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The total beginner’s guide: Scoring shrooms in San Francisco, 7 different ways

Not sure where to find magic mushrooms in the Bay? Let us count the ways

An assortment of colorful, psychedelic-themed packaged mushroom products are displayed on a green surface.
An assortment of magic mushroom products purchased by a San Francisco Standard reporter over the course of several weeks. | Source: Justin Katigbak/The Standard

I thought ordering up a batch of magic mushrooms in San Francisco might be challenging, or at least complicated. But I was wrong. 

“Hey Christina, this is Tony from Mush Love. Do you have any questions about our menu or services today?” asked a pleasant, customer-service-sounding voice on the end of the line. 

Why yes, I did! Not only as a journalist (was this even legal?), but as a complete newb to the world of psychedelics. 

I was a shrooms virgin, I confessed, sourcing up for my first trip—and seeking to take the edge off work as a stressed-out reporter.

A Galaxy Labs chocolate bar of dark chocolate and almonds peeks out of gold foil wrapping.
Organizations like The Living Church in the the Tenderloin sell mushroom chocolates over the counter. | Source: RJ Mickelson/The Standard

“I would probably put you in a similar boat as me, personally,” said Tony, who had spent 10 years slaving away in the weed industry before joining “the Church of the Mush Love,” as he put it. “A lot of new members to our organization, they’re looking for a transcendental experience.” 

After swiftly signing me up with the church with a quick FaceTime call to verify my identity, he recommended one package of Portal Microdose gummies for $50, one vegan 2.5-gram Meanie chocolate bar for $20 and 12 Lions Mane Microdose capsules for $30. That would meet the $100 minimum purchase, or “donation,” for the order of shrooms to be delivered to my door the next day. 

“For the record, I’m not a doctor,” he said. “But that would be my ‘Take two and call me in the morning’ kind of deal.”

The next morning, a silver SUV rolled up to my apartment, and its tatted passenger handed me off a black goody bag in exchange for a fistful of twenties.  

Could it be that easy to get shrooms in the Bay Area? Apparently, it is. 

With magic mushrooms effectively decriminalized in San Francisco and Oakland, gone are the days where you need to “know a guy” who grows mycelium in his closet to secure the substance. Instead, shroom-curious buyers have a bewildering array of options competing for their mushroom dollars.

You can purchase from a shroom church or off a streetside flyer. You can walk up to a street stand in the Castro or venture to an underground mushroom and cannabis flea market in Oakland where vendors pour complimentary tequila shots for frequent buyers. 

But which of these options offered the safest purchasing and consuming experience? Which were the easiest systems to navigate and the most professional to deal with? Who offered the best shroom bang for the buck? I decided to try all of the buying options and find out.

It should be noted that psilocybin is still considered a Schedule 1 substance by the federal government, which is defined as a drug with “with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office said, “The sale of ‘magic’ mushrooms (psilocybin) is illegal in San Francisco. Cases presented to us by law enforcement for the sale of psilocybin will be prosecuted if they are provable.”

The Oakland Police Department wrote to us that “sales of psilocybin [are] still a felony violation of the CA health and safety code,” that text or phone mushroom delivery services are not legal, and that smoke shops “are not supposed to sell psilocybin.” 

So shop responsibly and 'shroom at your own risk.

A flyer with a QR code on a utility pole advertises a magic mushroom delivery service with a phone number. Background shows urban street with buildings.
A Mush Love delivery service flyer hang on a telephone pole on the corner of Gough and Union Streets in Cow Hollow. | Source: Christina Campodonico/The Standard

Option 1: Find a flyer

If you’re wondering where I found the number for Mush Love, the answer is simple: I got it off a telephone pole. 

Whether roaming in the Mission or the Marina, if you’ve got mushrooms on your mind, keep your eyes peeled for black-and-white flyers usually affixed to street poles. There you will inevitably find a flyer emblazoned with the iconic umbrella profile of capped mycelium. During my multiweek quest, my Standard colleagues and I spotted three different magic mushroom purveyors hawking delivery services via flyers.   

Some have a QR code in the shape of a shroom that you can scan to take you to a website, but usually, the flyers direct you to text or call a number. (Call using WhatsApp, Signal or Telegram for an added layer of security).   

From there, the process is pretty straightforward. I called to get the menu, did a quick FaceTime with a Mush Love phone fielder to verify my identity, then set a delivery time and meet-up point.    

“It’s rudimentary, but it works,” said Corey, a volunteer with Mush Hub, a similar sounding but totally different delivery service from Mush Love. “And that’s basically the formula.” 

