5 Best Malls in San Francisco for All Your Shopping Needs

Essential to the whole feeling of visiting San Francisco, the city hosts some of the finest shopping centers and malls in the very limited space available. From major luxury retail outlets to some of the best thrift stores that’s easy on your wallet, this city has got it all. There are new stores popping up throughout the place. However, if you want to find the best of the best and the latest collections, head to the following list of Shopping Centers and Malls in San Francisco that will leave your heads turning and heart wanting for more. And not just shopping, you’re sure to find a wide variety of options to dine or some of the coolest entertainment centers. Read on to explore the best malls that San Francisco has to offer.

1. Westfield San Francisco Centre

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Located on Market Street and considered to be one of the best shopping malls & centers in San Francisco by the locals, the Westfield San Francisco Centre is one of the busiest & crowded malls in the city, and for good reasons. With over 1.5 million sq. ft retail space available spread across 9 floors, it’s not hard to see why people love to shop from here with the variety of options available. And options are always good. Over 180 stores for everything you need ranging from lifestyle goods, home shopping, clothes hunting to gaming stores, Westfield Centre has it all.

You can also find some of the best fast food joints, whether to sit down and dig in or take a cup of joe on the go. Head over to the 9-screen multiplex to catch up on the latest movies, where you’re assured there’s always something on the big screen for everyone. 

For the weekend goers who just wish to get out and not go on a shopping spree, head to the top floor to view the beautiful glass dome with also the possibility of resting and utilizing the free wi-fi.
Timings:
Mon-Sat: 10am-8:30pm    
Sun: 10am-7pm
Best for: Christmas Shopping & ease of transportation with the mall connected to the Powell Street Station.

2. Stonestown Galleria

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Located at the west of the city and one of the first malls in San Francisco, the Stonestown Galleria opened about 7 decades ago with much emphasis on providing the best experience for daily shoppers and open-air mall-goers. Though originally just an open-air mall, it was majorly redesigned to add a closed design in 1987 by adding a second level of stores and closing the roof with a central atrium of glass. The mall now hosts some of the largest names in the retail industry including Target and many others with over 800,000 sq. ft. retail space. The Stonestown Galleria also houses about 109 stores spread across the mall that meets every requirement one may have. 

The mall also plays host to various open-air and indoor events including concerts and more. You can probably catch some of the local talents playing a live show here. The incredibly comfortable multiplex plays the latest from the movie industries from across the world post which, you can head to the cafeteria or choose from one of the finest restaurants available to dine in. 

Be sure to visit on a Sunday morning to check out the farmer’s market that offers every produce directly from the farmlands.
Timings: 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Best visited for: Electronics and apparel

3. Japan Center

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Located in the heart of the city’s famous Japan Town, Japan Center is a cluster of malls that showcases the culture of Japan to the locals and tourists alike while providing great options to shop authentic Japanese items. Opened in 1968, it was originally called the “Japanese Culture and Trade Center” and housed some of the best companies from Japan including Nissan, Mitsubishi among others. However, retailers soon took over and its been a commercial hub for some of the best shopping experience Japan has to offer. 

Spend some time around the mall, gazing through the architecture, furniture, shops, etc, all built to replicate the markets of Japan. The Kabuki movie theater has been a landmark at the Japan Center, where people of different generations have spent their time watching some of the classics and the latest in movie space.  

Your tastebuds are sure to love the abundant options of authentic Japanese restaurants including various sushi and ramen joints. Do try some of the lesser-known but equally intriguing cuisines available. Move on to the shopping stores where you can get your hands on everything Japanese, whether home decor or gifting ideas, they have it all. The “Diso” store is one where you can thrift anything for the cheapest prices available. However, do practice patience since it may take a while to go through everything available. 
Buildings in the Mall: Kinokuniya Mall, Kinetsu Mall (Now Japan Center West), and Miyako Mall (now Japan Center East)
Timings
: Sun: 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
                  Mon - Sat: 11:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Best for: Experiencing Japanese culture, authentic food, and shopping authentic Japanese items

4. The Metreon

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Originally opened in 1999 by Sony as a center for all your entertainment needs, this mall in San Francisco located downtown has since been converted into a retail space for all commercial needs that encompasses a wide variety of products. Being one of the larger malls in the downtown area of San Francisco, the Metreon attracts some of the largest crowds of Mall-goers and shoppers alike owing to its pure San Francisco vibes.

With just four floors spread across 350,000 sq. ft of space, it’s not the largest mall. However, its 25 stores is sure to keep you enthralled with the small quirky stores that provides an experience like none other. You can find anything here from affordable to high-end shopping. The Target here occupies the entire second floor and you’ll find everything you need for clothing, food, accessories and more. Head over to Chronicle Books, which is a local favourite store, where you can find the best and authentic San Francisco gifts.

Be sure to check out the Michelin-starred Tsuta ramen shop that provides authentic Japanese Ramen. The Metreon 16 is an IMAX 3-D movie theater where you can get your doze of movie entertainment. If crowded spaces isn’t your scene, you can head over to the park here for a good walk and also spend time by the Martin Luther King tribute waterfall.
Highlights: Tsuta ramen shop, Target, IMAX, Park
Timings
: Monday - Saturday: 12 PM - 7 PM
               Sunday: 11 AM - 6 PM
Best for: One of the largest malls in downtown, SF 

5. Embarcadero Center

 
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Located in the financial district of San Francisco, the Embarcadero Center includes not just a mall, but also office towers, a couple of hotels and plenty of options for shopping, dining and entertainment. 

It’s widely known throughout the city for its diverse business and entertainment facilities with over 125 retail stores, restaurants and services available to meet every need spread across 4.8 million sq. ft. of space.

You can select from a wide range of cafe’s, restaurants or quick serve options available inside the center that showcases delicacies from across the globe. The shopping experience here is like no other with three interconnected levels and houses some of the best national and international brands.

For entertainment purposes, head over to the two move theaters that provides the latest movies. Well-connected throughuot the city, you can get here using any of the public transit systems including the BART, cable car, ferry, streetcars, etc. Plenty of underground parking is available too if you decide to drive in that can also be validated by selected restaurants and stores. 
Highlights: Restaurants (Gaylord Indian Restaurant, Osha Thai, and Sens Restaurant), Designer Stores (Allen Edmonds, Ann Taylor, Gap, Banana Republic), Ice Rink, Le Meridian, Fitness Centres
Timings
: Mon-Sat: 10 AM - 7 PM
               Sun: 12 PM - 5 PM
Best For: Staycation/Workation with a fine shopping experience.
Whether you're looking to shop or just a casual window shopping experience, these exciting mall has all your needs covered. The designer stores to budget steals, fine dine to good ol' stret eats, it's never a dull day at these malls in San Francisco.

This post was published by Rachel Mathew

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