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Hayes Valley

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Source: (2/5/2024)San Francisco Home

Tucked between Alamo Square Park and City Hall in sunny San Francisco is the charming and affluent neighborhood of Hayes Valley. This community offers a mix of old-world sophistication and a chic, modern vibe amid exciting retail and dining options and pockets of green spaces.

To know what to expect from this lively urban neighborhood and why Hayes Valley deserves to be on your radar as you search for your new home in the beautiful Bay Area.


Public Playground

Located in the Western Addition, Hayes Valley is a historic locale that has steadily built a reputation as one of the most popular neighborhoods in San Francisco. It sits near another charismatic neighborhood known as the “Jazz District,” the Fillmore District; and Alamo Square where the iconic “Painted Ladies” are located. Moreover, Downtown San Francisco is only a few blocks away to the east.

When the tragic San Francisco earthquake of 1906 measuring occurred, fires erupted throughout the city, engulfing everything along its path. While many structures in Hayes Valley were either destroyed or damaged by the tremor, the fires somehow spread eastward – away from the neighborhood. Some small fires did occur but were contained immediately before they spread; thus, sparing the remaining buildings in Hayes Valley.

From the ashes of that catastrophe, Hayes Valley picked up the pieces, restored what was damaged, and reemerged a more beautiful and vibrant neighborhood – one that a population of approximately 4,500 now calls home. It is also best known for its top-tier retail establishments, upscale restaurants, and cultural institutions that add to its charm and desirability among home buyers and investors.


Victorian Style Homes

As one of the few neighborhoods that remained standing in the wake of the disastrous 1906 earthquake and the resulting fires, Hayes Valley and its historic homes provide a glimpse into what San Francisco could have been. Everywhere you walk, you’ll find imposing Victorian structures and more recent builds sitting next to each other, broken only by the occasional small park.

Hayes Valley is known for having one of the largest concentrations of historic homes in one neighborhood, besting 98.3% of other neighborhoods in the country. More than half of the homes here were built before the 1940s.

Condominiums ranging from low-rises to luxury high-rises, low- to mid-rise apartment complexes, single-family homes, and townhomes make up the bulk of available Hayes Valley homes for sale. Intricate details on the exteriors of several older residences reflect strong Victorian influences. Other dominant architectural styles of vintage homes in the area include Edwardian and Queen Anne.

The neighborhood is densely populated, owing to its strategic location and innate charm. That said, homes for sale in Hayes Valley are small enough to accommodate young single professionals and other urban sophisticates who desire to have everything San Francisco has to offer within their reach. Those wanting to invest in these homes for sale in Hayes Valley also have much to gain as the neighborhood is a hotspot among renters.



Getting around

Given its location near the heart of San Francisco, Hayes Valley offers easy access to several of the city’s most important neighborhoods, such as Haight-Ashbury, NOPA, SoMa, and Civic Center. It is also located near other major California urban centers like Oakland, Fremont, San Jose, and Sacramento.

Another major selling point for the neighborhood is its efficient public transport system, with most residents opting to ride San Francisco Municipal Railway (MUNI) buses and the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train instead of driving private vehicles. Hayes Valley is also only around 13 miles away from San Francisco International Airport – a boon for any frequent flyer or traveler based in the neighborhood.

Need to go on an errand in Hayes Valley and minimize your carbon footprint at the same time? Fret not because the neighborhood’s footpaths and bike lanes make it easy for residents to get around either on foot or on two wheels.


Like much of California, Hayes Valley has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate. This means residents get to experience a mild climate year-round with only minimal seasonal temperature variations.

Summers in Hayes Valley are not overwhelming, with temperatures ranging between 50ºF and 70ºF. January and February are the coldest in Hayes Valley, with temperatures dropping to as low as 41ºF.

Cost of living

Given its location in a major city like San Francisco, the cost of living in Hayes Valley is quite high. Housing costs take the biggest chunk of residents’ expenditures, prices of which are approximately twice that of the national average. The good news is that the median household income in Hayes Valley is high, as well, buoyed by a stable economy and job opportunities. These positive economic indicators, coupled with the abundance of great community amenities, translate to an excellent quality of life. As a result, this diffuses the impact of the cost of living in Hayes Valley.


