Travel

Hayes Valley Shops

Establishment neighborhood
The Epicurean Trader
465 Hayes St., Hayes Valley
Never has a name been more suited to a business. Epicurean Trader is exactly what you’d expect: a trader of small-batch, artisanal food goods, and then some. Every item within this gem box store is hand-selected and conjures images of wicker baskets stuffed with cheese and bread. If you’re planning a picnic, buy everything, right down to the salt (it’s Jacobsen’s), here. We especially love the gourmet kits, which here are curated by personality. (Who wouldn’t want to receive a sustainably packed box filled with olive oil, spices, sea salt, locally roasted coffee beans, and small-batch honey?) While many of the products are available online, visiting the stores—there are three of them—is an experience. The wildflower bouquets are exquisite, the interior is beautifully merchandized, and the bakery counter is a sweet dream. Store images courtesy of Leslie Santarina.
Azalea
411 Hayes St., Hayes Valley
Corina Nurimba and Catherine Chow, the two Cornell grads behind Azalea, are big believers that shopping should be an experience, and a pleasant one at that. This means that customer service is priority number one at both the original Hayes Valley outpost and the newer one in the Mission. The stores are split into men's and women's sections and do a really great job of staying current and affordable with the brand offering but not super trend-driven in the assortment (Topman and Nudie jeans for guys; OAK, T by Alexander Wang, and the house line for gals).
Rand + Statler (Closed)
425 Hayes St., Hayes Valley
As far as luxury boutiques go, this one skews decidedly cooler than most. First of all, it caters to both men and women, so you won't feel rushed while rifling through racks of L'Agence dresses, stacks of A.P.C. jeans, and piles of Anine Bing tees—your dude will be plenty distracted by pieces from Y-3, Opening Ceremony, and Maiden Noir. The jewelry case also deserves mention (Ariel Gordon, Catbird, Pamela Love) as does the Chanel-heavy partnership with What Goes Around Comes Around.
MAC (Modern Appealing Clothing)
387 Grove St., Hayes Valley
Focusing primarily on Belgian and Japanese designers (Engineered Garments, Dries Van Noten, Comme des Garçons), the long-standing MAC is one of the city's primary destinations for edgier labels. It's enduring power probably has something to do with the owners, a brother-and-sister team with a seemingly bottomless well of design knowledge, which they pass onto their employees and customers. There's a second location in Dogpatch.