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San Francisco's Deco Ghetto

Art and food mingle on Market Street.

deco period bronze at L’Art Deco Français, San Francisco, image
Photo caption
Calling all decophiles: a 1930s bronze at L’Art Deco Français.

Quaint and pretty it is not. The stretch of Market Street between Franklin and Guerrero in San Francisco is heavily trafficked and gritty. But it also offers a wide spectrum of urban experiences: uncommon shops, creative restaurants, and a cluster of dealers selling art deco antiques. Area code is 415.

  • Judy Rodgers's Zuni Cafe is a longtime neighborhood anchor. The menu changes daily but it always features Rodgers's fabled Caesar salad and roasted chicken. 1658 Market St., 552-2522.
  • A meal at Zuni Cafe is an event; DeLessio is for anytime. The kid-friendly, buffet-style café serves doz-ens of homey dishes, including a super mac 'n' cheese. Save room for cupcakes. 1695 Market St., 552-5559, www.delessiomarket.com.
  • You stop in the vast and wondrous 68-year-old Flax Art & Design for a glue gun. You leave, breathless, with charcoals, a Milanese ink set, and handmade paper. Flax carries 10,000 different paper patterns. 1699 Market St., 552-2355, www.flaxart.com.
  • Collectors of art deco pieces may swoon when they step into Another Time, which specializes in birch furniture manufactured by New England's Heywood-Wakefield company. 1710 Market St., 553-8900.
  • L'Art Deco Français focuses on shiny, showy, and pricey European art deco: gleaming 1930s rosewood dining chairs from Lyon ($8,200 for six), dramatic Baccarat crystal bowls, and a pair of handsome Danish end tables. 1680 Market St., 863-5483.
  • Once you've seen enough boomerang-shaped deco, check out New Deal's zany cowhide-upholstered beds, contemporary candleholders carved out of rock salt, and cushions embroidered with images of suburban tract houses. 1632-B Market St., 552-6208, www.newdealhome.com.
  • Perhaps the quirkiest store in the enclave is the petite Bell'occhio, which sells exquisite oddities: vintage ribbons, candles shaped like Parisian macaroons, and CDs of birdsongs recorded in the Alps. 8 and 10 Brady St., 864-4048, www.bellocchio.com.

Photography by Sean Arbabi

This article was first published in November 2006. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.