Best New Gift Boutique - 2009
If you're anything like us, your per-friend gift budget is a little squishy. We usually start with a well-intentioned $30 limit, which stretches toward $60 by the time we're through. Luckily, this turns out to be the perfect range for shopping at Bell Jar, the gift shop opened last year by former Levi's art director Sasha Wingate. The Mission space is packed with enough Victorian and goth arty jewelry, throw pillows, cards, and scented candles to keep the pickiest of giftees happy. New and antique accessories and housewares are mixed in drool-inducing displays of eye candy. There's even a clawfoot tub full of luscious soaps, and racks of designer duds from brands like Twinkle, Robin, and Jovovich-Hawk. Much of the loot comes from local designers, which is nice, and there's the added bonus that no one else is likely to buy your friend quite the same jewel-eyed onyx owl bookends.