The San Francisco Ferry Building is a favorite of locals and downtown office workers for its amazing selection of eateries and restaurants, not to mention retailers. Most focus on food, cooking or gardening, along with housewares, books, and gifts. Explore Heath Ceramics with its highly collectible American-made, fine crafted pottery. Sur La Table carries specialty kitchen tools like paella pans, as well as cookbooks and tablecloths. Book Passage is a full service independent bookstore with a highly informed staff who can point you in the right direction of the perfect picture book for your niece or the latest bestseller for your mom.
Embarcadero Center Retailers
Known for its four skyscrapers lit up during the holidays, one of the best kept secrets for shopping is the Embarcadero Center. During the week, it's a bustling office and retail complex. On the weekends, things quiet down on the office front, but shops stay open, plus the parking is only $2 for up to 4 hours with validation from select retailers (or free if you catch a movie at the EC Cinema). You'll be able to cross every name off your holiday gift-giving list! There's Ambassador Toys, where you can find specially selected gifts for kids. Your stationery fanatic will love a little something from Papyrus.
If you have time, lace up your ice skates and take a twirl on the Embarcadero Outdoor Holiday Ice Rink, located on Justin Herman Plaza. For more information on the San Francisco Ferry Building, visit http://www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com/. For Embarcadero Center, check out http://embarcaderocenter.com/.