Every week happy health-conscience shoppers swarm the lot where Stanyan St. and Waller St. meet in hopes to find delectable goodies grown right here in California.
Luckily, the day that started out gloomy, brightened up with the sun radiantly showing through the clouds just in time for the Upper Haight Farmers’ Market. The Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association is a non-profit community service organization that assembles the Californian companies to come together at various markets.
“We are reaching out to the community and trying to share as much information about vegetables and healthy eating and healthy living,” says market manager Luke Walton. “All of the farmers come from California. All of the products are made and grown here.”
Walton says that they try to teach their customers to eat seasonally since they are shopping for locally produced foods. He explains that most of their shoppers tend to buy from business that grow and/or produce their product within 100 miles which helps with them adapt to the seasonal eating.
Not only was there food at the market, there was also a local line of skin-care product called Skincare by Feleciai. Everything at the market was of course California produced and is a way to support the local economy.
Also among the contributors was a Labelgmos.org’s representative spreading awareness of genetically modified foods with a ballot initiative. What better place than Haight Ashbury!
The Upper Haight hosts their farmers’ market every Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Make sure to check it out as businesses rotate every week. Oh and if you are still hungry… remember Off the Grid serves up dinner time meals at the same location Thursday Nights 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Seriously, you could spend an entire day in the Haight Ashbury. There are restaurants and coffee shops to get you fueled and caffeinated. There is an endless amount of shopping with the boutiques and clothing stores. You can get pierced or tattooed. There are music stores, grocery stores, sporting good stores, hair salons, anything and everything!
So where do people go when they want to wind down. After long day of shopping and hanging out, there must be a place to go to grab a little food and a drink! Here is the Haight Ashbury Bar Hop! Click on the spots on the map for more detailed descriptions on each place!
Starting from Golden Gate Park and moving on down Haight, Kezar Pub, is an excellent choice for a mid-afternoon early evening bar to start off the night. It is a sports bar with 26 beers on tap and they are famous for their wings.
Moving along, we find ourselves at Milk Bar. This bar is probably one that you would want to hit up either early in the afternoon, or late night. They have a good mix of live music and DJs performing throughout the week. They host all genres, everything from Bluegrass to dub step. Check their online calendar to see which night would be best for you to swing by.
Next on the list is Citrus Club. This place is unique in that it is a noodle house featuring dishes from different countries. So if you’re looking for a good dinner to settle your stomach and wanting to have a drink along with it, Citrus Club may be the place for you.
We follow up the bar hop with The Alembic. This bar has such an extensive list of liquor that you just may spend your night trying to decide what to drink… But you better hurry, we are not even half way done here.
Asqew Grill is a great place for dinner. They have burgers and skewers that cause life changing experiences during consumption. They even cater to those on diets with their special Vegan menu and Gluten Free menu. This is probably another place you would want to use as a start off to your night, get a full dinner in and a beer on tap!
Now for a cool hangout sit down spot, we have Hobson’s Choice. With an extensive menu dedicated to just Rum, it is a good thing that there is plenty of seating at this bar, even an upstairs seated section. After having a drink or two here, you will probably need to be seated for awhile.
For you dive-bar goers, you are in luck with the Gold Cane Cocktail Lounge. A pool table, good company and a bar are all you need here.
Club Deluxe is where you want to go for some live music and stand-up comedy. Jazz is the specialty here, and it is definitely a classier bar on the Haight. Check out their online calendar for up coming events.
Trax Bar is definitely unique on the street. It is a dive bar. It is somewhat of a sports bar—they do show sporting events. But what truly makes this bar one of a kind to Haight Ashbury is that it is a gay bar. Most people don’t even realize it, not even after walking in.
Last but not least we have Magnolia Pub and Brewery. For all of you beer lovers out there, there is no better spot than a brewery. They rotate through what they are brewing every now and then so you have to stop by to check up on the menu, but they also have a listing on their site.
It’s great to have this listing of places, but which are the favorites? Let’s find out!
“Deluxe has the best Greyhounds,” says bar hopper Josh Smith. “It’s why I go there and why I keep coming back.”
“Alembic is my favorite,” says Jessica Dega of Piper’s . “They have a really broad selection of whiskey.”
Becky Dill from Cold Steel America says that the Gold Cane is her favorite because it has that dive bar feel that all of the Haight workers enjoy. “I pretty much know everyone who works out here on Haight. After work we all hangout there,” she says.
Of course again there is Magnolia from an earlier story that we now know is a home away from home for many Upper Haighters. Which ever you choose, remember there are plenty more, so start your day off right in the Haight. Get some food and do some shopping. Watch a game at Kezar and drink a beer. Or go and have a full noodle dinner at Citrus Club. In the end there is a place for everyone.
Home is where people live, and what makes a place feel like home is food, drink, warmth and most importantly, good company. Magnolia Pub and Brewery on Haight and Masonic has become this place for the locals of the area. The bar seems to never have a dull moment, constantly packed with customers. As I learned the warm smiles and endless conversations are easily welcoming to newcomers.
“I consider this place to be an extended living room for a lot of people in the neighborhood,” says Scott Mason, bartender at the pub. “People come here for the beer… for the food… for the ambiance.”
Mason continues stating that the Haight is a “supportive community,” and having such a “dynamic menu” from house-made sausage to cask ales, Magnolia caters to the culture.
Justin Williams, a familiar face to the Magnolia crowd, stops by the bar to treat himself to a celebratory birthday drink. He has just turned 25 and right away he greets the bartenders, exchanging handshakes and making small talk. He makes the rounds and orders his drink before taking a seat next to me.
“I live a walk up the hill…” Williams smiles pointing out the window and taking a brief pause holding his breath, “which is convenient and also terrible!” he bursts laughing.
He explains that he frequents the bar because he enjoys the micro brewed beer and of course, the good friends.
“It’s like the Cheers of Haight,” says Williams, referring to the old television comedy show. “It’s cool because it builds more of a sense of a community.”
It is definitely a bar with more of that homey feel to it, and not only do the locals love it, but visitors and shoppers do too.
Emily Kidd, and Matt Simanton stopped by the pub after spending some time in the Haight shopping.
“We are here because we like beer!” says Kidd jokingly as she explains that they decided to drop in and grab a drink because it reminded them of a place that they would go to back home in Chicago.
“I like this community table,” she says, referring to the bar-like table where we are seated.
I hadn’t noticed before, but now that Kidd pointed it out, I realized that the table really is like an extension of the bar. It has the same feel to it, as sitting at the bar. However there are seats all around the table, on either side.
I look around. It grows late, and the pub is now brightly lit. The golden hue illuminates the faces and you can hear the soothing sound, a sea of voices; their conversation calm, like rippling water and their vibrant laughter crashes like waves. This is a place where people come to feel at home, like one body, a family.
So let us raise our glasses, make a toast, to new friends and new memories, our home is yours! Cheers!