The centrally located neighborhood of Hayes Valley can be a commuter’s dream come true. If you enjoy frequent trips to downtown or want a good jumping-off point to the other side of the bay, Hayes Valley provides a lot of convenience. If you own a car, simply hop on the freeway; otherwise, the Van Ness Muni station is a great spot to access all areas of the city quickly. This neighborhood’s location is just one of the great reasons we ranked Hayes Valley as one of San Francisco’s Best Neighborhoods for Young Professionals.
Of course, these handy travel options only matter if you actually want to leave Hayes Valley, and why would you? Hayes Valley boasts a diverse collection of excellent restaurants, coffee shops, bars, shops, and pleasant public spaces that allow you to enjoy the great weather San Francisco has to offer.
Hayes Valley is its urban design. The neighborhood was designed with San Francisco’s growing population in mind, and as such is a very walkable and bikeable area of the city. The public square on Octavia draws in the neighborhood’s residents who can enjoy relaxing, reading, or people watching.
In addition to the collection of shops and eateries, the neighborhood is a great choice for those who love music and theater. Some of the best-known cultural venues in San Francisco are very close to Hayes Valley. Residents can easily hop over to the SF Jazz Center, San Francisco Opera, Rickshaw, or Nourse Theater.
Learn more about this vibrant neighborhood of leafy boulevards, quaint shops, and excellent entertainment and dining options on our page about the Hayes Valley Neighborhood. Ready to move in? Search for Hayes Valley apartments for rent and apply today.
Where to Eat / Drink
The abundance of places to eat and drink in Hayes Valley has made this neighborhood one of the hottest dining destinations in the city. Check out some of the more popular spots below:
- Absinthe Brasserie & Bar allows you to experience Paris in the heart of San Francisco.
- Biergarten is a great way to enjoy the weather by drinking delicious Bavarian-style beer on this restaurant’s cozy outdoor patio.
- After you’ve experienced Paris, get the experience of a real Japanese ramen house at Nojo Ramen Tavern, which boasts over 200 locations in Japan. This location in Hayes Valley was their first San Francisco restaurant.
- Enjoy authentic German fare (with your beer in a boot) at Suppenkuche. This bierhaus boasts a lively atmosphere with communal tables. It’s like Oktoberfest all year long.
Photo courtesy of Christopher Bowns
- What meal wouldn’t end better with a delicious scoop of ice cream? Head over to Smitten Ice Cream for dessert and enjoy churned-to-order ice cream using liquid nitrogen.
- Noir Lounge, a swanky cocktail bar in the theme of a 1920’s lounge, is the perfect place to have a drink with some friends while catching noir-style films. This is a great date night spot.
- Brass Tax has been a Hayes Valley favorite since it opened its doors in 2013. This dark and moody booze-den is a great spot for excellent drinks. The crew behind the success of Brass Tacks have now opened Anina, a bar as bright and cheerful as Brass Tax is moody. Anina is a great spot for post-brunch drinks with an impressive selection of wine and cocktails.
- If you have a sweet tooth, Miette is a must. This colorful and charming French patisserie offers a variety of sugary treats as well as the occasional baking class.
- For those with a meatier appetite, stop by Fatted Calf, San Francisco’s artisanal charcuterie. Take home some craft meats, or stop by for a class to learn how to make your own sausage, salami, and more.
- If you’re craving some Mediterranean, head over to Souvla and grab a roasted meat sandwich along with a refreshing brew (or two).
- For some fine French cuisine in a casual bistro setting, head over to Monsieur Benjamin. In addition to serving up delicious fare (foie gras, anyone?) they are a carbon neutral restaurant that automatically tips all staff members who contributed to your meal with an included gratuity.
- If Monsieur Benjamin wasn’t enough French for you, we highly recommend Chez Maman as another option, which is slightly friendlier on the wallet but still has great service and delicious eats.
Where to Shop
- Reliquary contains a finely curated collection of everything from clothing and accessories to folk art. This store has a little of everything, including some hard to find personal fragrances from indie perfumers such as D.S. & Durga.
- When you’re looking for something a little more down-to-earth and (slightly more) affordable, Azalea Boutique is a great stop for clothes shopping.
- For a great selection of wine and perfect artisanal cheeses to pair it with, head over to Raxakoul Wine & Cheese for your next patio get-together.
- For unique home decor, head over to Maker & Moss whose inventory is inspired by natural elements.
- Undefeated is a local store selling street-culture apparel, with a focus on sneakers. You can count on Undefeated for having the latest sneakers in stock.
- For eyewear, you have the option of either going to Through the Hayes, a full-service optometry shop with designer frames, or opt for Warby Parker, a boutique and online store that gives back to people in need.
- To grab some local wines not found in other stores head over to Arlequin Wine Merchant which is a sister establishment of Absinthe.
- For any corsetry need, Dark Garden has you covered. Shop here for beautiful off-the-rack corsets, dresses, and wedding gowns.
- For the best leather jackets, belts, and purses head over to Lava 9 where you’ll definitely find unique, edgy, and exciting fashions.
Once you discover Hayes Valley you’ll be coming back often—it’s one of The City’s most desirable neighborhoods for very good reasons.