6.9 out of 10

Haight-Ashbury

Ranked 65th best neighborhood in San Francisco
37.7685043529112 -122.447836846888
Great for
  • Eating Out
  • Public Transport
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Medical Facilities
Not great for
  • Parking
  • Cost of Living
  • Schools
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Hipsters

Reviews

3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+
Editors Choice

"Summer of Love Meets Generation X"

Mention “Haight Ashbury” and most people over age 45 are likely to nod their heads and drift into a nostalgic reverie of the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, drug trips good and bad, long hair, free love, political engagement, and everything else associated with 1967 and the Summer of Love. To those younger by a decade or two, the name evokes more the edgy creativity of a new generation of rebellious youth, all black leather, spiky hair and pout.

The two versions and their variations are not really all that far apart. For Haight-Ashbury (or, as many residents say, simply, “the Haight”) has long worn the badge of nonconformity, of rebellion, of free-to-be-whatever-I-want-to-be. The counterculture feel of the place endures, especially along Haight Street itself, even as the neighborhood gentrifies and its older, more radical denizens move or die off, leaving to younger, wealthier, perhaps less hip but still creative residents the job of taking up the mantle of revolutionary ideals and putting them to work here.

Though the Haight is generalized by many San Franciscans as a place inhabited and frequented by zonked-out kids, from Gen X’ers to the Millennials, the truth is more complex. The neighborhood has always been primarily residential and open to newcomers—explaining why almost 100,000 young people landed here in 1967, when the area’s housing stock was in decline after the flight of old-timers to the suburbs of Marin and San Mateo counties, and many houses were abandoned after years of neglect. These massive homes, with their warrens of parlors and nooks and chambers, date from the district’s first heyday, when it emerged from the farms and sandy expanses of the “outlands” late in the 19th century with the arrival of the Haight Street Cable Railroad. By the mid-1880s, the newly laid-out streets were filling with large, ornate houses, built to entice well-to-do merchants and businessmen and their families to move here from more crowded areas radiating from Market Street. These single-family Victorians are among San Francisco’s oldest, having escaped the fires that devastated much of the city following the 1906 quake. Walk along some of the side streets (Belvedere, for example), and you’ll see relics from the turn-of-the-century era when the neighborhood had the feel of a town in the Midwest, gingerbread homes nestled cheek-by-jowl, with people passing the time knitting or playing cards on wide porches.

Some longtime residents have weathered the changing winds of fortune and fashion, and (especially south of Haight Street) new families and couples have moved in and revitalized the residential area. The renovations have always kept the 1960s in mind, so the palette remains vibrant, to say the least, with bright colors ranging to the psychedelic. With the real-estate boom of the late 20th-century, many of the homes have appreciated in value exponentially; to own here now is to be sitting on a small fortune, depending on square feet. A modest, two-bedroom flat or condo can go for as much as $1 million; detached single-family houses fetch twice that. Renting is thus the norm for almost three-quarters of the population of 25,000 (a portion of whom live at or near the poverty level), according to the U.S. Census Bureau--though it’s difficult to find studios for under $1,000, and one-bedrooms range upward from $1,200, based on recent Trulia listings.

Understandably for an area with so many tourists and transients, the neighborhood experiences moderate crime. As might be expected, drug infractions occur frequently here, probably more so than police statistics reflect, owing to a presumed tolerance of marijuana not only by law enforcement but the general population as well. (Breathe deeply on any corner near Haight Street and you’ll likely catch a whiff of weed from some doorway or window.) Most citations are of the “intoxicated person” variety, which assumes alcohol played a role. Dozens of “disturbing the peace” violations occur in any given three-month period, especially along Haight Street, but also in areas with a concentration of bars and restaurants (and rowdy clientele), like the intersection of Cole and Carl. Assaults are common as well, again along main corridors such as Haight or Oak (which flanks the southern side of the Panhandle) along with Stanyan, which fronts Golden Gate Park. In the last three years, there have been two homicides. Robberies and burglaries are frequent, and (reflecting a citywide trend) vehicle thefts and car break-ins plague the neighborhood, particularly for those who park on the street (residential permit “J” on indicated streets).

