Where to get San Francisco souvenir T-Shirts?

My friend wants to thank her Norwegian hosts with four San Francisco teeshirts, which she knows they want. She found that at the airport it’s $25 a throw.

Where can you get them for a decent price and decent quality? She’ll be driving up the Peninsula from San Jose this weekend and she can go on up to San Francisco, so if she can get a couple of locations recommended, she’ll be all set.

Thanks in advance!

Anywhere of Fisherman’s Wharf, I’d suppose.

It’s been 21 years since I visited (unfortunately!), but I seem to recall there being vendors at most of the “tourist” spots - I got a t-shirt for my SO just over the Golden Gate Bridge, at the Angel Island parking lot, I think. There’s also many souvenir shops in Chinatown; probably will find a good selection of t-shirts there as well as other kitschy stuff. I got some of those bamboo scroll calendars there and loved them!

Pier 39 has tons of shops with Tshirts.


A couple of years ago, when my wife and i got married in SF, my mother, sister, and a couple of friends came out from Australia for the wedding. They all got themselves SF t-shirts down near Fisherman’s Wharf, and the prices were really low. I think it was well under $10 each.

Not quite as cheap as New York, where you can often buy 5 (crappy quality) t-shirts for $10, but still pretty cheap.

Good answers, and I thank you, but guess what, I want more!

She’ll be looking to get some on her way to the airport to collect her Norwegian friends; does anyone have a specific address to mention? I hate to think of her looking for parking in these areas while under time pressure & not sure of which shop would have the shirts.

If she’s picking them up on the way to the airport from San Jose, then just get them at the airport. Anyhting else will be out of the way and cost her in gas, time and parking.

Many of the chain drugstores sell souveniers, including t-shirts. (Osco, Walgreens, CVS)

I got these from my last trip ('99):

“Alcatraz” I didn’t actually go to Alcatraz, but I picked up a t-shirt–well, technically it was a scrub–that said “Alcatraz Outpatient Mental Ward” or something like that. That was at Pier 39.

From some restaurants, but I don’t know if they’re still open:

Thirsty Bear Brewing. Good shirt.
Mel’s Drive-In. OK, but not great.
Steelhead Brewing. Good shirt.
The Beach Chalet (outside Golden Gate Park) had a number of great t-shirts.

I don’t care much for big chain shirts, but I did like the local shirts from Hard Rock and Planet Hollywood. The Hard Rock shirt had a logo of the Golden Gate Bridge with guitars as the towers. The Planet Hollywood shirt had a logo on the back had a “Fisherman’s Wharf” theme to it, with a view of Alcatraz.

Oops! Too late. Nevermind.

A lot of Walgreens actually have touristy stuff. The closer you are to the Wharf, the more they have.

I’m not sure about quality, but if you’re satisfied with 100% cotton T-shirts with various prints on them, try the heart of Chinatown.

Go up and down Grant Street away from the edges (Bush Street and Broadway Street) where shops mark up their merchandise. Once you’re in the center (around Clay Street), you can find shops that sell five T-shirts for $11.

You can also try bargaining with them, too. On days where business is slow/they’re in a good mood/you’re buying a lot, the owners will disregard their marked prices and give you a discount. It never hurts to ask. The worst they can do is act huffy … but they’ll still gladly take your money.

Also note, Chinatown is the place to get postcards: ten for a dollar if you can find the right shop.