Arcana in the Mission
Just a stone’s throw from Dolores Park, you’ll find a verdant plant shop, owned and operated by notable queer activist Naz Khorram. Tucked in among the foliage and locally made homewares, Khorram hosts a shared living room experience featuring events and wine tastings. Don’t have a green thumb? No need, Arcana’s staff of knowledgeable botanists has great advice for first-time plant zaddies.
After your visit, go a few doors down to El Techo for happy hour. This rooftop tapas bar serves delectable Argentine treats and has a breathtaking view of downtown.
Stuff in the Mission
Among the many bougie boutiques on Valencia Street, you’ll come across a bright orange, bi-level, BIPOC-owned antique collective called Stuff. A treasure trove of retro goods, Stuff offers a unique selection of vintage clothing, jewelry, furniture, homewares, vinyl records, and—uh, stuff. As you meander through the aisles, you’re sure to find something for everyone on your holiday gift list.
Shop until you drop, then make your way a couple of blocks down to Milk SF, the all-day queer cafe. Try the latte-of-the-day while admiring the huge collection of queer artwork. If you need something a little stronger than coffee, venture back toward Market Street and try a hand-crafted cocktail at Orbit Room.
Need a present for someone on the naughty list? Alongside its rolling hills, stunning architecture, and welcoming gay community, San Francisco is also known for its large leather scene. At the center of it all, in SoMa’s Leather District, is Mr. S Leather, designer and purveyor of fine leather goods, sex toys, and apparel since 1979.
Once you’re stocked up, take a break at Wicked Grounds on Eighth Street. Come for the coffee and milkshakes, stay for the fetish furniture, friendly baristas, and community-organized classes. After dark, walk a few blocks to Powerhouse to explore everything the SoMa scene has to offer.
Keep the party going with a dark look from this trendy SoMa boutique. Specializing in men’s wear, The Archive offers handmade, designer clothing and accessories from emerging brands across the globe. The owner, Arthur, is nearly always on hand to help you discover the perfect piece for any occasion. You’ll want to build your entire wardrobe around them.
Exhibit your newly found wearable work of art a few blocks north at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. One of San Francisco’s finest museums, the SFMOMA houses rotating contemporary exhibitions alongside a huge permanent collection of paintings and sculptures. Ask the docents to turn your admission ticket into an annual membership, and give the gift of art all year round.