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  • Best Newsstand

    Fog City News

    When Adam Smith opened Fog City News in 1999, he focused on providing the most diverse offerings of magazines in what he accurately describes as an "elegantly old-fashioned" setting. He paid close attention to the aesthetics, hanging framed turn-of-the-century photos of San Francisco on the daffodil- yellow walls, laying plush burgundy carpeting on the floors, and outfitting the upscale shop with custom-built oak cabinetry. From the beginning, the long, narrow room featured one of the largest and most varied magazine... More >>

  • Best Place to Adopt a Cat

    Pets Unlimited

    Adopting a cat can be a daunting experience. How do you choose? Which one is right for your so-called lifestyle? Fortunately, Pets Unlimited in Pacific Heights eliminates the messy guesswork. Opened as an animal shelter and hospital more than 50 years ago, it strives to create a comfortable living environment for felines until they connect with the right person. Cats reside not in cages but in "kitty condos" large enough for three or four animals and a human, so you... More >>

  • Best Lumberyard

    MacBeath Hardwood

    MacBeath sells its handsome wood in five places -- San Francisco; Berkeley; Salt Lake City; Edinburgh, Ind.; and Perris, Calif., near Riverside -- but we're especially fond of the Hunters Point location. While it's true that the East Bay store stocks more tools, the S.F. shop just feels more like a lumberyard, and you can buy stains and woodworking books here, too. Best of all is that unlike its competitors, MacBeath doesn't gouge you. And the woods are (not to... More >>

  • Best Children's Activities

    Crissy Field Center

    For ecologically minded, innovative stuff to do with your kids, look no further. The staffers at the Crissy Field Center consistently put together creative workshops that actually sound fun. With an emphasis on reusing common household castoffs and gently instilling a sense of land stewardship in youngsters, the activities also give the impression of working with thoughtful parenting rather than against it. Three upcoming events are "Creative Climatography," in which teens bake, freeze, and marinate various materials to "make" a... More >>

  • Best Used Furniture Store

    The Touch

    We're not sure we want to know why this shop is called "The Touch," but we don't really care. Two enormous rooms of well-kept, reasonably priced, non-stinky used furniture is enough for us. You can find old typewriters, midcentury coffee tables, metal desks, wooden lamps, the coolest retro couches in town, and a 6-foot-tall, pink-and-orange chair straight out of Austin Powers, among many fabulous items. The aisles are narrow, so don't bring the stroller; instead, give yourself an hour or... More >>

  • Best Place to Dress Like a Rich Porn Star


    No, you pervert; this is not a clothing store run by fat male hetero porn star Ron Jeremy. This is a marked-down designer clothing store where people who want to look like they've been to Wilkes Bashford, but can't afford it, shop. It was started in 1987 by a fellow named Jeremy Kidson in a storefront a few blocks south of the present one, with the idea of making it cool to shop in a discount store. Jeremy's buyers obtain... More >>

  • Best Vinyl Staples

    Amoeba Music

    The pristine reputation of Amoeba is no secret to Bay Area music lovers; the shelves of new and used goodies and the encyclopedically knowledgeable staff have made the place internationally renowned. But check this out: Way down below the racks of good music you really want are piles of used $1 records that you should own. These dusty little nuggets make the perfect staples for a record collection that will impress all your friends and potential mates -- they are... More >>

  • Best Place to Get a Haircut and See Modern Art


    If John Waters were given free rein to design a hair salon, it might look something like Glama-Rama! Gigantic cans of Aqua Net rest on pillars situated amidst lush greenery, tall ceilings, and an ever-changing selection of art, from edgy glitter portraits to cartoonish digital images of war. The shop's clientele includes transgender performance artists and notable drag queens, as well as everyday (but still hip) folk; its stylists are equally prepared to execute traditional looks and ideas that are... More >>

  • Best Furniture Bargains

    Alemany Farmers Market

    Conventional wisdom says to visit the Alemany Flea Market, the weekly used-goods spree that sets up shop each Sunday, early in the day for the best finds. But when you're looking for a groovy couch or a kitchen table, that just ain't the truth. The sellers who hauled their heavy crap to the curb at 6 a.m. are loath to put it back on the truck at 3 p.m. Visit after lunchtime and you'll find cool furniture priced to move,... More >>

  • Best Kitchenware Bargains

    TriMark Economy Restaurant Fixtures

    Yes, we admit it: We lust for classy kitchen tools. Luscious visions of All-Clad sauciers, Bron mandolines, and Wüsthof Grand Prix 8-inch chef's knives haunt us. But since working for a free weekly means no enormous paycheck, rather than spend ourselves into the poorhouse shopping at Sur La Table and Williams-Sonoma we stop by the vast bargain warehouse that is Economy Restaurant Fixtures. The place's main gig is filling up kitchens at restaurants, schools, hospitals, and prisons with indestructible, practical,... More >>

  • Best Gift Shop

    Kamei Restaurant Supply

    This store specializes in beautiful Asian ceramics at incredibly affordable prices. We've stocked our kitchen with its wares, but we're fondest of a set of pale blue-and-green shallow dishes, at $1.49 each, that we use as coasters or saucers for condiments, and a pale-green-pottery lidded canister, for $4.99. The stock is amazing; in addition to ceramics you'll find utensils, collapsing umbrellas, sleek wooden boxes, and handsome woven brooms. Kamei features teapots, boxed sake sets, bamboo steamers, rice cookers, knives, and... More >>

  • Best Places for Same-Sex Wedding Registry

    REI San Francisco

    The wedding business is big business, and it has only grown in recent years thanks to the spike in same-sex weddings. In this city alone, there reside a few thousand couples who were lucky enough to have a City Hall ceremony during the month of love that began in February and was abruptly halted in mid-March. For them, and the thousands more who will at least temporarily settle for something less legal, there's the matter of finding fab places to... More >>

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