The Haight is the famed hippie cultural center that has long been regarded as the heart of the sixties movement. The area smells of freedom, and newcomers who choose to buy Real Estate in The Haight have an appreciation for the rich heritage of early "Age of Aquarious" high times. The Haight today is a whole new scene. Exclusive boutiques, high-end vintage-clothing shops, second-hand stores, Internet cafés and hip restaurants have all settled in, making the Haight one of San Francisco's premier commercial centers.
There are two distinctly different areas of the Haight: The Upper Haight, which stretches from Stanyan to Masonic, is the more moneyed shopping zone, though it deteriorates a bit where it stretches toward Golden Gate Park. Meanwhile, the Lower Haight, roughly Divisidero to Webster, is a more diverse neighborhood with a grittier feel. While it has been an alternate nightlife hub for years, the Lower Haight has become a main draw among DJs and ravers with the proliferation of dance-music record shops and clubs.
The Haight has an easy feeling during daytime hours. It is perfect for relaxing in cafés and bookstores.On the weekends the area can get crowded with shoppers and diners during the day. The area comes alive in the evening with bar and club goers at night.
Sights & Culture
Red Vic Movie House: A cozy movie house for rep, cult and premiere independent films at noninflated moviegoing prices. Sip some coffee or tea (drinks come in real mugs and glasses!), munch popcorn (with or without yeast) or other organic treats and sit snugly on one of the couches or theater seats. Pick up a month-by-month calendar at the front window. 1727 Haight St., (415) 668-3994. (Web site)
Corner of Haight & Ashbury: Back in the mid-1960s, this was perhaps the most famous intersection in the world, a place where young people came to from all over the world in search of love and peace. Today it's worth a visit just to see the beautiful Victorians that surround the area. And maybe to get a Ben and Jerry's ice-cream cone, if you like that sort of thing.
Buena Vista Park: Hike, jog, walk or just lean your back against a tree in these 36 acres of forested parkland with great views of surrounding Victorians and the city. Oak and pine trees stand next to eucalyptus and Monterey cypress, with trails winding throughout.
The Grateful Dead house: In the mid-'60s, the Grateful Dead lived together (with many other transients) in this 1890 Cranston-Keenan building. 710 Ashbury St.
Haight Street Fair: The Haight Street Fair happens in June. Locals and tourists pack the Upper Haight for local bands, food from neighborhood restaurants and, plenty of shopping.
All You Knead: Giant breakfast plates overflow with home fries and eggs. Vegetarians have a vast array of lunch and dinner options, including veggie burritos, pastas and hearty soups. This place can get crowded for weekend brunch. 1466 Haight St., (415) 552-4550.
Asqew Grill: From tofu kebabs to grilled caramel apples, everything on the menu is served on a skewer. Food is fresh and cheap. 1607 Haight St., (415) 701-9301.
Axum Cafe: A bare-bones operation packed with a diverse Lower Haight crowd. Dishes are served on a large piece of injera, the Ethiopian pancakelike bread, with a refreshingly tangy salad. The meat dishes, especially the lamb, are delicious..698 Haight St. (415) 252-7912.
Bia's Restaurant & Wine Bar: Bia's retains the old restaurant's California-Mediterranean focus. Dinner options include penne pasta with vodka, pan seared sea bass, and smoked chicken linguine. Bia's boasts 70 different varieties of red and white wines from all over the world. 1640 Haight St., (415) 861-8868.
The Blue Front Café: Mediterranean cuisine (with a health-conscious emphasis). A variety of inexpensive eats that includes basic sandwiches like chicken filet and a number of vegetarian options. Try the Middle Eastern omelet with tomatoes, garlic, parsley and feta cheese for breakfast. 1430 Haight St., (415) 252-5917.
Café du Soleil: Pascal Rigo's organic breads and croissants arrive daily, to be eaten solo or in open-faced sandwiches with salads and homemade chips. Beer and wine served. 200 Fillmore St. (at Waller), (415) 934-8367.
The Grind Cafe: Locals come to this hangout for the espresso drinks, smoothies and large portions. Breakfast includes a large selection of omelets or creative pancakes like the Coco-loco, with bananas, macadamia nuts and coconut. Lunch sandwiches and salads are available as well. 783 Haight St., (415) 864-0955.
Horseshoe Coffee House: Horseshoe is the best place for java in the Haight. It is and was the first Internet café in the United States. 566 Haight St., (415) 626-8852.
Indian Oven: Zesty North Indian food. Exotic choices include fish tandoori with Chilean sea bass marinated in herbs and spices, and chicken Madras cooked in spicy coconut sauce with raisins and basic sabji-vegetable curry. 233 Fillmore St. (near Haight), (415) 626-1628.
Kan Zaman: Tasty Moroccan platters where belly dancers swirl and clink away in front of ogling guests and passersby. Postmeal hookahs available to top off the evening. 1793 Haight St., (415) 751-9656.
Kate's Kitchen: Super-huge servings of food made with all-natural ingredients. The pancakes are humongous, and the egg scrambles are savory; vegetarian and vegan options available. 471 Haight St., (415) 626-3984.