But not having a car is also an option (and even advisable given the tight parking), because public transportation serves the area well. The N Judah streetcar stops along Carl Street before disappearing into the Sunset Tunnel and emerging on the other side, in Duboce Triangle, for a quick (and mostly underground) trip downtown and to the Financial District. (Many riders also hop on the N going in the other direction, bound for the Inner and Outer Sunset as well as Ocean Beach.) Buses, including the 6 and 71, amble down Haight Street and then continue on Market for trips downtown as well. The 37, a local that makes a circuitous trip through several neighborhoods, meanders through the Haight, too. Starting from points east and west, the 33 and 43 buses make a mostly north/south trajectory through the area, converging on Haight Street, where, combined with double-parked cars and delivery trucks, they frequently prompt short-lived traffic jams.

In addition to being the main thoroughfare through the neighborhood, Haight Street is itself a destination for shopping, errand-running, and people-watching in general, with a panoply of merchants offering everything from retro fashions to Himalayan and Tibetan handicrafts. Head shops (or, as they’ve become known today, “smoke shops”) dot the street (Pipe Dreams, Goodfellas, Puff Puff Pass, et al.) as do tattoo and piercing parlors (Cold Steel, Soul Patch, Haight Ashbury Tattoo and Piercing), along with bars (pubs like Martin Mack’s and bigger drinking halls like Hobson’s Choice) and new hangouts such as Magnolia (a self-described brewery and gastropub) as well as historic and beloved dives like Murio’s Trophy Room and Gold Cane Cocktail Lounge. Amoeba Music sells thousands of used records from a sprawling former bowling alley, and Haight Ashbury Music Center sells everything necessary to make your own kind of music. FTC Skateboard is a mecca of sorts for the street-boarding crowd. The street’s also a polyglot of ethnic eateries (Cha Cha Cha for Caribbean; Siam Lotus and Ploy II for Thai, both within the same block, and Best of Thai Noodle House farther east; Zona Rosa and Taqueria Balazo for Mexican; and the Blue Front Deli and Café with Mediterranean lunches and dinners, as well as American sandwiches and breakfast selections); there’s even a politically correct Ben and Jerry’s (on the corner of Haight and Ashbury, of course) and an incongruous McDonald’s at the point where the street ends at Golden Gate Park. Then come a number of curiosities: the Persian Aub Zam Zam, a bar named after the well holy to Islam and whose late owner, Bruno Mooshei, used to eject patrons he deemed unworthy of his establishment for ordering the wrong drink or sitting alone in a booth; the Red Victorian, a B&B and self-proclaimed “peace center,” which harks back to the Summer of Love with its color-splashed paisley rooms; the former not to be confused with the Red Vic Movie House, an art cinema whose eclectic programming is matched by the assortment of couches for viewers and organic toppings you can sprinkle on your popcorn.

Cole Street near its intersection with Carl offers a secondary commercial district for residents, one more low key and less crowd-oriented—though popular restaurants such as Eos (a wine lover’s haven) and Zazie (an unfussy French bistro), along with cafes like La Boulange de Cole Valley, draw swarms, especially on weekends. Cole Street also boasts the original Cole Hardware, a handyperson’s delight, with aisles stacked floor to ceiling with all the appurtenances of the do-it-yourself lifestyle. (No wonder this place became a citywide chain.)

Schools in the neighborhood are hit and miss: the former De Avila Elementary (part of it now a branch of the City College system) has become a magnet for those desiring a Chinese bilingual immersion school. Urban School, a private college-prep high school with an innovative bent, makes the neighborhood its home on Page Street. And there’s also Lycée Français La Perouse, an oddity in this otherwise unconventional neighborhood (French standards of education being as strict as they are).

Diversity—especially of lifestyles—is the key to understanding the Haight, even if the demographics (from Census stats) say the area is 75 percent white, with about 10 percent African American, around 8 percent Asian, and the rest of mixed race. One model of service to the community since the late sixties is the Haight Ashbury Free Clinics, which started in a storefront on Clayton and now include centers in the city’s neediest areas, notably the Mission and Tenderloin. Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council keeps all the various voices in harmony, serving as not only an interface with City Hall but also a sounding board for residents with issues. Walden House has served men and women in recovery and children with special needs since the early 1970s. And then there are places like St. Agnes Church, a Jesuit-run outpost that welcomes all and among its many outreach programs offers coffee and donuts on Sundays after the 10:30 Mass.

