San Francisco Recommendations: comics, fashion, food, and more
January 26, 2017 11:43 PM   Subscribe

My Girlfriend is visiting San Francisco next week and has some questions that could do with some local knowledge about social enterprises, ethical fashion, comics and eating.

Here's her questions:
I am visiting San Francisco for the first two weeks of February. I’ll be staying near Union Square and am looking for local insights and recommendations for cool places that I can get to on public transport, especially:
1. Are there any social enterprise, or charity, or non profit fashion/clothing stores, or ethical fashion stores in San Francisco? I’m NOT talking about thrift stores. Some relevant examples we know are Soko, Reformation (LA), Homeboy Industries (LA), Everlane, Indosole, etc. So shops that use fashion/clothing production to create a social or environmental benefit for the community.
2. Great contemporary clothing stores. What’s the latest fashion labels/stores that are getting attention?
3. I’m also a comics fan! Where do comic lovers go?
4. Any general recommendations for contemprorary art spaces, restaurants especially those with good vegetarian options, hacks for your public transport, etc.
Thank you!
posted by MT to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Comix Experience at Page/Divisadero. Take the N Judah from Powell to Duboce Park and walk about 6 blocks. For the oldies store take the K Ingleside.
posted by rhizome at 12:27 AM on January 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Dottie's True Blue Cafe is great.
posted by neushoorn at 12:39 AM on January 27, 2017

Best answer: For getting around, purchase a Clipper card. You put money on the card, and it works on Muni, BART, and the cable car.
Uber/Lift is very popular and widely available.

SFMOMA is the recently remodeled and expanded museum of modern art. It's excellent. Also in the same area of downtown is the MOAD (Museum of African Diaspora) and Contemporary Jewish Museum.

The reddit AskSF forum has a good FAQ. For vegan recommendations, see this post.

If you want to see Alcatraz, (a classic experience) there's only one company which has the franchise to the island. Go to Alcatraz Cruises and get tickets now. They sell out early. Easy to get to from Union Square; take the F line street car to Pier 33.
posted by blob at 5:16 AM on January 27, 2017

Best answer: Muni's integration with NextBus (and thus Google maps) is currently broken, at least for the majority of buses. I've been using the Transit app instead lately and it works well.
posted by kdar at 6:54 AM on January 27, 2017

Best answer: While the menu is very meat-heavy in general I had the Impossible Burger , a veggie protein creation that is rather incredibly life-like, on a recent lunch visit to Cockscomb. If you'll be anywhere near SOMA its a pretty quick walk and worth it once, for the novelty, at least.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 7:41 AM on January 27, 2017

Best answer: There are a couple of gift shops that have locally-made and locally-designed stuff. There's Local Take, which has locations in the Inner Sunset and the Castro--all the designers are local. There's also SF Mercantile, which is a much cooler alternative to traditional tourist gift shop junk. They design much of their own merchandise, and have a lot of other local sellers too.
posted by radioamy at 9:31 AM on January 27, 2017

Best answer: For comics, you can't beat Isotope in Hayes Valley. It's the best. I miss it so much. The owner is awesome.
posted by wooh at 10:19 AM on January 27, 2017

Best answer: Gracias Madre in the Mission is vegan. The Plant Cafe on the Embarcardero does serve meat, but has plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. Their Plant burger is really good. I'm a big fan of DOSA in the Mission and Japantown areas. They have a good number of vegetarian and vegan options. (They might be all vegetarian, but I don't remember!)
The Cartoon Art Museum closed a few years back, but they still do events around the city while working on their new space, so you might look there. (Not comics, but related).
Seconding the reopening of SFMOMA. It's a huge museum now, and the audio tour was probably the best I've ever done. It's high on accessibility and low on pretentiousness. The de Young has some modern art, as does the small but very cool Jewish Contemporary Museum.
As far as getting around goes, I tend to 1. Walk, 2. Train, 3. Lyft (I don't like Uber's "ethics" or lack of tipping), 4. Muni bus. Muni buses tend to be slow and kind of unreliable. I'll take them if they're a straight shot, but otherwise, I avoid them. I use the Muni app rather than Clipper, because I've had problems with Clipper screwing me over on money issues.
posted by cnc at 12:57 PM on January 27, 2017

Best answer: For amazing Chinese, I recommend Fang.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:49 PM on January 27, 2017

Best answer: I'm not a huge comics person, but that said I strongly recommend a trip to Isotope Comics in Hayes Valley on a weekday. Go on a weekday when the owner is running the store. He is incredibly charismatic and positively vibrates with enthusiasm about comics. He also has an incredible collection of toilet seats lining the upper wall of the store, each one illustrated by a famous comic book artist. Make sure to ask him about them.

Like I said, I'm not a huge comics fan, but Isotope really feels like something special to me. Friends of mine who are big time into comics definitely appreciate it.
posted by simonw at 9:29 PM on January 27, 2017

I didn't get the two weeks part at first. Definitely Isotope!

For art, the first week of February you'll want to go through the First Thursdays galleries at Geary & Market. There's also a First Saturday thing right after that at another set of galleries. This is the best way to see the most newest stuff, and some galleries might have wine and crackers. Spoke Art and Hashimoto (4 blocks from Union Square) are good too, as is City Art if you're in the 18th/Valencia zone. The Luggage Store has a cool show now, too. It's around the corner from Dotties and opens at noon.
posted by rhizome at 12:08 AM on January 28, 2017

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. She hit up a lot of these suggestions and had a great time.
posted by MT at 12:48 AM on February 27, 2017

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