Whether you’ve come to admire the historic Victorian houses, embrace your inner hippie, or grab a drink on your way to Golden Gate Park, Haight-Ashbury has something for everyone.
Ritual Coffee is well known across SF for its meticulously roasted coffee that they directly sourced from coffee farms across the globe. This quality-obsessed cafe is a coffee connoisseur’s dream.
Location: 1300 Haight Street
2. Coffee to the People
If you’re looking for the classic bohemian coffee house experience then Coffee to the People is your spot. This community-focused cafe is a great place to order a latte and a croissant sandwich and grab a seat on one of their comfy couches.
Location: 1206 Masonic Avenue
This sprawling roastery and cafe is one of the most popular spots in the neighborhood. The rustic industrial chic space also offers a beautiful view of Golden Gate Park, directly across the street. They also operate a coffee kiosk in the park, when the weather is nice. The cafe offers free Wifi and is a popular spot for folks who need to get a little work done outside the house.
Location: 672 Stanyan Street
There are dozens of incredible clothing stores along Haight Street and each one has its own unique vibe from hippie-chic to Berlin-ready clubwear. While Union Square is home to famous luxury brands, Haight-Ashbury is a hub for boutiques, high-end vintage, and curated thrift shops. The best way to experience them is to stroll down Haight Street and see what catches your eye but here are a few places to start.
As a vintage clothing cooperative, each rack at Indigo is managed and curated by a different collector representing a unique perspective on vintage. Some focus on styles like western wear or streetwear, while other racks focus on specific decades and eras. The staff has a discerning eye for style and trend, and the clothes reflect this careful curation.
Location: 1649 Haight Street
This glamorous thrift store sells a lovely curated clothing selection. Not only can you visit them in person in San Francisco, but they have a great setup online to order both men’s and women’s clothing to your door.
Location: 1660 Haight Street
If you’re looking for tie-dye, Love on Haight is paradise. They work with over 175 artists from around the world to offer a vibrant assortment of clothing, accessories, and more. This colorful shop is an essential stop for anyone visiting the neighborhood.
Location: 1400 Haight Street
Booksmith is a classic independent bookstore with a long history on Haight Street. They have a beautiful interior, and extraordinary selection. They also host frequent author Q&As and book signing events, so keep an eye on their events page for upcoming events
Location: 1727 Haight Street
As a volunteer-run anarchist bookstore collective, Boun Together stocks printed material covering queer culture, feminism, fiction, alternative culture, international and national politics, poetry, drugs, spirit, and of course Anarchism. They carry material that you won’t find anywhere else and have been at their current location for over 39 years.
Location: 1369 Haight Street
SF is home to some extraordinary bookstores but only one that focuses solely on Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, and Horror. Borderlands Books is an independent, specialty bookstore that is an absolute expert at what they sell. They also host several book clubs including an LGBTQ sci-fi and fantasy club along with movie nights and other special events.
Location: 1740 Haight Street
10. Golden Gate Park
Haight Street dead-ends into Golden Gate Park’s eastern edge which features interactive experiences from SF’s Exploratorium, the Waller Skate Park and even a Bocce court. A 5-minute walk into the park takes you to the officially-car free JFK promenade along with a plethora of other places to explore.
Location: Begins at Stanyan Street, between Fulton and Frederick Streets
11. Buena Vista Park
Its name means “good view” in Spanish, and we couldn’t agree more. The steep, forested hill feels like a little mountain and offers stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge and other extraordinary views. Unlike many of the other bald hills in SF, part of the charm of Buena Vista is the tangle of paved and dirt trails that wind around the hill. A popular spot for dog walkers, picnickers, and anyone else looking for a nice place to stroll.
Location: Buena Vista and Haight Street
12. The Panhandle
The Panhandle is one of the most underrated parks in SF due to its unusual shape. This long, skinny green space is eight blocks long (0.75 miles) and 1 block wide. It’s home to a public outdoor gym, a playground, a basketball court, and inviting expanses of green grass that are perfect for picnics and casual sunbathing. It also offers separate running/walk paths and bike paths that serve as an important connector between the famed “wiggle” bike path and Golden Gate Park.
