The Ferry Plaza in San Francisco is the location of a fairly decent Farmer's Market 4 times a week:
Tuesdays from 10am to 2pm,
Thursdays from 4pm to 8pm (inside the terminal),
Saturdays from 8am to 2pm
Sundays from 10am to 2pm
The Farmer's Market attracts a respectable number of growers selling an assortment of seasonal fruits and vegetables, nuts, olive oils, flowers, dried fruits, tamales, granola and other delicious goodies.
What to buy: This is my favorite place to come for lunch. I'll buy a bag of nuts and a nectarine, or a bag of granola and fresh blueberries.
What to pay: Hardly anything
So many little souvenirs to take back with you. Normally you find lots of tacky ones where ever you go, but I have to say I loved many of them hehehe and I am not fond of souvenirs, I normally prefer pics or pictures to bring back with me.
This one was on the way to Fisherman´s warf at Hyde Street.
In one of the biggest shopping areas of the city stands the Bound Together Collective - your one-stop shop for that hard to please anarchist, socialist, or "questioner" on your Christmas list!
What to buy: While there are scores of books on such topics as 9/11, conspiracy theories, Foucalt and his detractors, and the profound moral bankruptcy of the evil capitalist system, my favorite things are the homemade pamphlets and fliers - many of which are free. These range from the surprisingly lucid to the truly whacked.
Especially look for "Spectacular Times," a series of vintage Situationist pamphlets. Also check out their comics section. You too will be saying "Cathy is SUCH a tool!"
Saturday a.m 1/29/05 my friend Louis gave me a tour of the Farmers market outside in front of the ferry building on the Embarcadero.
Tables with fresh local produce and cheese, etc. outside, and some delicious food stands and stores inside the building & out back on the dock as well. Everything from delicious chocolate to goat cheeses to pastries... etc. you name it. A gourmand (me) or even a gourmet's (Louis) dream.
What to buy: See above. If you like good fresh food, you can find just about everything.
The earlier in the am you arrive, the more locals shopping and the less picked-over the food is. Seems to get more touristy as the afternoon progresses, but I'm a tourist so what the hell do I know.
Dank u well for taking me here Louis.
What to pay: Prices are very affordable, quality imho is very high.
Does anyone play actual "records" anymore? I mean the old "LP" vinyl kind? I recently found out my 28 year old daughter has been listening to all my golden oldies (which disappeared from our garage) on her Ficsher Price record player!
If you have an affinity for vinyl, Grooves is the place for you. There's not a CD to be found. But recordings of all genres are here.
San Francisco is a big city and , like other big cities in the USA, it's a good place for shopping. From designer shops and art galleries to department stores and street markets, you can buy anything in this lovely city.
The Union Square and its neighborhoods are filled with well known shops such as Macy's, Gap, Victoria Secret, W- Sonoma, Crabtree & Evelyn, Lush, Channel, Coach, you name it!
Walking through the streets of San Francisco's downtown you can also find street markets with crafts and other souvenirs.
For chinese goods and crafts, there is always Chinatown, with great prices and exotic things.
According to me, THIS is the place where to come to have some shopping in San Francisco.
A matter of opinion and preferences, obviously, you'll never find Fry's or Niketowns here, just small shops for tourists, but not only, selling goods of any kind.
Come here and spend your evening in a pleasant atmosphere.
Among the exposed brick of seismically retrofited three story Gold Rush California bank buildings, restored Victorian era office buildings, narrow one-way streets and sidewalks, and neatly clipped ficus trees, of the Historic Jackson District, there exists a neighborhood of interior design--art galleries, fine oriental rug merchants, interior designer offices, antique furniture shops, and so on. Easily within the morning shadow of the skycrapers of the Financial District, this neighborhood provides respite for those deep pocketed bankers, venture capitalists, and others able to acquire the world's finest amenities for their home. The expertise and advice among the staff in these shops is excellent, even if prices are well above the average worker's billfold. Even so, the sales staff are not typically wealthy themselves, or doggedly loyal to the higher class, and so are generally pleased, within reason, to allow browsing by tourists eager learn more about the masterfully crafted merchandise .
What to buy: Don't bother buying--just learn and enjoy window shopping. On the one hand, while European antiques maybe too expensive just about everywhere in the world these days, learning about oriental rugs, for example, is very helpful prior to travel to destinations like Pakistan, Iran, and India. On the other hand, for those who can afford these goods, the selection is as good as it gets anywhere in the world. For everyone, just a stroll through this neighborhood, say on the way between North Beach and the Embarcadero, is a very pleasant and inexpensive experience. Hotaling Street, between Jackson and Washington Streets is particularly worth the walk for it's historic charm. There are also a number of good bars and fine restaurants in the Historic Jackson District. See also the off-the-beaten-path Sydney G. Walton Square for an interesting stop along this way. Another monument worth visiting (for free) in the Jackson District is the old building of the 2nd Federal Mint on Commercial Street, which has been turned into the Pacific Heritage Museum.