Convenience (out of 5): ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Sketchiness (out of 5): 😬😬😬
Price (out of 3): 💲💲💲

A gloved hand is dropping mushrooms into a paper box on a digital scale, reading 162.18 grams.
Loving Teacher mushrooms fall to a scale at Ambrosia’s Door, the San Francisco branch of Oakland’s Zide Door psychedelic mushroom church in SoMa. | Source: Paul Kuroda for The Standard

Option 2: Go to church

If sourcing drugs via flyers sounds a bit dicey, head to Ambrosia’s Door, the San Francisco branch of Oakland’s Zide Door psychedelic mushroom church in SoMa. The catch: you have to be ready to declare your religious beliefs—or at least be willing to stretch the truth about them.

Access to the house of worship’s shroom room requires becoming a member of the Church of Ambrosia, the nondenominational religion behind Zide Door and Ambrosia’s Doo. First, you fill out a lengthy form on an iPad, which includes answering questions like “Do you support the private adult use of entheogenic plants?” (Me: obviously.) and “Do you accept entheogenic plants (including cannabis and mushrooms) as part of your religion?” (I do now!)

“I'm not thought police, so I can't really stop somebody” from lying, said Dave Hodges, Zide Door’s founder. “But if they tell us that they don't believe in the religious use, then we would ban them.”

A man is sitting cross-legged on a chair in an art gallery with paintings on the walls and rows of white chairs.
Pastor Dave Hodges oversees Ambrosia’s Door, the San Francisco branch of Oakland’s Zide Door psychedelic mushroom church in SoMa. | Source: Paul Kuroda for The Standard

“We take it very seriously,” he added. “This is, to me, access to your soul.”   

After checking the appropriate boxes and (possibly?) signing away my soul, I’m whisked upstairs to a cafe of sorts. (I was also forced to sign more than my life savings away. The church requires members to sign a rather intimidating agreement “under penalty of perjury” that threatens a $100,000 fine for any “inaccurate information given.”) 

There, in the lounge rimmed by psychedelic paintings, parishioners can confer with a spiritual counselor, consult a “spiritual use and safety guide” on properly dosing and peruse a menu of shrooms—or “sacraments”—off a laminated menu. 

Offerings range from 400-milligram Happy Bite Size chocolates to cherry-flavored microdose “mibblers.” Notably, items on the menu are priced out not by dollar signs but by time, illustrated by an alarm clock, indicating that members of the church can exchange time or volunteer labor for the shrooms. But a simple cash contribution will also do. 

“You're contributing money to the church to cover our expenses incurred and produced,” Hodge explained. “We’re not selling anything.”

Like I said, it’s up to you whether you choose to believe in the religious stuff—just be sure to bring cash.   

Convenience (out of 5): ⭐⭐⭐
Sketchiness (out of 5): 😬😬
Price (out of 3): 💲💲

A person examines items at a street stall while the vendor smiles and stands behind a table with various objects and a sign.
An customer gives a donation to the Church of Cosmic Consciousness in the Castro District. The church sets up a table every day to recruit members and accept donations towards the church. | Source: Gina Castro/The Standard

Option 3: Find a sidewalk stand 

Of course, there isn’t just one mushroom church in this town. The Church of Cosmic Consciousness has a stand across the street from the Castro Theatre operated by church members from 3 to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 to 8 p.m. the rest of the week—and you could say they’re very eager to spread the gospel of the shrooms.

While the church insists that it doesn’t push or market mushrooms to passersby, a stop by the stand is easily punctuated by an “amen” or “praise be to funghi” if you run into the church’s “Mushroom Pope” and founder, Jade Edaj, and inquire about the church’s mission.

“The city needs help. Human beings need help,” said Edaj, who established the church to help neighbors in mental health distress. “And if we can save some people from having a terrible time in life or wanting to end their life, that's my mission.”

A smiling man in a tie-dye shirt holds magic mushrooms, standing before a colorful tapestry.
Jade Edaj, also known as the Mushroom Pope, leads the Church of Cosmic Consciousness, in the Castro District in San Francisco. | Source: Gina Castro/The Standard

After a mini-sermon, you can sign up for the church via an online form, which also asks if “you embrace the use of entheogenic plants and fungi, such as cannabis and mushrooms, as part of your religious or spiritual beliefs?”

You can Venmo a “Thank You” donation to the Church of Cosmic Consciousness for some sacrament—whether it be a golden-wrapped chocolate bar of Golden Teacher ($55) or a groovy bottle of microdose capsules emblazoned with an astronaut ($45).  

