Don't let the neon sign reading “Meat Locker” dissuade you: This is one of the best vintage stores on the Haight's row. It stands apart for its generous size (no squeezing among packed racks here), and refreshing organization. The store's wares are cataloged like a library, whether you're looking for retro jumpsuits, pillbox hats, naval uniforms, fur coats or letterman jackets. While other vintage stores are apt to heap an armful of dresses onto the same rack, here they're divided into discerning subsections: long '80s prom, hippie chic, '70s disco and Victorian among them. The store is loosely arranged from casual to formal, with tie-dyed and graphic tees up front and blazers, suits and gowns in the back. Two giant stands hold retro hats, and the tall shoe racks are rife with cowboy and riding boots.
San Francisco holds a special place in the history of the counterculture movement of the 1960s and ’70s, and Haight-Ashbury still feels like a hangover from that bygone era—not only in the lingering tie-dye and head shops. There's a critical mass of vintage clothing and shoe stores in the neighborhood, each specializing in period duds from the 1920s to the ’80s. But the city is also home to a competitive array of vintage furniture stores, feeding San Franciscans’ insatiable desire for reclaimed wood, shabby-chic furnishings, weathered knickknacks and industrial lighting. The wares are scavenged from estate sales, flea markets and garage sales from throughout the Bay Area and greater California, then lovingly restored for midcentury modern devotees. Here are our picks for the best vintage stores in the city, whether you're hunting for ’70s platform sandals or an authentic Eames lounger. Also check out our favorite thrift stores.