Neighborhood Profile: Hayes Valley

A neighborhood that has transcended from humble beginnings to its current state of trendy existence, Hayes Valley is one of the most welcoming neighborhoods for visitors to San Francisco. Cute, easily accessible, and filled with restaurants, cafes, shops and green space, Hayes Valley is the perfect place to spend a sunny San Francisco day.

The History:

Like many of the neighborhoods in San Francisco that have gone through major urban renewal projects, Hayes Valley is not without its share of minor league controversy. Before being damaged and ultimately removed after the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, the Central Freeway ran through the neighborhood, resulting in what some residents likened, “to the Berlin Wall,” – a divide that separated the wealthy Civic Center area from its dangerous neighbor. The removal of the freeway, along with efforts by the Hayes Valley Merchants Association helped to develop the neighborhood into the safe (read: gentrified), hip neighborhood that Hayes Valley is today.

The Vibe: 

Hayes Valley is undeniably hip and trendy, but it manages to do so without pretension. The neighborhood attracts residents in the 30+ crowd along with families, and the available nightlife reflects this. Yoga studios, upscale restaurants, organic frozen yogurt and trendy boutiques, Hayes Valley is demonstrative of what the population of San Francisco continues to become.

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Cool Spots: 

Timbuk2: Order a custom made backpack or messenger bag, made right here in San Francisco.

Gather: A finely curated boutique owned by a local SF couple.

Rickshaw Stop: A great place to hear some tunes, or catch an interesting talk.

Nourse Theater: Bringing great lectures to town.

Sound Box: Boasting an impressive new speaker system, Sound Box is able to create any type of acoustics they desire, despite the space that the theater occupies.

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Eat & Drink:

Ritual Coffee: Hip coffee served out of a shipping container- this place is Hayes Valley in a nutshell.

Biergarten: The perfect place to drink a stein of beer outside on a sunny day. Bonus points for having delicious hot pretzels.

Souvla: A quick and delicious Greek food option- don’t miss out on their greek yogurt options.

Chez Maman: Don’t want to choose between French or Mexican food? Go to Chez Maman and be blown away by both.

Loving Cup: The only downside of Loving Cup is the anxiety of trying to choose which toppings you want mixed into your frozen yogurt.

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About the Author // Eliza Dropkin is the newest member of Vantigo. She enjoys live music, good food, and cruising around town in Jerry (the other newest member of Vantigo).

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