San Francisco’s Union Square is renowned for its luxury designers and department stores, but throughout the city, you can find an impressive number of independent shops that
showcase the spirit of the Bay, from hippie to hipster and high-end to handmade.
Old boat and surf sails are upcycled into accessories like tote bags and wallets thanks to champion kitesurfer Marcos Mafia del Castillo and his sister, Paz. Head to the minimalist storefront in the city’s SoMa neighbourhood (South of Market) to shop a selection of bags, including the Day Runner messenger bag.
This cozy shop (spot the 10 lions along the top of the building) opened in 2012 as a part of the California Historical Society. Its shelves are lined with a wide collection of books on California alongside Bay Area-made jewelry and gifts. Yes & Yes Designs makes California state-shaped pendants from used books.
This tiny, tucked-away spot in Inner Richmond carries locally made and environmentally conscious bags, jewelry and skin-care products. The Scents of San Francisco candles have a unique scent for each city neighbourhood, including juniper and geranium for Golden Gate Park and lemon and sage for The Presidio.
A true corner store, Wishbone in Inner Sunset has been a part of the city for more than 20 years, selling fun and funky gifts. Much of the jewelry is by local designers, and many of the trinkets and stationery items pay homage to the city, like the black tote bag printed with a stylized map of the city’s neighbourhoods.
Opened in 1861 as a spot for gold-rush millionaires to spend cash, Gump’s is the place to go for luxury decor. Classy tchotchkes are spread over two floors, and a large gilded Buddha watches over shoppers. For a luxe gift that’s not too hard on the wallet, the leather Golden Gate Bridge Journal can be personalized.
Four Epic Food Markets
What better way to experience a destination than through its food and drink? Indeed, for some of us, markets and food halls are the world’s true museums and art galleries. We've rounded up some of the most delicious culinary marketplaces all food-lovers must seek out—Eataly in New York, the Ferry Building Marketplace in San Francisco, Marché Atwater in Montreal and the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto.