San Francisco shopping guide

The Mission


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Bell Jar

Former art director Sasha Wingate had a vision for her new shop: dark, gothic, and a bit twisted, but ultimately really gorgeous. It's an aesthetic that's mirrored in every inch of her opulent spot, which feels like the sanctuary of a sorceress of the dark arts. There's lots of clothing, but the selection particularly shines when you zero in on the home goods, sourced from as far away as the flea markets of China (busts, antique glove molds, opalescent vases).
3187 16th St., 415-626-1749

As featured in Lucky's City Summer Shopping Guide!

Candystore Collective

A Willy Wonka-esque wall of candy behind the register—from swirled lollipops the width of Frisbees to caramels in retro wrappings—provides a serious distraction as you step inside. But those who can work their way past the counter will find loads of girly clothing labels like Built by Wendy and regional designers such as She-bible and Mixie.
3153 16th St., 415-863-8143, candystorecollective.com

The Curiosity Shoppe

Resembling the sort of general store that one might have found in a Wisconsin summer resort town in the '40s, The Curiosity Shoppe focuses on beautifully designed yet useful items, including staplers made from wood and glass vases that mimic cheap plastic water bottles. It's all carefully chosen by the crafty owners, Lauren Smith (a Todd Oldham alum) and Derek Fagerstrom (a former editor at Interview and ReadyMade).
855 Valencia St., 415-671-5384, curiosityshoppeonline.com

Ellie Olson

This enduring spot (the owner recently changed the name from its original, Minnie Wilde) is a retro-modern wonderland, complete with paintings of stampeding horses and handpicked Danish consoles. Beyond the excellent house line of hooded capes, there are well-priced Manoush dresses and dead-stock Jordache denim.
3266 21st St., 415-642-9453

As featured in Lucky's City Summer Shopping Guide!

Ladita

The slightly hippieish Bernal Heights has a relaxed, residential feel, and this is a terrific new eco-centric retail foothold in the area. Owner Christine Kay carries Stewart + Brown sweaters and earth-minded denim from James Jeans.
3266 21st St., 415-642-9453

Painted Bird

Operating as a bit of a co-op (you can trade clothes for store credit or just pay the regular way), this vintage boutique displays only the most on-trend, pristine pieces—which means there's a plethora of affordable leather bombers and mod dresses. It also carries new denim from Cheap Monday and a handful of locally based designers like Featherwitch.
1201A Guerrero St., 415‑401‑7027

Paxton Gate

Probably most famous for its impressive wall of rare—and for sale—taxidermy and exotic nursery (obscure air plants, succulents, and ferns predominate), Paxton Gate focuses on bizarre, naturally occurring phenomena. It also sells an enviable range of jewelry: There are tiny gold pendants cast after bird bones and necklaces dotted with mollusk-like charms.
824 Valencia St., 415-824-1872