The one blessing everyone here seems to agree on is the proximity of parks: the neighborhood is framed on the east by Buena Vista Park, on the north by the Panhandle, and on the west by Golden Gate Park. All represent the best of late-19th century urban planning, with wide open spaces framed by huge trees and gardens showcasing what thrives in this unique microclimate. When the hubbub of the Haight becomes overwhelming, these green spaces beckon.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
5/5
Jan 19, 2016

"HAIGHT ASHBURY – Be the Flower-Child You Were Meant to Be"

Some people will say that the best thing about The Haight is “Cha Cha Cha” a tapas restaurant that serves SF’s tastiest Sangria. Most (smart) people will not disagree. The popularity of the restaurants in this neighborhood speaks to the quality of the food here. Just to name a few, restaurants like Zazie, Nopalito and Parada 22 really stand out.



The Haight is a culturally-rich and colorful neighborhood, which historians agree is the birthplace of the hippie movement. Bordered by Divisadero Street, Buena Vista Avenue, Stanyan Street, and Fulton Street, it dead-ends into the Golden Gate Bridge Park. On pleasant days, you can see many tourists and locals riding their bikes to the park to see the Bridge for the first time or return to lounge in their favorite spots.



Walking through the streets, you can see glimpses of that “past hippie life” because of thrift stores like Buffalo Exchange and Goodwill, the incense shops and the painting of “The Grateful Dead” on 710 Ashbury Street. The colored Victorian Houses or “Painted Ladies” which survived the 1906 earthquake definitely add to the nostalgic air of this district. These can be found at 710–720 Steiner Street, across the street from Alamo Square park. In the 60s and 70s, people were separating these homes into multiple units. In the 10’s they are trying to preserve the original designs. It seems to me that they are tastefully bringing this district into the 21st century.



So, the next question is, “What can I do in Haight Ashbury?” Like many other neighborhoods in San Francisco, shopping is a big deal. And the shopping in “The Haight” mirrors the atmosphere with stores like Piedmont Boutique - they sell fetish wear, lingerie and feather boas and the Jammin’ on Haight that offers tie-dye clothing and The Grateful Dead keepsakes.



One of The Haight’s most famous attractions is a festival held once a year in the summer.

The Haight Ashbury Street Fair (HASF) is held every year on a sunny second Sunday in June. It provides exposure and increased revenue for over 200 small merchants in the Haight Ashbury District who bring to the fair – arts & crafts, music and food. One of the highlights is the official fair poster that is selected via entries to the yearly contest. As you can probably imagine, the images are very reminiscent of hippie culture. For example this year’s image featured a green-skinned flower-child peering into a future-ball. Maybe you can try your luck at next year’s competition!



As with almost every neighborhood in San Francisco – the food is amazing. From the unconventional Alembic that serves pork belly and bone marrow to the more traditional Ice-cream Bar and Soda Fountain that reminds one of poodle skirts and striped red straws to the Mexican-inspired eateries like The Little Chihuahua Mexican Restaurant. I say, why not give all of them a try.



The Haight is truly one of San Francisco’s most vivacious and eccentric districts. You will be missing out if you never cross its borders.
Pros
  • Great food
  • Historic SF neighborhood
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Hipsters
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"A trendy neighborhood now"

Haight-Ashbury, casually known as The Haight is no longer the ultra-hippie mecca that it used to be. Of course, you'll find some aging stoners hanging around (and young ones, too), but I think the area attracts more than just Grateful Dead fans these days. The epicenter, Haight Street, actually appears to be turning into a pretty trendy place. Yes, there are, of course, the required smoke shops around, but there are also up-and-coming restaurants, bars, and clothing shops.

