It’s a Saturday afternoon and I’m ready for some shopping, light bites and exploration in the incredible Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco. For those of you that don’t know Hayes Valley, get over there. It’s incredible. They have a great combination of restaurant’s, bars, cute boutiques and other fun and I love it! If I wasn’t a resident of Pacific Heights, check out my Pacific Heights neighborhood guide here, I would for sure LOVE to live in Hayes Valley. It’s beyond cute and charming with a ton of character and small neighborhood feel. See my Top 10 Eats & Shopping Favorites below.
Best Scandinavian Cuisine and coolest setting. Plaj Restaurant is one of those gems you don’t spot a lot. It is family owned by husband/Chef Robert and wife Andrea Sundell. It also is located in the Inn at The Opera Hotel Hotel and has the most charming, intimate special setting. 333 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Ladies and gents, time to visit the hottest new Champagne Bar in San Francisco, The Riddler. Owned and founded by Jen Pelka Bililies this is one of the most charming, chic wine bars with an incredible assortment of wine (mostly sparkling), caviar, cheese & charcuterie and some tasty potato waffles (they don’t have a full kitchen), so the menu is small but delicious and perfect to pair with the fabulous wine list). 528 Laguna St, San Francisco, CA 94102
August 1 Five
August 1 Five is a fabulous Indian Restaurant in Hayes Valley I adore. With a chic modern setting and an incredible cocktail program that pairs perfectly with their innovative, creative Indian Cuisine with a California Twist August 1 Five is a must try! 524 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102
Rich Table is a not to be missed Restaurant in Hayes Valley. Not only for the adorable charming setting, the husband and wife team Evan and Sarah or the incredible food but the entire experience is superb. Obviously you must try the food, however, their cocktails are also divine made by mixologist Tommy Quimby (formerly of Trick Dog). There Chef do Cuisine Brandon Rice was also just awarded a 2016 Star Chef’s award which is a huge honor! Also the staff here is beyond friendly, knowledgeable and approachable. This has recently become a new favorite of mine which you’ll be hearing a LOT about! 199 Gough St, San Francisco, CA 94102.
Best pasta, pizza and lively scene. Hayes Valley’s newest addition, A Mano is a must when dining or drinking in Hayes Valley. With a bright, modern, lively setting you’ll fall in love with the great cocktails, delicious pasta, pizza and hot scene. This is the newest of the Back of House Group (Delfina, Belga, Delarosa, El Techo, Lolinda, Flores…) and it’s fabulous! 450 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Best quick dry gel & ladies of leisure mani/pedi. Lux SF nail salon fits right into charming Hayes Valley. Expect to be pampered while enjoying complimentary bubbles! 490 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Best leisurely ladies lunch. Petit Crenn opened by legendary chef Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn is a more casual, approachable way to experience Dominique’s incredible food at more accessible prices. I went with a girlfriend for lunch and loved it. The food is extremely flavorful in a simple, yet modern and refined setting. You feel like you’re having a grown up lunch while sipping on wine and enjoying the amazing cuisine. I’ve heard their prix fixed dinner is killer which is also on my bucket list! 609 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102.
Most adorable candy store with best sweet treats. Miette is a great spot for a sweet treat, or to grab a gift. 449 Octavia St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Where to start… It’s hard not to resist anything Caramel. One of my weaknesses!
On my way to Absinthe for some vino and a french onion soup (the best!)
Absinthe Cafe is the Best Cafe for a bite or glass of wine. I also adore their French Onion Soup so if you’re a French Onion Soup lover, this is the spot to enjoy it! 398 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Best Ice Cream. Read more about this awesome Ice Cream spot with a Hayes Valley location and a new Pacific Heights location here. 432 Octavia Street. San Francisco, CA. 94102.
Convert Style is a great boutique with a Hayes Valley location AND A Berkeley location. If you like my Filson Bag, be sure to mention you’re a J.S.F. reader and you’ll save 10% on your Filson purchase. Happy shopping! 556 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102.
The awesome Filson workbag. It’s my new work computer bag and I’m obsessed. I love the rugged unisex style.
Best Chicago style deep dish pizza and incredible gluten free thin crust pizza. This is on my Top 10 Best San Francisco Pizza post, read more here. 511 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102.
Little Gem Restaurant
Best organic and clean eating option. Little Gem is a fairly new spot in Hayes Valley having opened in December of 2015 widely credited for their organic, clean menu with no sugar or gluten. Although I eat both sugar AND gluten I still found the food here very flavorful, healthy and delicious. I also got a chance to meet Chef David Cruz (formerly of Ad Hoc) who was very friendly and super approachable. 400 Grove St c101, San Francisco, CA 94102.
Chef Dave Cruz
I recommend you save room for dessert
Best biergarten. For as much great weather we have in San Francisco there are a shortage of beer gardens. That’s probably why this Hayes Valley gem Biergarten is always so crowded and so popular! It has about 15 tables so a nice intimate feel, yet on a nice day you and most others in the neighborhood will be there relaxing, enjoying some beer and nibbling on bites as they also offer food. Plan to wait in line a while however it is totally with it so relax and enjoy the scenery. 424 Octavia St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Heading over to the Biergarten
It’s hard not to be smiling on a gorgeous day relaxing in one of the best spots in the area.
Photos courtesy of Brad Wittke of Pacific Gallery