I need an eye exam in San Francisco
December 5, 2006 8:58 AM   Subscribe

Optometrists and awesome frames in San Francisco: Recommendations? Ever been to Rims and Goggles in Pacific Heights?

I need new glasses but first I need a really thorough eye exam. I don't think I need to see an Ophthalmologist but I do think I may need bifocals. It's been a few years since I had an exam and it was at Kaiser and now that my insurance has changed to VSP for vision, I need to find a good optometrist. It would be a plus if they also had a really good selection of frames but I don't mind doing the exam and the frames separately. I haven't been overly impressed with the selection at places like Site for Sore Eyes.

I'm thinking of checking out Rims and Goggles in Pacific Heights, mostly because it's really close to where I work and I know they have a really good selection of frames. I remember also thinking that the selection at Eye Gotcha in the Castro was really great, too, but the last time I went in there, I got really terrible service. They were much nicer to me the previous times I'd been in there with my super cute boyfriend but I don't have bait for them this time around. (Maybe I just need a cute boy to escort me this time?)

Anyway, if you have a good optometrist, I'd love to hear about them. Especially if they're in the Laurel Heights/Pac Heights area. Secondarily, if there are shops for frames that I really shouldn't miss, bring it on.
posted by otherwordlyglow to Shopping (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I went to Therese Longille at Through the Hayes on (suprisingly enough) Hayes at Octavia. Mainly because she was close to my house, but the exam was really great.

They seemed to have interesting frames, but I was there for contacts, so I didn't look too closely.

The Berkeley Parents' Network may also be a good resource.
posted by occhiblu at 9:04 AM on December 5, 2006

Rims and Goggles is decent in my opinion (they have a couple of shops in the city), but most of what they have are fairly "ordinary" frames, at least the last time I was there.

I'm definitely seconding occhiblu's suggestion of Through The Hayes. I've had several pairs of glasses and prescription sunglasses from them over the years, and have been throughly impressed. The people there don't just mindlessly give you what you point at, they look at your face and the types of frames you like and will make good suggestions. They also have an extremely nice collection of awesome frames. They do give eye exams there. I haven't used them, so I can't speak to that.

For an optometrist, I go to Dr. Ashby Jones. He's in One Market Plaza downtown, so you might want to find someone closer/where it's easier to park, but he's extremely professional, really knows his stuff, and otherwise quite good.
posted by zachlipton at 9:50 AM on December 5, 2006 [1 favorite]

I'll third Through the Hayes. The customer service was great as I took approx. five houndred hours to pick out my frames. As for the eye exam, Therese Longille made me really comfortable and seemed super knowledgable.
posted by logic vs love at 10:56 AM on December 5, 2006

Response by poster: Wow. Three votes for Through the Hayes, a place I've never even noticed before but seeing as I'm due for a stop by Blue Bottle, I think that might be a winner!
posted by otherwordlyglow at 11:18 AM on December 5, 2006

Response by poster: p.s. Why always the goofy pun names for optometry shops (Site for Sore Eyes, Through the Hayes, Eye Gotcha, etc.)?
posted by otherwordlyglow at 11:21 AM on December 5, 2006

If Through the Hayes doesn't end up hitting the spot for you, I recommend Eye Q Optometry on 24th St. near Noe. Dr. Kim Tom gives a very thorough exam and is a lovely person. The shop is small but packed with great frames. Kathy at the desk is very good with advice about choosing flattering frames.

I wish I knew how the cute names became de regueur for eyeglass shops. I'm expecting to see "Eye Carumba" any day now!
posted by wryly at 11:47 AM on December 5, 2006

I wish I knew how the cute names became de regueur for eyeglass shops. I'm expecting to see "Eye Carumba" any day now!

There's an Eye Carumba downstairs from my office here in San Francisco.
posted by gyc at 1:16 PM on December 5, 2006 [1 favorite]

Another vote for Eye-Q Optometry -- been going there since '98. A couple of years ago I did try a more convenient one (I forget the name, it's on Mission around 21st) but I decided to go back to Eye-Q.
posted by phliar at 3:49 PM on December 5, 2006

Be careful about splitting the exam and the frames. I've had a shop refuse to give me the VSP discount for frames because I'd gotten my exam somewhere else. I called VSP and they said that it was up to the shop whether to do that.

I've gotten all of my exams done at Eyedare for the past 5 years or so. The optometrist there, Chester Quan, does a thorough job. They were also willing to special order the frame that I'd found at another shop, when the other place refused to give me the discount.
posted by aneel at 11:24 PM on December 5, 2006

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