Devil’s Acre

Bi-level “saloon” takes apothecary chic to impressive levels of dedication – menu even features vintage ads for neighboring businesses. Cocktails continue alchemical vibe: Call a Treuse made with green and yellow chartreuse; Prescription Julep just what you think. $2 “restorative” shots, for those who believe booze is the cure for everything. Isn’t it, though?

Tosca Cafe

Alas, not an opera hangout. Dating to 1919 – was last greatest bastion of true bohemianism. Taken over by Spotted Pig / Breslin team (Ken Friedman, impresario, April Bloomfield, chef) from NYC in 2014. Interior tidied up, but smoke-stained aesthetic maintained – red leather booths and chairs, jukebox, Canaletto-like Venetian painting lording over scene. Creative takes on Italian classics utterly rhapsodic, chicken liver spiedino, grilled polenta with heirloom radicchio, rigatoni with braised octopus…and, well, cannolis (paired with sublime house cappuccino). Tight wine list toggles between Italia and Napa. Lungo vivo Boemia!

City Lights

Founded by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Peter D. Martin in 1953, City Lights has been on the forefront of alternative culture since it published Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and Other Poems – for which Ferlinghetti had to fight obscenity charges – and has proudly boasted a “banned books” section for years. A center of protest and a hub for people with revolutionary ideas, it’s also a darn fine bookstore, with a grand selection of poetry, alterna-prose, and politics. It’s a San Francisco landmark, so if you’re even semi counter culture, it’s worth a visit.

Comstock Saloon

The name of this old-timey drinking den pays tribute to fabled 19th-century California silver miner Henry Comstock. Following that theme, the “saloon” is decked out with charred hardwood floors, gilded silver ball-and-claw barstools and a vintage ceramic absinthe fountain that recalls the throat-burning spirit’s glory days. Food offerings include rib-stickers like pot pie stuffed with bone marrow and beef shank. 

Kohl’s

 Major American department store chain with outfits throughout the US offering affordable clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, electronics, and housewares. Popular in the Midwest, Kohl’s lies somewhere between Sears and Wal-Mart on the spectrum of discount stores. Family and value oriented with a wide selection of children’s items and deals on brands like Levi’s, Reebok, Candie’s, Fisher Price and Oshkosh. This is Americana at its best (or worst?).

Sunglass Hut

If there is indeed a fashion rulebook, it’s likely that rule #2 or #3 would reinforce the fact that accessories are key. Find the slightest glimmer of sun on the horizon and try to catch any self-respecting diva without a pair of designer shades to hide her face. Or any hipster sans Ray-Bans. Stock up on everything from Puma to this season’s Prada. You’ll see the world in a whole new light.

Sunglass Hut

If there is indeed a fashion rulebook, it’s likely that rule #2 or #3 would reinforce the fact that accessories are key. Find the slightest glimmer of sun on the horizon and try to catch any self-respecting diva without a pair of designer shades to hide her face. Or any hipster sans Ray-Bans. Stock up on everything from Puma to this season’s Prada. You’ll see the world in a whole new light.

Sunglass Hut

If there is indeed a fashion rulebook, it’s likely that rule #2 or #3 would reinforce the fact that accessories are key. Find the slightest glimmer of sun on the horizon and try to catch any self-respecting diva without a pair of designer shades to hide her face. Or any hipster sans Ray-Bans. Stock up on everything from Puma to this season’s Prada. You’ll see the world in a whole new light.

American Apparel

Founded in L.A. in 2003, hipsters flocked to work within the white-lacquered walls of American Apparel, hawking their rainbow of basics, and looking the other way when their friends swiped a hoodie. Downtown model-wannabe party kids stooped to employment in the hopes of being featured, scantily clad and compromisingly positioned, in their ubiquitous adverts. With the novelty worn off (and security tightened), the store’s become the alternative next generation of Gap: you can’t walk into a bar without seeing someone sportily sporting the cheaply-priced, sturdy duds. Started questionable trends from the sweatband headband to glittery leggings. Recently started selling upmarket California-inspired vintage too.