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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Meal For Every Mood: Hayes Valley

Posted By on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Hayes Street in Hayes Valley, looking west. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Hayes Valley is known for its quirky shops and quaint vibe, but sometimes your appetite, morning, noon or night, just doesn't match the stereotypically posh scene. Luckily, there are plenty of options for breakfast, lunch, snacking, dinner and drinking -- no matter what mood you're in when you arrive.

Morning Beverage

Hipster: Café La Vie (514 Octavia)

A small space few outside the hood have heard of, this tiny snack bar has coffee, a communal table for six, and little else.

Luxurious: Blue Bottle Kiosk or Rutial Proxy (315 Linden, 464 Octavia)

With outside seating and standing only, these are best for your grab-and-go caffeine fix when you have places to be on a chilly morning.

Zen: Taste Tea (535 Octavia)

Coming from or going to yoga? Need to center yourself? Kick off your shoes and relax on cushioned seats as you are treated to traditional tea therapy.

See also: Two Sisters Bar and Books: Small Plates, Big Ambiance

Hayes Valley Bakeworks: Baking for Good

Lers Ros Hayes Valley: Stylish Thai Taste Travels Uptown


Carnivorous: The Fatted Calf (320 Fell)

With a rotating menu of sandwiches, a daily soup and salad, and a picnic plate full of charcuterie and pickles, this is the perfect spot to grab lunch and have a picnic on Patricia's Green around the corner.

Homebody: Paxti's (511 Hayes)

Pizza, pizza, and more pizza. Grab a slice and a soda while watching TV and chillin' out.

Traditional: La Boulange (500 Hayes)

The San Francisco "chain" has you covered for solid, typical lunch fare from soups and salads to sandwiches and pastries.

Both kids and adults are entranced by Smitten's fancy nitrogen ice cream maker. - FLICKR/CBOWNS
  • Flickr/cbowns
  • Both kids and adults are entranced by Smitten's fancy nitrogen ice cream maker.


Sweet: Smitten Ice Cream (432 Octavia)

Since the ice cream is made before your eyes with liquid nitrogen and no preservatives, a fresh and creamy treat is a mere 90 seconds away. Just one more reason that science is awesome. Bonus points for walking around the corner and pouring a shot of Ritual espresso on top. Affogato-bout it.

Savory: Avedano's Meat Wagon (The lot across from Patricia's Green)

Find the little red wagon, which not only sells whole cuts of meat but also provides two sandwiches daily (easily split), meat sticks, and a few wooden chairs on which to lounge.

Outdoorsy: Biergarten (424 Octavia)

Sit along the long German-style tables for a pretzel, house pickles, or one of their small seasonal salads like the traditional potato.


Starving: Suppenküche (601 Hayes)

Giant portions of German grub. Meat and potatoes. Prepare to be full.

Charmed: Bar Jules (609 Hayes)

A handful of small tables, a dotting of bar seats and pastel colors grace the room. Bar Jules is a charming spot to dine from a seasonal, locally sourced menu that changes daily.

Lucky: Rich Table (199 Gough)

Sure, reservations are generally full, but take your chances and try to snag seats at the bar, where Evan and Sarah Rich serve their full menu and some stellar cocktails. Playful snacks, sensational pastas and desserts are sure to impress and satisfy.

The reading nook at Two Sisters Bar and Books. - JOSH LESKAR
  • Josh Leskar
  • The reading nook at Two Sisters Bar and Books.


Fancy Pants: Absinthe (398 Hayes)

A staple of Hayes Valley for 15 years this month, you can never go wrong with any of their almost twenty cocktail offerings. Not to mention the extensive wine list. Fine, we'll mention it.

Divey: Place Pigalle (520 Hayes)

No other options, really. Fantastic selection of beers on tap, a pool table in the back, and plenty of couch space.

Cozy: Two Sisters Bar and Books (579 Hayes)

Situated in a narrow, dimly lit library hallway, get close to your companion and share some inventive cocktails like the chamomile old fashioned.

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Josh Leskar


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