The Hard Times Handbook - Page 3

Free food, music, and movies. Cheap drinks, dates, and dining. Plus much, much more in our guide to surviving these tough times in style

Tucked into the corner of a little strip mall, this Goodwill has all those extremely fashionable hipster goods that have been leached from more populated thrift pastures or plucked by your favorite street-savvy designer to "repurpose" as their latest collection: buffalo check shirts, wolf-embellished T-shirts, Gunne Sax fairy-princess gowns, basketball jerseys, and '80s-era, multicolored zany-print tops that Paper Rad would give their beards for.

Salvation Army, 1500 Valencia, SF. (415) 643-8040, The OG of Mission District thrifting, this Salv has been the site of many an awesome discovery. Find out when the Army puts out the new goods. The Salvation soldiers may have cordoned off the "vintage" — read: higher priced — items in the store within the store, but there are still plenty of old books, men's clothing, and at times hep housewares and Formica kitchen tables to be had: I adore the rainbow Mork and Mindy parka vest I scored in the boys' department, as well as my mid-century-mod mustard-colored rocker.

Savers, 875 Main, Redwood City. (650) 364-5545, When the ladies of Hillsborough, Burlingame, and the surrounding 'burbs shed their oldest, most elegant offerings, the pickings can't be beat at this Savers. You'll find everything from I. Magnin cashmere toppers, vintage Gucci tweed, and high-camp '80s feather-and-leather sweaters to collectible dishware, antique ribbons, and kitsch-cute Holly Hobbie plaques. Strangest, oddly covetable missed-score: a psychiatrist's couch.

Thrift Town, 2101 Mission, SF. (415) 861-1132, When all else fails, fall back on this department store-sized megalith. Back in the day, thrift-oldsters tell me, they'd dig out collectible paintings and '50s-era bikes. Now you'll have to grind deeply to land those finds, though they're here: cute, mismatched, mid-century chairs; the occasional designer handbag; and '60s knit suits. Hint: venture into less picked-over departments like bedding. (Kimberly Chun)



San Francisco will not let you starve. Even if you're completely out of money, there are plenty of places and ways to fill your belly. Many soup kitchens operate out of churches and community centers, and lists can be downloaded and printed from and (which is also a great clearinghouse of information on social services in San Francisco.)Here's a list of some of our favorites.

Free hot meals

Curry without Worry Healthy, soul pleasing Nepalese food to hungry people in San Francisco. Every Tues. 5:45–7 p.m. on the square at Hyde and Market streets.

Glide, 330 Ellis. Breakfast 8-9 a.m., lunch noon-1:30 p.m. everyday. Dinner 4-5:30 p.m., M-F.

St. Anthony Dining Room, 45 Jones, Lunch everyday 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

St Martin de Porres Hospitality House, 225 Potrero Ave. Best bowl of oatmeal in the city. Tues.-Sat. breakfast from 6:30-7:30 a.m., lunch from noon-2 pm.. Sun. brunch 9-10:30 a.m. Often vegetarian options.


Food not Bombs Vegetarian soup and bread, but bring your own bowl. At the UN Plaza, Mon., 6 p.m.; Wed., 5:30 p.m. Also at 16th and Mission streets. Thurs. at 7:30 p.m.

Mother's Kitchen, 7 Octavia, Fri., 2:30-3:30. Vegan options.

Iglesia Latina Americana de Las Adventistas Seventh Dia, 3024 24th St. Breakfast 9:30-11 a.m., third Sun. of the month.

Grab and go sandwiches

Glide, bag meals to go after breakfast ends at 9 a.m.

St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 666 Filbert. 4-5 p.m. every day.


Curry Senior Center, 333 Turk. For the 60+ set.