the 415.
by victoria comment


hey, there – it’s friday, so i’m bringing you a new addition of the 415. this time it’s another one of my favorite neighborhoods, hayes valley. and, it’s appropriate we’re headed there today, because tonight is their 20th annual holiday block party. from 6 to 9pm this evening, december 2nd there’s one big open house, with all the small shops serving drinks and snacks, playing music and hosting general revelry.

hayes valley has been revitilizing itself in leaps and bounds, including its latest proxy project. Proxy is a temporary two-block project located in San Francisco which seeks to mobilize a flexible environment of food, art, culture, and retail pop-up shops within some incredibly cool, renovated and re-purposed shipping containers. you gotta see it!

you gotta eat:

absinthe – excellent raw bar, burgers and cocktails. a great spot to stop in and rest your weary feet and quench your thirst after a long day of shopping.

bar jules – an adorable little eatery comitted to serving sustainable meat and fish. a nice spot for brunch. and, i love their sign.

blue bottle coffee – where the coffee connoisseurs drink their special drip coffee. look for the line on linden street. it’s worth it.

dobbs ferry – west coast food and east coast style with an “old world” feel, for locals, by locals.

fritz fries – these are served up with as many sauces as you can dream up, including White truffle artichoke ketchup and Miso mayo. wine and beer are served too.

hayes & kebab – healthy sized portions of yummy and authentic Mediterranean and middle eastern food. i love the wraps.

le boulange – it’s part of a small san francisco bakery chain, but most excellent. the french toast is like a beautiful little soufflé, and the salad nicoise is delish.

miette – sweet little bakery just off hayes street on octavia, it’s a bit tucked away, so don’t miss it. lovely little cakes and sweets in a charming little shop.

momi toby’s revolution cafe – i love this spot. a true local hangout with a european feel, you’ll always find regulars chit chatting the day away at the outside tables. yummy spot for lunch.

ritual roasters – part of the proxy project, ritual coffee is located in one of the repurposed and recycled shipping containers, and are my favorite bay area beans.

smitten – amazing ice cream stand with a one-of-a-kind ice cream machine, now named “Kelvin.” Kelvin’s uniqueness stems from its ability to make the smoothest, tastiest ice cream from scratch in 60 seconds from liquid nitrogen.

suppenküche – wonderful german pub with an excellent beer list. sit communal stye and get to know your neighbors while dining on some excellent Wiener Schnitzel and bratwurst — all very homemade.

two sisters bar and books – a cozy space where there’s always time to linger over a cocktail or coffee, have some yummy food, and share a bit of all things literary.

zuni cafe – my favorite restaurant in all of san francisco. it’s a bit on the outskirts of hayes valley, on market and gough. go there — order oysters on the half shell, a caesar salad, shoestring potatoes and their world famous roast chicken to share.


alla prima lingerie – highest quality and prettiest lingerie around. definitely a place you want to treat yourself.

dish – beautiful, modern designer clothing for women in a really lovely space. i like just floating around in here, and checking out their jewelry too.

cisco home – From their giant poufs, and pretty chandeliers, everything in the shop, including Cisco’s custom made sofas make me swoon.

flight 001 – the modern traveler’s dream come true — they carry the chicest and most contemporary of travel accessories, luggage, and travel guides.

gimme shoes – just like them name – gimme these shoes! the coolist, most classic designer footwear in the city.

inside modern – mid-century modern home furnishings and accessories, just off the beaten path on gough street.

lava 9 – one of the city’s best handbag shops. if you’re looking for accessories, this is a great spot – accessories and jewelry too, for every taste and budget.

lavish – unique accessories, locally designed clothes and fantastic letterpress cards and stationery, it’s a great place for gifts!

lotus bleu – bright, colorful graphic modern textiles and home accessories to create playful but “real” living spaces. great one of kind furniture too.

mac – modern appealing clothing. i love this store, not just for the amazing designer clothing they carry, but for their collection of vintage portrait paintings. a shop with true character.

peace industry – the most beautiful handmade felted turkish rugs around. go look, you will love them.

propeller – mid-century modernists will love this shop. wonderfully unique home furnishing and lighting, not to mention great accessories and artwork.

Reliquary – vintage-inspired, well-curated clothing and accessories, with a super friendly staff. dogs are welcome, too.

zonal – great contemporary furniture juxtaposed with vintage-inspired collectibles and accessories, as well as some really great original paintings by local artists.

this week’s tips:

• for great restaurant ideas and the latest openings check out eater, and tablehopper – two experts in the field of eating.

• keep up to date on news and the latest pop-ups at proxy sf, sign up for their newsletter.

• hayes valley photo by greyvdm.

16 responses to “the 415.”

  1. I had dinner this week at The Boxing Room. It’s in the old Citizen Cake space and I would recommend it. Tasty with a New Orleans flare.

  2. Spent an afternoon in Hayes Valley with a friend while visiting San Francisco last month. Had a great lunch and bought some fabulous booties at Gimme Shoes. Wish I could have spent more time there (and done more eating from the looks of your recommendations!).

  3. I want to live in the 415 area code again one day! Copying and pasting all the great suggestions for food etc.! My husband and I had our Wedding night meal at Absinthe. (I also worked on a film and we shot in and around the interiors of Absinthe. What a fun location.) Husband and stayed at the Arch Bishops Mansion up the hill which is a cool place to stay the night. You can just walk down to most of these shops. Have fun tonight! (My parents had that falcon and I had a 10 year newer model of that for my first car!) Learned how to drive in one and also drove Joe Strummer and Mick Jones around the City in one back in the day!

  4. Great roundup of a terrific neighborhood. I’d totally forgotten that I wanted to try Smitten and I’ve never been to Two Sisters Bar and Books so that’s a new must-visit for me. Thanks!

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