Discover Haight-Ashbury: A Vibrant San Francisco Neighborhood with Endless Things to Do and See

Discover Haight-Ashbury, SF

This vibrant and eclectic neighborhood in San Francisco, known for its role in the cultural revolution of the 1960s, is a must-see for any visitor to the city. Haight Street and Ashbury Street are the main thoroughfares, lined with an array of unique shops, vintage boutiques, and colorful Victorian houses. The neighborhood is synonymous with the hippy movement, and it still retains its bohemian spirit today. Just a stone’s throw away from Golden Gate Park, it’s the perfect place to spend a great day in San Francisco. Wandering through the local stores, enjoying a delicious meal at one of the many trendy restaurants, or simply soaking up the laid-back atmosphere, there are plenty of family friendly activities to enjoy. Join us as we explore this iconic San Francisco neighborhood and all it has to offer!

History of Haight-Ashbury District

The Haight-Ashbury district in San Francisco has a rich history deeply embedded in the hippie culture of the 1960s. It is often considered the center of the counterculture movement, and it gained widespread attention during the “Summer of Love” in 1967. The corner of Haight and Ashbury became a hub for young people seeking freedom and self-expression, attracting musicians, artists, and activists. Notable figures such as Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, and the Grateful Dead were linked to the area, and their influence can still be felt today. The district became a symbol of rebellion and nonconformity, and its legacy continues to attract visitors from all over the world. The psychedelic murals, colorful Victorian homes, and vibrant atmosphere serve as reminders of the area’s influential past, and the Haight Ashbury district remains an iconic landmark in San Francisco’s cultural history. 

Best Things to Do and See in the Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood

In this list, we’ll explore the best things to do and see in Haight-Ashbury, from iconic landmarks to hidden gems. From vintage shops and quirky boutiques to historic sites and peaceful parks, the Haight and Ashbury streets offer a diverse array of attractions that capture the essence of San Francisco’s bohemian culture. So grab your walking shoes and get ready to explore the Haight Ashbury neighborhood. 

Famous landmarks to visit

It is important to note that these houses aren’t available to tour and only viewable from the street. 

  • Grateful Dead House at 710 Ashbury Street
  • That’s So Raven House at 461 Ashbury Street 
  • Janis Joplin’s House at 635 Ashbury Street
  • Jefferson Airplane House at 2400 Fulton Street
  • The Haight Painted Ladies on Central Ave in between Haight St. and Page St.
  • Piedmont Boutique statue of legs hanging out of a window at 1452 Haight Street

It is advertised that Jimi Hendrix lived at 1524 Haight Street, but this is purely a marketing tactic for an Airbnb.

More things to do

  • Buena Vista Park is a great park to visit in the area.
  • The Panhandle is a great place to walk and also features playgrounds, basketball courts, and workout areas.
  • The Annual Haight Ashbury Street Fair is a great event to attend and it is held on the second Sunday of June every year. 

Check out our list of the 10 Best parks in San Francisco.

Notable Haight-Ashbury Shops

Amoeba Music

Located at the end of Haight street (1855 Haight St.), Amoeba Music is a classic haven for music enthusiasts. The store boasts an impressive collection of music records, CDs, and band posters from various genres and eras. Whether you’re a fan of rock, jazz, or electronic music, you’re sure to find something that piques your interest. In addition to music memorabilia, Amoeba also offers a variety of t-shirts featuring iconic album covers and band logos, perfect for showcasing your musical taste. But the store doesn’t stop at music; Amoeba also carries a diverse selection of Blu-Ray movies and video games, making it a one-stop shop for all kinds of entertainment. The knowledgeable staff is always on hand to help customers find exactly what they’re looking for.

Mendels Craft Store

Mendel’s Craft Store is a charming shop that offers a wide variety of arts and crafts supplies for every type of creative project. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned crafter, Mendel’s has everything you need to bring your artistic visions to life. The store is well-known for its friendly and knowledgeable staff, who are always eager to help customers find the perfect materials for their projects. The atmosphere inside the store is cozy and welcoming, making it a favorite spot for locals and tourists alike.

