I have noted that the Ferry Building is a "thing to do" in a tip on that, but I also think that I should include it under "shopping," since that is a key aspect of it and the Ferry Building is a great place to buy food, not merely ready to eat, but for cooking at home, such as meat, olive oil, vegetables, etc., with a lot of high-quality, if rather expensive, items of those types sold here. One can also find things like plants, plant starts, crafts, vegan doughnuts, fancy chocolates, and the like.
Essentially, this is like a permanent, upscale version of a Farmer's Market or a fancy version of the enclosed public markets that used to be very common but which have largely petered out since WWII (such as Pike Place in Seattle - unusually thriving - and the Grand Central Market in downtown Los Angeles - two rare old survivors on the West Coast. Others like those in Sacramento, Oakland, and Fresno long since shut down, although their buildings thankfully remain).
What to buy: All the things that I mention above.
What to pay: It depends. In general items sold here are on the expensive side, but generally of high quality.
This is a makret selling a variety of Balkan-Middle Eastern-Caucasian groceries: Turkish, Armenian, Arab, Greek, etc.
What to buy: As I noted, one would buy Middle Eastern, Turkish, Greek, Armenian, etc. groceries of all sorts. There is an emphasis on Arabic products, but the others are well represented, too, and, of course, there is much overlap amongst them all.
Lots of T's with all kinds of hippy art, music icons, and pot leaves----right on the famous corner, this place is a little pricey but had some good baby stuff for my grandson....1 outfit for a 1 year old was $21.69---great tie-die Haight Ashbury logo.....
What to buy: tshirt
What to pay: a little pricey
The SFMOMA gift shops (on the 1st and 4th floors) are jam packed with fine gifts to bring home. I'd rather find something here than a Fisherman's Wharf, to tell you the truth. Visit the museum then visit the gift shops.
you could also go to any metro pcs store and buy a $40 phone, have it activated within 3 hours or less, and use that. it has unlimited texting and calls for $40 per month (don't know how long your trip is). i have one and it doesn't have apps and all the bells and whistles of a smart phone, but it does what it's supposed to, doesn't drop calls, and hey, it's unlimited everything! for $40! i won't go back to my blackberry or even consider buying an android.
here are the presidio locations:
Everything a chocoholic would like to see from pasta, panties, ice cream, truffles, powder for baking, choco taffy apples($4.95), plus memorabilias.
Right after the ice cream counter, you'll see rows of truffles, milk bars, bonbons, fudge($12.95/lb.), cocoa powder ($6.95/6.5oz), dark assorted 14.5oz box @ $18.50, etc. All sold per piece or by weight. The walls of the shop are covered with funny, tasty, a few kinky and some regular brands available in groceries like hershey's, nestle and guylian.
What caught my eye: "Willing to sell husband for chocolates" t-shirt, *** pasta, chocoate body sauce and the free-taste ice cream.
Of course I just cannot leave without buying double scoops in a waffle cone of Decadent dark ice cream. My husband cant believe that with all the strong wind outside (about 15mph) and chilly April afternoon, I still wanted ice cream. Told him that its a matter of mind over body. Besides, for me, eating ice cream during cold days, equalizes my body temp with the outside temp weather which makes the cold air bearable. Silly? But works for me. One of these days, I'll google why this works for me.
What to buy: Ice Cream!!!!! Cheaper than Ghirardelli or the gelatos in Ferry Building. And I'd say passed my creaminess test.
What to pay: I simply cant remember exact price of the ice cream but I recall that I found it cheaper than the Ghis.
Get Lost Travel is a small specialty book shop that sells only travel books, travel memoirs, maps, and other various travel-esqe items. If you are planning on taking a trip, or just want to dream about one, there is plenty here to help you plan things out...or help rob you of sleep while you fantasize about it at 3 in the morning.
I will say this - I have found some very unique travel memoirs here. It is San Francisco after all...we like to do things all the way here and to hell with rules and how "things should be".
What to buy: travel books, travel gear, maps
What to pay: standard bookstore prices
While I was on vacation back home I was watching television a saw a good 15 minute TV spot on Tom's cookies. Apparently, Tom has the habbit of running into famous people and making cookies specifically named and matching the tastes of celebrities, U.S. Presidents, and such.
A few days later we were shopping in S.F. and I found the cookie shop downstairs in Macy's.
After all I heard about them I just couldn't hold back the temptation to try them.
