The Haight

The Haight


San Francisco,

The Haight

If there's any area of San Francisco that evokes images of the long-gone '60s hippie culture, the Haight is it. Fragments of that flower-power, incense-burning, acid-dropping, tie-dye-wearing, peace-and-love-vibing era can be purchased at smoke shops and Eastern-influenced outlets bearing names like Dreams of Kathmandu, Pipe Dreams and The Love of Ganesha. But save for a few hippie relics, the Haight today is a whole new scene. Exclusive boutiques, high-end vintage-clothing shops, second-hand stores, Internet cafes and hip restaurants have all settled in, making the Haight one of San Francisco's commercial centers.

Neo-punks, club kids, fashionites, tourists and neighborhood folks are equally at home here, whether they have come to get a new piercing, grab a burrito, find the latest drum 'n' bass 12-inch or just people-watch from a cafe. But there are two distinctly different areas of the Haight: The Upper Haight, which stretches from Stanyan to Masonic, is the more moneyed shopping zone, though it deteriorates a bit where it stretches toward Golden Gate Park. Meanwhile, the Lower Haight, roughly Divisidero to Webster, is a more diverse neighborhood with a grittier feel. While it has been an alternate nightlife hub for years, with bars like Noc Noc and Mad Dog and popular clubs the Top and Nickies, the Lower Haight has become a main draw among DJs and ravers with the proliferation of dance-music record shops and clubs like The Top.

The Haight has a nice just-rolled-out-of-bed vibe during the day -- perfect for lazing around in cafes and bookstores -- but you'll have to navigate through plenty of panhandlers and tourists. Weekends can get quite crowded with shoppers and brunch seekers during the day, and bar- and club-goers at night. A lot of homeless camp near the entrance to Golden Gate Park and hang out in the Upper Haight area, but if you walk by they'll usually just ask for some change or a smile.

Getting there: There's metered parking on Haight and nearby neighborhood parking, but actually finding a spot can be tough. Muni buses 7, 71 and 71L run the length of Haight from Market; Muni bus 6 comes from Market also, but turns on Parnassus. The 37 runs from Twin Peaks to the Haight, and the 33 goes along Stanyan in the Upper Haight. For more info on public transportation in this area, see the 511.org Web site.
  • Sights and Culture
  • Shopping
  • Restaurants
  • Nightlife

Sights and Culture

Red Vic Movie House: A cozy movie house for rep, cult and premiere independent films at noninflated moviegoing prices. Sip some coffee or tea (drinks come in real mugs and glasses!), munch popcorn (with or without yeast) or other organic treats and sit snugly on one of the couches or theater seats. Pick up a month-by-month calendar at the front window. 1727 Haight St., (415) 668-3994. (Web site)

Corner of Haight & Ashbury: Back in the mid-1960s, this was perhaps the most famous intersection in the world, a place where young people came to from all over the world in search of love and peace. Some found it and some didn't, but that was only one chapter in this neighborhood's long and colorful history. Today it's worth a visit just to see the beautiful Victorians that surround the area. And maybe to get a Ben and Jerry's ice-cream cone, if you like that sort of thing.

Buena Vista Park: Hike, jog, walk or just lean your back against a tree in these 36 acres of forested parkland with great views of surrounding Victorians and the city. Oak and pine trees stand next to eucalyptus and Monterey cypress, with trails winding throughout. It's one of the city's oldest parks, and you can still see some fragments of headstone inscriptions in the retaining walls, which were built with granite and marble partly salvaged from former San Francisco cemeteries. (Web site)

The Grateful Dead house: In the mid-'60s, the Grateful Dead lived together (with many other transients) in this 1890 Cranston-Keenan building (that's Cranston, as in former US Sen. Alan Cranston's grandfather). 710 Ashbury St.

Haight Street Fair: On the second Sunday of June, locals and tourists pack the Upper Haight for the Haight Street Fair, featuring local bands, food stalls from neighborhood restaurants and, of course, plenty of shopping.