Woot Bear

Woot Bear store in Haight-Ashbury is a haven for collectors of blind boxes and collectables. The shop offers a wide range of limited edition toys, art prints, and designer figures. Walking into Woot Bear feels like entering a treasure trove for pop culture enthusiasts. The store’s welcoming atmosphere and friendly staff make it a delightful experience for both seasoned collectors and casual shoppers. Whether you’re looking for that elusive rare item or just browsing for something fun and unique, Woot Bear is a must-visit destination for anyone with a passion for collecting.

Love on Haight

Located in the heart of Haight-Ashbury, Love on Haight is a haven for all things hippy, tie-dye, and grateful dead related. This vibrant store is filled with a colorful array of tie dye shirts, local artist clothing, and knick knacks that perfectly capture the free-spirited, flower power essence of the 1960s. The walls are adorned with psychedelic art and the shelves are stocked with unique treasures, making it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to embrace the bohemian lifestyle.

The Mellow

The Mellow is a plant store that boasts a wide selection of greenery and plant-related products, catering to both novice and experienced plant enthusiasts. In addition, it also operates as a coffee shop, serving up a range of hot and cold beverages for visitors to enjoy while browsing the plant selection. Furthermore, the store doubles as an event space, hosting social gatherings for the community. Overall, The Mellow Store provides a relaxing and inviting atmosphere for patrons to explore, unwind, and connect with others.

Vintage Shopping

Held Over Vintage Clothing

Held Over specializes in offering a curated selection of unique and high-quality vintage clothing, accessories, and jewelry from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s as well as affordable second hand options. Whether you’re looking for a vintage band t-shirt, a funky pair of bell bottoms, or a statement piece of jewelry, Held Over has something to offer for every vintage enthusiast. This vintage clothing store has a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, and the staff are knowledgeable and passionate about vintage fashion, making the shopping experience enjoyable and personalized. 

2nd Street Second Hand Clothing

2nd Street is one of the best clothing shops in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood. 2nd Street is known for its eclectic selection of vintage and gently used clothing, this shop has been a go-to destination for locals and tourists along Haight street. The store has a laid-back atmosphere and friendly staff, making it a pleasant and comfortable place to browse for unique finds. From vintage designer attire to classic 90s grunge, 2nd Street Second Hand offers a wide range of styles and sizes to suit all fashion preferences. The store also prides itself on its commitment to sustainability, as shopping for second-hand clothing helps reduce the environmental impact of fast fashion. Whether you’re looking for a statement piece for a special event or just want to add some retro flair to your wardrobe, 2nd Street is the perfect place to score some one-of-a-kind treasures.

Check out our list of the best skateparks in San Francisco.

Notable Haight-Ashbury Food and Drink Spots

Pork Store Cafe

Pork Store Cafe is a renowned diner that has been serving delicious breakfast since 1979. The cafe is steeped in history and has become a beloved institution in the neighborhood, known for its cozy atmosphere and mouth-watering menu. The cafe’s walls are adorned with vintage photographs, adding to the nostalgic charm of the place. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor to San Francisco, a stop at the Pork Store Cafe is a must for anyone looking to experience a taste of the area’s rich cultural heritage through its delectable food. 

Slice House Pizza

Slice House Pizza in Haight Ashbury offers a variety of pizza styles, including the famous Detroit style and classic New York style pizzas. Not only do they serve delicious pizzas, but they also have a selection of burgers and fries for those looking for something different. For those seeking a healthier option, they offer a range of fresh salads with tasty dressings to choose from. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic pizza or a tasty burger, Slice House Pizza has something for everyone.

Ginza Sushi and Sake

Ginza Sushi and Sake offers a unique dining experience in the heart of Haight-Ashbury. The restaurant is known for its authentic Japanese cuisine, including a wide selection of sushi and sashimi, as well as a variety of sake options to complement the meal. The ambiance of the restaurant is inviting and comfortable, making it a popular choice for both locals and visitors to the area. Whether you’re looking for a casual dinner or a special celebration, Ginza Sushi and Sake has something for everyone to enjoy.

