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Hayes Valley Neighborhood Guide: Where to Eat, Drink, Shop & More

Hayes Valley Neighborhood Guide: Where to Eat, Drink, Shop & More

Hayes Valley San Francisco

With a bohemian charm and luxury flare, Hayes Valley could easily be transported from San Francisco to somewhere in Manhattan. Lined with upscale boutiques, some of the Bay Area’s hottest restaurants, and too many cafes to count, Hayes Valley has risen to the top of San Francisco’s trendiest neighborhoods.

While Hayes Valley is now a mecca for foodies and fashion lovers, it wasn’t always that way.

Over twenty years ago, Hayes Valley was symbolic of San Francisco’s drug and homeless problems; the neighborhood so many know and love today was inconceivable.

It wasn’t until the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake struck and destroyed the northern half of the city’s Central Freeway that this neighborhood got a second chance at redevelopment. At the time, the freeway passed over the neighborhood, crossing Octavia Boulevard and ending at Turk Street. The collapsed 101 freeway was completely demolished by CalTrans in 1992 and redevelopment began in Hayes Valley.

Today, the neighborhood features numerous upscale clothing boutiques and specialty shops, trendy restaurants, sophisticated bars, and several new and rising developments, including 300 Ivy388 Fulton400 Grove450 Hayes, and 555 Fulton.

As Hayes Valley continues to surge in commercial growth, its influence expands beyond neighborhood boundaries and overflowing into the Mid-Market, Alamo Square, Divisadero, and Western Addition neighborhoods.

Where to Eat in Hayes Valley

Monsieur Benjamin
$$$ | 451 Gough Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Monsieur Benjamin is the second project from chef Corey Lee, who has earned three Michelin stars for his other restaurant, Benu. This modern restaurant and bar was inspired by Parisian bistro culture and the great traditions of French cooking.
What to Order: Duck Confit or Arctic Char
Dinner: Monday–Sunday: 5:00PM–12:00AM
Brunch/Lunch: Saturday & Sunday: 11:00AM–2:30PM
Reservations: OpenTable

Pläj brings New Nordic cuisine and Scandinavian style to San Francisco. Photo: newrevmedia.com.

Pläj
$$ | 333 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Located inside the Inn at the Opera, Pläj is one of Hayes Valley’s hidden gems. With a focus on local and seasonal ingredients, Pläj brings the rustic flavors and simple elegance of the New Nordic cooking movement to San Francisco. If you though IKEA’s Swedish Meatballs were good, prepare to have your mind blown.
What to Order: Swedish Meatballs, Potato Dumplings, Taste of Herring, Mikkeller Pilsner
Dinner: Monday–Sunday: 11:00AM–10:00PM
Reservations: OpenTable

Suppenküche
$$ | 525 Laguna Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Suppenküche is an authentic German restaurant serving up traditional Bavarian fare, including brezels (pretzels) and schnitzels (fried cutlets). Open since 1993, Suppenküche is a Hayes Valley staple. If you’re looking for a warm, friendly atmosphere and great beer, Suppenküche is the place to go.
What to Order: Venison Medallions with Red Cabbage and Spätzle, don’t forget “Da Boot”
Dinner: Monday–Sunday: 5:00–10:00PM
Reservations: Only for parties of six or more people

Photo: Kyle Legg, 49miles.com.

Little Gem
$$ | 400 Grove Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Having just opened in December 2015, Little Gem is one Hayes Valley’s newest and buzzed-about arrivals. This fast-casual café offers complex, quality meals that are free of refined sugars, dairy and gluten. Little Gem has 75 seats and is a great spot to grab a quick, delicious, no-regrets meal.
What to Order: Slow Cooked Pork with Mushrooms & Brussel Sprouts
Dinner: Tuesday–Sunday: 8:00AM–9:00PM, Closed Mondays
Reservations: Walk-in only

Souvla
$ | 517 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Souvla is a fine-casual Greek sandwich shop and wine bar located in the heart of Hayes Valley. Inspired by souvlaki joints found all over Greece, Souvla has some of the best lamb sandwiches and falafels on this side of the Aegean (or at least Van Ness Ave.).
What to Order: Lamb Sandwich and a Sea Salt & Olive Oil Frozen Yogurt
Dinner: Monday–Sunday: 11:00AM–10:00PM
Reservations: Walk-in only

Where to Shop in Hayes Valley

Azalea
$$$ | 411 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Azalea is a trendy boutique located in the heart of Hayes Valley offering upscale clothing items, accessories and shoes.
Hours: Monday–Sunday: 11:00AM–7:00PM

See Also

Gimme Shoes
$$$ | 416 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Gimme Shoes is the go-to shoe store in San Francisco. This Hayes Valley establishment is known for its wide variety of designer men’s and women’s footwear and accessories.
Hours: Monday–Saturday: 11:00AM–7:00PM, Sunday: 12:00–6:00PM

Shops along Hayes Street. Photo: Kyle Legg, 49Miles.com.

Fiddlesticks
$$$ | 540 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Fiddlesticks is a children’s boutique with a wide variety of stylish apparel and outerwear, shoes and accessories. On top of Fiddlesticks’ inventory of high quality, well-made clothing, it also has a selection of childrens’ toys and books.
Hours: Monday–Sunday: 11:00AM–7:00PM

Where to Drink in Hayes Valley

The Riddler
$$$ | 528 Laguna Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Having Champagne Problems? Head to The Riddler in Hayes Valley to soak yourself in bubbles. If you manage to order 100 bottles of champagne, you will eventually earn a custom-embroidered bomber.
Hours: Tuesday–Friday: 4:00PM–10:00PM, Saturday: 11:00AM–11:00PM, Sunday: 11:00AM–9:00PM Closed Mondays

Anina
$$ | 482 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Anina is our favorite place to drink outside in San Francisco. This tropical island getaway-inspired cocktail lounge has a huge outdoor patio with tables, and most importantly, punch bowls.
Hours: Monday–Sunday: 2:00PM–2:00AM

Where to Get Coffee in Hayes Valley

Blue Bottle Coffee, Linden Alley
$$$ | 411 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Coffee lovers everywhere flock to Blue Bottle for delicious, handcrafted beverages — especially their famous iced coffee drinks: the chicory-flavored New Orleans Iced Coffee and creamy Vietnamese Iced Coffee. Our favorite Blue Bottle outpost is without a doubt the semi-hidden Linden Alley shop in Hayes Valley which operates out of a garage, and surrounded by graffiti art. A perfect pit stop before or after a day of shopping Hayes Valley’s many boutiques.
Hours: Monday–Sunday: 11:00AM–7:00PM

Ritual Coffee, PROXY SF
$$ | 432b Octavia Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Ritual Coffee Roasters sparked a coffee renaissance in San Francisco after opening in 2005. Based out of The Mission, Ritual has expanded to include four locations including Bayview’s Flora Grubb Gardens and Napa’s Oxbow Public Market. Our favorite is the outpost at Hayes Valley’s PROXY — a modified shipping container that’s positively hipsteriffic. Get caffeinated with their delicious Gibraltar Coffee, San Francisco’s version of a Cortado, and head over to Chantal Guillon to pick up a sweet pairing.
Hours: Monday–Sunday: 7:00AM–7:00PM

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