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Where to Drink While Gift Shopping in San Francisco

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By Gail

In the before times (and by that I mean before my friend had kids and we could fuck-off for an entire day together), said friend and I would pick a day in December, pick a neighborhood, and spend it holiday shopping and drinking. It was glorious, AND productive! Have a drink. Buy a gift. Have a drink. Get another gift. You get it!

With Small Business Saturday, and the general holiday season upon us, we’re sharing some tried and true SF spots for the best gifts for all the people you love, or have to put up with, during the holidays.

Disclaimer 1: This is not a complete list, please feel free to suggest and tag others. Support local businesses!
Disclaimer 2: We love a dive bar and a good beer, so the “drinks” recommendations are as such.

Neighborhood: Inner Sunset

Photo from Wishbone’s  FB page

Where to Buy Gifts:

Wishbone – Cute kids gifts, but also random jewelry, notebooks, home bar gifts, things you may not even know your random family member needs. Highly recommend!

Misdirections Magic Shop – I don’t think this needs an explanation, it’s amazing.

Ambiance – “Where they really like you!” Who doesn’t love their commercials?! Women’s clothes and accessories, with a special SF attitude.

San Franpsycho – At this point San Franpsycho is a legendary Bay Area clothing brand. Everyone needs at least one SFP piece in their closet.

Other Great Spots to Shop: Chloe’s Closet, Crossroads

Where to Get Drinks:

Yancy’s Saloon
Fireside Bar
Mucky Duck
The Little Shamrock

Neighborhood: Mission

Photo via Paxton Gate’s FB page

Where to Buy Gifts:

Paxton Gate – Who wouldn’t like a taxidermy mouse dressed like Sherlock Holmes as a gift? Plus plants, jewelry, books, the possibilities are endless here. Truly unique, an absolute must stop. My dad loved his stuffed piranha. And they have great science stuff for kids too!

Needles and Pens – Random kitschy items, if you aren’t sure what to get someone, you just might find it here.

Dog Eared Books – Fantastic used bookstore, something for everyone. I got one of Stuart’s books here for $5.75.

Other Great Spots to Shop: Community Thrift, Serendipity, Scarlet Sage Herb Co.

Where to Get Drinks:

I mean, it’s the Mission so pick your poison, I happen to like…

500 Club
The Sycamore

Neighborhood: Noe Valley

Photo from Just for Fun & Scribbledoodles’ FB page

Where to Buy Gifts:

Just for Fun & Scribbledoodles – I think the name says enough, they have games, crafts, activities, silly things, you absolutely cannot go wrong.

Folio Bookstore – The cutest little local bookstore. Let’s be honest, we could all read more.

Small Frys – As the name suggests, this is for the kids, who we all know are happy to play with a cardboard box, but GIFTS!

Other Great Spots to Shop: Mapamundi, Noe Valley wine and spirits, Noe Valley bakery

Where to Get Drinks:

Valley Tavern
The Peaks 
Novy (for a glass of wine and the halloumi)

Neighborhood: Inner Richmond

Photo via Green Apple Books

Where to Buy Gifts:

Green Apple Books – No one can go wrong getting a gift from a bookstore. And this is a city staple, we must support! They also have gift certificates.

The Spanish Table – SO many delicious things: olives, oils, pickled things, meats, wine, candies, etc.

Park Life – Hilarious t-shirts, sweatshirts, art and books, it’s a local dream.

Tantrum – I got my 2-year-old nephew a piano keyboard from here once, and I laughed the whole time I wrapped and sent it to my brother. Truly great for unique kid gifts (and to piss off siblings).

Other Great Spots to Shop: Schubert’s Bakery, the Golden Hour, Toy Boat

Where to Get Drinks:

The Plough and Stars
The Bitter End
Scarlet Lounge
Richmond Republic Draught House

Places in Other Neighborhoods You Should Not Skip

Cliffs Variety – Castro (anything and everything!)
Life – Lower Haight (saki sets, candles, books, jewelry, cutest lil spot)
SFMOMA – The SF city map laser stuff alone is worth the trip.

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