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Sets the bar for independent shoe shops with a stellar selection of brands including Aerosoles, Born, Diesel, Simple, Wanted, and Dansko.

Stocks a multitude of shampoos, conditioners, gels, sprays, and relaxers — and that’s only the hair products.

A shop selling a mix of functional and artistic Italian ceramics.

Sells an eclectic, eccentric, and egalitarian treasure trove of secondhand books, and hosts occasional in-store shows and author events.

Catch live music from Bay Area bands every Sunday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Wednesdays 6 to 9 p.m. Expect to hear jazz, world grooves, blues, and roots music from local ensembles and never pay a cover. Cato’s is open for lunch and dinner and has free wireless. Test your wits at trivia every Monday, or come for karaoke every first and third Saturday. The beer selection is impressive. There are also wine options, but no liquor is served. The menu includes pizza and pub fare, and the kitchen is open until 10 or 11 depending on the day.

Offers a wide range of comic books to complement the selection of board and card games up front.

With circuit training, personal trainers, and boot camp, as well as a variety of classes and open equipment use.

The many tables set up throughout the late-night coffee shop attract regular crowds of laptop-using coffee drinkers, and the resulting people-watching opportunities are arguably almost as good as the coffee.

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