San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury District is a popular destination for folks looking to spend a fun day enjoying the city’s history and culture, but with so many stores and restaurants to explore knowing some local favorites can help you decide which places are a must-see.
While strolling down Haight Street enjoying its vibrant street art and classic hippie hangouts, this list recommends some shopping spots you shouldn’t skip: The San Francisco Shopping Guide to the Haight-Ashbury
Some local favorites include Amoeba Music, one of the last remaining big independent record stores in America. It’s easy to get lost amid their extensive collection of vintage and new vinyl, CDs, cassette tapes, and DVDs for hours at a time. Be sure to check their calendar and see if you can catch one of their occasional high-energy live shows held right inside the store: Upcoming Live Shows at Amoeba
For the bookworms at heart, at stop at the Booksmith shouldn’t be missed. This quirky independent bookstore offers a fabulous collection of new and used volumes, and is a fixture for readings by celebrated authors—so be sure to check their calendar! Just a few blocks down the street is the Booksmith’s sister store the Bindery, which features a beer, wine, and cocktail bar alongside it’s innovative Arcana Project: a deep, inclusive array of books from all over the world, all shelved in chronological order.
The Booksmith & The Bindery
One final store that’s worth a visit is the Love of Ganesha, a large family-run metaphysical store offering crystals, gemstones, jewelry, incense, yoga apparel and clothing, and even a cute meditation room at the back of the store.
Love of Ganesha on Facebook
After you’ve worked up an appetite exploring Haight Street’s stores, this list gives some suggestions for restaurants to check out: Where to Eat and Drink in the Upper Haight
One local favorite is The Alembic—a cool spot with an old-school vibe that serves outstanding cocktails and excellent American food. The menu and space of the Alembic were remodeled in 2015, but the dark, wooden floors and leather booths ensure it still has the feel of a real neighborhood institution—and it’s been around for a decade! The star of the Alembic is the cocktail menu, which ranges from the completely original to the traditional with many exceptional options to choose from. The menu features fancified bar bites alongside fresh meats and vegetables. There’s something for everyone—from classics like ham and cheese or wings, to adventurous options like bone marrow and duck hearts.
1725 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117, (415) 666-0822
Tuesday & Wednesday 4pm-12am, Thursday & Friday 4pm-2am, Saturday 11am-2am, Sunday 11am-12pm.
When you’re ready for an evening drink, head down the street to Club Deluxe, which has been San Francisco’s best neighborhood jazz bar since 1989. Styled after classic New York City jazz houses, this retro bar features a good selection of beer and American whiskeys. The real draw for Club Deluxe is the live music featured from 6pm to close on weekdays and 11am to close on weekends. The bar hosts a varied roster of Bay Area bands playing jazz, swing, blues, and bossa nova, with a sprinkling of latin and folk music that draws a diverse crowd to the dance floor.
1511 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA 94117. (415) 552-1555
Mon-Fri: 4pm-2am, Sat & Sun: 9am-2am.