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San Francisco is a city with a rich history and culture, and there are many unique San Francisco souvenirs that out-of-towners can take back with them. Once you’ve fallen in love with The City by the Bay, you’ll want something to help you remember it.
The best souvenirs and gifts always reflect the culture of the place from where they originated. San Francisco is known for a great many things including infamous landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge or historical sights like Alcatraz.
Something simple like a mug from Alcatraz or a magnet depicting that iconic red bridge is easy to fit in your suitcase back home. These are great San Francisco cheap souvenirs under $10 that you an get at many shops around the city.
San Francisco is well known for its cable cars, pulling locals and tourists alike up and down its hilly streets. It is also home to delicious items like Ghiradelli chocolate, wine, and coffee. All of these make for unique gifts from San Francisco.
The city is home to a variety of artists and artisans as well. Why not take home a piece of art? From hand-blown glass to jewelry to pottery, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye at a gallery or market.
➡️ Read: Best day trips from San Francisco
Best San Francisco souvenirs: overview
You can find tons of souvenirs at a variety of stores and gift shops throughout San Francisco. Magnets, posters, mugs, keychains, and apparel are easy to find at the many shops along Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39.
You can also find unique San Francisco souvenirs like hand-made ceramics, hand-blown glass, and locally-made jewelry in local artisan shops.
For those with a sweet tooth, San Francisco boasts the most loved chocolate in the country. Wine drinkers can taste their way through the Bay without ever leaving the city limits, and take home special bottles from nearby regions.
Whether you’re looking for a standard tourist souvenir or a special gift from San Francisco, you are spoiled with choice!
➡️ Check: Los Angeles vs San Francisco: what city should I choose?
1. Ghirardelli chocolate
This is arguably one of the most scrumptious San Francisco souvenirs and it’s easy to get. Ghiradelli Square is located right between Fisherman’s Wharf and Golden Gate. Within it, there are three shops where you can experience Ghiradelli in different, delectable ways. (More on those shops below).
2. San Francisco hoodie
San Francisco hoodies can be found in almost any San Francisco souvenir shop. I recommend shopping around to find the style and price that works best for your budget. There’s even a $10 Hoodie Store near Fisherman’s Wharf. Or, the nearby Anchorage Square Mall has plenty of options for apparel.
San Francisco hoodies can be found on Amazon for $25-$40.
3. A magnet
It won’t be difficult to find a fun, colorful magnet in any of the souvenir shops you pass by. This is probably one of the best cheap San Francisco souvenirs. But if you want a greater selection of magnets to choose from, stop by Magnetron. They also have deals for buying multiple magnets, like 3 for $12.99 or 8 for $30.
Amazon sells a variety of San Francisco magnets, including this adorable one depicting windy Lombard Street.
4. A mug
A mug depicting the Golden Gate Bridge or other landmarks is an easy-to-find gift from San Francisco. All of the stores along the piers will have them stocked and you can’t go wrong. If you want something hand and locally made, take a trip to Local Take in The Castro.
Here, those on the hunt for the perfect souvenir can find a funky piece of pottery to bring home.
5. Alcatraz License Plate
Souvenirs and gifts depicting Alcatraz and its infamous inmates can be found in many tourist shops. The Alcatraz Gift Shop though, will have license plates and more including inmate garb, books, and beanies.
Pier 39, Beach St P214/B1, San Francisco, CA 94133
6. A San Francisco key chain
On Pier 39 there are endless options when it comes to finding this cheap San Francisco souvenir. “Only In San Francisco” has a big variety, or try one of the smaller boutique shops for something more unique.
7. San Francisco cable car
The Cable Car Museum store offers a collection of cable car apparel, pins, patches, and hats. More importantly though, cable car enthusiasts can purchase cable car toys, models, bells, cables, and ornaments. Those looking for a one-of-a-kind gift can find it here.
Address: 1201 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94108
8. A bottle of wine from the Bay Area vineyards
The Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant has everything for a wine connoisseur. Not only can you choose from a sprawling variety of California wines starting at only $11 per bottle, guests can taste over 25 different wines in 2 oz. pours. Wine is served with snacks and cheese plates.
