HAIGHT / ASHBURY
Make Haight, not war! Haight-Ashbury has long been synonymous with the free love, peace, and mind-altering counterculture that blossomed here in the 60’s. Nowadays, that freewheeling influence remains, alongside upscale boutiques, colorful Victorian homes, eclectic eateries, and quirky cafes. The Haight is a great place to feed your head.
The area known as the Haight is divided into “Upper” and “Lower” sections; Upper Haight, known as Haight-Ashbury, is the area closer to the park, west of Divisadero, and is the part that is most closely associated with the storied hippie history of the area; Lower Haight, east of Divisadero, is home to a funky bunch of unique boutiques, open mic cafes, and punk spirited bars.
Easy access to Golden Gate Park makes Upper Haight a dreamy locale for urban dwellers to indulge their hankering for the great outdoors. All the wilderness wonderment of the wilderness, without the threat of grizzly bears. Once you’ve worked up an appetite channeling your spirit animal at the Hippie Hill drum circle, there are plenty of places to refuel and mingle with the locals. Start at the Alembic for your fancy cocktail fix, savor Caribbean cuisine at Cha Cha Cha, then get a few scoops at Ben & Jerry’s.
Across Divisadero, Lower Haight is at the edgier end of the entertainment and watering hole spectrum. A punk meets bohemian vibe is woven into the fabric of this lower altitude side of the street. Drink in the grunge atmosphere at long-time rebel mecca, Molotov. In need of a good, old-fashioned Irish bar? Head to Danny Coyle’s for the perfect pint of Guinness. And for a micro-brew-snob sausage fest, head to Toronado, a beer-only bar that happens to be located right next door to the some of the city’s most famous gourmet brats and links, Rosamunde.
Both Upper and Lower Haight are easily accessed by multiple MUNI lines that carry riders downtown or out to the Ocean. Castro, Western Addition, NOPA and Mission Dolores are all a short walk or even shorter bike ride away.