Hayes Valley has many great restaurants and bars that I have come to love and continue to support! The creation of this list stemmed from thinking about where some of my best memories in Hayes Valley were! In no particular order, here are some of the my favorite spots in Hayes Valley! This will hopefully inspire you to venture to a new spot!
- A Mano: This place has some of the best Italian food i’ve ever had! A Mano means “by hand” which is how they approach the curation of all their meals! It’s made fresh and the menu has so many great options! Their cocktail list is also great, and at this point i’ve tried almost all of them and think highly of them all! If I were to pick a few, i’d recommend the Sbagliato, the Jasmine, and the Spicy Greyhound! My favorite appetizer is the chicken polpettine, spicy tomato sauce, crostini. My favorite pasta on the menu is the orecchiette, lamb sausage ragu, broccoli di ciccio, pecorin!
- Salt & Straw: The ice cream place that took San Francisco by storm! This ever-so popular ice cream spot originates in Oregon, and they branched out to San Francisco, with one location in Hayes Valley and one in Russian Hill. This location in particular consistently has lines out the door and around the corner, and pulls people in with the glorious smell of their freshly baked waffle cones, and ice cream aromas! They are known for their super unique and innovative flavors including “Pots of Gold & Rainbows”, “Cornflake Cookies with Marionberry Jam”, “Honey Lavendar” and “Arbequina Olive Oil”. You can also order pint sizes of your favorite flavors!
- Nojo Tavern: The king of all ramen places in San Francisco! I have tried over a dozen spots in SF and I repeatedly say that this one is my all-time favorite! The order you must try is the Soy Sauce Tori Paitan! This includes: Slow braised whole chicken leg, nira chives, black garlic oil, red & green onion, dashi egg, and fish powder. You can order a “spice bomb”: on the side for a little extra heat for the broth. WOW! It is a meal that I crave often, and have raved about to many!
- Souvla: A San Francisco rite of passage to most people! A true San Franciscan has eaten here, and if you have not you are seriously missing out! There are multiple locations in SF and I have been to all of them! I particularly love the Hayes Valley location the most simply because i’ve had the best memories there! I have dined inside, which is an experience in itself to gaze at the rotisserie chicken cooking in the corner while sipping on their house wine. I have also dined outside, where they built a great, spacious park-let to relax at, and there is also a mini park steps away from Souvla’s entrance where I have also eaten! The chicken salad is fantastic, along with the greek fries and the greek yogurt for desert!
- Anina: Tucked away on Hayes Street but has quickly made a made for itself! Anina is a cute cocktail bar with a spacious outdoor patio! For food, they offer bbq bowls from Dogpatch! The smoked chicken and the bbq tri-tip are both highly recommended! For drinks, where do we begin? There are many options to choose from including beer, cocktails, wine, punch bowls, spritzes and stirred classics! My go-to cocktail is Lucila! It is the main mezcal drink on the menu and I love mezcal! For stirred classics, I would order the El Presidente. I’ve always wanted to try the Paisley Park punch bowl! It is 4-6 servings and always recommended for at least 3-4 people to share!
- Absinthe Brassiere & Bar: this restaurant features French brassiere fare and crafty cocktails in the heart of Hayes Valley. They have a $38 prix-fix lunch menu which is a great deal and a chance to try a few staple items at a fraction of the cost! Seeing that their name is “Absinthe” more than half of the main cocktails have absinthe in them! Definitely a fun and thoughtful spirit to try if you’ve never! As for the cocktails, I would recommend the Sacred Heart, El Perfecto, and Corpse Reviver #2!
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