Last Minute San Fransisco
October 5, 2014 9:48 PM   Subscribe

I am going into San Fransisco for tomorrow for a last day in the US- only I don't know the area and where anything is. Someone gave me a mildly large pile of money to spend with the idea that I need to spend all of it- HALP.

I would like to find:

1) a gaming/nerdy store
2) a place that sells beads
3) sourdough bread - I want to eat ALL the bread.
4) Miscellaneous shops that sell things for adult women (you know, tchotckes like soap dishes, nice hand cream, the sort of candles you give as gifts, a Sephora/makeup store)
5) Somewhere that sells easy to travel cooking things- eg a dried spice shop, a swanky kitchenware place, somewhere with local artisanal jams
6) Somewhere that sells sewing supplies?

In an ideal world I would also like to find a place that I could replace my glasses at for around $200 - $300, same day service, including a quick eye doctor check. Frustratingly the gift of money only extends while I am here and I'm usually a Canadian by residence and nationality - I could have used this money a lot more for vision care back home, but hey, beggars can't be choosers.

My host is trying to steer me to Golden Gate Bridge/Fisherman's Wharf/China Town, so if all this is next to that area this makes this much less stressful to me. I don't like being photographed in front of landmarks, and if I can take some of my own initiative this greatly improves my ability to do what I like, which is to meander around browsing stores without buying a lot.
posted by Phalene to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (13 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Best answer: 1)The only great gaming store I can think of is Gamescape but it's not really near any of the other things on your list.
2)Acme Bread at the Ferry Building at the Embarcadero is my favorite. FYI they are cash only. The Ferry Building has tons of local food shops and might be good for other gifts too.
4) There is a Sephora at the Powell St cable car turnaround. It's next to a MAC store. The Westfield Mall across the street also has a Bare Escentuals store and Bloomingdales and Nordstrom for makeup.
5) Also at the Ferry Building is Sur La Table which has kitchen equipment. There are also other shops that might have jams. Check the list of shops in the link in 2.
6) Britex Fabrics is near Union Square and sells tons of sewing supplies.
posted by oneear at 10:08 PM on October 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


If you go to San Francisco Center on Market Street, just south of Union Square, they have a Sur La Table. From there you can meander around for some good food, heading up to Grant, turn left on Grant (heading toward the ocean) and you will run through China Town. All the shopping for tchotckes you could possibly want. Keep going on Grant and you will end up running into Broadway & Columbus (if you are interested in literary landmarks, City Light's Books is on that intersection, and just across the alley is Vesuvio cafe, a lovely spot for a drink). You can then continue up Columbus - keep going towards the water - and explore Little Italy. If you keep going, you will end up around Fisherman's Wharf. At any time, you should be able to grab a cab to get off your feet and explore further afield.
Bart goes to San Francisco Center if I am not mistaken.
posted by FenderBellyBodine at 10:09 PM on October 5, 2014


There's a LensCrafters at 100 Battery. Go there first thing in the AM and get started on your glasses. Then, you can pop down to the Ferry Building which will have great bread and other tasty items to eat and buy (spices, local jams, food-making wonderfulness). It will also have fancy shops to buy things adult women like. Then, pick up your glasses, and head over to Union Square, which has a Sephora, more stores of all kinds, and Britex, the above-mentioned wonderful sewing superstore.
posted by quince at 10:17 PM on October 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


Best answer: 1) a gaming/nerdy store
Comix Experience in the Western Addition (comics)
Misdirections in the Sunset (magic).
Paxton Gate in the Mission
2) a place that sells beads
General Bead. The only bead store. Ever. Give yourself at least an HOUR.
3) sourdough bread - I want to eat ALL the bread.
Tartine. Only answer. 5pm weekdays get in line and bread will never be the same.
4) Miscellaneous shops that sell things for adult women (you know, tchotckes like soap dishes, nice hand cream, the sort of candles you give as gifts, a Sephora/makeup store)
Nest. In Pac Heights. Dandelion.
5) I don't have a ready answer for this question.
6) Somewhere that sells sewing supplies?
Discount Fabric in the (you guessed it) Mission has a pretty good sewing section. Britex.
posted by asavage at 10:27 PM on October 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


You may need to ration your time in Britex if you are going to do all that in one day. For beads, try Yone in North Beach, and if you're in that area before about 2:00 when they run out (and haven't filled up on Acme at the Ferry Plaza) also try Liguria Bakery for focaccia.
posted by cali at 10:29 PM on October 5, 2014


Best answer: 5) Rainbow Grocery has the spices and jams in spades
posted by rhizome at 10:31 PM on October 5, 2014


Best answer: eg a dried spice shop

IMO the best place to get dried spices is actually Rainbow grocery co-op on Division & Folsom (SoMa / Mission). It's all bulk spices, but they have an enormous selection, and they sell jars. Do you need wormwood? angelica root? dried elderflowers? They got it.
posted by aubilenon at 10:33 PM on October 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Best answer: 3) sourdough bread - I want to eat ALL the bread.
Tartine. Only answer. 5pm weekdays get in line and bread will never be the same.


Just to backup this answer even more. Tartine has quite an international reputation. I've met more than a couple master bread bakers here in Europe who, when I mention I'm from San Francisco their eyes light up. Tartine!!
posted by vacapinta at 2:30 AM on October 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


4) Miscellaneous shops that sell things for adult women (you know, tchotckes like soap dishes, nice hand cream, the sort of candles you give as gifts, a Sephora/makeup store)
24th Street in Noe Valley between Diamond and Dolores, especially in the Castro-to-Church portion. Lots of little boutiquey boutiques.
posted by mono blanco at 8:11 AM on October 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


BRITEX!!!!! It's like Mood, only it's BRITEX!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:26 AM on October 6, 2014


Tadich Grill gets an extra sour version of the Boudin's bread and it's pretty well regarded. It's a nice old school restaurant too. Lots of older servers wearing white jackets etc.
posted by rq at 2:24 PM on October 6, 2014


Ferry Building, Ghirardelli Square... I would just take a tour bus around because it least it will drive you to all the places you want to stop at.
posted by AppleTurnover at 6:43 PM on October 6, 2014


Response by poster: Awesome guys, I had an amazing time and got a loaf of Tartine sourdough bigger than my head. :9
posted by Phalene at 10:15 AM on October 13, 2014


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