El Rancho Grande

El Rancho Grande is a popular spot for delicious Mexican food in San Francisco. Their menu features a variety of tasty options, including burritos and birria tacos, as well as other classic Mexican dishes. The vibrant and colorful decor of the restaurant combined with the flavorful and authentic cuisine creates a memorable dining experience for patrons. Whether you’re craving a hearty and filling meal or just a quick and delicious snack, El Rancho Grande has something for everyone to enjoy. 

Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream

Ben and Jerry’s ice cream shop is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. Located on the street corner of the historic intersection of Haight and Ashbury, this ice cream shop offers a wide variety of unique and delicious flavors. Whether you’re a fan of their classic Cherry Garcia or prefer something more adventurous like Phish Food, there’s something for everyone at Ben and Jerry’s. The shop has a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere, with friendly staff ready to help you find your perfect scoop. Plus, the location is perfect for exploring the iconic neighborhood and enjoying your ice cream while taking in the sights and sounds of Haight Ashbury.

Flippin Burger

Step into Flippin Burger and prepare yourself for a great menu featuring mouthwatering burgers, crispy fries, and delicious hotdogs, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. But the real star of the show is their amazing fried chicken sandwich, seasoned to perfection and served on a toasted bun. Whether you’re a burger fanatic or a chicken lover, Flippin Burger Restaurant is sure to satisfy your cravings. Stop by today and taste the difference for yourself!

Lava Java

The Lava Java is a cozy cafe that offers great coffee and yummy sandwiches for those looking for a quick bite. The cafe is located next to Stanyan Park Hotel and opens early to cater to the busy commuters heading to work. They have plenty of breakfast options. Whether you’re in the mood for a delicious latte or a savory bagel sandwich, their friendly staff is always ready to serve you with a smile. With its welcoming atmosphere and tasty menu options, Lava Java is the perfect spot to start your day off right.

Flywheel Coffee Roasters

Family owned and operated, Flywheel Coffee Roasters is a small business that takes pride in serving great coffee to its customers on Stanyan street near Haight-Ashbury. The skilled baristas at Flywheel take the time to craft each cup of coffee with care and precision, ensuring that every sip is a memorable experience. Whether you’re a coffee connoisseur or just looking for a pick-me-up, Flywheel is the perfect destination for your caffeine fix.

Magnolia Brewing

Magnolia Brewing offers a delightful experience for visitors with a range of options throughout the day. Start your morning with a delicious brunch selection accompanied by amazing beers on tap. For lunch and dinner, choose from a diverse menu that pairs perfectly with their selection of wine and cocktails. And don’t miss out on their happy hour specials, where you can enjoy discounted drinks and bites in a relaxed atmosphere. Whether you’re stopping by for a quick drink or a full meal, Magnolia Brewing has something for everyone.

Gold Cane Cocktail Lounge

Gold Cane Cocktail Lounge offers a great atmosphere for its patrons to enjoy delicious cocktails and socialize. The lounge is always lively with a mix of regulars and newcomers, creating a welcoming environment for all. Pool players can test their skills on the tables while others can pick songs from the juke box to set the mood. For those who prefer some fresh air, the lounge also boasts a back patio with plenty of seating for a relaxing break from the action.

Milk Bar

Milk Bar is a beloved neighborhood spot known for its welcoming atmosphere and friendly bartenders. The bar regularly hosts local comedy shows and open mics where budding artists can showcase their talents. On weekends, patrons can enjoy live music performances from talented musicians. Whether you’re looking for a night of laughter, music, or just a friendly place to grab a drink, Milk Bar has something for everyone. The eclectic mix of entertainment and drinks makes it a popular spot for locals and visitors alike.

Haight Ashbury Conclusion

Haight-Ashbury offers a plethora of activities for visitors to enjoy. From exploring the unique shops and vintage stores to immersing oneself in the rich history of the neighborhood, there is something for everyone to discover. Whether you are a music lover or a foodie wanting to sample delicious cuisine from local eateries, Haight-Ashbury has it all. Don’t forget to snap a photo in front of the famous Victorian houses or take a leisurely stroll through Golden Gate Park. This vibrant neighborhood is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who visit.