Location: Between Oak and Fell Streets, and bordered by Stanyan and Baker streets.
13. Prada 22
For some of the best Puerto Rican cuisine in SF, Parada 22 is the spot. Their deeply flavorful mofongo, pernil asado, and expertly prepared plantains are all incredible choices. Just be sure to save room for flan.
Location: 1805 Haight Street
14. Pork Store Cafe
The Pork Store Cafe is one of the oldest restaurants in the Haight (under various names) and has been a dependable brunch spot for generations of locals and visitors alike. Expect breakfast classics like waffles, omelets, and plenty of bacon and sausages, as the name might suggest.
Location: 1451 Haight Street
15. Abu Salim
Abu Salim is an extraordinary middle eastern restaurant that serves deeply flavorful and beautifully spiced dishes like chicken shawarma, beef kefta kabob, falafel salad, and even house-made baklava.
Location: 1599 Haight Street
16. The Alembic
As the best cocktail bar in the neighborhood and one of the best in SF, Alembic is absolutely worth a visit. They serve unique spins on classic cocktails, alongside seasonal creations developed by their small but extremely talented staff of mixologists. They also teach a public cocktail-making class, for anyone looking to improve their bar skills.
Location: 1725 Haight Street
17. Zam Zam
For pure ambiance, nothing beats Zam Zam. This historic bar has earned a reputation as serving some of the best martinis in the city. SF Chronicle columnist Herb Caen called Zam Zam “The Holy Shrine of the Dry Martini,” and few would disagree. The Mooshi family started Zam Zam in 1941 and hired Assyrian architect and designer, Jon Oshanna, to design the Persian-inspired interior and ornate mural that adorns the back wall. Don’t expect cutting-edge mixology, but they do the classics with precision and reverence.
Location: 1633 Haight Street
18. Magnolia Brewing
For a cold beer, Magnolia Brewing is the place to be. As the original location of the renowned SF brewery, you can expect historic Victorian charm, a rotating selection of exceptional beers, and tasty bar bites to go with it. Enjoy their cozy booths during cool weather and sidewalk seating on those rare sunny days. If you’re just visiting, the sidewalk tables offer some of the best people-watching in the neighborhood.
Location: 1398 Haight Street
This iconic row of Queen Anne Victorian homes was painted and styled to represent the winter, spring, summer, and fall seasons. Though less famous than the painted ladies of Alamo Square, these stunning houses are well worth a visit if you’re looking to enjoy some local architecture.
Location: 1315 Waller Street
20. Workshop SF
Workshop is all about stepping away from the phone/laptop/TV and making stuff alongside your neighbors. They offer affordable DIY classes that include Sewing, watercolor, block printing, candle making, dyeing, sketching and much more. Classes are adults only and typically start around 7pm on weeknights and 11am on weekends.
Location: 1310 Haight Street
This historic building at the famous corner of Haight and Ashbury was the epicenter of SF hippie culture in the late ’60s. The analog clock that floats above the street corner is, in fact, forever resting at 4:20, a nod to over 50 years of casual cannabis use that this corner has seen. This is also the place where bell-bottom jeans were invented. The building is managed by SF Heritage which offers a virtual tour of the building in addition to rotating arts and historical events at the first-floor gallery “Heritage on Haight”.
Location: 1506 Haight Street
22. Amoeba Music
Haight-Ashbury is home to SF’s largest and most prestigious record store, Amoeba Records. A destination for vinyl and CD collectors, this temple to music also hosts concerts and other exciting music events throughout the year. Whether you’re looking to build up your vinyl collection or are just feeling nostalgic, Amoeba is definitely worth a visit.
Location: 1855 Haight Street
Featured image: Yoki Lin via Facebook