The Pork Store Cafe: Check out the Pork Store Special, with two pork chops, eggs, biscuits and hash browns. Vegetarian options include scrambled eggs with onions, spinach, Jack cheese and salsa. Closes by late afternoon. 1451 Haight St., (415) 864-6981.
Rosamunde: This small eatery specializes in sausage, including a smoked duck sausage with juniper berries, hazelnuts and pork and a Merguez sausage with spicy lamb and beef, and a seafood sausage filled with shrimp, scallops and snapper. Sausages are grilled to order and served on large buns.545 Haight St. (near Fillmore Street); (415) 437-6851. Lunch, dinner daily.
Squat 'N' Gobble/Squat 'N' Gobble Too: Excellent coffee drinks and satisfying food. Their crepes and sandwiches and nearly everything on the menu comes with a heap of home potatoes. 237 Fillmore St. (near Haight), (415) 487-0551; 1428 Haight St., (415) 864-8484.
Thep Phanom: Thep Phanom cooks up specialties like the Bird of Paradise, with marinated quails in garlic and pepper deep fried and served with spicy-and-sour sauce, or specialties like crispy jumbo prawns and snapper served with peanut sauce. 400 Waller St. (near Haight), (415) 431-2526.
Zona Rosa: Zona Rosa's was one of the first taquerias in the Haight. There are plenty of vegetarian options and fresh juices. 1793 Haight St., (415) 668-7717.
Gallery 683: Featuring tribal art from Central and South America, as well as from Southern Mexico, this gallery also sells silver jewelry, drums, and other Native American crafts. A bit unrelated, 683 also focuses on original 1960s rock posters, handbills, and memorabilia. 683 Haight St., 415-861-1311.
Betsy Dee: Dee carries her own contemporary sportswear line and many new local clothing and accessories designers. 1322 Haight St., (415) 861-2527.
The Booksmith: New books can be a bit overwhelming at Booksmith, but spoken-word CDs are stacked at the counter, and author readings and events occur up to twice a week. 1644 Haight St., (415) 863-8688. (Web site)
Bound Together Bookstore: Look for authors like Noam Chomsky and Mumia Abu-Jamal, books about anarchy in Cuba, zines from the likes of Earth First! and works from other radical, alternative, left-wing presses -- including, of course, "The Anarchist Yellow Pages." 1369 Haight St., (415) 431-8355. (Web site)
FTC: Skaters flock to this shop for skateboards, skate pants, skateboard videos, and a variety of skate-related accessories and magazines. 1632 Haight St., (415) 626-0663. (Web site)
Genesis Imports: The UN of crafts shops, Genesis features a worldwide mixture of crafts. Indonesian wooden dragons, statues from Tanzania, Vietnamese carved miniature boats, Peruvian jewelry, masks from Ghana, American Indian saddle blankets 1597 Haight St., (415) 703-0775.
Scents-U-All: Custom-blend perfumes and small gift items. 438 Haight St., 415-861-OILS.
SFO Snowboarding: A prime spot for snowboarders to stock up on boots, boards, bindings, and outerwear. 618 Haight St., (415) 386-1666. (Web site)
Soul Patch Tattoo: Piercing and tattoo parlor. Soul Patch throws in a few T-shirts, sunglasses, and jewelry to round out its stock. 1599 Haight St., (415) 552-3444.
Tibet Styles: Rugs, jewelry, jackets, and wall hangings from monasteries, the stock in Tibet Styles is designed mostly by Tibetan refugees in India and Nepal. 1707 Haight St., 415-387-0903.
Ambiance: Well-chosen pieces by French Connection, Free People, XOXO, Silver Jeans and Trina Turk, as well as finds from several smaller labels are here and this is the place to pick up a great dress, shoes and bag for a date, wedding, office party or other event. 1458 Haight St., (415) 552-5095.
Land of the Sun: '60s Summer of Love gear, including tie-dye shirts, Jerry Garcia wall hangings, peace necklaces, Haight-Ashbury T-shirts, Janis Joplin photos, candles and incense. 1715 Haight St., (415) 831-8646.
Club Deluxe: Llive music on Friday and Saturday, and on Sunday the owner's band puts on a show featuring Frank Sinatra covers. Artisan-style pizza, with has an organic flour crust and fresh toppings each day make this even better.. They're served served 7 p.m.-midnight Wednesday-Friday and Sunday. 1509-11 Haight St., (415) 552-6949.
Hobson's Choice: Hobson's Choice is a rum lovers favorite. There are more than 110 kinds of rum, about 80 percent of which are hard to find elsewhere. Rum flights, a special order in which patrons choose three kinds of rum, are available every night. Hobson's packs out Thursday to Saturday nights. 1601 Haight St., (415) 621-5859. (Web site)
Mad Dog in the Fog: A funky British pub famous for its stout pints, bangers and mash, open-mic nights and pub quizzes. 530 Haight St., (415) 626-7279. (Web site)
Milk: Milk is a success with its soul, funk, hip-hop, and house beats. Catering to the 20-something set. 1840 Haight St., (415) 387-6455. (Web site)
Toronado: Toronado has extensive draft choices, with names like Brutal Bitter, Boney Fingers and Prohibition Ale. German beers are offered on tap. 547 Haight St., (415) 863-2276. (Web site)