Those planning to bring their families to – or start one in – San Francisco will be delighted to find out that top-quality education is well within reach at Hayes Valley. Schools here fall under the San Francisco Unified School District, one of the oldest-serving school districts in the Golden State.

Some of the schools that families can send their children to include John Muir Elementary School (K-Gr. 5); James Lick Middle School (Gr. 6-8); and Abraham Lincoln High School, Lowell High School, and Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts (all three serving Gr. 9-12).


Eating Pizza

Hayes Valley is one of the best foodie destinations in San Francisco, with the neighborhood having everything from upscale restaurants to humble, hole-in-the-wall dining spots. Here are some of the best food spots that one can visit in this iconic San Francisco neighborhood:

  • Robin. Located on Gough Street, Robin is an omakase sushi restaurant that takes great pride in its modern take on beloved Japanese classics. Some of its offerings include the delightfully unique potato chip nigiri with grilled ramp aioli and caviar and the mildly tart seared canary rockfish with liver, grapefruit ponzu, and chives.

  • Nightbird. A relatively new addition to the San Francisco dining scene, this upscale boutique-style restaurant offers a whimsical prix-fixe dining experience. Nightbird is best known for its tasting menus that celebrate the best of California.

  • Doppio Zero. Located along Hayes Street, this pizzeria and bar takes inspiration from the rich culinary traditions of Southern Italy. Its menu includes classic Neapolitan pies like the beloved Margherita to more modern incarnations like stuffed Pizza Napule. Doppio Zero also offers small plates like croquettes, grilled octopus, and Neapolitan meatballs, as well as pasta and other larger entrees. Pair your selected dish with any of Doppio Zero’s Italian wines, local beers, and handcrafted cocktails from the restaurant’s extensive list of brews and spirits.

  • Om Sabor. Modern Mexican fare takes center stage in this new neighborhood haunt. It has been making waves in the local dining scene with its tasty vegan versions of Mexican favorites such as empanadas, seitan “lomo saltado,” tamales, mushroom ceviches, and tacos and nachos.

  • Monsieur Benjamin. This upscale modern restaurant and bar serves traditional French cuisine, inspired by the spirit of the Parisian bistro culture. The menu features classic French dishes like duck leg confit and braised short rib steak au poivre, as well as modern dishes like charcoal-roasted bone marrow and spinach-stuffed gulf flounder.

  • Hayes Street Grill. Looking to have your fill of seafood? Hayes Street Grill is the answer. It is one of the leading seafood restaurants in San Francisco, known for its ever-changing menu composed of dishes made from sustainably harvested seafood sourced from local producers.

  • San Francisco’s Hometown Creamery. No food crawl is complete without dessert, so a visit to San Francisco’s Hometown Creamery is a must. Operating on a “farm to cone” philosophy, each product from this family-run ice cream shop is made from scratch using only the best locally sourced ingredients.


Modern Boutique

Hayes Valley has a well-deserved reputation for being a shopping hotspot, thanks to the abundance of high-end boutiques, specialty stores, and independent retailers in the area. Here are some of the most popular shopping spots you can find in the neighborhood.

  • Modern Appealing Clothing. This local store on Grove Street has been an icon in the San Francisco fashion scene for the past 44 years. First opened in 1980, Modern Appealing Clothing specializes in edgy designs such as the ones produced by brands like Comme des Garçons, Dries Van Noten, Junya Watanabe, Margiela, Walter Van Beirendonck, and Engineered Garments. It also offers free tailoring services for patrons, ensuring a perfect fit every time.

  • Reliquary. Another major player in the Hayes Valley shopping scene that has been around since 2011, this independent boutique has built a reputation for its well-curated selection of small designer lines and handpicked vintage items.

  • Métier. This local jewelry store sells pieces from some of today’s most in-demand jewelry designers, including Gabriella Kiss, Gillian Conroy, and Marla Aaron. Owners Sheri Evans and Trina Papini also have hard-to-find vintage pieces from established labels at their store, some even dating back to the 1700s.

  • Buck Mason. For clothes and accessories that spark “California Cool,” you’ll want to try on the merchandise at Buck Mason. This brand combines old-school manufacturing techniques and modern technology to create timeless, sustainable, and foolproof wardrobe essentials that make it easy for anyone to be the best dressed in the room.

