dresses and pants outfits, including resort and cruise wear with hand-finishing details that make them look like designer originals. Prices are about 60 percent below retail. Pay parking lot ($3.50 all day) at Second and Bryant.
San Francisco City Lights Factory Outlet, 333 Ninth between Harrison and Folsom streets> 10 to 6 Mondays through Saturdays. Here’s the place to pick up active wear–leotards, body suits, leggings. We saw T-shirts for $5, leotards and cotton sundresses for $8, thick terry robes for $39. Pay parking lot ($3.50 a day) at 10th and Harrison.
Helpful pamphlets, guidebooks
The definite guide is still Sally Socolich’s newly updated Bargain Hunting in the Bay Area (Wingbow Press, Berkeley, 1990> $8.95), available at bookstores. To subscribe to her newsletter ($18/nine issues yearly), write to Bargain Hunting, Box 144, Moraga, Calif. 94556.
The San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau publishes a partial listing of outlets in The San Francisco Book, available free at hotels and at the visitor information center in the plaza at Market and Powell streets (open 9 to 5:30 weekdays, 9 to 3 Saturdays, 10 to 2 Sundays). At some outlet stores, you’ll find a $2 pamphlet called San Francisco’s Factory Outlet Shopping Guide, with coupons and restaurant suggestions. COPYRIGHT 1991 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder. Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.
SAN FRANCISCO FABRIC SHOW / DG EXPO / NOV. 2019
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