Address: 1 Ferry Building Shop 23, San Francisco, CA 94111
The Winery Collective is also another tasting room where you can try wines from boutique wineries. These options cover every region from Napa Valley to Santa Barbara.
Read about the best day trips from San Francisco
Address: 485 Jefferson St, San Francisco, CA 94109
9. San Francisco T-Shirts
Various San Francisco logos, both vintage and modern, adorn t-shirts at San Francisco Citywear. They have everything from classic designs to silly shirts that will make you smile.
10. Chinatown Souvenirs San Francisco
Along Grant Avenue, shoppers will find a plethora of storefronts with Chinatown souvenirs. Canton Bazaar, Bargains of Chinatown, and Butterfly’s Gift Shop are just a few options. Take home some wind chimes, fans, jewelry, and trinkets of every shape and size.
11. Golden Gate memorabilia
San Francisco’s marvel of engineering, the Golden Gate Bridge is a memorable sight worth bringing home. Under the Golden Gate is the perfect shop for finding that perfect Golden Gate souvenir. A Golden Gate poster would be an eye-catching addition to your home, or a set of stackable bridge cups would be fun to use with family and friends.
12. Coffee from local roasters
Union Street Coffee Roastery is for those always looking for the perfect cup of Joe. It is a beloved coffee shop but they have a wall of 20+ types of beans that they will bag up and give you to take home.
Address: 2271 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94123
13. A hat
Most shops have hats, but if you’re looking for something funkier, have some fun perusing the racks at Krazy Kaps. A more traditional San Francisco souvenir might be a baseball-style hat, but they have whimsical hats featuring cartoon characters and superheroes as well!
Address: 2 Pier N1, San Francisco, CA 94133
14. 49’ers Memorabilia
49ers gear is scattered throughout the city, but there’s one store where sports fans can find sporting goods, plus memorabilia from San Francisco’s professional sports teams. Sports Basement Presidio is located in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Address: 610 Old Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94129
15. San Francisco Coasters
Why not remember your San Francisco moments every time you pour a drink back at home? Coasters are cheap San Francisco souvenirs that are easy to fit in your suitcase. Lola of North Beach carries coasters and other playful gifts.
Address: 900 North Point St, San Francisco, CA 94109
San Francisco has no shortage of galleries and stores where visual art is on full display. Image Arts has prints and posters of all different sizes. These prints feature sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge and multicolored cable cars, amongst other cityscapes.
San Francisco gift shops
San Francisco is home to hundreds of shops. Here’s a list of some of the best San Francisco gift shops, where you can purchase popular tourist souvenirs and special, local gifts.
1. Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop
Ghiradelli Square is actually home to three different shops. First is The Original Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop. Here you can choose from fifteen different kinds of sundaes, including Ghirardelli’s World-Famous Hot Fudge Sundae.
The shop also has antique chocolate-making equipment and a seating area in the shape of a San Francisco cable car.
Address: 900 North Point St Ste 52, San Francisco, CA 94109
2. The Chocolate Experience Store
is wall-to-wall chocolate, maybe the closest thing to meeting Mr. Wonka himself. The biggest draw may be their Pick & Mix, the largest in the world, with the widest selection of Ghiradelli squares. You can customize and personalize the mixes too, making it a unique San Francisco souvenir.
Address: 900 North Point St Ste F301, San Francisco, CA 94109
Ghirardelli On The Go is the smallest shop but very convenient for grabbing an ice cream and taking it to the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park or for a walk along a nearby pier. They also have a smaller variety of chocolate and gifts if you’re still looking for a cheap San Francisco souvenir.
Address: 801 Beach St, San Francisco, CA 94109
4. Only in San Francisco
Pier 39 is pretty much the go-to spot for shopping when exploring the waterfront. Only in San Francisco won’t have the most unique San Francisco souvenirs, but it’s where you can find anything you’re looking for, from apparel to keychains and magnets, and everything in between.
Address: 39 Pier #A01, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94133
5. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Store
Just southeast of Union Square is the Museum of Modern Art. If you’re an art fan and looking for a less touristy souvenir the store here is for you.
The Museum store features a curated collection of gifts. This includes exclusive SFMOMA apparel plus products from their special exhibitions and collaborations with artists. You can also find puzzles, children’s books, art supplies, and games.
