Once one of San Francisco’s sketchier neighborhoods, Hayes Valley is morphing so fast, Google Street View hasn’t been accurate in years. During the day, this cluster of boutique shops, creative eateries, and neighborly bars offers a great excuse for strolling, browsing, people-watching and leisurely dining. At night, the vibe of the neighborhood can shift radically depending on who’s performing at nearby Davies Symphony Hall, the War Memorial Opera House and the SFJAZZ Center.
Find a locally made bag for nearly every purpose at Timbuk2. Browse upscale vintage shop Ver Unica for high-quality finds, from belts to baubles to dresses. Marine Layer sells sweat-shirts, tees and scarves that are made in San Francisco from sustainable materials.
Find elevated comfort food and California brews on tap in a folksy lodge-style set-ting at The Grove. Stroll up Gough Street for budget-friendly Vietnamese bánh mì, rolls and bowls at Dragon Eats. On a sunny day, get an outdoor table at A Mano for handcrafted pasta and pizza.
Neighborhood cornerstone Absinthe offers classic French specialties and oysters, but the crafted cock-tails are a top attraction. Laid-back, tropical Anina is where local workers go to chill on the patio. If the island vibe isn’t working, walk next door to Brass Tacks for cool cocktails in a casual lounge.
Photo courtesy Absinthe