838 Divisadero, Nopa
Sure, it might not feel like SF needs yet another Italian restaurant. The truth is, Che Fico (pronounced "kay-feeco") is anything but. It also happens to be one of the hardest tables in the city to land right now. GP went earlier this spring when it first opened, and it continues to live up to the hype, down to its Instagram-friendly design details—a chevron tile lined entryway, a fire engine red pizza oven, and a boldly wallpapered stairway. Chef David Nayfeld and fellow Eleven Madison Park alum and pastry chef Angela Pinkerton have assembled a menu that's at once familiar but also masterful, meaning it's all really good and leans heavily on local California produce. Pastas (orchiette with fennel sausage and broccoli rabe; goats milk ricotta gnudi with ramps) are handmade, and the pizzas are oven charred and finished with parmigiano regiano. Everything is meant to be shared, and dishes pour out of the kitchen as they're ready, so you should just go for it and order everything that strikes your fancy. For dessert, it's a toss-up between the olive oil cake with elderflower ice cream and the bittersweet…
864 Post St., Hayes Valley
Any facialist worth their salt can make you glow after a treatment, but Kristina Holey’s aim is to bring skin into long-term balance. This means that each treatment begins with a thorough dissection of eating habits, skin-care routine, and general lifestyle and ends with a detailed homework assignment for everyday maintenance. There’s no menu at her airy, laid-back studio; the one and a half to two hours she spends with clients are completely customized, though all include a rousing face massage, as well as broths meant to calm and strengthen skin from within.
149 Fell St., Hayes Valley
Mexico City native Gabriela Camara has gained trailblazing status for her California-meets-Mexico fare (think: prawns in chile guajillo broth and crab tostadas with napa cabbage and habanero). Always bustling for dinner, the Hayes Valley hotspot is also a mainstay for lunch (its adjacent standing room taqueria is open daily from 11am-2pm). While the food is reason enough to come, it's worth noting the interiors—industrial and light-filled—are beautiful.
Veer & Wander
6 Brady St, Hayes Valley
We love how this streamlined boutique exudes the perfect mix of rockstar edginess and eco-consciousness–the latter being obvious on its shelves that are stocked with some of our favorite natural beauty brands including Vitner's Daughter, Rahua, and our very own goop by Juice Beauty. A full service salon anchors the space, where you can find some of the city's best colorists and stylists.
344 Linden St., Hayes Valley
Occupying a pretty clutch location across from the Blue Bottle on Linden Alley, the interior of Clare V.'s first San Francisco boutique is every bit the brand's chic, subtly Parisian aesthetic, with soft light pink floors and French-inspired posters on the walls. A garden in the back connects them to the Steven Alan on Hayes. Photos: Ulysses Ortega
609 Hayes St., Hayes Valley
Paying homage to her ancestral roots, Dominique Crenn's second (and slightly less experimental) restaurant emphasizes fresh seafood dishes—mussels and clams with garlic and saffron—and a great selection of French wines. The bright, cozy space is white, crisp, and just a touch nautical, with lights dangling from raw rope built-in bench seating decorated with light pillows. Unless you want to eat at the first come first serve bar, try to make a reservation well in advance. The menu is prix fixe—but it's totally worth it.
Maker & Moss
364 Hayes St., Hayes Valley
The first thing you'll notice about this home décor shop is the grandiose space—the wood-paneled ceilings are tall and rounded, and there are huge skylights that fill it with natural light. Owner Matt Bissinger, an SF native, stocks the space with everything from mid-century furniture to ceramics, candles, vintage maps and wall-hangings, and other objects that make excellent gifts. P.S. They do registries.
424 Octavia at Fell, Hayes Valley
This lovely beer garden is exactly the kind of place you want to come for drinks after work on a sunny day (their patio is huge). Food-wise, there's a nice selection of snacks like pickles and pretzels, plus some more filling options, including several types of sausage and sandwiches served in pretzel knot buns. The list of beers is excellent, and expertly curated down to a few great options–easing any sense of menu overwhelm. If you're still unsure, try a Radler: A mixture of beer and sparkling lemon soda that's pleasingly light and summery.
199 Gough St., Hayes Valley
This is the kind of place you bring a friend from out of town to, because it shows off the best of what SF's food scene has to offer. The restaurant is owned by Evan and Sarah Rich, a married couple who met when they were working in the kitchen at Bouley. Though both Evan and Sarah come from fine dining backgrounds, the vibe at Rich Table is much more relaxed, which results in ambitious dishes and exotic ingredients presented in a refreshingly unfussy way. The move, if you can, is the chef's picks. Photos: Kassie Borreson
315 Linden St., Hayes Valley
Mary Mar Keenan is a long-time potter that made a name for herself making tableware like plates, mugs, and serving bowls for some of the area's best restaurants (she designed plates for both The Progress and Nightbird). She sells her earthy, heartfelt pieces out of a teensy studio, and they're sort of the best souvenir (or wedding gift) imaginable.
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