Bookstores in San Francisco

In spite of the all digital world we live in, San Francisco has so many bookstores that asserted themselves as strong and hopefully evergreen landmarks in the City.




New and used books


Russian Hill Bookstore

Polk meeting place. Pretty warm and friendly store where you will find... books (used ones), but also greeting cards and miscellaneous gifts and widgets.

2234 Polk Street


Argonaut Bookshop

Specialized in the history of California and the American West.

Fyi, Argonauts was the name given to adventurers and pioneers who crossed the Cap Horn to reach California and dig gold.

786 Sutter (entre Jones et Taylor)

Their website



Green Apple Books and Music

New and used books, lots of widgets, stationery items, toys, games... Looks like a big and wide treasure chest. Just wander inside and take your time.

Meeting point on Clement, opened until quite late each and everyday.



And the relatively new store on 9th Avenue is such a great addition in the neighborhood. Bookstores are where people can meet, talk and share.

Spring 2016, they made the decision to collaborate with the famous Albertine de New York to offer a French corner with recent French booksat affordable prices. We totally love it!


506 Clement Street

1231 9th Avenue (former Le Video location)



Dog Eared Books

900 Valencia

Phoenix Books

3957 24th Street (en face de Whole Foods)

Red Hill Books

401 Cortland

Alley Cat Books

3036 24th street (entre Treat & Balmy street)

4 same kind stores in 4 different neighborhoods.

Economic, environmental friendly, really cosy and nice places.

For schoolbooks, for us or our kids, for gifts, for greeting cards, for some advise on american litterature... Help yourself.

One difference with Alley Cat Books: the art-exhibit-studio-workshop in the back. Great spot!

Their website (pretty attractive and well designed, each store having its own link on it).


Aardvark Books

A classic of its kind... They have some foreign litterature books.

227 Church Street



Borderlands books

Valencia's landmark

866 Valencia Street



Adobe Books

Great address to know on 24th. New and used books. Events and classes to check.

3130 24th Street



Bookshop West Portal

Books heaven in this neighborhood. A landmark of its kind.

80 West Portal Avenue



Independent bookstores:


City Lights 

Landmark! Grew up with SF.

261 Columbus av. -- Close to Broadway.



A beautiful bookstore to stop over on Haight street. Books and magazines.

1644 Haight St



Christopher's Bookstore

In Poterro since 1991! Its 25th anniversary on Hoodline.

1400 18th Street (at Missouri)



Local chain bookstores:


Books Inc 

3515 California -- Laurel Village

601 Van Ness --  Un peu au Nord du City Hall

2251 Chestnut -- Dans la Marina

Et plusieurs adresses encore dans la Baie.


Chronicle Books

Beautiful website and gorgeous stores full of colours as if we were in a candy store. Tempting!

680 2nd St. – close to South Park

1846 Union – between Laguna & Octavia

The Metreon (165 4th Street) - Brand new, just reopened.



International bookstores:


European Book Co

French, German and Spanish books.

Open to special orders.

925 Larkin = former address

The store moved to Oakland.

New name: European Books and Media.

New address as of June 2012:

6600 Shattuck avenue, Oakland.

A. Cavalli and Co

Italian books. A Café as well. A stop over in North Beach.

Go and have your own experience, because there is no website.

1441 Stockton -- @ Columbus avenue


Globus Slavic Bookstore

332 Balboa

Russian bookstore. War and Peace, original version...



Kids litterature


Most of bookstores above have a kids corner. But here is a few of other ideas.


Charlie's Corner Bookstore

With its tree of knowledge at its center, the store became the Moms' mecka to feed their kids' thought.

4102 24th Street


Museum stores --- Exploratorium, SF Moma, Academy of science….

They always have a kids corner with original, art like, pedagogical books.

Stores links:

Store @ the Exploratorium

Store @ the SFMoma

Store @ the Academy of Sciences

Store @ the de Young


Children's Creativity Museum

221 Fourth Street (@ Howard Street)



Cooking books:


Omnivore Bookstore

About cooking and everything related to food.

3885 Cesar Chavez


San Francisco Libraries:


In the first place, books will be found at... libraries, of course, where you will find awesome and dedicated people to help you, guide you and advise you.


Les bibliothèques de San Francisco 


There are 27 public libraries in San Francisco. Some of them, like the one in the Inner Richmond, have been remodeled and have even kids corners.


The latest great news... new schedules with extended hours for most of them and 7 days a week openings. The SF Examiner will give you detailed information.