Guide To San Francisco’s Shopping Malls

November 14, 2010 7:36 AM

Many of the best shops and clothing retailers in San Francisco are sprawled out on the streets around Union Square, or peppered around the many unique San Francisco neighborhoods, but for those hoping to do some serious mall hopping, San Francisco has a handful of shopping centers worth a visit. Here is a quick guide to the San Francisco mall scene.

Westfield San Francisco Centre

865 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 512-6776
Westfield San Francisco Centre

Two blocks from Union Square sits this domed shopping mecca that’s home to 170 stores. A huge Nordstrom is the centerpiece, but a vast number of other mall chains can also be found. The mall gets points for convenience, (the Powell St. BART and Muni station feeds right into the lower level). It’s also a short stroll from other outlets like the massive Old Navy, the Union Square Macy’s and the downtown Apple store. Many Yelpers say the quality of the archetecture overshadows the shopping at the mall. The food court is the best you’ll find in the city, with Out the Door (the scaled-down version of famed restaurant Slanted Door) worth a visit all on its own.

Stonestown Galleria

3251 20th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94132
(415) 759-2626
Stonestown Galleria

This mall, nestled in the fog out by San Francisco State, is often overlooked on the San Francisco shopping scene – but it does have its plusses. Stonestown is home to Macy’s, Nordstrom and a fairly large Borders, as well as a good selection of mid-sized clothing chains like American Eagle, Forever 21 and H&M. Stonestown has the best free parking of the SF malls, and the summer farmer’s market has one of the best combinations of price and variety in the Bay Area.

Crocker Galleria

50 Post St
San Francisco, CA 94104
(415) 393-1505
Crocker Galleria

This Financial District shopping center can easily get lost with the bounty of nearby Union Square shopping, but it’s certainly a worthy lunch-hour browsing stop in downtown San Francisco. Ralph Lauren is the biggest brand name on site, but there are some boutique shops worth a few minutes of your time. The dining options, many of which can be found on the third floor, are better than what you expect from a shopping mall. If you are seeing the city on foot, the roof terrace is a perfect place to enjoy a casual downtown meal.

Embarcadero Center

1 Embarcadero Center
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 772-0700
Embarcadero Center

The office complex feel of the Embarcadero Center disguises the mass of commercial space offering food, fashion, flowers, jewelry, stationary and more. The street level is home to such brands as Banana Republic, Williams-Sonoma and Victoria’s Secret, but if you don’t notice the next two levels you are missing many of the restaurants and smaller shops in the mall. As you might expect in the financial district, there are some excellent options for business and formalwear. If you work downtown, the mall is a good bet to pick up a last-minute gift and a card. Parking in the area is pricy, so it’s probably best to arrive by public transit.


101 4th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 369-6000

Originally opened as a sort of tech-hub and display place for Sony products, the mall has morphed – catering now to the dinner and a movie crowd. The Metreon remains one of the best places to catch a film. There are also a handfull of decent restaurants, but depending on what you are willing to spend, there are better options nearby. A few small shops and knick-knack stands remain in the central lobby. Jillian’s, one of the largest and most modern sports bars in town, is a good bet to find the game you are looking for. A small live theater on the second floor also gets some interesting independent shows. The parking garage, across the street off of Mission, is the most reliable option if you are driving.

Ferry Building

One Ferry Building
San Francisco, California 94111
(415) 693-0996
Ferry Building Marketplace

After undergoing a major interior facelift, the Ferry Building has drawn a ton of high-end shops to foot of Market Street. The area’s best-known farmer’s market takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am-2pm and Saturday 8am-2pm. Foodies who miss the market can still get their fill of breads, cheeses, meats, seafood and cookware at the specialty shops inside the main hall. If you are looking for more than raw ingredients, the Ferry Building offers high-end dining and a number of spots to enjoy a glass of wine. There are certainly cheaper places to shop and dine in the Bay Area, but few are more memorable.

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