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Let's Keep It Local: Your North Beach Shopping Guide

San Francisco's Most Idiosyncratic Shops At Our Fingertips

It’s December 18th, three days from the solstice, and one week from Christmas Day. That means we're starting to get into clutch time for holiday shopping. As time grows short, you might be tempted to just give in, and let Amazon have that business. While that might be easy, it’d also be a bit shortsighted. Because to remain healthy, our local retailers need our holiday business.

With that in mind, we've got a list of 11 of the coolest possible places to do your Christmas shopping–right here in North Beach. This is not a complete list, but it's a darn good one, and will take you to every corner of the neighborhood. Our burg has some of the most unusual and eclectic shops in the city, so make sure to bookmark the page. Happy holidays to you and your loved ones.…and let’s get shopping!

Macchiarini Design 
One of the most unique shops in the city, this legacy business has been creating artisanal jewelry and metalwork in North Beach for seven decades, and across three generations. Truly a must visit for one-of-a-kind gifts.

Al’s Attire 
Located at the epicenter of North Beach at Grant and Vallejo, Al's Attire has been one of San Francisco's most celebrated clothiers for over twenty-five years. With shoes, clothes and leather accessories of all kinds, this place should be on everyone's list for the holidays.

AB Fits 
One of upper Grant Avenue's original boutiques, AB Fits offers an impressive roster of men's and women's clothing brands, with a special emphasis on denim.

City Lights 
America's first paperback-only bookstore (they've long since expanded to include hardcovers), City Lights was founded by beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1953. It remains one of the nation's best bookstores, and has become one of San Francisco's cultural and literary landmarks.

Z. Cioccolato 
North Beach’s candy mecca, this Columbus Avenue shop has an unrivaled selection of sweets, including their award-winning handmade fudge. If sweets are on your list, Z Cioccolato has got you (chocolate) covered.

Lola of North Beach 
With two locations here in North Beach, Lola is a perfect stop for cards and unusual, impromptu gifts, making it a go-to at this time of year.

Real Old Paper Gallery
With a stunning collection of vintage posters adorning its walls, this light-filled gallery space offers discerning gifts for every taste and budget. A true neighborhood favorite.

Biordi
Specializing in fine ceramicware created in the ancient tradition of majolica, Biordi offers a stunning selection of dinnerware, objets d'art and other original items. It’s a great place to find a gift for that hard-to-please loved one.

Schein & Schein
This unusual Grant Avenue gallery carries thousands of authentic antique maps and prints ranging from the 14th to the 20th Century, specializing in materials of local interest. Perfect for that eclectic gift you can't find elsewhere. 

Darkside Initiative 
These sneaker-centric fashionistas have been doing business on this sleepy stretch of Powell since 2005, offering a highly curated modern selection of clothing and shoes, including rare Nikes and other items you might not expect.

Therapy
Offering clothing, shoes, and accessories and gifts of all kinds, this popular and charming spot is the perfect place for gifts both large and small.

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Big SFNBBA-CCDC Victory As Stockton Street At Union Square Reopened After 7 Years

By its very nature, a lot of what the North Beach Business Association does is behind the scenes. So I thought it would be a good idea to give people a closer look at a recent victory of our organization, one that goes well beyond our neighborhood’s borders.

A Glimpse Of What SFNBBA Does For North Beach Businesses

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North Beach Commercial Vacancies Prompt Action: Enough Is Enough

On Wednesday afternoon, we will join Supervisor Aaron Peskin at 527 Columbus Avenue near Green Street, where commercial units have been kept off the rental market for nearly a decade. The press will be in attendance, and Supervisor Peskin and SFNBBA board members are expected to speak about the need for these commercial landlords to do their part to restore the commercial rental supply in our neighborhood–and the well-being of our commercial district. It’s not complicated: we are simply asking that property owners offer their vacant spaces for rent, and at a reasonable market rate.

Wintry Weather Brings Holiday Events And More To North Beach

This Friday, December 7th, the neighborhood will once again host the North Beach Wine Walk. If you haven't participated in the event before, it's a great way to meet some of the neighborhood's best retailers; shops like Z Cioccolato, Lola and Cole Hardware will be opening their shops after normal hours, and hosting local vintners to pour samples of their tastiest wines for attendees.

The Beach Never Sleeps: New Offerings Abound

Here in North Beach, it’s been a mighty strange couple of weeks. As much as we’ve tried to focus on our labors, the smoky, toxic air conditions brought by the tragic Camp Fire to our north has admittedly knocked our neighborhood a little bit out of whack. And that’s only natural, in a place where our residents are used to spending so much time outdoors. So we're here to give you a quick review of what's been afoot.

Business Owner Recognized For Heroism; Macchiarini Design Turns Seventy

This weekend, Edson Garcia, the owner of Brioche Bakery and Café on Columbus Avenue, was honored by Supervisor Aaron Peskin and the North Beach Business Association for a remarkable act of courage. 

Washington Square Mitigation Plan Finally In Place; Meanwhile, Ten Trees Gone

If you’ve been reading the blog, you already know Washington Square Park faces temporary closure in the coming months for renovations. Here at the SFNBBA, we’ve been lobbying the city and S.F. Recreation & Park for months.

SFNBBA Wins Neighborhood Protections In Face Of Washington Square Park Closure

The impending closure of Washington Square Park has got the neighborhood stirred up, and the people at the SFNBBA have been on the case. Take a look at this week's post to find out what we've accomplished–and what you should expect for Washington Square.

Empty Spaces: New Report Sheds Light On North Beach Vacancies

The vacancy crisis in North Beach is an ongoing concern, and this month we received some new data on the problem. According to a new report conducted by the San Francisco North Beach Business Association (SFNBBA) in cooperation with Telegraph Hill Dwellers and North Beach Neighbors, the numbers are jarring: over the past three years, the number of vacant ground-floor commercial spaces in the neighborhood has doubled.

It’s Always Sunny In North Beach: North Beach Festival Weekend Is Here

The very first street fair in America, The North Beach Festival has been the blueprint for neighborhood fairs and block parties for decades. And this weekend, we're celebrating the festival for the 64th time. In other news, is there trouble on the horizon for Washington Square Park?

On Eve Of North Beach Festival, Neighborhood Fights Washington Square Park Closure

There is always plenty afoot in North Beach, and this month is no exception: the annual North Beach Festival, due to hit our streets on Saturday and Sunday, June 16th and 17th, is always a monster event. We’re expecting a record turnout for our 64th year.
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Jan 23

Community Action: Resolve The Vacancy Crisis

Community Action: Resolve The Vacancy Crisis Wednesday, January 23rd @ 1:00 PM 527 Columbus Avenue, North Beach, SF (just north of Green St.)