Why We Love It: City Lights Bookstore still holds down the fort as the last bastion of the Beats in San Francisco. An iconic landmark to the free speech movement, City Lights is still a must-visit for any literary minded visitor to San Francisco and they stock a huge selection of food magazines as well as cookbook titles. While we're inevitably drawn to the poetry section, which is where the heart of the store lies, books on food and cooking are well represented as well. Proprietor and City Lights publisher Laurence Ferlinghetti is a farmers market shopper himself, we've seen him pull up on his bike to the CUESA Farmers Market on Saturday mornings.
HISTORY: Laurence Ferlinghetti put San Francisco and City Lights on the map in 1956 when he published Ginsberg’s infamous Howl and Other Poems. Ferlinghetti was charged with obscenity for publishing the book and a high-profile trial ensued. In the end, he prevailed and Howl has sold nearly a million copies of its City Lights edition.