City Lights Bookstore

(415) 362-8193 | View Website

261 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA | Directions   94133

37.7976 -122.407

Open Hours

Monday To Sunday From 10:00 AM To 12:00 AM

Agriculture & Forestry, Attractions, Bookstores  more

More Categories: Newspaper Distributors

Neighborhoods: Northeast, Chinatown

City Lights Bookstore
City Lights Bookstore

From The Owners of City Lights Bookstore

Reviews for City Lights Bookstore


One of the few places in the city where you can find the work of small press publishers.

over a year ago

Pleasant atmosphere! – My friends and I bought several books and some small chotchkie items from City Lights and had the best time hunting for obscure titles. I think the guy behind the desk got a kick out of us having so much fun! Highly recommend as this shop is for great times, soul searching and pleasant atmosphere!

Doesn't Recommend
over a year ago

The worst customer service in all of San Francisco. SAD. – This was at the top of our places to visit while we were in town. It wasn't the best experience. After the way the staff treated us, I'd never give them my money. It's a neat store, so it's unforunate that they have zero customer service. I took down the ISBNs of the books we planned to buy and ordered them from halfdotcom from the hotel. Olivia had to go to the bathroom and there was no "public" restroom, meaning I had to bolt out the door with Olivia trying to find a restaurant employee with a kind heart. It was surrounded by strip clubs, construction, hole-in-the wall places with signs that read "restrooms are for customers only." Obviously this place had a restroom (for employees). They were completely unapologetic even going so far as to argue with us later, "When you asked, did you say, 'My kid needs to [obscenity deleted]?'" Dude, I don't talk like that. The one guy asked, "Do YOU have a business?" Um, yeah, and I treat my customers with respect, like they are exceptional people and I feel privileged to have their patronage. He wanted to make the point that I didn't realize how complicated running a business could be. He actually doesn't have a business. He works at one.

over a year ago

If you've ever clutched a dog-eared book by one of the Beat writers, you probably know this place well. – In Short
This little piece of history was founded by Lawrence Ferlinghetti as an outgrowth of his small-press imprint, which introduced us to Allen Ginsburg, Jack Kerouac and most gloriously, Frank O'Hara. Now a North Beach tradition, this well-worn haunt blends right in with the neighboring trattorias and strip clubs. You'll find a vast assortment of poetry and fiction here.

over a year ago

Everything under the sun! – This is one of those places where I could go in and browse for hours...days, if they didn't ever close. If you're interested in poetry or just love to try some new piece of fiction, this is the Mecca. Come and visit the "home" of the Beat Generation. Don't expect this to be a new and trendy bookstore with lots of "elbow room" to sit and chat. Here, you'll find every nook and cranny stuffed with books and more books. If you're a lover of the written word...make a pilgrimage to City Lights and just take it all in.

over a year ago

North Beach Landmark – Want a bookstore that's not all about Danielle Steel, Stephen King and Dean Ornish? This is the bookstore for people who really read, write, and care about books. Don't miss the fab poetry room upstairs.


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City Lights Bookstore

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Won for:
Bookstore (2009)
Bookstore (2007)
Nominations Nominated for:
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