Sacred Space Healing Center: Holistic healing at this space includes a full schedule of Pilates and yoga classes, with a variety of yoga styles offered, such as Kundalini, Ashtanga, and Vinyasa. The center also offers conscious eating classes nutritional assessments by appointment, various detoxifying cleanse programs, and fasting and detox retreats. 776 Haight St., (415) 431-0878.

Shopping

683 Haight St.: Featuring tribal art from Central and South America, as well as from Southern Mexico, this gallery also sells silver jewelry, drums, and other Native American crafts. A bit unrelated, 683 also focuses on original 1960s rock posters, handbills, and memorabilia. 683 Haight St., 415-861-1311.

Anubis Warpus: Punk lives on at Anubis Warpus, where Johnny Thunders, the Damned, the Cramps and Siouxsie T-shirts are a mainstay. Counterculture books ranging in subjects from erotica to hemp line the walls here, while the counter is filled with hair dyes and Day-Glo wigs. Piercing and tattoos, performed in a secluded area in back, are also a specialty. 1525 Haight St., (415) 431-2218.

Betsy Dee: Dee carries her own contemporary sportswear line and many new local clothing and accessories designers. (-SF Chronicle) 1322 Haight St., (415) 861-2527.

Body Time: A precursor to the famed mall staple the Body Shop, Body Time takes a more personal approach to beautifying its customers. Bath and body products, all made by Body Time in Berkeley, include massage oils, chai-tea soap bars, lavender exfoliating pouches, children's body paint and aromatherapy lamps. The shop will also custom-make scents for its lotions and other body products by blending perfume oils. Customers can take samples of products home to make sure they work. 1465 Haight St., (415) 551-1070.

Booksmith: The rows and rows of new books can be a bit overwhelming at Booksmith, but spoken-word CDs are stacked at the counter, and author readings and events occur up to twice a week. 1644 Haight St., (415) 863-8688.

Bound Together Bookstore: This volunteer-run shop's tagline is "An Anarchist Collective," so don't expect to find Danielle Steele novels here. Instead, look for authors like Noam Chomsky and Mumia Abu-Jamal, books about anarchy in Cuba, zines from the likes of Earth First! and works from other radical, alternative, left-wing presses -- including, of course, "The Anarchist Yellow Pages." T-shirts advertising faux fast-food outlets "Murder King" and "MadCow's" are also sold. 1369 Haight St., (415) 431-8355.

Ceiba: Ceiba offers an artful experience rather than just a place to shop. Ravers and Burning Man veterans can find funky, psychedelic garb -- fuzzy orange halter tops and the like -- here. Jewelry and display sculptures, trippy lighting contraptions and other eclectic works

Cold Steel America: At Cold Steel America's second location in the city, it's the usual tattoo, body and ear piercing options. 1783 Haight St., (415) 933-7233.

Doe: A cute and whimsical clothing and gift store, Doe is tiny and is described by owner Kati Kim as a "mini department store." There's a little fridge stocked with mineral waters from England, a magazine rack with current issues of trendy magazines such as Paper, Nylon, Wired, and Wallpaper; picture frames, greeting cards, vases and small plants for sale. Jeans are stacked up on a center table, on the racks are skirts, tops and dresses, and hats with a hand-crafted feeling. Doe carries local designers, such as Penelope Starr, Rebecca Beeson and Sunhee Moon. The floors are wood, the walls are white, and the store's small size size makes it easy to see everything at once. A hand-painted mural of a pine forest and river covers the side wall. The name Doe came from the mouth of the owners' toddler, who decided it was her favorite word, to be repeated endlessly for months. (-SF Chronicle/SF Gate) 629a Haight St., (415) 558-8588.

FTC: Skaters flock to this shop for skateboards, Stussy skate pants, skateboard videos, and a variety of skate-related accessories and magazines. 1632 Haight St., (415) 626-0663.

Giant Robot: Asian Americans Eric Nakamura and Martin Wong grew up in Los Angeles obsessed with comic books, anime, and other East Asian influences. After channeling their energies into the Asian pop culture zine-turned-magazine Giant Robot, they opened three Giant Robot stores, including this one. The store carries a blend of American and Japanese goods, including Japanese graphic design books, American indie comics, Japanese-American artist-designed T-shirts, and local Bay Area e-zines. Giant Robot also carries a large selection of Japanese Kubricks miniature figure toys. 622 Shrader, (415) 876-GRSF.