Just how good are Tom's cookies. Well, I tried them I really believe they blow away Mrs. Field's cookies by a long shot. Not convinced? Read what others say about "Tom's Cookies":
"oh....my..god..... the best cookies I have ever had. And just the aroma alone is so &%*$#. Lures me into the Macy's basement everytime!" - Marina K.
"Hands down the best cookies ever! If I could do a backflip, I would have done one when I tried these. They are so incredibly good. The Clinton cookie is my favorite and the butterscotch is pretty yummy too." - Stephanie I.
"Tom's has the BEST chocolate chip cookie I've ever actually purchased, and most of the other varieties are pretty darn good, too. Definitely a Macy's perk." - Monika M.
"I'm drooling just thinking about these cookies. My favorite (at the moment) is the Clinton cookie - peanut butter cookie with a chunk of baked banana in the middle. And I don't even like peanut butter cookies. Cafe Latte, Toffee, and Chocolate Chip cookies are also fantastic." - Evelyn G.
"You haven't been to cookie heaven until you've tried the decadent creations located in the Macy's basement cellar. If they are yummy enough to be served at President Clinton's inauguration, they're definitely good enough for your taste buds..." - Tami Y.
For other statements on Tom's Cookies check out:
What to buy: Well, obviously the thing to get here are the cookies.
What to pay: Tom's cookies sometimes has deals like buy 6 get 6 free. Cool!
Virgin Megastore is a meccah for music lovers, film freaks and people interested in fan stuff. All three floors of the store are filled with various items for killing time.
The ground floor has most of the music collection, mostly mainstream with some more peculiar groups here and there. The second floor has classics collections. Movies and games are spread on the upper floors, too. There is a small collection of books at one corner of the third floor. It used to be better a few years back and now you are better off in Borders on Union Square.
The third floor hosts a smallish café that has nice views to Market Street.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has an excellent collection of art that is accompanied with an excellent museum store. The groundfloor showroom is huge and it contains all varieties of good sold in the typical museum store.
The art book collection is good and especially modern and contemporary artists and genres are well presented. Of course, the museum exhibition books are available. The counters near the entrance has a good selection of jewelry with quite inexpensive prices.
The other end of the store has a collection of modern classics in general design, kitchenware and furniture. There is a sizable collection of Finnish design items, too.
Children have their own section with all kinds of games and other activities. If you are bored with the airport toy selection, this is a good place to find something special to bring to your children.
Some of the items are available on their website.
The DSW Shoe Warehouse in the centre of San Francisco has most of what you want as shoes at reasonable to great prices! The shop has 3 1/2 floors - a floor for women, men, purses and athletic shoes, and clearance (my favourite one - this is the place to pick up some cheap shoes or regular price shoes bargain priced!). This is a great place for shoe lovers who are on a budget. They do however have shoes that are more expensive but if you are looking to get some trendy shoes at a good price this is the place. They have so many different styles that anyone should be able to find at least one pair. What I was not expecting was such high end designers! I have never seen so many pairs of Gucci shoes on a clearance rack in my life!The staff offers great service - especially considering that this place is a madhouse, smack in the middle of Union Square! The shop is open Monday-Saturday 9 am till 9 pm (8 pm on Sunday), there is no parking around it - you should park on the street. Without fail, I inevitably journey into DSW every time I visit San Francisco!
What to buy: Go straight to the downstairs clearance area!
What to pay: Moderate price range
powell and market is one of the biggest shopping districts in s.f.!!
it's a congestion of shopping. then, a few blocks away is union square where there is a huge mall. you won't have any problem finding shopping. stockton street also has tons of shopping.
there are some good ones in the mission on valencia and 16th. look on yelp.com
you can type in a search for thrift stores or second hand clothing and stuff will come up. imo the stuff on haight is overpriced. but wasteland on upper haight is worth the money because their stuff is pretty new and/or in great condition.
there's a huge outlet in gilroy, about an hour south of s.f.
if you want to stay in s.f., just go to h&m. what types of stuff do you want to purchase? cause there are cheap shoe stores too. if those options don't work for you, just go to the mall and look for sales. i'm not a big shopper so i buy stuff on ebay.
try amoeba. there's one on haight in sf and one in berkeley. you could also try green apple books in the outer sunset, video transfer and lost weekend video in the mission. you can look it all up on yelp.com
just search dvd, san francisco. but those are the best i know of.
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