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  • Best Martial Arts Stuff

    Brendan Lai's Supply Co.

    Cardio kickboxing isn't a martial art, and neither is Tae Bo -- Bruce Lee could've had Tae Bo king Billy Blanks on the canvas faster than Blanks could've said, "Buy my videos." So don't go to Brendan Lai's Supply Co. thinking you'll find cute workout gear or Blanks' tapes. But if you're in the market for a kwando, broadsword, or spear, or if you're simply looking to dress up as a ninja, this Mission storefront is the place to be.... More >>

  • Best Resource for Overwhelmed Parents

    Parents Place

    Everybody knows that having a kid changes your life, for better and for worse. With the help of Parents Place, moms and dads can make sure that it's more better than worse. Founded in 1975 by Jewish Family and Children's Services of San Francisco, the program is based on the philosophy that parenting is a skill that can be learned and perfected over time. Practical issues get covered in workshops like "Mastering Motherhood" and "How to Find a Nanny," plus... More >>

  • Best Place to Find That Elusive Hit Song on Vinyl

    Rooky Ricardo's Records

    Bay Area DJs and music aficionados alike (at least the ones savvy enough to have working turntables) know there is only one place to go when searching for a particular tune on wax. Damn near overflowing with 7-inch singles, Rooky Ricardo's is the Lower Haight's living, breathing shrine to the 45. Co-owners Richard Vivian and Jerry Thompson share an encyclopedic knowledge of classic soul and pop music. When someone doesn't have a song title or artist to go on, Vivian... More >>

  • Best Selection of Old-School Adidas

    Harput's Market

    Long before Sean John and J-Lo, Harput's was selling track suits. Long before Run-D.M.C., Harput's was selling Adidas. Originally run out of a minivan in the 1970s, Harput's put down roots on Fillmore Street 18 years ago, selling what it calls "old school" sneakers and track suits. These are the shoes and warm-up suits you remember from your youth -- the simple designs, bold colors, and sporty stripes of the 1970s and '80s. Though you can buy Nikes, Pumas, and... More >>

  • Best Boutique Hotel

    The Archbishop's Mansion

    Holy deluxe, Batman, what a B&B! Beautifully decorated rooms laden with antiques, breakfast in bed if you desire, wine and cheese in the magnificent lobby every afternoon -- what could possibly be better? A great escape without going far, this French Empire-style mansion turned 10-room hotel was built at the turn of the 20th century as a home for the archbishop of San Francisco (do they all really take a vow of poverty?) and is imposing inside and out. Crystal... More >>

  • Best Sex Shop

    Good Vibrations

    Famous for helping make sex shops respectable, Good Vibrations has become a San Francisco institution since founder Joani Blank decided it was time to bring sex toys out of the closet in 1977. (Besides the flagship store, there's another one in Berkeley.) There's certainly no other place we know of where one can shop for massage lotions, designer condoms, and naughty books and videos while enjoying a rotating display of erotic art. There's even a collection of antique vibrators. The... More >>

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