YAY, another Sister Sister Time post! (I’m going to make this as a 3-part series of my farewell to SF post.) This time we tackle Hayes Valley, which is near and dear to my heart. It’s one of my favorite neighborhoods in SF, but it’s also where I first lived when I moved here in 2007. Hayes Valley is an awesome neighborhood that only became what it is after the city removed the freeway overpass that went right through the neighborhood and made everyone exit onto Octavia. It’s a small neighborhood filled with your typical Edwardian houses and ornate SF apartment buildings that gives SF it’s charm with a bunch of newly developed apartment/condo buildings sprinkled all around. There are many cute shops that fulfills all your shopping and taste buds desires – oodles of delicious eats and drinks.

Alright, here’s your Tran Sisters Guide to Hayes Valley:

Patricia’s Green Park
We met at the park to check out the new art structure on display there; it rotates every 6 months. To commemorate the park’s 10-year anniversary, David Best was asked to recreate his Temple piece, which was the first art installation to be display at the park in 2005. You can read all about it here at the SF Art Commission website. The Patricia Green park is in the middle of Hayes Valley and acts as the neighborhood hub for everyone to congregate together (and for you to check out people’s cute dogs). I’ve spent endless amounts of time hanging out and had hosted pumpkin craving parties there. You can read more about the park here on Curbed. Also, you can see how luscious the grass was too.

The TempleThe Temple inside detailThe Temple side detail

We first grabbed lunch at Soulva, a casual Greek eatery on Hayes by the park. I love this place for its food and interior. The light is amazing here.Souvla frontSouvla interiorspit-fire chickenSouvla decorpeople dining
We got:
– Veg Sandwich (Gyro)
– Chicken Sandwich
– Greek Fries w/ harissa-spiked Greek yogurt for dipping
– Frozen Greek Yogurt w/ baklava crumbles + syrup

our lunch chicken gyro veggie gyrobite of gyrofriesfry dipped in saucefroyo with baklava crumblesfroyo with baklava close-up

We were piggies and wanted a sandwich instead of a salad. Their bread is just so soft and pillowy that it was hard to resist. The salads are delicious too and kale base. It was my first time having the chicken, and I have to say that their lamb is the best of the three meat options. The veg option was a thumbs up, also. Oh-My-Gosh. The Greek fries with the harissa-spiked Greek yogurt couldn’t be any better. The fries were crispy and flavorfully seasoned. Then you dip it into the cool creamy yogurt with harissa; it wasn’t spicy but added a nice additional spice. Finally, the frozen Greek yogurt with baklava crumbles. Such a great combo! The only thing was, I wished the baklava was a little crunchier and there was MORE of it.

finished plate

Ritual Coffee
Now, we need coffee to pull us out of our food coma. I love the additions of the kiosks on the side of the park here. It provides more retail options and sitting area for people to have conversations. Smitten Ice Cream is also across the way. 🙂

Ritual kiosk in Hayes Valley

Chantal Guillons
Next, more dessert to go with our coffee. We got the rose, green tea, lemon, and blackberry macarons. I love the vast selection of macarons they have here, and they make seasonal ones too. The green tea was my favorite of the four we got. I’m not into rose flavor food, but my sister loved it. Sadly, the lemon was my least favorite of them all. I still like Miette the best, though.

Chantal Guillon interiormacaron display caseChantal Guillon window displaymacarons

Warby Parker
They closed their showroom on Divisadero, so I was thrilled to find out they had opened new one on Hayes. They have a huge selection for you to try on and assistants to help you select the perfect specks for your face-shape. The decor is on point too.

Photo Jun 29, 3 01 25 PM Photo Jun 29, 3 02 12 PMPhoto Jun 29, 3 02 43 PM


For all the sneakers your feet needs and stylish street wear. I don’t know how many guys were excited they opened a location in SF.

Undefeated store frontUndefeated interior
I love this store and always stop by when I’m in the area. It’s a lifestyle boutique with a large collection of stationery. They are a stockist for Rifle Paper Co, so I’m constantly checking out the newest items they have in-stock. The store is curated very well which shows that everything is procure with lots of thoughts. A great place for gifts for your girlfriends (and yourself!).
Lavish store front

My sister wanted to look at backpacks, so we stopped by the store. I have to say that their selection and design has changed a lot. They are so much more stylish than before and geared towards the laptop work commuter.

Timbuk2 store front

Flight 001
Another shop I always stop by to check out what new items they have. They carry everything you need for your travels to make it more efficient and organize. The brands they carry aren’t seen at other stores. LOVE IT.

Flight 001 store frontFlight 001 interior

Cary Lane

Their sign below sums up the store – “Designer Pieces Outlet Prices”. If you want unique and stylish clothing, you come here. They carry samples, overstock, and past season apparel. Therefore, the discount from retail prices are a steal! It’s like a special boutique Marshall’s but not as crazy and big.

Cary Lane signCary Lane entryCary Lane interior

Arlequin Cafe
We made a quick stop here before calling it a day because I wanted to show my sister the “secret garden”. It’s no secret, but I just wanted to call it that. A great spot in the neighborhood to grab coffee, a bite to eat, and hang out/get work done. They have free wifi and a few outlets. Their wine bar next door is connected to the cafe. The draw to the place is their outdoor garden area in the back. For a place to have an area like that and for it to be that big in SF, is truly rare. I’m sharing one of my gems with you here!

Photo Jun 29, 3 00 42 PM Photo Jun 29, 3 00 13 PM Photo Jun 29, 2 59 50 PM Photo Jun 29, 2 59 13 PM

City Hall

The best for last. We passed by City Hall on the way to our retrospective bus stops. It is my favorite building in SF. Looking at it, you can see why. This building is beautiful outside and inside with some much history. Across the street from it is my favorite park, I wished I could had gotten married at City Hall and held our reception here.

SF City Hall SF City Hallmy sister and me
Additional pics of Hayes Valley.
Octavia St Flavour Shop pig graffitiZonal store front

Other places, we love but didn’t mention or get to visit:
1. Miette – my favorite macarons are from here
2. Azalea – boutique clothing store
3. Steven Alan – we loved everything here
4. Blue Bottle – the Linden Street kiosk
5. Biergarten – German style beer garden with provisions and blankets for when it gets cold; brought to you by the folks over Suppenkucke

There’s so much more we haven’t had a chance to check out and eat yet. For another Sister Sister Time adventure in the future!

Music Post
I love it when they play Lil’ Jon songs in Spin or Body Shred class; it really gets you pumped. I swear my blood just gets flowing and I workout so much harder. Naturally, it’s applied to other areas of my life too. I had to powered through to get this post out, since I’ve been sitting on it for so long. I tend to listen to a lot of hip-hop and pop when I am trying to get stuff done at a quick pace. What songs get you going?