What to pay: Don't expect to bargain like at in a oriental bazarre, but expect at least a 10% reduction for whatever you may choose to buy. These merchants mark up there wares at least three or four times their cost, but then their overhead expenses for keeping a shop in San Francisco are also very high. If you pose as an industry interior designer, your prices will be lower.
The newly remodeled Ferry Building houses all kinds of shops and restaurants where specialty items can be found. Sur Le Table is a kitchenware shop where you can find anything the chef desires. Upscale gourmet food shops and chocolatiers will even give you samples and tastes. On Saturday, the plaza behind the Ferry Building is home to a glorious Farmers' Market. Even if you're not in the market for produce, you will find things there that will call out to you; "take me home, take me home!"
This shop was aptly named, for it was a CHOCOLATE HEAVEN! As we passed near, the luscious scent of chocolate lay heavy in the air.
Beribboned bags of chocolate sat, one on-top-of-the-other in heavenly piles on tables. Novelty chocolates stuffed into bright San Francisco cable cars (picture 2)or neatly packaged with famous scenes of San Francisco on the labels awaited the chocolate lover. Table after table, shelf after shelf held chocolate delights in many shapes and flavors.
Our grandson found an amusing cigar shaped chocolate novelty, which he promptly wanted to buy for his great grandfather in Pennsylvania. I selected a mini coffee mug decorated in pastel flowers and filled to the brim with small chocolates plus a colorful box of foil-covered racing cars for the grandkids in Chile.
This chocoholic had to control herself, because a visit to Ghirardelli Square's tempting chocolate store was ahead of us the next day!
What to buy: Many different types of chocolate--darling novelties, making for great souvenirs
What to pay: A little to moderate prices
Our hotel was planted nicely between San Francisco Bay and Embarcadero Center--a shoppers paradise! Embarcadero Center is actually four huge buildings, which extend from Battery to Drumm Streets.
You'll find very familiar names at this upscale venue, containing 100 retail shops, restaurants and other services. When you're ready for a break from San Francisco's lovely sights, you might want to stop by. Here's a small sampling--
Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Petites
Discovery Channel Store
L'Occitane en Provence
Crabtree & Evelyn
Sunshine Health Foods and many, many more!
You'll also find hair salons, shoe repair, tailors, ATMS, banks, Fedex, the U.S. Post Office and a multitude of dentists. There's also a five screen theatre and outlet for BASS/Giants tickets. Don't worry about parking, because there are 2400 underground spaces.
Embarcadero Center is accessible by using BART, muni bus, muni underground, ferry, cable car or F-line trolley. Normal hours are: 10am-5pm, but holiday hours begin November 16-December 24.
What to buy: Anything you need or want it seems
What to pay: Moderate to Pricey
See this picture. On the left, behind the tray, you may see foliage.
Actually, behind the foliage, and so hidden from the sight of people coming towards me, there was a mad man waiting for tourists to jupm out saying "Booohhh!!!" frightening them when they are close.
A small crowd was gathered there enjoying the unexpected show.
The funniest part has been that, a few moments later, a tourist approached the man from behind "booooohing" him. The mad got scared and upset for this!
The Bible says "don't do to someone else something you don't want somebody do to you" (or something like this, sorry).
Here you can find anything and everything; vintage clothing, antiques, scary clown paintings, terrifying lawn statuary and real legitimate collectibles.
You will find the flea market every Sunday, starting early and winding up by around 2pm-3pm depending on the weather. On Saturdays in the same location you will find a bustling farmers market with fresh local produce.
What to buy:
Haight Ashbury definitely has very unique shopping. You can buy anything and everything here....anything from jewelry to tie-dye shirts to piercings to bongs. You can just window-shop -- just looking in the stores is a lot of fun!
What to pay: A t shirt usually runs around $10-15. I've bought rings for $10-20 too.
At the end of the Fisherman's Wharf, westwards, you'll find a square that hosts a couple of interesting electronics shops, a stop of the cable car, the entrance of Ghiradelli Square (see another tip for this place) and most of all a beautiful view of the San Francisco Bay.
Everything is enriched by the presence of this wonderful vessel anchored by the dock.
The San Francisco people definitely knows how to enrich their environment.
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