Genesis Imports: The UN of crafts shops, Genesis features a worldwide mixture of crafts. Indonesian wooden dragons, statues from Tanzania, Vietnamese carved miniature boats, Peruvian jewelry, masks from Ghana, American Indian saddle blankets -- the list goes on. 1597 Haight St., (415) 703-0775.

Gargoyle Beads: Beads of all colors, shapes and materials can be bought separately or built into necklaces by Gargoyle staff. Some of the types of beads include glass, bone nuggets, pieces of yak and water-buffalo horns, porcelain, buri nut, Thai silver and sandalwood. 1310 Haight St., (415) 552-7393.

Happy Trails: Jesus action figures, Elvis playing cards and Hawaiian shirts are just a few of the novelty items scattered about this gift shop. Clothing is the other focus -- punk-rock styles for young women and rockabilly duds for young men. Name brands include Lucky 13, Paper Doll and Sailor Jerry. Fashionites can also accessorize with fun colored tights, studded belts, cowboy hats and leopard pocketbooks. 1728 Haight St. (at Cole), (415) 831-2264. (Kidrobot: Kidrobot sits at the heart of San Francisco's burgeoning Asian pop culture explosion. The store specializes in Urban Vinyl, one of today's most popular toy genres. Most of the Asian vinyl figures are imported from Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, while other vinyl figures are from Western designers. Many at Kidrobot have been created by renowned artists such as Michael Lau, Eric So, and ITRangers, and much of the Kidrobot stock is custom-made in limited quantities. Other toys at Kidrobot include Kubricks plastic miniatures, Gloomy Bears from toy designer Cube-Works, Murakami DOB dolls, and U.S.-made plush figures. 1512 Haight St., (415) 487-9000.

Looking Glass Collage: Since 1973, Steve Wilson has offered custom stained glasswork and Gail Mitchell custom beaded jewelry. The small shop is filled with hand-blown glass in the shape of Egyptian perfume bottles, plus wine glasses and more, as well as a selection of beads. 1572 Haight St., (415) 863-1200.

Mendel's Art Supplies: What started out in 1968 as mainly a house-paint store has over the years diversified along with the community and become a full art-supply outlet. Mendel's specializes in offbeat costume wear and eccentric fabrics as well as arts-and-crafts items like origami kits, stickers, paint and paper supplies and rubber stamps. 1556 Haight St., (415) 621-1287.

Mickey's Monkey: If you're looking for that certain knickknack for your home, Mickey's Monkey is crammed with all sorts of collectibles. Lava lamps, globes, wooden crosses, masks, turtle lights and other trinkets are neatly displayed in the small space available. It's also a place to find used furniture at decent prices. 214 Pierce St., (415) 864-0693.

PlanetWeavers: There seems to be no end to the long aisles of ecologically and spiritually minded items here. Global items such as African drums, Buddha statues, didgeridoos, Indonesian masks and bonsai kits abound. Add to that a row of religious books, Tarot cards, aromatherapy handbooks and fairy dust, and that's just a hint at the array of PlanetWeavers merchandise. 1573 Haight St., (415) 864-4415.

Off the Wall: While one side of Off the Wall focuses on colorful concert posters, mainly limited editions and signed, numbered and silk-screened specimens, the other half spotlights vintage French posters, black-and-white photos of old movie stars and fine-art prints by the likes of Van Gogh and Monet. All posters are in mint condition and can be purchased with the frame or custom-framed at the gallery. 1669 Haight St., (415) 863-8170.

Offbeat on Haight: As its name implies, Offbeat tosses together a true hodgepodge of sale items. There is everything from Monet or Van Gogh finger puppets to Colombian sunrise coffee bean candles. But the shop is moving more into jewelry, featuring many Bay Area jewelry designers. Denim of all varieties is also going to be a primary focus as the gift items are phased out. 1599 Haight St., (415) 522-0122.

