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7 great places to shop for Christmas gifts in downtown San Francisco

A wall is crowded with bolts of fabric that are organized by color, ranging from black and gray to purple, red and yellow.
Britex Fabrics has been in business since 1952. | Source: Julie Zigoris/The Standard

Downtown San Francisco could use a little love. The area has roughly quadruple the retail vacancy rate of the rest of the city, and while buzzy new restaurants and cafes may signal better times ahead, the reality is that times are tough in the city’s central business district.

So what better way is there to spread some holiday cheer than by spending your holiday dollars in the area?

While large department stores like Macy’s and Neiman Marcus that anchor Union Square have plenty to offer, we did a deeper dive to encourage your exploration of San Francisco’s urban core.

A woman in a black long-sleeved shirt holds up a bolt of fabric that has images of San Francisco printed on it, with a wall of fabric behind her.
Britex Fabrics owner Sharman Spector holds up the store's custom fabric emblazoned with San Francisco symbols. | Source: Julie Zigoris/The Standard

Britex Fabrics

📍 117 Post St.
🔗 britexfabrics.com

There’s a lot of creativity in the Bay Area, so keep your recipient crafting thanks to some of the wonderfully unique goods on sale at the family-owned Britex Fabrics, a San Francisco legacy business that’s been selling bolts of cloth since 1952. We are particularly partial to the Britex-exclusive “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” print that has a pattern of great city landmarks—Britex included, of course. Give a few yards to your artsiest friend to inspire their next project.   

Nature’s Keeper 

📍 100 California St.
🔗 natureskeeper.xyz

As a business that’s part of San Francisco’s “Vacant to Vibrant” program pitched to rescue a beleaguered Downtown, Nature’s Keeper is animating an otherwise empty space, and it’s doing it with sustainability in mind. Pick up one of the outdoor line’s hats—upcycled from old ski suits—or any of their funky mountain gear, which is perfect for the Tahoe-obsessed. 

Yonder Shop

📍 151 Jackson St.
🔗 yondershop.com

Open limited hours at 151 Jackson St., Yonder Shop is another Vacant to Vibrant initiative that includes handmade ceramics, textiles and work by artists, such as the hyper-joyful Risa Iwasaki Culbertson. It’s a wonderfully local place to support Bay Area creatives. Head to the business’s sprawling Richmond District shop for an even larger selection.  

A colorful Christmas ornament is on display at Gump's in Downtown San Francisco.
A Christmas ornament depicting Lombard Street is on sale at Gump's in Downtown San Francisco. | Source: Julie Zigoris/The Standard

Gump’s  

📍 250 Post St.
🔗 gumps.com

You can’t find a much more historic place to shop than Gump’s, a department store born out of the Gold Rush in 1861. The local love runs deep at the shop—which also has an adjacent holiday-specific storefront—and you can find many San Francisco-themed gifts on sale: Golden Gate Bridge cocktail napkins, city skyline trays and cable car mugs. But our favorite might be the wonderfully three-dimensional Lombard Street Christmas ornament.

Jeffrey’s Toys 

📍 45 Kearny St.
🔗 jeffreys.toys

For any pint-size gift recipients on your list, head to Jeffrey’s Toys on Kearny Street near Union Square. A fourth-generation family business, the independent shop has an especially broad selection of comics—in addition to toys for every age—and offers free gift wrap year-round. 

An assortment of individual chocolates is visible through a glass display case.
The window display at Teuscher features an array of chocolates. | Source: Julie Zigoris/The Standard

Teuscher

📍 307 Sutter St.
🔗 teuschersf.com

Teuscher chocolates might be made in Central Europe, but they’ve had a home for years on Sutter Street in Downtown San Francisco. The Swiss chocolatier is most famous for its champagne truffles, which come in light and dark varieties and are made with real Dom Perignon—the perfect gift for your fancy friend.  To make it even fancier, Teuscher also specializes in elaborate displays, making it a fun place to shop in person (where you can also get free gift wrapping). 

Cuyana 

📍 291 Geary St., #201
🔗 cuyana.com

The sustainably minded Bay Area brand Cuyana operates under the tagline “fewer, better” with the idea to buy higher-quality items that last longer, making a wallet from the business a perfect gift for the eco-conscious. Thus, you’ll find premium leather goods—bags, pouches, cases—as well as pre-loved items. The line’s first-ever brick-and-mortar shop opened in Downtown San Francisco and overlooks Union Square.

Julie Zigoris can be reached at jzigoris@sfstandard.com