Convenience (out of 5): ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Sketchiness (out of 5): 😬
Price (out of 3): 💲💲💲

A hand holds a 'Magic Mushroom Chocolate' bar in front of a blurred Smoke and Glass shop sign.
Bliss Mushroom's Magic Mushroom Chocolate bar can be purchased at Smoke & Glass Shop at 344 12th St. in Oakland. | Source: Christina Campodonico/The Standard

Option 4: Find a head shop 

While The Standard can confirm that there are a handful of smoke shops within San Francisco city limits that offer Bliss Mushroom chocolate bars, we’re not going to rat them out. The ones we popped into pleaded with us not to name names for fear of getting in trouble with the state, and why would we deprive the good people of San Francisco of such psychedelic joy? 

You can, however, find a running list of Bliss Mushroom sellers via its website, so we’ll let you do some online sleuthing on your own. You can also keep your eyes peeled for Bliss’s purple and green logo of sinuous psilocybin mushrooms.  

Alternately, you can hoof it Oakland as I did on a recent Wednesday, where I scored a 35-gram milk chocolate magic mushroom bar for $62 at Glass and Smoke Shop at 344 12th St. In a first for my mushroom journey, they actually accepted a credit card—for an extra $2. Save yourself some coin on the bars ranging in price from $60 to $80 by paying with a debit card (only a 15-cent fee), or with cold hard cash. 

Convenience (out of 5): ⭐⭐⭐
Sketchiness (out of 5): 😬😬😬😬
Price (out of 3): 💲💲💲

A hand holds a clear bag with dry magic mushrooms; people relax in a sunny park in the blurry background.
Standard reporter Christina Campodonico holds up a bag of psychedelic mushrooms purchased at Dolores Park in San Francisco’s Mission District. | Source: Morgan Ellis/The Standard

Option 5: Find a park

Of course, you could always get shrooms the classic San Francisco way—by heading to Dolores Park. 

The park’s rolling greens are well known for its mushroom men proffering their products out of woven baskets or toadstool-shaped jars. Some even carry bright-colored backpacks with patches that say “shrooms for sale” or ring a cowbell to get your attention. But more often than not, they’ll come to you once you plop down on a patch of grass. 

To beckon a shroom seller, “Just sit down. That’s the tip,” said Luke, a 37-year-old Dolores Park regular.

I was in the park for less than 30 minutes when a bearded dude who looked like he’d just stumbled out of a Grateful Dead concert asked me if I was “interested in psychedelic mushrooms?” I took some off his hands for $20 cash—although some sellers, I’m told, do take Venmo.     

Prices can range from $20 for an eighth, or about a fistful of mushrooms, to $45 for a four-gram “magic chocolate bar.” Negotiation is not unheard of. 

“I accept all sob stories,” said Fred, a 65-year-old shrooms seller I befriended Easter Sunday. “I want people to be able to do shrooms.”  

But before brokering a deal, experienced Dolores Park shrooms buyers say to vibe-check the seller. It’s not unlike dating, Luke added. If you feel “stranger danger,” he advised, don’t buy from the guy.  

Two people in colorful costumes stand near large, whimsical mushroom sculptures in a wooded area.
Attendees stand near giant, decorative mushrooms at the “Bubble Tea Party” in Golden Gate Park during Day One of Outside Lands on Friday, August 11, 2023. | Source: Morgan Ellis/The Standard

And before you take a heroic dose of shrooms you’ve bought in the park, it is wise to sample them first with a microdose.  

“Whenever you're purchasing psychedelics from a new person, under-dose yourself. Take less than you imagine you would like to take because you can always take more, but you can’t take it away,” said Felix, a 31-year-old chef, who started buying shrooms in Dolores Park more than a decade ago. “It's like salt in a kitchen. You can always add salt, but once it's over-seasoned, you're screwed.” 

Convenience (out of 5): ⭐⭐⭐
Sketchiness (out of 5): 😬😬😬😬
Price (out of 3): 💲

Assorted dried mushrooms are scattered on a wooden surface, one large with a vibrant cap.
Mushrooms are displayed in James McConchie’s store, Haight Street Shroom Shoppe on Monday, Aug. 8, 2022. | Juliana Yamada/The Standard | Source: Juliana Yamada/The Standard

Option 6: Find a “farmers’ market” 

In the mushroom mecca that is Oakland, a recent walk around Lake Merritt led me to meet a dreadlocked bass electronic music player named Maria, who clued me into a semi-secret gathering of cannabis and mushroom vendors in Oakland.

“It’s like a farmers' market for weed,” she said, “but they also have some shrooms laid out.”

Indeed, somewhere between a brick-and-mortar store and a sidewalk shroom stand is the marketplace known as Terped Out. My shroom-savvy friend told me about its private Instagram account, @officialterpfam, which selectively approves customers based on an unclear methodology. 

