(Illustration by Janie Cai)

Love & Haight: A Modern Guide to the Iconic Street


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.


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 Black Scale (1409 Haight St.) for a completely different experience. The brand's first U.S. retail shop features a mix of street and high fashion tossed with a devil-may-care attitude. // Check out Pink + Dolphin (1431 Haight St.) where limited-edition kicks and apparel are displayed with a reverence usually reserved for museum pieces. // 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 street-cred–heavy sneakers and accessories within 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-inspired line by Ashley Rowe. // T-shirt fans will appreciate the array of artist collabs on offer at next door's Upper Playground (220 Filmore St.).

Party people will dig Costumes on Haight (735 Haight St.) and New York Apparel (1772 Haight St.), which has plenty of last-minute accoutrements to complete your costumed evening. // With an iconic pair of fishnet legs beckoning shoppers into the Piedmont Boutique (1454 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.

Sixties-era sartorial style specialized in repurposed, hand-embellished clothing that featured 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.) and Relic Vintage (1605 Haight St.). // Crossroads Trading Co. (1519 Haight St.) has a decent selection of modern wardrobe pieces at pocket-friendly prices.


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 that has specialized in Caribbean-style cuisine since 1984. // Lift your spirits at Alembic (1725 Haight St.)—in addition to an extensive cocktail list, the popular watering hole also offers a delectable dinner in the form of a unique four-course chef's menu. // Those in the mood for something quick and tasty can pick up a super burrito at Street Taco (1607 Haight St.) or a rice bowl of five-spice chicken at DragonEats (1671 Haight St.). // Pizza fans shouldn't miss Slice House (1535 Haight St.), which is owned by 12-time World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani—pick up a signature deep-dish pie and judge for yourself. // For Burmese-inspired barbecue, stop by Burma Bear (1727 Haight St.). // Satisfy your veggie and burger cravings at the first SF outpost of VeganBurg (1466 Haight St.), a Singapore-based eatery that serves robust vegan-friendly burgers and sides. // Hungover Haighters will appreciate the stick-to-your-ribs breakfast options at Pork Store Cafe (1451 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.). // 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.


Find your obligatory morning caffeine shot from 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, or impress a date with the inventive cocktails on offer at the upscale Maven (598 Haight St.). // 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.


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