Address: 151 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94103
6. Alcatraz Gift Shop
For many visitors, Alcatraz is at the top of their itinerary. Alcatraz is infamous, with an interesting but dark history. This shop is where you can snag one of the best souvenirs in San Francisco. A cheeky, history buff may just love an ‘Alcatraz Swim Team t-shirt’.
Address: Pier 39, Beach St P214/B1, San Francisco, CA 94133
7. Foggy Notion
This little shop is filled with sustainable, hand-made goods. Here you can find items from local companies like Destination Fragrance which manufactures candles that capture the essence of San Francisco’s different neighborhoods. You can also find bath bombs, body oils, and other eco-conscious gifts.
Address: 124 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118
8. Old Shanghai
Old Shanghai is a wonderful place for Chinatown wares, including kimonos, tea sets, bags, and spices. In this San Francisco gift shop, you can find a small trinket or porcelain.
Address: 645 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94108
9. City Lights Booksellers
City Lights was founded in 1953 and is revered as one of the best independent bookstores in the country. Its three floors are stocked with hardcover and paper books, some of which they actually publish themselves. Of course, a book could be a perfect San Francisco souvenir, but they also carry literary merchandise and gifts like tote bags, t-shirts, and onesies.
Address: 261 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133
10. Cliff’s Variety
The Castro District is the main LGBTQ neighborhood in San Francisco. It is renowned worldwide as a progressive and accepting community. Cliff’s Variety is a staple in this area, selling unique and unusual home goods.
They are also a local hardware store, offering re-keying and lock repair. You could buy Halloween decorations, a hammer, or a pair of glittery knee-high boots. Cliff’s is worth a stop on your hunt for the perfect San Francisco souvenir.
11. The Cable Car Store
This is another standby on Pier 39 for not only cable car merchandise but San Francisco souvenirs in general. The cable cars are so unique and the perfect gift from San Francisco could be a cable car ornament or a small replica.
There’s also all things San Francisco – hats, hoodies, magnets, keychains, and stuffed animals.
Address: The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94133, Pier 39, Floor 1
12. The Exploratorium Store
Calling all ocean lovers and science geeks! The Exploratorium is a huge science museum. They call themselves a “public learning laboratory”. Whether you make a stop or not, the gift shop is chock full of creative and uncommon San Francisco souvenirs.
These items showcase technology, science, and art, perfect for anybody who relishes learning or tinkering with something new.
Address: Pier 15 Embarcadero at, Green St, San Francisco, CA 94111
Unique gifts from San Francisco
The most unique gifts from San Francisco represent the unique sights and landmarks of San Francisco like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the Painted Ladies.
Anything made locally and by hand is also going to be very unique to San Francisco. In the markets, visitors can find goods like soap, ceramics, art, and jewelry. One shop that sells just that is The Perish Trust, conveniently located around the corner from the Painted Ladies.
San Francisco also has some quirky shops with unique souvenirs. Lefty’s is a haven for, you guessed it, lefties. Their goods cater to the lefthanded, with kitchen tools and other home goods. Well-known establishments like Ghiradelli also offer options to personalize gifts, making them more unique.
So, what are the best cheap souvenirs from San Francisco?
The best cheap souvenirs from San Francisco include small gifts like magnets, keychains, shot glasses, and candy. You can also find good deals on mugs, coasters, apparel, and hats if you shop around for cheap souvenirs.
San Francisco souvenirs: FAQ’s
What souvenirs to bring from San Francisco?
The best souvenirs to bring from San Francisco are ones that can easily be transported. This includes Ghiradelli chocolate, jewelry, and clothing items. Model cable cars, postcards, collectible spoons, and other art are also great souvenirs to bring home from San Francisco.
What to gift someone in San Francisco?
If visiting someone in San Francisco, try to bring something from your home city, or find something that you know they like. Even though they’re locals, they may not always have time to explore their own city and find a special handmade gift like soap, wine, candy, or jewelry.
What is San Fran famous for?
San Francisco is famous for landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, Painted Ladies, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Alcatraz. It is also famous for cable cars, fog, Ghiradelli chocolate, seafood, and steep hills. It is known for being a progressive city, and home to celebrities like Jerry Garcia, Joe DiMaggio, and Clint Eastwood.
This article was written by Tara from Tour Guide Tara