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Shopping San Francisco: Part 1 – The Mission

Written By: Anh-Minh Le, NEW! decor8 Contributor
Learn more about Anh-Minh here.


Hi there! This is Anh-Minh, reporting from the San Francisco Bay Area. Holly has been kind enough to let me take up a little bit of real estate on her awesome blog. So as part of a new series at decor8, I?ll give you the scoop on some of the best design resources around these parts. Whether you?re local or planning a visit, hopefully you?ll find the write-ups to be useful!

Since there are great galleries and shops all over San Francisco, I?ve decided to break things down by neighborhoods. In the first installation of this series, I?m focusing on The Mission District ? specifically, the Valencia Corridor. This is by no means a comprehensive list; it?s just a selection of some of my favorites.

(Other S.F. neighborhoods will be showcased in future posts. And I?m planning to go beyond the city limits and explore the shopping drags of Berkeley, Burlingame and more.)

The Mission

Once upon a time, this was a predominantly Latino area. But, in the late ?90s when the Internet boom happened, the Mission was a prime candidate for gentrification. Now, while still maintaining its roots, the neighborhood has become home to a plethora of wonderful restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques.

Thanks to two fairly new storefronts, the Mission is a great destination for finding affordable local artwork for your home. Local Patron carries everything from jewelry and clothing to paintings and ceramics. But, you must act quickly: This is a temporary shop that is currently scheduled to shut down in late May. Artist-Xchange, while still focusing on local folks, is heavy on art for your walls and ceramics for your tabletops (including the fabulous work of Joanna Mendicino).

Just a few doors down from Artist X-Change is CandyStore, which is sort of like a one-stop shop for all things adorable. You can find clothing (I love local designer Talla?s patterns!), shoes, stationery, accessories, ceramics, pillows and so much more. And yes, the boutique does indeed sell candy ? in vintage glass canisters that are so charming and retro.

The stretch of Valencia between 15th and 16th is where you?ll find two Therapy stores right next door to each other. One primarily carries sofas, pillows and other accessories. The other space is mainly a clothing boutique, with more home accessories and tchotchkes mixed in. Be sure to check them both out.

If you?re in the market for some vintage goods, my go-to in this neighborhood is The Touch. Feel free to haggle with them ? I always do! I picked up my Danish-style coffee and dining tables here, and love them both. (It?s a little tough to find info on this store, so I?ll tell you that it?s located at 956 Valencia Street.) X-21 Modern is another good vintage spot. Be sure to give yourself some time here; the store?s 9,000 square feet are jam-packed.

Every neighborhood in San Francisco has its own history and personality. And in the Mission, you?ll find the only vegan boutique in the city. Otsu is proof that you don?t need to use animal products to make great things. My top picks here include the Little Otsu cards and Chris Duncan?s patchwork birdies.

Other shops worth mentioning: Aldea which also has an online store, Paxton Gate and Rayon Vert (located at 3187 16th Street, it?s more than just a flower shop!).

One of the best things about shopping in the Mission is that if you need a break ? to indulge in a leisurely meal or just refuel ? there is no shortage of eateries here. Mmm? Crepes at Ti Couz? Mojitos at Luna Park?

(images Aldea, Local Patron, Artist X-Change.)

Posted by decor8 in guest bloggers, Shop Tours, shopping, travel on April 17, 2006

Your comments...

  1. bowie style commented
    April 18th, 2006 at 7:53pm

    this is so great – im coming to san francisco in november and this inside info is a real bonus – thankyou !. i dont know the areas yet but im staying off union square ?
    the decor8 site store guides will be a godsend on my american trip as im visiting several US cities.
    you dont get store listings like these in any guidebooks ! thanks decor8

      (Quote)  (Reply)

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