826 Valencia (Pirate Store)
Located in the Mission district, this pirate supply shop was established in 2002 by author Dave Eggers and teacher Nínive Calegari to fund the adjacent nonprofit writing and tutoring center for young students. Chandeliers and nets hang from the wood slat ceiling, and the walls are lined with signs entitled “Guidelines for New Shipmates” and “Uses for Lard.” There’s also a fish tank and a sand-filled treasure box (kids can keep a piece of treasure if they share a joke). The inventory ranges from spyglasses and eye patches to pirate flags, hooks, T-shirts, and belly of the whale escape kits.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.