San Francisco - Around Town : Central Neighborhoods (part 2) - Shops, Places to Eat

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A Hippie Tour of Haight-Ashbury

Begin at Alamo Square , with the Westerfield House at 1998 Fulton at Scott, former residence of Ken Kesey, the writer and visionary who arguably got the whole 1960s movement going. Walk up Scott, turn right on Page and go to No. 1090, where Big Brother and the Holding Company got their start. A block and a half farther on, go right on Lyon to No. 112, where Janis Joplin lived for most of 1967.

Continue on to the Panhandle, an extension of Golden Gate Park, where in June 1967 the Jimi Hendrix Experience gave a free concert. Now turn left on Central and head up to steep Buena Vista Park , site of public Love-Ins in the 1960s and 1970s. Turn Right on Haight and check out Positively Haight Street, 1400 Haight Street at Masonic, one of the fanciest hippie shops.

Continue on to the famous Haight-Ashbury intersection and walk along Haight to Clayton; at No. 558 is the much-loved Haight Ashbury Free Clinic, still imbued with the spirit of the 1960s. Savor a well-earned cappuccino and snack at the People’s Cafe .

Refreshed, walk towards the park, turn Right on Stanyan all the way to Fulton. At 2400 Fulton stands the former Jefferson Airplane Mansion, which used to be painted black. Finally, head back to Golden Gate Park and make your way to Hippie Hill to groove to the tribal drums.


  1. John Wheatman & Associates

    Understated, somewhat Oriental elegance in warm, cozy tones is what this showroom is all about. If you’re not in the market for antiques or designer furniture, stop by for their subtle pottery or paintings.

    • 1933 Union St

    • 415 346 8300

  2. Enchanted Crystal

    This gallery/store offers an amazing collection of art, glass, handcrafted jewelry, and decorative gifts.

    • 1895 Union St

    • 415 885 1335

  3. Carol Doda’s Champagne & Lace Lingerie Boutique

    Bodywear for women and men, brought to you by the infamous entertainment pioneer who brought topless dancing to San Francisco in the 1960s. Naturally, the emphasis is on risqué styles.

    • 1850 Union St

    • 415 776 6900

  4. Brooks Shoes For Kids

    This store specializes in high fashion with a huge range in all styles. Accessories and toys are also sold here.

    • 3307 Sacramento St

    • 415 440 7599

  5. Worldware

    This luxurious collection of home furnishings, gifts, and accessories from around the world is the love-child of an interior design couple.

    • 301 Fell St

    • 415 487 9030

  6. Polanco

    A sophisticated gallery of Mexican arts, featuring silver jewelry, carved and painted figures of saints, as well as the work of emerging Mexican artists.

    • 393 Hayes St

    • 415 252 5753

  7. L’Art Deco Français

    This is the US branch of a remarkable collection of French furniture and objects d’art from the 1920s to the 1950s. On display are tables, lamps, ironworks, ceramics, glass, paintings, sculptures, and more.

    • 1680 Market St

    • 415 863 5483

  8. Comix Experience

    Comics with adult aficionados in mind: The Ring of the Nibelung, The Filth, Naughty Bits, Static-X, Peculia, and Automatic Kafka are just a few of the whacky titles awaiting you in new and vintage issues.

    • 305 Divisadero St

    • 415 863 9258

  9. Forever After Books

    Perhaps the funkiest used bookstore in the world. There are piles of tomes stacked on every surface, but the owners know where to find just about anything you’re looking for.

    • 1475 Haight St

    • 415 431 8299

  10. Amoeba Music

    Besides thousands of LPs, tapes, and CDs, there’s also a huge selection of DVDs and posters.

    • 1855 Haight St

    • 415 831 1200

Places to Eat

  1. Perry’s

    A San Francisco institution, noted for its burgers and other all-American favorites, including meatloaf, prime rib, and fried chicken.

    • 1944 Union St

    • 415 922 9022

    • Dis. access

  2. Betelnut

    Exotic Asian decor and the firecracker flavors of pan-Asian and Pacific Rim cuisine. This place has been a hit from day one.

    • 2030 Union St

    • 415 929 8855

    • Dis. access

  3. SPQR

    No reservations accepted at this no-frills, rustic Roman eatery with mouthwatering antipasti and superior service.

    • 1911 Fillmore St

    • 415 771 7779

    • Dis. access

  4. The Grove

    It almost feels like a mountain lodge, with lounging furniture and roaring fire. The tempting menu offers tasty entrées such as chicken pot pie or three-cheese macaroni.

    • 2016 Fillmore St

    • 415 474 1419

    • Dis. access

  5. Vivande

    Check out the home-made pastas and small plates at this romantic, Italian eatery in Pacific Heights. The all-Italian wine bar offers an impressive selection to match the exquisite dishes.

    • 2125 Fillmore St

    • 415 346 4430

    • Dis. access

  6. Absinthe

    Like being air-lifted to a Paris bistro. Specials such as confit of Muscovy duck leg with prunes, Landais potatoes, and arugula.

    • 398 Hayes St

    • 415 551 1590

    • Closed Mon

    • Dis. access

  7. Suppenkuche

    An ideal place for enthusiasts of hearty, meaty German food and beer.

    • 525 Laguna St

    • 415 252 9289

    • Dis. access

  8. Kiss Seafood

    Book ahead to eat delectable sushi and sashimi at this tiny restaurant.

    • 1700 Laguna St

    • 415 474 2866

    • Dis. access

  9. Blue Front Café

    A local favorite for cheap, tasty Mediterranean wraps and sandwiches.

    • 1430 Haight St

    • 415 252 5917

    • Dis. access

  10. People’s Café

    For a cappuccino and a snack any time of day or night, this is a great hangout.

    • 1419 Haight St

    • 415 553 8842

    • Dis. access

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