Every year, we feel that supporting local shops and businesses with a purpose is particularly important and meaningful for our communities during the holiday season. In this spirit, we have put together this Holiday Gift Guide 2023 to help you connect with independent shops that offer locally-made goods or gifts with a purpose. We hope you find something nice, useful, or tasty to put under the tree!
And to honor our roots, we also like to support the French brands that are present in the Bay Area, in store or online, to spread the holiday cheer with a French touch!
Happy Holiday Shopping!
French Theater Subscription: Perfect for French enthusiasts, award-winning plays from France are performed in the magnificent theater on the Lycée Français de San Francisco campus. All plays are in French, accompanied by a French cinema program with English subtitles.
Gift the joy of learning the language of Molière with French classes at the Alliance Française in San Francisco, Berkeley, Santa Rosa, or Silicon Valley.
Book your tickets to listen to the Quatuor Ébène performing this spring in Berkeley. This French ensemble is known for both its intensity and its striking palette of expressive colors, thanks to a fluid and organic sense of blending and balance.
Gift a membership to French Talent USA, the non-profit promoting French and Francophone talents in the Bay Area and on the West Coast of the United States: comedians, French cinema premieres. Multiple membership levels with various benefits.
To support local artists, give the gift of the magic of Nutcracker performance by world renowned San Francisco Ballet. The show is on until December 30th.
Experience the circus show “Dear San Francisco” at Club Fugazi, a true love letter to San Francisco. Overflowing with strong emotions and impressive acrobatics, Dear San Francisco will mesmerize you with its 90-minute journey through the Bay Area city, featuring breathtaking aerial extravagance.
Rides by Me : Explore San Francisco by sidecar with Jérôme Ribeiro. An original and hands-on way to discover the city and its surroundings. Various routes are available from Napa to Sonoma, as well as different neighborhoods in the city. Customized tours are also possible.
Seaplane : Take the opportunity to fly without going too far. With Seaplane Adventures, soar over the Bay Area in a seaplane for an unforgettable journey. You can even request a French-speaking pilot! There are several routes over the city, above the Golden Gate Bridge, and more.
FASHION & ACCESSORIES
April in Paris is the shop and atelier of master leather artisan Béatrice Amblard, well-known in the Bay Area for the extraordinary handcrafted accessories she creates using centuries-old traditional methods.
Ahlem – Paris, New York, Los Angeles, and… San Francisco! Four stores worldwide for this young eyewear brand (prescription and sunglasses), including the newest one in Hayes Valley, San Francisco. The glasses are all made in France in Ahlem’s workshops. It’s a high-end brand with personalized services. So, if you want to wear the same glasses as Natalie Portman or Jennifer Aniston, book a private consultation with Jason at the lovely Hayes boutique.
Sézane – Take advantage of the presence of the French brand on Fillmore Street to adopt a Parisian style without taking a plane. Coats, knitwear, blouses, shoes: a variety of items for a chic and feminine silhouette. You can also explore pieces from their men’s collection, Octobre. Special code for San Francisco: BONJOURSF
Indulge in an item from Parisian fashion designer Isabel Marant and explore her range of luxury clothing, shoes, and accessories showcased in the historic boutique in Jackson Square, San Francisco.
APC – The French brand created by Jean Touitou has a presence in Hayes Valley and Jackson Square. No need to wait for the next trip to Paris to get clothing – for both men and women – from this beautiful Parisian brand, including their iconic raw denim.
Le Point – the San Francisco boutique owned by a French-American stylist is on a mission to discover and support up-and-coming designers from all over the world. The shop offers a curated mix of clothing, accessories, home goods and beauty products, both at its Mission-district store and online.
Les Parisiennes – give the gift of chic and earth-conscious Parisian fashion with a private shopping session at the Cow Hollow showroom (upon appointment).
Happy French Gang believes in using materials that are comfortable, beautiful and friendly to the environment. Beginning with traditional textiles techniques, the company prides itself in delivering hand-dyed, hand-stitched products that add sunshine into your room, wardrobe and life.
Mimi Sama – get a tattoo by the French artist, specializing in manga and “black line” tattooing. Mimi Sama practices at Blackserum, the largest tattoo studio in San Francisco.
Chandon California – A tasting at the new Chandon estate combined with a tour ensures a good and delicious time in the heart of Napa. Various types of experiences are available. You can also gift a membership to the Chandon Club, to receive a selection of wine several times a year.
