Everything that I've gotten from Eid's works well and is the right equipment for the job. I'm never entirely sure that everything's on the up-and-up, though. This is an old-style electronics store with all sorts of random bits of cellphone accessories, stereo wire, etc. in display cases. Ask Eid for his advice, and he'll sell you what you need. I think.
I've never had any problem with them, though. And their repair work is good--it's one of relatively few places that will actually repair your VCR/TV/etc. without trying to make you buy a new one.
If science fiction is your thing and you live in the Bay Area, then you probably already know about Borderlands. If not, or if you're new here, Borderlands is a very specialized bookstore--science fiction, fantasy, and horror. That's all you'll find here, and they aren't going to stock any tie-in merchandise from TV shows or movies. The staff knows just about everything about their genres, and they are friendly and helpful. You can subscribe to their newsletter in order to find out about the readings and author appearances they sometimes host.
Yet another relic of San Francisco's radical Past, Modern Times is dedicated to being a resource for the progressive community in these troubled times. There are all kinds of author and community events, readings, etc. Check out their gender/sexuality sections and their Spanish-language resources above all. Strangely enough, there's also often random academic music books that I need/feel I should read just sitting on the shelf, waiting for me to buy them.
It's stores like this that make the Mission a great place to walk around and browse in.
Do they like to eat? Then do them (and yourself) a favor and book a walking tour of a neighborhood with Tastes of the City. The three hour walking tours include sightseeing, tastings from small bakers and other "artisans," and (sometimes) shopping. Afterwards, they can book a meal for you at an amazing restaurant. I would recommend the Fisherman's Wharf and Chinatown excursions myself. Best thing about this idea? For what it is, it's pretty cheap--prices start at $49. And yes, they are gay-friendly.
Actually, I've only gone here looking for aquariums and supplies, but their selection of fish is pretty dazzling, and their prices (especially for the eternally expensive San Francisco area) are quite good. I found the staff to be helpful almost to a fault. Next time I need anything for my water turtles, I'm heading here. Definitely.
Well, the name says it all here. This is your stop for Socialist/Communist books and other reading material that never quite make it to the mainstream publishers and sellers. This place is also a gathering point for all kinds of progressive and leftie causes. If you're looking, you can probably even pick up someone who you know shares your politics.
Yet another of the many, many bookstores in the Bay Area. Stop by here on your tour of bookstores in the city, although you might not want to make it your first. Used and new books with a surprisingly good selection for such a small store. Staff is helpful and friendly, and the atmosphere (like most independent bookstores) is relaxed.
Once upon a time, in the 1970s, radical and lesbian-feminists decided that the best way to empower women and to create a women's culture was to set up and patronize women's businesses--bookstores, bakeries, etc. The women's bookstore was an important fixture in this community, but most of them have, alas, gone out of business as larger book chains have started actually carrying lesbian titles. Change Makers still lives on with an impressive selection of lesbian, feminist, wiccan, etc. books as well as various kinds of gifts and tchotkes. Stop by--the owners are friendly, and you'll be seeing a piece of history in action.
There are a few locations of Amoeba Records in the Bay Area, but I like the San Francisco location the best. There's nearly every CD in existence, both new and used, somewhere in the cavernous store. Unlike some other reviewers, I found the sales staff to be notably absent, but I didn't really care because there was so much stuff to go through. It's not just a store. It's an afternoon.
This is easily the best non-import chocolate around. Although not an old company by any means, Scharffen-Berger has earned a well-deserved reputation as one of the premier chocolates in the world. Take a tour of their factory if you want a fun (and cheap!) diversion some afternoon, and if you want to impress people with a slightly less well-known brand of chocolate, this is the kind to get.