  • Credo Beauty. One of the biggest beauty shops in San Francisco, Credo is home to 130 indie and luxury skincare brands, including True Botanicals, Tata Harper, Marie Veronique, and Exa – all guaranteed free of harmful additives. Credo also has a Clean Swap service to help interested clients find sustainable alternatives to their favorite cosmetics and skincare products.

Cultural attractions


Concert at the SFJAZZ Center in Hayes Valley

Part of what makes Hayes Valley a wonderful place to live is its proximity to some of San Francisco’s finest museums, galleries, and theaters. This gives residents the chance to enrich their cultural awareness and become inspired by the city’s art, culture, and history. Here are some of the most well-known cultural attractions near Hayes Valley.

  • San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center. One of the largest performing arts centers in the United States, the SFWMPAC is a 7.5-acre complex designed by Arthur Brown Jr. One of the last Beaux Arts-style structures erected in the country, SFWMPAC is currently home to San Francisco’s Ballet and Opera Companies and regularly stages performances throughout the year.

  • SFJAZZ Center. An important part of San Francisco’s cultural and artistic landscape, the SFJAZZ Center hosts over 350 concerts from September through May. It also conducts classes and programs for more than 23,000 public school students each year across the Bay Area. Considered the seat of jazz music in San Francisco, this local cultural icon is equipped with two performance spaces, multiple music practice rooms, and a digital lab for musicians.

  • Sydney Goldstein Theater. Formerly known as the Nourse Theater, this performance center first opened its doors in 1926 as the auditorium for Commerce High School. Following the school’s closure in 1952, the auditorium found new life as a public performing arts venue, with luminaries like Allen Ginsburg and Jim Morrison among those who have performed onstage. Reopened to the public in 2013, the theater is now home to City Arts & Lectures and serves as an essential venue for various performances and programs in San Francisco.

  • Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Dubbed San Francisco’s Most Dynamic Arts Center, YBCA is a multidisciplinary institution that focuses on contemporary art, visual art, performance, and film/video production. The center regularly hosts public events, including musical performances, film screenings, and public art exhibitions.

Outdoor recreation

Hayes Valley isn’t only about a high-end lifestyle, shopping, and dining – this neighborhood also offers its residents various opportunities to get fit and active. This is largely due to the neighborhood being home to a multitude of indoor and outdoor attractions that promote an active way of life. Here are some of them.

  • Church of 8 Wheels. It’s both a church and a skating rink! This indoor skating rink is located inside the 120-year-old Sacred Heart Catholic Church, one of the few remaining survivors of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Skaters are provided a unique backdrop of stained-glass windows while gliding through the ice in this “sacred” venue.

  • Patricia’s Green. One of Hayes Valley’s most recognizable sites, it’s a linear park at the center of Octavia Boulevard between Fell and Hayes Street. Opened to the public in 1999, Patricia’s Green offers ample bench seating, a small children’s play area, and an impressive display of rotating public art. Some of these artworks include Squared, a towering 50-foot-tall LED sculpture by San Francisco-based artist Charles Gadeken, and Temple, an interactive installation by David Best. The park is also a venue for occasional events such as the Urban Air Market, a pop-up shopping market featuring sustainably conscious artisans and designers.

  • Hayes Valley Playground. Children of Hayes Valley residents have a great destination for physical play and socialization at this inner-city playground and clubhouse. Spanning a quarter of a mile, this playground has amenities such as community rooms, an outdoor basketball court, a dedicated picnic area, a children’s playground, well-maintained restrooms, and a tennis court.


If you plan on investing in a Hayes Valley home, don’t hesitate to call me, Dave Cunningham.

I am a top-notch Realtor with over 20 years of experience in the industry and a proven commitment to providing exceptional service to all of my clients. I am also a Bay Area native which gives me first-hand knowledge of the area – knowledge that will allow you to make informed decisions as you navigate the various San Francisco neighborhoods in your home-buying journey.

Ready to find your dream home among the Hayes Valley homes for sale? Call me today at 415.244.4779 or email me to schedule a consultation.

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