As you walk down Haight Street, you'll be amazed at how many great shops there are. I have seen a number of impressive vintage clothing stores that I've made a note of.
A popular hot spot is Toronado, a great bar for beer lovers. It has over 40 beers on tap that range from local SF favorites to ones from Belgium. The pub doesnt serve food, but they do allow you to get food from Rosamunde Sausage Grill next door and bring it in to enjoy with your beer. It's an amazing combination.
Pros
  • Great food
  • Great nightlife
Cons
  • Expensive to live in
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"For Food and Fun, not For the Hippies"

Yeah, yeah… I know…the Dead House.. Janis Joplin’s place… Grace Slick… and Alan Ginsburg and Timothy Leary (cue the Moody Blues)… Okay but, as the saying goes, the revolution has been coopted. Going to the Haight to experience the Hippy Movement is like going to Disneyland to experience the Wild West. Yeah, the symbols are there but only the ones they can sell to you for a couple of bucks.
They’ve kept a few things… You still get the some strung out kids, and drug dealers... but its all pretty shallow now. And in terms of living there? Well it varies. You can find some places in old Victorians right by the Panhandle for about $900—while over by Buena Vista Park you’re getting asking prices of $3500 (I even saw one four bedroom for $15,000—no I did not put in an extra zero).
Now I know the history and love the idea of being close to Golden Gate Park (Buena Vista Park is pretty attractive as well), but I have never found this to be a particularly attractive neighborhood in itself. The Victorians here, though colorful on the main drags, look weathered and beaten down as you get off the main drag. I suppose the same could be said of other parts of this city, but somehow it is more disappointing here. The Haight seems to me more like the place where you go to buy hippy stuff either when you’re going through an artsy phase or when you just think it would be funny to have a lava lamp.
That said, I’ll stop disrespecting the neighborhood and say that there are definitely some good ethnic restaurants here from Thai food at Ploy II to tapas at Cha Cha Cha. Also, for drinks go for Alembic, Hobson’s Choice, and the Gold Cane—all good choices among several in the neighborhood.
I think though it might be better to go a little farther west if you have kids, where it is just generally quieter. (Or south if you can afford it.)
Pros
  • Great Parks
  • Great food
  • Great nightlife
Cons
  • A little dirty
  • Expensive to live in
  • Tourists
Recommended for
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
ShaunetOlsson
2yrs+
Add a comment...
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"Home of the eclectic trendsetters"

Nestled in between downtown San Francisco and Golden Gate park, Haight Ashbury is an area rich with history and culture. Fragments of the hippie era and the psychedelic mindset still remain in the neighborhood, but much of its culture has dissipated into a melting pot of indie hipsters and young professionals.

The neighborhood is split between Upper and Lower Haight. Rent can run you steep in Upper Haight mostly because the area is filled with renovated Victorian houses serving as an inviting aesthetic to the community. Cheaper rents tend to be in Lower Haight where the streets can run a little seedy. Most of the housing apartments and shops have bars on the windows and while exploring the neighborhood, its typical to come across the smell of marijuana and occasional rants of the homeless. But both areas are conveniently located near downtown, offering plenty of bus lines.

Many of the local businesses still thrive despite years of economic downturn in the area.
Dive bars and eclectic restaurants are the main nightlife attractions. Nickies is one of Lower Haight’s long time watering holes offering a full bar and great music. But newer and trendier bars are sprouting up all the time. The neighborhood is also home to a number of different clothing boutiques, book shops and funky record stores.

Every June, the district hosts the Haight Street Fair featuring delectable food booths, local bands and crafty vendors. The Fair has been a main attraction in the area for over 30 years.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"Not Hippietown anymore. But, still some free love relics"

