The only time I visit a cookware store is to get specialty items for pastries. And I often go to Sur La Table. There are two stores in the area. One in San Francisco in Union Square (the ritzy shopping district) and the other in Berkeley in the 4th Street gourmet ghetto (another trendy shopping spot). Click here for Sur La Table
Otherwise, I shop in Chinatown, Korean markets and restaurant supply stores. There are small local businesses as well. Brown cookware in Oakland, and the Home Cook in Walnut Creek. And there's also this cookware shope that specializes in hard to find and antique cookware, particularly bakeware, somewhere in San Francisco. I don't know the name or location but that it exists. I've been hunting for it for a year. If your friend would venture down into San Mateo, she should definitely pay Draeger's Marketplace a visit. This place is amazing. They have a market, bakery, kitchenware store, bookstore, and restaurant all in one place. They are pricey and fancy. They have every hard to find item in stock or will be glad to order for you (they got me pistachio paste within 24 hrs.). Check it out Draeger's Marketplace
Another gift suggestion I think she might enjoy is a gift certificate for a cooking lesson. Tante Marie's Cooking School (in San Francisco), Draeger's Marketplace (in San Mateo), Sur La Table both locations, and I think California Culinary Academy offers them. I won't beat around the bush. I am a Tante Marie's graduate and I highly recommend this school. You can go to their website tante marie's cooking school
Your friend and we at this site are lucky to know such a generous person as you.
[ July 15, 2001: Message edited by: monpetitchoux ]