La Cave – Discover the expertly curated selection of boutique French wines at the online shop La Cave. You can also book a private wine tasting for your party. With over 4 generations in French hospitality and 7 generations as wine merchants, the team at La Cave knows a thing or two about making your event a tailored success. You can also join the Wine Club to embark on a journey to extraordinary wine enjoyment!
Maison du Chocolat – You can rarely go wrong with gifting chocolates, and it’s also the season for it! Pralines, rocks, dark chocolate, fruit-filled: Maison du Chocolat’s collections delight all taste buds with delicious chocolate bars or more luxurious gift boxes.
Palais des Thés – You can now have a box of delicious teas from Palais des Thés delivered in the United States. A smaller selection is also available at One65 in San Francisco or at Maison Alyzée in Burlingame and Mountain View.
The most famous macarons from Paris can be delivered to your home during the holiday season. The iconic pastries from Ladurée are available in a wide range of classic and seasonal flavors, as well as in limited edition collections, allowing you to savor French haute patisserie at home.
Diptyque – Come discover the special holiday collection of candles and fragrances from Diptyque, the chic and French brand, in one of the Bay Area stores or online.
Explore a variety of locally crafted products with an eco-friendly focus at the Fog City Flea Trading Post in the Ferry Building, featuring ceramics, beauty products, jewelry, clothing, and household items made by local artisans.
Arturo Wood Pleated is the new cordless lamp designed by Hervé Isle de Beauchaine and made in France by HISLE. Refined, functional, and essential, it strikes a perfect balance between design and technology. Available at Bright on Presidio, the European lighting showroom in Pacific Heights with a French touch.
MAKE A DONATION TO A CHARITY
Pour un Sourire d’Enfant – consider donating to the local chapter called American Friends of PSE, a U.S.-based nonprofit dedicated to strengthening support for programs managed by Pour un Sourire d’Enfant (“PSE”) in Cambodia. American Friends of PSE’s tax ID number (EIN) is 45-4554563. All contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
Bring joy to a child in need by giving a Christmas gift to a local organization such as Urban Angels in San Francisco, Family House, Family Giving Tree, and many other organizations dedicated to spreading hope and joy to families in need during the holidays.
COSMETICS / WELLNESS
Le Labo – From Grasse to New York, passing through San Francisco (92238 Fillmore Street), Le Labo offers a different approach to perfumery and provides perfumes and creams made from natural ingredients, sometimes tailored. Although the brand is now part of the Estée Lauder group, it was co-created by a Frenchman in 2006.
FOR SPORTS ENTHUSIASTS
Get ready for the ski season or your next outdoor adventure with the online store from Decathlon and its special holiday offers not to be missed.
Skate Culture at FTC – The skateboard-centric store opened its doors in 1994 in the heart of Haight Ashbury. It offers boards with original designs and a range of clothing inspired by the skateboard movement. There’s something for every budget, from collector’s models to more affordable boards. You can also buy online.
Petit Paradis. – Celebrate the magic of childhood and create memories that will last a lifetime with a personalized accessory from Petit Paradis. Whether you want to create a unique gift for your little one or for a new mom, Petit Paradis will help you capture the unique beauty of childhood in a design that is as distinctive as the child who inspired it. A portion of the proceeds is donated to Together We Rise, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of foster children in the United States.
Picky Monday – San Francisco’s shopping destination for preloved baby and kids clothes with a French touch has curated a stylish Holiday Collection to dress up your little ones during the holiday season with spinning skirts, tutu dresses, baby outfits, chic jackets, warm sweaters, and more!
Sew Francisco – A range of fabric accessories for babies and children. Bibs, cushions, small personalized photo albums, all handmade in a collection of soft and lovely fabrics.
Fly Little Dragons – A local brand created by a Frenchwoman in the Bay Area that offers educational games in English.
Bayard and Milan publishers offer a wide selection of magazines in French for all ages that you can subscribe to, to give a wonderful educational gift to your little (or not so little) ones. To place your order, you can log into Bayard Monde Boutique with the promotional code E31.
European Books and Media in Berkeley – One of the very few French bookstores in the United States! Support it without hesitation as it is close to us. A beautiful selection of children’s books, textbooks, and literature for adults. You can order online.
Petits Pas is a dance and theater school founded by French artistic director Virginie Personne located in the lovely neighborhood of Sunnyside. The school offers classes for students of all ages held in a welcoming and charming venue composed of two studios. By combining a variety of disciplines, Petits Pas celebrates our senses and teaches us how to express ourselves through mixed movements.