The Haight used to be the epicenter of hippiedom. Pretty much everyone knows the intersection of Haight and Ashbury as the place to go for the continuation of 60's living. I remember my first time in the Haight: I was in grade school and found it to be one of the most bizarre and dirty places I had ever been. The street reeked of patchouli and everyone either was (or appeared to be) homeless and drugged out. Pretty much everyone had long hair and beards -- and this was the '90's already! There were a ton of smoke shops and people dancing around for change that had just driven from god knows where in the midwest. This is not so much the case with the Haight anymore.
There are actually a lot of luxury boutiques in this stretch of San Francisco now. Barely anyone smells of Patchouli but there definitely is still that sect-- it's incredibly small compared to what it was just ten years ago, however. There is an incredibly eclectic mix of people to Haight now. There's a few hippies and homeless (but those are everywhere in SF), a ton of tourists and a lot of young people. There's even a fairly large crowd of the professional set in the area with the influx of high end shopping and trendy restaurants. Ah, such is life in the city. I kind of feel bad for tourists that specifically come to this area hoping to get into a time capsule. The Haight has evolved past its own reputation.
Have no fear, though, vintage lovers. What you lack in acid dropping weirdos, you can make up for with some excellent vintage shopping. Bang-on San Fran is one of my favorite vintage rock t-shirt shops. A little pricey but the shirts are really cool. Aardvarks is a great California chain for vintage shopping and there are a ton of fantastic second hand book shops lining the streets of this neighborhood. There's also a lot of really bizarre shops in the neighborhood -- like a store that just sells beads and one that sells weird finger puppet thingies. The shopping is kind of a trip in this neighborhood but really fun. As you head north, the shops gradually become nicer so be advised when planning. Oh, also, theres a music store called Amoeba that is a must.
There are a lot of really cool looking bars and restaurants in the Haight and because it's a semi-younger crowd, they're pretty much always jamming. None of them are my favorites in the City, but they're definitely all cool for the most part -- so you can't go wrong. Plus, whats cooler than having a cocktail and then going to check out the old Grateful Dead house, right?
I wouldn't live in the Haight even though some of the old Victorians are stunning. It's a little gritty still on the lower end and there's way too many tourists. But, an afternoon in the Haight is pretty fun no matter what type of person you are.
Pros
  • Great food
  • Great nightlife
  • Historic SF neighborhood
Cons
  • Tourists
  • A little dirty
  • Not for the uptight
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"Fun Hippie Neighborhood"

I wasn't so sure about this one the first time I saw it...and then I understood. Haight-Ashbury has the hippie, Summer of Love history that San Francisco is known for. It is not quite Castro and not quite Mission, but it screams East Village of NYC - with a more loving, comfortable, SAFE atmosphere.

The nightlife here is still fun - you can't really beat Toronado's for beer gardens here in SF. Parking off of the main drag is decent, and the Mexican food is great. But the neighborhood has something more, something unique - its jagged, funky shape is the missing piece of the big San Francisco puzzle that I have been trying to put together.
Pros
  • Great nightlife
  • Great food
  • Historic SF neighborhood
Cons
  • A little dirty
  • Expensive to live in
  • Not for the uptight
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Perfect for people wanting to indulge in 60's atmosphere"

Haight-Ashbury (or "Hashbury" as Hunter S. Thompson called it) is one of my favorite San Francisco neighborhoods. But I am just that type of yoga-loving, vegetarian organic food loving chick.

If your tastes run differently, you may find Haight-Ashbury to be grating. As for me, I couldn’t be much happier with the peaceful hippy vibe in this neighborhood. Sure, it gets a bit much at times. But you have to appreciate the history. I just like walking around knowing that I am on the same exact path as the Grateful Dead and Janice Joplin.

On the down side, prices in this neighborhood are high. Yes, this does seem a bit hypocritical that a neighborhood so “earthy” has such unrealistic pricing. But what can you do? This is a beautiful, conveniently located neighborhood in San Francisco. Of course, the prices are high.

One great thing about Haight-Ashbury is the restaurants. Some of my favorites include Squat and Gobble Café, Panini, Cha Cha Cha and Siam Lotus Thai.

Also you can get a lot of fun shopping done in this neighborhood. Just be prepared that you will be walking through a lot of pot smoke.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
ShaunetOlsson
2yrs+
Add a comment...
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Still partying!"

Haight-Ashbury can be a lot of fun to visit for a dose of hippie nostalgia. One could spend an entire day wandering in and out of the numerous stores ogling lava lamps and inhaling mouthfuls of incense (among other kinds of smoke wafting in regular intervals along Haight Street.) Haight Street proper is vibrant, crowded (especially on weekends) and pulsating with the sounds of street musicians and the occasional screaming rant of someone who’s gotten a little too high. But, if you look closely there is an alternative scene thriving alongside the faded summer-of-love in the Haight-Ashbury. Take Rose’s vintage boutique—one of the best vintage stores in the Bay Area, or Magnolia’s gastro-pub—offering a fresh local and seasonal menu, or the Citrus Club—a delicious and bustling joint that slings delicious plates of Asian noodles. The Gold Cane is an unassuming but fantastic neighborhood bar and Club Deluxe has several fun-themed nights from burlesque shows to jazz and poetry to indie-rock.

