Tick, tock, it's panic o'clock, Christmas shoppers
This Noe Valley treasure is billed as "San Francisco's Original Chocolate Boutique" — but we call it Dr Coacoa-nassus' Chocolatarium of Head-Explosion and Wonderment. There is every kind of fantasy chocolate bar combination to be found within its charming bounds — maple-coconut chocolate, blueberry chocolate, gingerbread chocolate, luscious vegan chocolate truffles, tiny bon bons with the face of Mrs. Claus sculpted upon them! People, they had Obama chocolates here during the election. The walls are lined with mystery cabinets labeled with street signs indicating the theme of the candy within, making for an adventurous shopping experience as well.
4069 24th St., SF. (415) 641-8123, www.chocolatecoveredsf.com
ALL OF JAPANTOWN CENTER
Seriously, there is so much of interest here you can't go wrong. Insanely detailed, completely untranslatable magazines devoted to singular cats and manga insanity at Kinokuniya Books; novelty fruit and animal eraser sets at Mai Do Fine Stationery so full of squee you want to eat them; scary-good replica samurai swords at Katachi; exquisitely wrapped boxes of chocolate strawberry mochi at Nippon Ya ... spend a couple hours wandering this mall and you'll come out with some really unique presents. Plus you'll be full of delicious sushi and hot tea.