The Ferry Building, San Francisco (credit: Laurie Jo Miller Farr)

While you don’t want to place bets on a white Christmas in San Francisco, you cannot lose by betting on stocking stuffer ideas from independent retailers around the city. We’ve selected a few from Downtown to Dogpatch and from the Inner Sunset to the Inner Richmond. Bring a bit of San Francisco into your Christmas stockings.

Ferry Building Marketplace
One Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 983-8030

If we presume that most everyone likes chocolate, you’re off to a good start with Recchiuti Confections’ edible stocking stuffers from the Ferry Building stall. See more below. Alternatively, browse the marketplace to choose someone’s Bay Area-made favorites: nicely presented tea from Imperial Tea Court to go with Sebastopol Wildflower honey from Beekind, truffle oil from Moss Landing’s Far West Fungi, pecan brittle from Alfieri Fruits & Nuts in Ripon or gluten-free molasses cookies from Oakland-based Mariposa.

(credit: Green Apple Books)

Green Apple Books
506 Clement St.
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 387-2272

Come along with your Christmas list to the Inner Richmond location (at 6th Ave.) where the business has been a community stalwart since 1967, or stop in at the new second Inner Sunset location at 1231 9th Avenue at Lincoln. Look for the eternally popular, multi-generational word game paperbacks, Mad Libs, usually found by the front door in the outdoor stall at 98¢ each. The interactive riddle books have filled many a holiday afternoon with hours of good fun and laughter since 1958.


Recchiuti Confections
807 22nd St.
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 489-2882

We love this year’s new San Francisco landmark chocolates on eight pieces of burnt caramel truffle (3.5 oz., $21) in a gift box. Illustrator Lance River has created images of Coit Tower, Conservatory of Flowers, Sutro Tower and a trolley. A portion of proceeds benefits Creativity Explored, a non-profit visual arts center for artists with special developmental needs. If Dogpatch is handier than downtown, Little Nib has best-selling boxed selections, including the red wine pairing collection and fleur de sel caramel, for sale daily except Mondays.

Nancy Boy
347 Hayes St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 552-3636

Just the way a French bakery lures passersby with toasty aromas of pain de campagne fresh from the oven, you can follow the signature lavender scent to this Hayes Valley heaven. Naturally scented bath and body treats for men and women include travel sizes, perfect for stocking stuffers. Know a skier? Pop a lip balm into a stocking. The shop’s pre-wrapped selections work well for stuffers, too, including room scents, body lotions and bars, shaving items and more.

(credit: Laurie Jo Miller Farr)

The Ribbonerie
3695 Sacramento St.
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 626-6184

It’s a well-kept secret, tucked away on a corner in Presidio Heights, that bubbles to the surface every holiday season due to the fact that this is one of America’s finest collections of speciality ribbons. Everything is beautifully displayed in antique cupboards and cases, including hard-to-find French wired ribbons plus Jacquard, grosgrain, metallic, velvet and vintage spools of all colors and styles. Shop the remnants basket to find ribbons for wrapping your own Christmas gifts and browse for more as stocking stuffers for seamstresses, DIY decorators and haberdashers and for little girls’ ponytails.

Laurie Jo Miller Farr loves walkable cities. A tourism industry professional and transplanted New Yorker by way of half-a-lifetime in London, she’s writing about the best of the bay and beyond for Yahoo, USA Today, eHow, and on