It’s fun to wander the less-traveled side streets of the Haight Ashbury and imagine the weathered Victorians full of hippie communes. With steep rent hikes, very few actually hippies or communes still exist in the Haight, but the residents embrace a relaxed way of life and funky 1960’s aesthetic. The atmosphere greatly varies from street to street and block to block in the Haight-Ashbury. For example, Page Street is very mellow and safe but Waller (just two blocks over) is loud, noisy and way sketchier. My friends in this neighborhood have often complained that the Haight-Ashbury area is very noisy at night—especially when the bars let out at 2AM and people wander the streets in search of white rabbits.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
3/5
2yrs+

"Hippies and Dead Heads Found Here"

The historic Haight District is the epitome of San Francisco culture. Weekends get quite crowded but it is worth bumping through the mob of tourists.

Getting hungry in the Haight? Try a great burger joint, known as none other than, The Burger Joint on the 700 block of Haight Street. Here you can curl up in a booth with two straws and enjoy a vanilla shake. Also on Haight Street is the best Caribbean restaurant this side of the equator, featuring calamari, fish tapas, and plantains.

Shopping is immense on Haight Street. Exclusive boutiques to high-end vintage clothing shops makes Haight one of the Bay Area’s most popular commercial centers. Stores like Cheap Thrills, Happy Trails, Doe, and many more are found here.

In the evening, stop by Club Deluxe for a little 1950s Sinatra. In this neighborhood you will find just about every kind of club you are looking for. From British Pubs (Mad Dog in the Fog) to fund and hip-hop (Milk), Haight will never fail you in terms of clubs.

Don’t leave this neighborhood before stopping by the Corner of Haight and Ashbury for a little Victorian nostalgia, or attend the Haight Street Fair on the second Sunday in June to listen to the sounds of local bands.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
3/5
2yrs+

"Truly San Francisco"

Deadheads, hippies, potheads and piercings are all common to this part of town. Enjoy the culture of San Francisco and visit Gerry Garcia's old home in the Haight.

If you walk down Haight street, don't be surprised to see young kids who smell like weed and ask for donations. You're likely to see some dreads and get a friendly vibe, even if you don't give them a donation.

Some of the more industrious among these "street kids" might even offer up some cool art. I've found a few nice pieces I've purchased here -- far better than panhandling as they are at least working for their money.

If you're looking for a piercing, this is the place to go in San Francisco, though tattoos and funky clothing are also easy to find around here.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees

Travelling to Haight-Ashbury?

Find Hotels

Best Streets in Haight-Ashbury

1

Belvedere St

4/5
"Stop and Go street right off Haight and Cole"
37.766875760721 -122.449073619747
2

Carl St

4/5
"Transportation Never Looked Prettier"
37.7653685446322 -122.453340644891
3

Frederick St

3.5/5
"Great street to live near great stores"
37.7674810007978 -122.444299000316
"Up and down a hill"
37.7644563389511 -122.452998894873
5

Haight St

1.5/5
"It's Everything They Say It Is"
37.769272002938 -122.452701501207

Unranked Streets in Haight-Ashbury

"Right next to Buena Vista Park!"
37.7684506007316 -122.443533538441

Beulah St

2.5/5
"A quiet and peaceful street"
37.7674125029626 -122.452326001194

Willard St

2.5/5
"Tall houses and apartments"
37.765977666726 -122.454554999295

Clayton St

2.5/5
"Exciting street with a vast variety of amenities and people"
37.767099351491 -122.448030588824

Hillway Ave

3.5/5
"nice street near campus"
37.7643735000132 -122.456714499664

Best Neighborhoods to Live In

Best Cities to Live In

Tell everyone what you love about your neighborhood!

Leave a Review

Have a question?

How are schools? Is the area safe? What about public transit options?" Why not ask our community of locals!

Ask Now

Selling or Renting Your Home?

Maximize the selling price of your home by sharing what you love about your suburb to increase its appeal...

Leave a Review

Corporate Relocation Manager?

Enable your employees to share local knowledge in a private, trusted environment with those relocating... while building community.

Learn More