Keep It Local - Your North Beach Shopping Guide

San Francisco's Most Idiosyncratic Shops Are Right Here In North Beach

By Joe Bonadio

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 short sighted. 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.

Specializing in fine ceramic ware 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.

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.