I worked in the hospitality industry for years, and I would clear my schedule for months to make sure I could attend a Paula LaDuc catered event. I've been to their pre-season tastings, where they preview the new menus for the year, and it is an amazing experience. Paula LaDuc menus are consistently delicious, creative, fun, and simply some of the best food you've ever had, especially in the context of big catered affairs. Use them if you can afford them.
First off, I'm not a flower guy. I don't buy flowers, I don't get flowers, I don't understand flowers. I often browse in this store while I'm waiting for the bus, and let me tell you that I'm really impressed. They always have really beautiful and unusual flowers for sale. These flowers are really like nothing I've ever seen before. If anyone is looking to buy flowers, I would send them straight to Flowers on Fillmore.
I have been to the cafe many times while visiting the Legion of Honor Museum, and it's always a wonderful break from taking a look at the art. They have great food, and wonderful desserts, coffees, and teas. I have also attended several events that were catered by the Legion Cafe and can vouch that the food there was delicious. Definitely recommended.
This is my favorite museum in San Francisco. The Legion of Honor museum houses the more classical work as opposed to the modern art of the SFMOMA. The building itself is a reproduction of a building in france, and in the courtyard is an inspiring reproduction of Rodin's "The Thinker." In fact, the entire collection of Rodin's sculptures that are housed in the Legion are fantastic. They have a beautiful bust of Victor Hugo, some of his works of hands, and many others. The paintings are great, and span from medieval to impressionistic. It's sort of a task to get there, but the drive is amazing, and you'll love it when you do.
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is definitely a must see for any art lover in San Francisco. The collection is world class and includes painting by picasso, braque, cezanne, and countless countless others. They also have changing exhibits that are fascinating. The architecture of the building itself is breathtaking and certainly puts guests in a mood to be inspired. The paintings take care of the rest.
Remember the old days when video games were a quarter, or the really awesome ones were 50 cents? Not anymore, especially at the arcade on Pier 39. The cheapest you're looking at here is a dollar, and that's just for the bare bones arcade games. The fancier ones are even more expensive. They have a good variety of games, and it's fun, but boy is it expensive.
Pipe Dreams on Haight St. is widely considered the best pipe store in San Francisco. I've gone there a number of times and gotten pipes for myself, with friends, and we have all been nothing but satisfied with purchases there. They have a huge variety of pipes, bongs, hookahs, everything. Definitely check it out.
There's a lot of typical toursity stores on haight st. selling the tie-dyed t-shirts, the pipes, hippie memorabilia, but Positively Haight St. is a little bit better. The clothes there are more like clothes actual people who perhaps live in San Francisco or on Haight St. would wear. Basically, fashion lives a little stronger in this store than some of your other haight tourist stores.
I have used Costumes on Haight for a lot of different situations. It's got everything kind of costume, mask, wig, and novelty you could possibly imagine. It's great if you have a costume party to go to or if you're putting up a show... I have used Costumes on Haight almost exclusively for costuming the sketch comedy show I produce. Very good quality and reliable.
I've always had a special place in my heart for Pearl Art Store. It's not nearly as nice looking as Flax, the feeling of the place isn't as inviting, I don't even think they have the selection of Flax, but my vote will always go to Pearl. It's located on market near 6th street, which is kind of a shady part of town, but in my opinion, flax could be a little too clean scrubbed. I like the grunginess of Pearl. And I think it's a little cheaper too.