(Illustration by Janie Cai)

Love & Haight: A Modern Guide to the Iconic Street

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Once the psychedelic heart of the famous Summer of Love, Haight-Ashbury is where throngs of youths, drifters, and free-wheelin', free-lovin' individuals converged for an all-out celebration of acid-induced peace and love.

(Those who missed out can head down to The Booksmith and pick up Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-aid Acid Test for a first-hand account).

These days though, The Haight has mellowed like a fine bourbon—smoother on the palette but still kicky.


Thankfully, there's still plenty of the street's original personality, even with the recent influx of boutiques, ramen shops, organic grocery stores, hip coffee joints, and craft beer hangouts nestled between the longtime vintage clothing exchanges and tie-dye–hawking boutiques.

From edible lingerie to vegan burgers, there'll be something here to pique your interest. Be sure to snap a pic at the corner of Haight and Ashbury, which was recently named a national treasure.

The Best Restaurants on Haight Street

It may not be the city's destination for fine dining, but you'll find some quality, budget-friendly eats in the Haight.

With its bright façade, you can't miss Parada 22 (1805 Haight St.), which serves up an array of mouth-watering Puerto Rican dishes. // Next door's Cha Cha Cha (1801 Haight St.) is run by the same owner, and is a Haight Street institution specializing in Caribbean-style cuisine since 1984. // Lift your spirits at Alembic (1725 Haight St.)—in addition to an extensive cocktail list with some of the best drinks around, the popular watering hole also offers a delectable dinner and brunch. // Another in the restaurant-that-serves-great-drinks category, Maven (598 Haight St.) is as great for impressing a date as it is for a cozy locals bite in the 'hood. // Those in the mood for something quick and tasty can pick up a super burrito at Street Taco (1607 Haight St.) or a five-spice chicken noodle bowl at DragonEats (1671 Haight St.). // Pizza fans shouldn't miss Slice House (1535 Haight St.), which is owned by 13-time World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani—pick up a pie and judge for yourself. // Hungover Haighters always appreciate the stick-to-your-ribs breakfast options at Pork Store Cafe (1451 Haight St.), while those in search of a boozy brunch can trek down to Lower Haight for bottomless bellinis and Italian dishes at Uva Enoteca (568 Haight St.). // Find juicy gourmet dogs from Rosamunde Sausage Grill (545 Haight St.) or angry Korean chicken wings and buttermilk biscuits at Wing Wings (422 Haight St.). // Even burger-craving vegans will be satisfied at the first SF outpost of robust Singapore-based eatery VeganBurg (1466 Haight St.). // If dinner's in the cards, don't forget to check out Iza Ramen (237 Fillmore St.) for a bowl of their famous Iza Tsukenmen.

Craft Beer + Coffee in the Haight

Find your obligatory morning caffeine shot at Ritual Coffee Roasters (1300 Haight St.). // Quench your thirst with a fresh pint of cask ale at Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery (1398 Haight St.). // Enjoy one of 15 rotating craft brews on tap at Sparrow Bar & Kitchen (1640 Haight St.) or gear up for a tasting flight at Black Sands Brewery (701 Haight St.). // If a cocktail is more your speed, then slip into Hobson's Choice (1601 Haight St.) to sip on a rum concoction. // Craft beer aficionados will go ga-ga over the enormous selection of brews available at local dive bar Toronado (547 Haight St.). // Ernest Takai's Noc Noc (557 Haight St.) will keep you hydrated with $3 happy hour pints. // Pay homage to Haight-Ashbury's musical history by enjoying live music any day of the week and sipping on a cocktail at the lively Club Deluxe (1511 Haight St.).

Where to Shop on Haight Street

To get a taste of Haight Street during its 1960s heyday, head down to Love on Haight (1400 Haight St.) to partake in psychedelic style before crossing over to Aviator Nation (1501 Haight St.) for modern Californian clothes with a laid back, vintage feel. // Skate-style mavens will appreciate RVCA (1485 Haight St.) and SF's own Burton flagship (1630 Haight St.), while Nice Kicks (1420 Haight St.) peddles sneakers with street cred and accessories in a lofty space. // Just off the main drag but definitely worth a detour is Revolver (136 Fillmore St.), which stocks a curated selection from designers such as Henrik Vibskov, along with a denim-focused line by Ashley Rowe. // T-shirt fans will appreciate the array of artist collabs on offer at next door's Upper Playground (220 Fillmore St.).

Party people will dig Costumes on Haight (735 Haight St.) and New York Apparel (1780 Haight St.), which have plenty of last-minute accoutrements to complete your costumed evening. // Find the wildest attire imaginable at cult favorite Dolls Kill (1475 Haight St.) // With an iconic pair of fishnet legs beckoning shoppers into the Piedmont Boutique (1452 Haight St.), you know it's the go-to place to pick up lingerie and accessories for all your burlesque needs. // Then pull up your socks for a visit to the cavernous Sockshop Haight Street (1742 Haight St.) where you'll find all manner of printed socks to keep your feet happy. // Hat shop Goorin Bros (1446 Haight St.) is another SF institution. Pop in for a suave Panama to throw some shade on the summer sun. // And if you're looking for an iconic souvenir, check out Derby of San Francisco (1472 Haight St.), which has been selling American-made Derby jackets since 1963. // For California-themed keepsakes created by local artists, venture in to San Francisco Mercantile (1698 Haight St.). // Stop by Haight newcomer La Alacran (1701 Haight St.) if you're looking to spruce up your home with some exotic greenery.

Sixties-era sartorial style featured repurposed, hand-embellished clothing with fringe, patchwork appliqués and hand-painting, and since one person's trash can be another person's ticket to the pages of Vogue, Haight Street is the perfect place to scour thrift shops. Budget-conscious vintage lovers should make a beeline for Wasteland (1660 Haight St.), Relic Vintage (1605 Haight St.), and the newly opened Berkeley transplant Indigo Vintage Cooperative (1649 Haight St.) // Crossroads Trading Co. (1519 Haight St.) and Buffalo Exchange (1555 Haight St.) have decent selections of modern wardrobe pieces at pocket-friendly prices.

Things to Do on Haight Street: Books, Cannabis, Parks, Music + More

Music connoisseurs will enjoy catching a live concert and exploring the expansive collection of records and CDs at the iconic Amoeba Music (1855 Haight St.) // The Booksmith's event space, The Bindery (1727 Haight St.), hosts a range of readings and a regular Silent Reading Party, and offers an experimental book selection. // On a rare sunny day, avoid Golden Gate Park's crowds and instead stroll through the secluded trails of Buena Vista Park (Buena Vista & Haight St.) to admire the bordering mansions and the view of the SF skyline. // Pay tribute to some of Haight-Ashbury's most influential figures by visiting the Grateful Dead House (710 Ashbury St.), a beautiful Victorian occupied by the band's five founders in the 1960s, or take on a self-guided walking tour of Haight-Ashbury's most noteworthy occupants' homes. // In true hippie fashion, delve into Haight-Ashbury's now legal cannabis culture with a stop at Sparc Dispensery (473 Haight St.).


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