Hayes Valley

Hayes Valley sculpture Alley Cat Guides SF
Photo cred: darwin Bell

Hayes Valley

Not actually a valley, but super cute nonetheless, this trendy little nook of a neighborhood contains tons of good restaurants and boutiques.

Hayes Valley Food

  • Smitten Ice Cream (432 Octavia St, Suite 1A): Made to order ice cream using liquid nitrogen and locally sourced ingredients housed in a renovated shipping container. Fresh and delicious!
  • Haye’s Valley Biergarten (424 Octavia St): Opens at 3:00. The city’s only true beer garden with large steins and high quality German fare. It’s perfect on a sunny day, but tends to get quite crowded.
  • Zuni Café (1658 Market St): The late chef Judy Rodgers was a student of Alice Waters of Chez Panisse (credited with inventing California seasonal farm-to-table cuisine). Their roasted chicken is out of this world and I love the space!
  • Suppenkutch (525 Laguna St): The communal tables here create a warm, friendly (and loud!) atmosphere that perfectly complements the hearty German food and beer. Order “the boot” for an Instagram-worthy challenge.
  • Two Sisters Bar and Books (579 Hayes St): For cocktail loving bibliophiles – an intimate bar owned by two sisters with an inspired aesthetic from their worldly travels. They serve up creative cocktails and well-crafted bites with a great selection of old books
  • Patxi’s (511 Hayes St): This is the kind of pizza place you can easily get addicted, so be careful. The deep dish pizzas take a while but are well worth the wait! Several locations throughout the city.

Coffee in Hayes Valley

  • Ritual Coffee (432b Octavia St): An outdoor coffee shop. Well-known coffee.
  • Arlequin Café (384 Hayes St): Best outdoor patio in the city, try their lemon and chocolate beignets
  • Momi Toby’s Revolution Café (528 Laguna St): One of the last remaining locally owned sidewalk cafes with solid food options and a good beer selection. Grab a spot on the front patio and you’re likely to strike up a conversation with a local.

Hayes Valley Nightlife & Drink

  • SF Jazz Center (201 Franklin St): Excellent sound in an intimate auditorium make this the perfect spot to catch some live jazz or blues. They bring in world-class talent.
  • Rickshaw Stop (155 Fell St): Intimate venue that hosts up and coming artists and always ends the night with a sweaty dance party. Head there on Thursdays for the weekly Popscene club night (sometimes 18+).
  • Place Pigalle (520 Hayes St): Casual, solid, dependable bar with couches and pool. I’d try to grab either the couches in the back or the front table to watch foot traffic of Hayes.
  • Noir Lounge (581 Hayes St): Beautiful, old school space that screens black and white films while serving up a variety of wines and small plates
  • Smuggler’s Cove (650 Gough St): Pirate themed bar decked out as if you’re on a ship. They serve a variety of exotic rum cocktails as if you were vacationing in the Caribbeans. Popular and kitschy. If you’re with a group, make sure to try one of their infamous punch bowls. You’ve been warned!