To get the address for the market—usually held somewhere in West or East Oakland from 3-8 p.m. or 2-7 p.m. on Thursdays and Saturdays—you’ll need to DM the organizers.

Bring $10 cash for admission, and once you’re in, you can peruse a small selection of Chewbacca or Penis Envy varietals (both starting at $15 for an eighth of an ounce, $35 for half an ounce or $70 for a full ounce) laid out like so much seasonal fruit at a farmers’ market stand—if that kiosk were at a dark hip-hop club, with rap music blasting, the scent of weed wafting the air and vendors pouring complimentary shots of tequila if you buy enough goods.   

You may even find something artisanal, like a purple-, pink- or green-tinted homemade shroom lemonade, which I bought for $10 from a man named Mr. Happy. Cash is king, but some vendors, like Mr. Happy, take digital payment through Cash App. 

The whole market has a very … underground feel—organizers would not comment if the market was permitted—but it may be one of the most unique ways to acquire shrooms in the Bay Area.      

Convenience (out of 5): ⭐⭐
Sketchiness (out of 5): 😬😬😬😬😬
Price (out of 3): 💲

Hands hold dried magic mushrooms with a colorful blouse in the background.
Pastor Dave Hodges holds a handful of White Buffalo mushrooms in the storage room at Ambrosia’s Door. | Source: Paul Kuroda for The Standard

Option 7: The Cadillac plan 

Slightly sketched out from my excursion to meet Mr. Happy, Maria advised me that I needed to find a “wizard” to guide me on my next adventure.  

In other words, I needed a trip sitter. Although I could have turned to a trustworthy friend or sober buddy to support me through my first experience with shrooms, I was curious about how much it would cost to have a professional hold my hand.    

A friend of a friend led me to this Cadillac plan: a potentially life-altering spiritual and therapeutic experience like those provided by psychedelic minister Lisa Q. Fetterman.

Fetterman, who’s credentialed as clergy through a nonprofit religious organization known as the Congregation for Sacred Practices, offers a $3,000 “ceremony bubble” experience. The package includes two 50-minute prep sessions, one 4-to-12-hour ceremony day and two post-trip integration sessions to debrief from the psychedelic experience. You can also opt for a $1,500 “mini-ceremony bubble” with two prep sessions and one mini-ceremony—although sliding scale pricing is available for both programs. 

But just because you pay big bucks doesn’t mean that you get to go straight to shroomland, as I learned during a consultation session where I laid out how I was looking to take off the edge from work with a trippy experience.    

“It’s very, very rare that I take on a client and we do psilocybin first,” she said. “Mushrooms are basically a pretty big wild card.” 

Instead, Fetterman recommended I begin my psychedelic journey with MDMA—and save my plethora of shrooms for later. 

“I’m not sure there is really a deadline on psychedelics,” she said. 

For its part, Psychedelic Passage, a Denver-based psychedelic facilitator match-making service, offers a “concierge” program that starts off with a $49 intake call and goes up to $1,500 to $4,000 depending on income—although the company says it has sponsorships and financial assistance programs available. 

A smiling woman holds an iPad and stands in an indoor setting with artwork on the walls.
Standard reporter Christina Campodonico fills out the application to become a member of The Church of Ambrosia. | Source: Paul Kuroda for The Standard

After the company sets up a few consultations with facilitators in your area, you can choose your own adventure and decide whether to participate in a microdose or macrodose program or some combination of the two.  

“We've realized that there's a lot of people who are interested in psychedelic use, but they don't have actionable and tangible pathways on how to move forward,” said Psychedelic Passage co-founder Jimmy Nguyen. 

But just because it’s easy to book a call and a service, doesn’t mean you should just jump in.    

“We’re in the Wild West of psychedelic trip sitters,” said Allison Feduccia, a Ph.D.-holding neuropharmacologist. She’s also the CEO and co-founder of the Santa Cruz-based online platform Psychedelic.support, a directory of licensed health professionals and psychedelic community groups. With for-profit services, she says, “there’s other motivations there, and there’s not necessarily a rigorous oversight of these guides.”

Just like finding your preferred shroom guy, check the vibe of your trip guide. Feel them out for green flags—good rapport, CPR, first-aid training, and an emergency or contingency plan should things go awry. Any creepy, sexual vibes or inappropriate touching are a major run signal.   

“I always tell people to follow their intuition,” Feduccia said. “If they have a gut feeling that they don't jive well with a therapist or a group, really honor that and keep looking for someone that feels like the right fit.”

As for me, I’m still looking for my trip sitter, but when I’m ready, my shrooms will be there. 

Convenience (out of 5): ⭐⭐⭐
Sketchiness (out of 5): 😬😬
Price (out of 3): 💲💲💲