No music lover's trip to San Francisco would be complete without a visit to this warehouse-sized music store. The Upper Haight store bustles with hundreds of shoppers flipping through vast selections of CDs, records, tapes, videos and posters. The deals on used and yellow tag (cosmetically damaged, functionally guaranteed) items are the best in the city, as is the selection of obscure and independent-label titles.
This San Francisco landmark features some of Fisherman's Wharf's best shopping and attractions. Ride the carousel, people-watch, or take in the view of the bay. There are more than 25 one-of-a-kind gift stores that carry automobile, Hollywood, and rock 'n' roll memorabilia, as well as flags of the world, Russian dolls, collectible knives, hammocks, kites, and more. But that's not all. You will find over 30 more stores, including the famous Na Hoku to shop for clothing, jewelry and toys. It is a great place to pick up high-end San Francisco souvenirs. When you're done shopping and eating to your heart's content, visit the famous resident sea lions for a prime photo op session. Pier 39 is a magnet for locals and tourists for many reasons, including their nearly year-round calendar of special attractions for the whole family like the Tulipmania tulip festival held in late February on both levels of Pier 39 or the Holiday Tree Lighting in November.
In an area known for wineries and wine bars, Solano Cellars is a mecca for Bay Area oenophiles who sit at the imposing wood bar and sample a dazzling array of wines from around the world. A staff of refreshingly unpretentious wine experts can guide you through the selection and help you find just the vintage you were looking for. The shop attached is tiny, but what they do not have on display can be fetched from the seemingly bottomless wine cellar. To enhance the wine, an ever-changing appetizer and dessert menu, designed with wine in mind, is offered. There is a strict prohibition on cell phones.
Mars is repeatedly voted the best vintage clothing store in the East Bay by local newspapers and it is one of the best sources for fun and unusual retro garb. It has two stories filled with hip basics, shoes, glamorous accessories and clothing from a variety of time periods ranging from the Renaissance to the awesome 80s. Stock up on zoot suits, bell-bottoms, worn Levi's, leather coats and poodle skirts. It also specializes in a lot of theme attire for the seasons. Find costumes around Halloween, luau-worthy Hawaiian shirts for summer and fabulous faux and vintage fur coats for winter.
Since the 1960s, the street vendors of Telegraph Avenue have been fixtures here. It began as a few students and artists trying to earn a buck selling their handmade wares and has turned into a thriving and colorful open-air market. You can purchase jewelry, crockery, clothing, books, incense, pipes, bags, and more. Follow the Deadhead music to the Russell's amazing display of pottery. He can tell you stories about the late 60s, when he slept in the trees and chained his goods to the street-poles to keep the police from confiscating them.
Visit this Haight-Ashbury bookstore and patronize one of the city's largest independent treasures. The Booksmith functions both as a source for hard-to-find books as well as a home to all the latest popular titles in fiction and non-fiction. It regularly schedules author readings/signings and gives away free author trading cards for the scribes who appear at these in-store events. Join a reader's club and save 10 percent every time you buy whether you're browsing the aisles or shopping online via their website.
The brainchild of Andrew and Jennifer Hall, The Beer Hall is a beer lover's haven. From the customized beer bottle capped back wall, a sleek bar with countless beer behind it, and beer racks, it would be tough not to like this tiny yet inviting beer shrine. With more than 242 beers, you will surely find a favorite. Specializing in handcrafted beer, there is a small but fine selection of wine as well. Enjoy the drinks in the tasting room or pick some up for your beer party at home. Don't miss this place if beer is on your mind and in your heart.
Heart of The City is an independent, farmer-owned, non-profit farmers market that is set up within the United Nations Plaza every Wednesday and Sunday. The market offers a selection of fresh produce from small, local, family-owned farms including fruits, vegetables, flowers, dairy products, jams & jellies, honey, baked goods, and much more. Unlike other farmers markets, Heart of The City seeks to cater to low-income families by providing produce that is not only affordable, but of exceptional quality, without short-changing the participating farmers.
For over 25 years the San Francisco Herb Co. has provided the city with an wide selection of herbs, spices, essential oils, potpourris, dehydrated vegetables, nuts, and seeds. But their specialty is herbs and spices, and you'll find the highest quality here at reasonable prices. The customer service is superb! They are committed at making sure you get what you want in spices. You can either peruse the flagship store or their catalog to fill you need of spice and everything nice.
This vegetarian grocery store, located in between the SoMa and Mission neighborhoods, specializes in fresh, organic, and locally grown produce. Shoppers will find all their favorite in-season fruits and vegetables in addition to whole foods like dried pastas and grains, bakery goods like breads, muffins and bagels, and organic juices in apple, carrot and strawberry at Rainbow Grocery store. This place also carries vitamins, herbs, vegan foods, herbal and dietary supplements, glassware, pet supplies, paper products, beauty aides and more.
At Costco, virtually everything is available in vast quantities under one roof. This warehouse style wholesale store is a great place for buying in bulk. Under one roof you'll find everything from household appliances, toiletries, furniture, clothing, sports goods and much more. Besides this there is a deli, fresh produce, bakery and butchers section here as well. Besides being a retail store, Costco also has a variety of services on offer including a Photo Center, Pharmacy, Ophthalmologist, Tire service and Hearing aids. If you get exhausted from all that shopping, which you probably will, you can head to the food court for refreshments. For details on membership and special offers, visit the website.
The people of San Francisco love this grocery store for its healthy and delicious line of specialty foods. Trader Joe's sells a large variety of fat-free foods, Kosher foods, soy foods, sugarless and sodium-free foods, and tons of other organic products. Plus, you'll find everything else you expect from a market, including wine, beer, deli and dairy goods, snacks, condiments, bakery goods, soups, candies, and more at Trader Joe's. The shop stocks many special roasted blends of light, medium, dark, decaffeinated and flavored coffees.