Hayes Valley’s best
Shops and restaurants run thick and heavy for three blocks between Franklin and Laguna streets. Currently the area is in a construction uproar, and things are changing rapidly.
Hayes Valley attraction/shop
201 Franklin St./Fell St.
When designing this new jazz venue, careful thought was put into giving it the stature of a concert hall but with the informality of a club. Sight lines are excellent, sound is tonally balanced, and seats are comfortable (their arms have a drink holder). Featuring a kind of corrugated aluminum look in greys and blacks, the room gives off a cool vibe. This is the first free-standing building for jazz in the U.S.
560 Hayes St./Laguna St.
America’s first sake store, this is also the first dedicated sake store outside of Japan and sells only imported Japanese sakes. Sake bottles can be beautiful so you can enjoy just a browse here, too. More than 220 sakes are stocked, and the staff is trained and ready to answer your questions.
Hayes Valley restaurants
1686 Market St./Gough St.
Operating within a glass-walled corner building, this authentic Brazilian steak house provides comfortable seating at well-spaced tables. Fine paintings by renowned Brazilian artist Edgar Cliquet depict Brazilian scenes. Meals are a set price and include as much as you can eat; drinks and desserts cost additional. Skewers of meats cooked over an open fire are brought around to each table by skilled carvers and sliced onto diners’ plates. Meats include filet mignon and other cuts of beef as well as pork, lamb, chicken, housemade sausage, and shrimp. The salad bar is a cornucopia of delights. It offers tangy Brazilian potato salad and coleslaw and also some typical Brazilian side dishes. Two kinds of sangria, signature cocktails, and Brazilian beers are available in addition to wine, and desserts include a tasty passion fruit mousse and a classic tres leches pudding cake.
1658 Market St./Franklin St., on the outskirts.
It seems that all seats are good in this cheery warren of asymmetrically shaped spaces, where both the Market Street parade and chefs in the kitchen are part of the visual treat. The menu changes twice each day, and everything but the bread is housemade. A delightful brunch might consist of an antipasto plate spread with delicious local Molinari salami and baked ricotta, followed by a pizza baked in the wood-burning brick oven and topped, perhaps, with artichoke hearts and capers. Other options might include eggs baked with tomato, fennel, and white beans and served in an oversize earthenware bowl, or the acclaimed house-ground hamburger on grilled rosemary focaccia bread (not available at dinner). The restaurant is known for both its brick-oven roasted chicken and Caesar salad, and they are always good choices. Do leave room for dessert, especially if the divine rhubarb tart is an option.
Hayes Valley hotel
Hayes Valley Inn
417 Gough St./Hayes St. 3 floors. Breakfast; afternoon tea. Shared bathrooms and toilets, in-room sink. Self-parking nearby,
Though this European-style inn has no air-conditioning, it does have ceiling fans and that usually is adequate in naturally air-conditioned San Francisco. Be aware that is has no elevator, but it does have nicely decorated, comfortable rooms.
(www.berkeleyandbeyond2.com; copyright Carole Terwilliger Meyers)