Day-to-Day Essentials Guide to San Francisco

A wonderfully epicurean, world-traveler-extraodinaire friend moved to San Francisco a few weeks ago. She has visited dozens of times and has a good grasp of tourist things to do in SF, but it's accomplishing the day-to-day errands that prove most challenging for the recently relocated, so I've decided to start an abbreviated guide to accomplishing life's little chores in the Bay Area.


  K & L Wine MerchantsFor the good deal special occasion bottle, the can't-believe-it's-this-good-for-the-price bottle, and the aren't-we-fabulous cocktail ingredients, plus a friendly staff, excellent Saturday afternoon tastings, and one of the best on-line wine stores you can find.638 4th St - 415.896.1734 3005 El Camino Real - 650.364.8544 And for anything that's left, there's the nearest Beverages & More or Costco.

Grocery Stores

  Whole Foods MarketMy every-day market399 4th St. - 415.618.0066 (new)1765 California St. - 415.674.0500 (old) The Ferry Building MarketplaceThough not technically a grocery store, I can buy everything I want to eat on a daily basis from the various shops in the Ferry Building and the farmer's market held on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Particular favorites include crispy imperials rolls from Out the Door, gingerbread cupcakes and pistachio or lemon macaroons from Miette, dry farm tomatoes from Dirty Girl Farms, champagne raspberries from Ella Bella Farms, Stonehouse blood orange olive oil, and... and... and. You get the idea.The Embarcadero at MarketRainbow GroceryFor an insanely large selection of politically and environmentally conscientious natural foods at good prices.1745 Folsom St. - 415.863.0621 Le VillageEverything you need to stock your pantry with gourmet European foods at wholesale prices. My favorites include 3kg bags of Valhrona chocolate disks and full wheels of Petit Basque. Only open to the public on Friday afternoon and Saturday every other month or so. Sign up for their newsletter to find out about upcoming sales.211 South Hill Drive, Brisbane - 415.562.1138

Yum Yum FishI haven't been, but I trust Chuck's judgement of fish quality more than just about anyone's.2181 Irving St. - 415.566.6433


This is my essentials list after all...

  XOX TrufflesSome of my favorite truffles anywhere and also ranked one of the top 7 or 10 chocolatiers in the country by some publications. In addition to being delicious and made in a tiny shop by a local artisan you'll feel good supporting, they're a screaming good deal.754 Columbus Ave. - 415.421.4814

RichartFor the other extreme in chocolate. Sure to impress, these beatiful little squares pack a whallop of unusual, interesting, and ultimately successful flavors in chic packaging. To fully appreciate them, get a box that includes all seven flavor groups.393 Sutter St. - 415.291.9600

Fog City NewsExcellent selection of chocolate bars.455 Market St., Ste. 125 - 415.543.7400

Cleaning and RepairsEssential to any true fashionista or Imelda Marcos protegé: the skilled cobbler.

       Anthony's Shoe ServiceConveniently located just a few blocks from Union Square, the store is now run by Anthony's two sons, who I swear can fix anything! (Keep this in mind when you see an amazing pair of Dior boots at Jeremy's with a broken zipper.)30 Geary Street - 415.781.1338

When having something ruined at the dry cleaner's just isn't an option, you have only two choices:

  Peninou French Laundry and CleanersThey feel they've earned the attitude and price.3063 Laguna St., San Francisco - 415.351.25543707 Sacramento St., San Francisco - 415.351.2554101 S Maple Ave, South San Francisco - 650.872.6596558 Oak Grove Ave., Menlo Park - 650.322.7562Menalto CleanersNever once broken any of those insanely thick Italian shirt buttons that are so fragile and hard to replace. Gary is a friend who really understand service and knows clothes and is the only one I trusted to clean my wedding dress. He also picks up and delivers around the Peninsula.1921 Menalto Ave., Menlo Park - 650.323.7001

And should the unspeakable happen, get your favorite item remade or altered to fit your sleek self:

  Santiago's Tailoring295 W El Camino Real - 408.739.3952


  BritexBritex is a nationally renowned San Francisco treasure with five newly renovated floors or every possible material and sewing supply you could imagine.117 Post St. - 415.392.9900

Fabric OutletWhen you don't need the best, just a good deal to get the job done...525 4th St. -415.495.4201

Art Supplies

  Flax Art & DesignThe end all, be all of art supply stores and origin of the famous Flax catalog.1699 Market St. - 415.552.2355

Pearl Art & Craft Supplies IncorporatedAnother good option.969 Market St. - 415.357.1400

PlantsNeed foliage?

  Sloat Garden Center2700 Sloat Blvd. - 415.566.4415

Let me know if I've missed any categories or you have additional nominations. Hope this is useful!