biergarten

Hayes Valley: Best Spots to Eat and Drink

Hayes Valley is a hidden gem of neighborhood, it is like the Marina matured a little bit past the fratty college stage, and blossomed into an underrated adult-ish haven where you don’t have to walk past the bar you stumbled out of at 3 am the night before (Brixton…guilty). Hayes really does have it all- chicken cooked to perfection at Zuni Cafe, sashimi on point at Domo, shopping at Rand & Statler and Azalea, steins of beer at Biergarten, the perfect setting for a glass of wine at Fig & thistle, and to top it off multiple options for post-dinner ice cream – Smitten and Loving Cup I am referring to you…what else does one need in life? I obviously recommend every place below but I have to reiterate everyone should go to Domo. Just go.

EAT:

DOMO 

  • Nice, Neighborhood Sushi Bar – $$
  • Best Dishes:
    • Fish Tacos
    • Temptation Roll
    • Domo Roll
  • Best For: nice/casual dinner, date, no reservations
  • The sushi is seriously amazing here. My favorite sushi spot San Francisco. No reservations; plus it’s a really small spot, so I wouldn’t recommend going with more than 2 other people.
  • Website

Il Borgo 

  • Traditional Italian – $$
  • Best For: Casual dinner, no reservations
  • Really casual Italian restaurant in Hayes. Traditional decor, nothing fancy – think plastic tablecloths and old wooden chairs, but the food itself is authentic and delicious.
  • Website

MONSIEUR  BENJAMIN

  • Modern, Upscale French – $$$
  • Best For: nice dinner, special occasion, fancy date
  • Elegant, sophisticated space, but not too fancy. I would say its similar to Octavia vibes. You need to make a reservation.
  • Website

RICH TABLE

  • Trendy American – $$$
  • Best Dishes:
    • Brussels Sprout Bites
    • Porcini Donuts
    • Burrata Appetizer
    • Tajarin Lobster Pasta
  • Best For: Nice dinner, date, friend dinner
  • This place is hard to get a reservation at, you need to book well in advance. Nice cozy ambiance, and the food is really good. The menu is a little different – don’t bring any picky eaters here. The food is really good, but do I think it was worth the 3 week wait? Not entirely. Come here if you are looking for a dining experience – they have a tasting menu that is awesome.
  • Website

SOUVLA

  • Casual Greek – $$
  • Best Dishes:
    • Any of the pita wraps
    • Baklava Greek Yogurt!
  • Best For: Casual lunch/dinner, take out, no reservations
  • Casual atmosphere- You order at the counter and then find a place to sit. There is a lot of hype about this place and their pita sandwiches are good, but nothing thattt special. Regardless I still eat here pretty frequently because it’s quick and easy. Their Greek Yogurts are all amazing though, my favorite is the baklava one.
  • Website

SUPPENKUCHE

  • Traditional German – $$
  • Best Dishes:
    • Potato Pancakes
  • Best For: Casual dinner
  • If you are a fan of German food and beer then this is your spot. Only open for dinner. If you can’t get a reservation go right before they open (5:00 pm) and you will most likely be able to get a table.
  • Website

ZUNI CAFE 

  • Upscale American – $$$
  • Must Order:
    • CHICKEN FOR 2
  • Best For: Nice lunch/dinner, date, parent meal
  • Pretty difficult to get a reservation but they also take walk ins. If you come here you MUST get the chicken, seriously. Rated one of the top restaurants in San Francisco, it is on the top of my list personally I just can’t get a reservation that works haha.
  • Website

DRINK:

 BIERGARTEN

  • Outdoor German Beer Garden – $$
  • Best For: Outdoor lunch/drinking
  • Really cool place to come one day when the weather is nice and you want to have a beer (a stein is $17). The food is also really good (the banana knot is my fave), but if you are simply looking for good German food go to Superkunch, come here because you want to drink and be outdoors.
  • Be prepared to wait in line (all open seating), this place is really popular so you should get there 15 minutes before they open and even then there will already be a long line. I have had to wait over an hour for the food/beer line on a Saturday before. They have blankets for when it gets cold!
  • Website

Brass Tacks

  • Popular Bar – $$
  • Best For: Drinks, Date, Happy Hour
  • Perfect spot for drinks in Hayes Valley. The atmosphere meets in the middle of casual and fun. This is a pretty small bar though so don’t roll in with tooo big of a crew. They also have a happy hour 2-7pm everyday.
  • Website

Fig & Thistle 

  • Trendy, Intimate Wine Bar – $$
  • Best For: Drinks, date, after work drinks
  • Small spot, with a trendy ambiance. Good wine selection and they have a cheese/charcuterie board! Perfect spot for a date or after work drinks.
  • Website

Two Sisters Bar & Books

  • Cozy, Old- Fashioned Cocktail Bar – $$
  • Small bar right off Hayes st. This place is pretty popular, but I have been once and truthfully I don’t really need to go back here. Definitively an older, more mellow crowd. Good cocktails though so if you want somewhere quiet to enjoy a nice drink with someone this is your place. Happy hour Mon-Fri 4-6pm, Sat -Sun 1-4pm where they have good deals on drinks.
  • Website

Header Image: sf.curbed.com

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