Things to Do in San Francisco: Hayes Valley

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There are so many great places to explore in San Francisco but Hayes Valley is one of my all-time favorites.

Hayes Valley is a charming upscale neighborhood filled with boutiques, bars, and yummy places to eat. It’s the perfect place to go on a weekend afternoon if you’re looking to shop and walk around for a bit.

I like the area because it’s always lively and it doesn’t have the type of stores or restaurants that you would see everyday at the mall.

Keep on reading to see my full guide to the area, including my recommendations for shops and places to eat. I’ve pinned everything on the map below so you can easily them. I hope you enjoy!

Here is my guide to Hayes Valley:

What

Hayes Valley is a revitalized upscale neighborhood in San Francisco with trendy shops, bars and restaurants.

Where

Check out the map to see the neighborhood and the pins to my recommended places.

Who Will Like It?

Young professionals, cool parents, foodies, anyone who’s into trendy stores and restaurants.

How much time should I spend there?

Around 2 hours, a little more if you sit down and eat

How much $ are we talking on a scale of $-$$$$?

$$$, Nothing here is cheap, but you will find nice products for reasonable prices.

How Should I get there?

Uber is probably your best bet as parking is limited.

What else is nearby?

You aren’t far from the iconic Painted Ladies or the Fillmore District

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Where do I start?

Most of the action is around Hayes Street, a beautiful tree-lined street that is home to most of the stores and restaurants in the area. I recommend starting at the corner of Hayes and Laguna St and then make your way down Hayes until you reach Franklin.

In the middle of you walk you’ll see Patricia’s Green in Hayes Valley, a cute little park that is a lovely place to sit and relax for a bit. Right across the street you can grab an ice cream from Smitten, a coffee from Ritual, or a juice from JuiceStop and take it back to the park to enjoy. You can also stop by Biergarten if you’re in the mood for a beer.

Shopping:

Outdoor Voices

My favorite place to go on Hayes Street. Outdoor Voices makes high-quality activewear for all different types of activities from dog walking to working out. Here you’ll find leggings, sports bras, shorts and t-shirts in pastels, color blocks and unique patterns.

The unique styles, colors and fabrics make their apparel stand out from the Nikes and Adidas’ of the world and they are so comfortable that you’ll want to buy them all.

While the store heavily caters to women, they do have a men’s section in the back with polos, shorts, t-shirts and more.

I have bought too many things from this store but I love them all. Check out here and here for my full reviews.

What to buy: TechSweat leggings, Springs Leggings, Hudson Shorts, The Exercise Dress, CloudKnit Hoodie

 Alternative Apparel on Hayes St.

Alternative Apparel on Hayes St.

Alternative Apparel

Casual nice quality basics for men and women. Here you’ll find super comfy t-shirts, hoodies, and more. This store tends to have a decent sale rack in the back, so be sure to check that out! I am a huge fan of their zip-up hoodies as they are so cozy. Pro tip: try on the men’s slim fit versions as they look identical to the women’s but are a bit longer.

What to buy: Rocky Eco-Fleece Zip Hoodie

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Will Leather Goods

Gorgeous leather wallets, handbags, messenger bags, duffles, belts and gifts. They have really nice quality rustic-style goods that are perfect for any adventurer. Even if you aren’t in the market for a new bag, this is a fun store to walk around in. I have a few items from here on my wish list.

Things I liked: Oaxacan Collection , Classic French Wristlet

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Marine Layer

A brand born in San Francisco that makes super-soft basics for men and women. They are well-known for their t-shirts, but they carry all different types of clothes including button-downs, hoodies, dresses, skirts, and now denim. This store is a bit small, but it is packed with good finds.

Things I liked: Basic T’s

B8ta

An interactive store where you can see and try out the latest innovative technology. Here you’ll find speakers, headphones, home gadgets, hover boards, GPS trackers for pets. It is really fun to walk around and try all the latest gear. Each item has an ipad with info about it and a “click to buy” button.

Things I liked: Motiv Ring, Link AKC Smart Dog Classic Collar in Leather


Other shops to checkout:


Grab a Bite to Eat

Souvla

Casual greek food that everyone raves about! It’s a great place to get a quick and delicious bite to eat. Choose pork, chicken, lamb or veggie and then get it as a sandwich or a salad. The fries are also really great here. The highlight though is the frozen greek yogurt, so be sure to save room for dessert— get it with the baklava crumbles and honey topping. They also have beer and wine here!

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Project Juice Test Kitchen

My favorite juice and smoothie place in the Bay Area (so far). Here you’ll find pressed juices, Açai bowls, smoothies, avocado toast, and other healthy eats. This location is super tiny, but they have a large menu and a few tables outside.

What to order: Açai Superberry Bowl Protein Style, Epic Greens Smoothie

Smitten Ice Cream

Thick and creamy ice cream that is made-to-order with liquid nitrogen. They only have a handful of flavors each day, but they are decadent and delicious. Order one in a waffle cone and add some toppings. You can then go enjoy your ice cream at the park across the street.

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La Boulangerie de San Francisco

Perfect for breakfast, brunch, or lunch. They have delicious pastries, breakfast sandwiches, scrambles, avocado toast, and tartines. For lunch they have soups, salads, and sandwiches.

The coffee, espresso, and house-bottled drinks are also a big hit here. I ordered a “medium” almond milk latté and it came in a bowl! It was the biggest latté I have ever seen!

Blue Bottle Coffee

A San Francisco classic. Specialty coffees and fancy coffee-making accessories. You can also buy bagged coffee to take home.

Other places I haven’t been to, but want to try: