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San Francisco local business holiday shopping guide: 2023 edition

A visual that includes a person's hands making a clay pot, three shelves of colorful vases and graphic colored circles.
A composite image features a clay wheel and vases from Heath Ceramics. | Source: Courtesy Heath Ceramics

Is there any better way to spread the holiday cheer than not only keeping your dollars local, but also spending on gifts that have been made locally? If you think so, we’re here to help with just that. 

At a time when many small businesses are suffering from the post-pandemic blues, work-from-home transformation and continued acceleration of online shopping, buying local is one of the most holiday-spirited things you can do. 

While San Francisco will have numerous gift fairs with lots of local goodies to choose from—like the first ever SFMOMA Holiday Makers Market or the always popular Heath Ceramics’ Make Good Market—sometimes you just need help deciding. 

We’ve done the work for you by selecting 10 can’t-go-wrong gifts on a variety of budgets for even the hardest to please.  

Recchiuti Chocolates 

Made in the Dogpatch and sold at the Ferry Building or online, Recchiuti chocolates are sure to delight anyone. For the wine lover in your life, pick up a red wine pairing box for $32 with truffles perfect for grape juice—and paper for tasting notes included. Sober friends? Try the Caramels to the Third Power Box or the nostalgically curated Sepia Box

‘Muni Is My Ride’ Book 

Keith Scott Ferris and Lia Smith’s new book Muni Is My Ride: Portraits of Muni in Words and Images is the ultimate made-in-the-Bay-Area writing—a volume full of illustrations, interviews and portraits of our beloved public transit system. It couldn’t have been written anywhere else but here. 

‘Dear San Francisco’ Tickets 

Dear San Francisco—performed at the historic Club Fugazi—might be the most inspiring, awe-inducing production you’ve seen in years. The North Beach club, the former home of Beach Blanket Babylon, offers a range of gift packages that include tickets, merch, food and drink. Support a legendary club and local performers by gifting this absolutely unmissable show. 

elizabethW Sleep Set

A good night’s rest is a gift unto itself, and something so many of us are in short supply of these days. Make it all a little easier with a duo of products from the San Francisco brand elizabethW, which the founder named after his grandmother after growing up on her plant-filled Sierra Nevada ranch. We recommend pairing the lavender pillow spray with a silk-and-velvet sleep mask to create some instant Z’s. 

Lady Falcon Coffee Subscription 

After gifting an incredible night’s sleep courtesy of elizabethW, you can wake another friend up with some locally crafted coffee courtesy of Lady Falcon. You won’t even need wrapping paper for beans from this gorgeously packaged roaster. If you want the gift that keeps on giving, you can buy a coffee subscription for $125.60 for three months for your loved one so they don’t even have to stress about their caffeine source. 

Maison Nico Goodies

We live in a world that already has way too much junk—so get your family and friends a gift they can consume instead. While Jackson Square’s Maison Nico gets a lot of attention for its Instagrammable croissants, its original claim to fame is its pâté en croûte—which you can now get delivered to your door via subscription—or go for the sweet side with the bakery’s irresistible (and gorgeous) goodies.   

Rickshaw Bag 

You don’t think of San Francisco as having factories, but Rickshaw Bags makes its wares on 22nd Street near Minnesota Avenue in the Dogpatch, and soon, the company will have a retail shop as well. How can you not resist buying a bag named after San Francisco’s most favorite tower? 

Bud Vase

Everyone could use a little more greenery in their lives, and thanks to Heath Ceramics—celebrating 75 years of claymaking in California—it can come easily. Unlike some of the manufactory’s larger pieces, the compact vase is not only affordable but also gorgeous in its simplicity. Available in a range of colors, the handcrafted vase is perfect for wildflowers or backyard clippings. 

Bay Area Art

The de Young Open has been described as a love letter to the Bay Area, and for good reason—the exhibition assembles nearly 900 artworks by a wide range of local artists—and nearly all of them are available for sale. You can enter into a conversation directly with the artist in order to arrange a price. 

San Franciscan Magazine 

Go beyond the headlines with a subscription to the San Franciscan Magazine, a fiercely independent publication that’s both a labor of love and full of local talent. Give your loved one something to look forward to in their mailbox twice a year, when this gorgeously illustrated volume arrives.