San Francisco is one of those iconic destinations within the United States that every traveler has heard of. Popular San Francisco sites like the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Transamerica Pyramid, and cable cars immediately invoke the city in everyone’s minds. So when you take a trip to Frisco, you probably want to pick up some San Francisco souvenirs. We’re here to help you know what to choose!
The list below will give you some great ideas of things to take back home for yourself or as San Francisco gifts for loved ones.
San Francisco Food and Drink
Lots of people like to bring back food gifts from San Francisco. If this sounds good to you, read on, as there are some really great options.
Chocolate – Ghiradelli Chocolate is a quintessential part of San Francisco due to its location on Ghirardelli Square not far from Fisherman’s Wharf. If you have a sweet tooth, this is a great way to extend the enjoyment of your trip even after you get back home. See’s Candies is another great brand. And, as most people like chocolate, it’s a great idea for gifts from San Francisco.
Wine – The city isn’t far from the renowned wine country locations of Sonoma and Napa Valley, not to mention other great grape-growing regions in the state. So it’s easy to find great wineries and their wines when you visit the Golden Gate City!
Coffee – there are several amazing coffee companies in San Francisco, including Four Barrel Coffee and Blue Bottle Coffee. Bring back a bag of beans and enjoy even after your vacation ends.
Craft Beer – not to be outdone by Colorado or Oregon, California produces some amazing craft beers itself. Pick up some from local breweries Russian River Brewing Company, Cellarmaker Brewing Company, and Black Hammer Brewing.
Olive Oil – the climate near San Francisco is perfect for growing olives, so bring back some locally-grown olive oil to enjoy back home. Stonehouse Olive Oil is a good one to try.
Fog Point Vodka – if you like spirits, you may really like this unique one…it’s made from San Francisco fog! Produced by Hangar 1.
Boudin’s Sourdough Bread – it won’t keep for long, but if you tried it and loved it, make sure to grab another loaf to take home. Or eat it on the plane. We won’t judge. (They have a location inside the SFO airport!)
Clothing and Accessories
Levi’s – the famous denim brand Levi’s started in San Francisco, so why not grab a pair of vintage Levi’s from their store on Market Street?
Ball Cap – sports fan? Grab a San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, San Francisco 49ers, San Jose Sharks, or Golden State Warriors ball cap, so you can show everyone that you visited. You can even doff it on the plane ride back home!
T-Shirts – San Francisco T shirts souvenirs are another popular choices. Whether you want a “muni” shirt, a sports team jersey, or something showing one of the Frisco sites, there will be lots of choices.
San Francisco-themed Tchotchkes
If you collect snow globes, figurines, Christmas ornaments, or other trinkets, then one that signifies parts of the city would be perfect for your collection. Look for trinkets that feature any of the following:
Golden Gate Bridge – even if you haven’t been to San Fran, you’ll probably recognize the Golden Gate Bridge. This one would be easily recognizable on your shelf!
Cable Cars – San Francisco is known for its electric cable cars, and it’s easy to find memorabilia that features them. It’s an extra-fun way to help you remember your own time riding these classic methods of transportation!
Haight-Ashbury District – known as a hangout for hippies in the 1960s, Haight-Ashbury is associated with acts like the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. If you’re a modern-day hippie, a poster or t-shirt of Haight-Ashbury is perfect for you!
Lombard Street – this winding, hilly street is another sight people associate with San Francisco in their minds, so a magnet or mug featuring the street is spot on.
Other San Francisco Souvenirs
Perhaps you’re looking for something a bit less touristy, but that still reminds you of your California travels. Here are some ideas:
Books – a hardcover copy of a book relating to California is a great option. Consider novels by John Steinbeck (who from Salinas), The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan (set in San Francisco), or for kids, The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan (of Percy Jackson fame). Here are some other great book choices!
Classic Vinyl or even a CD – if you’re into vintage music formats, an album or CD by a band who got their start in S.F. is another options. Artists to consider: Journey, 4 Non Blondes, Steve Miller Band, Counting Crows, Metallica, or as mentioned above, the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane.
Non-Themed Items – perhaps you enjoy shopping, and would like to make a purchase that isn’t itself necessarily San Francisco themed. No problem! Check out some local shopping areas like Mission District, Market Street, Union Street, Japantown, and Hayes Valley. You’re sure to find a cute store (that’s not a touristy San Francisco souvenirs shop!), with the perfect item that you’ll cherish for years to come.
The touristy areas will have more of the trinkets you might buy for fun or gifts. You’ll find the best San Francisco gift shop at Pier 39, for example.
We hope this list has helped you decide what you might want to purchase, whether your planning in advance or trying to make a last-minute purchase. These are the best souvenirs from San Francisco, because they are perfect mementos of your travels. They’re also great for friends and family back home who may feel special that you’ve thought to bring them back something from your travels.