Revival of the Fittest: Truly a variety gift shop, Revival of the Fittest emphasizes diversity. Hand-painted martini glasses, turtle lamps, Curious George magnets, butterfly candles, Playboy swizzle sticks, jewelry, hats, coats, Peruvian sweaters, purses and other accessories are just a few of the items available here. 1701 Haight St., (415) 751-8857.

Robotspeak: Dubbing itself San Francisco's independent electronic music shop, Robotspeak sells hardware, such as mixers, drum machines, and microphones, as well as audio editing software, and the like. The location also hosts audio production classes and live music performances. 589 1/2 Haight St., (415) 554-1977.

Scents-U-All: The main draw at this small scent-driven shop is its custom-blend perfumes. It also sells a variety of essential oils, incense, scented candles, and small gift items. 438 Haight St., 415-861-OILS.

SFO Snowboarding: A prime spot for snowboarders to stock up on all the boots, boards, bindings, and outerwear. 618 Haight St., (415) 386-1666. (

Soul Patch Tattoo: Add Soul Patch to the long list of piercing and tattoo parlors in the City. One wall features large, framed sample designs prospective clients can flip through, and there is a portfolio book as well. Henna tattoos are also an option, and Soul Patch throws in a few T-shirts, sunglasses, and jewelry to round out its stock. 1599 Haight St., (415) 552-3444.

Stuf: Accessorize, accessorize. That's the raison d'etre for Stuf. The stuff inside includes jewelry, handbags, slippers, and hats, featuring some local designers. Most items are reasonably priced, though some tend toward the expensive side. 1612 Haight St., 415-551-STUF.

Tibet Styles: Filled with rugs, jewelry, jackets, and wall hangings from monasteries, the stock in Tibet Styles is designed mostly by Tibetan refugees in India and Nepal. The store adds a few nice touches, such as offering information about the symbols on each of the wall hangings. 1707 Haight St., 415-387-0903.

Urban Antiques: It's easy to pass the garage door that serves as the entrance to this shop, but inside is filled with 2,700 square feet of antiques. Turn-of-the-century music boxes and clocks are the specialties, though Urban Antiques also offers good deals on well-preserved furniture. Old phonographs and other musical items, such as a mahogany piano stool, are inside as well. 1767 Waller St., (415) 221-0194.

Vapor Room: You need a written recommendation from a doctor to get through the doors of this medical marijuana dispensary. For those who are legit users, the Vapor Room lounge serves up a variety of medicinal strains, hashish, edibles, vaporizers, and more. 609 Haight St., no phone number.

Clothing

Aaardvark's Odd Ark: Inexpensive used clothing, heavy on the retro, the funky and the almost unwearably eclectic. Stock ranges from lingerie and feather boas to formal wear. 1501 Haight St., (415) 621-3141.

Ambiance: Women who want to look both fashionable and grown up flock here for reasonably-priced, well-chosen pieces by French Connection, Free People, XOXO, Silver Jeans and Trina Turk, as well as finds from several smaller labels. This is also the place to pick up a great dress, shoes and bag for a date, wedding, office party or other event. Just be prepared for lots of attention from well-meaning staff members -- they are incredibly helpful when you need it, but can be a little too much when you don't. 1458 Haight St., (415) 552-5095.

Bang-On San Francisco: This old-school T-shirt shop focuses on '70s and '80s music, with iron-ons depicting the Clash, Sex Pistols, David Bowie, the Smiths, and Madness, among others. Custom lettering is also an option. 1603 Haight St., no phone.

Behind the Post Office: No, there is no post office in sight of this women's clothes boutique. But owner Stephen Pringle did name the shop after a San Diego store run by his brother that was located behind a post office. Employees at this shop say that the fit of an article of clothing is of paramount importance, as it should be for the price range: jeans and pants for $100 to $150 and tops for $50 on up to $200. The standards of this sporty, fashion-forward line of clothes are high, though, with designers like Buka and Development on the racks. 1510 Haight St., (415) 861-2507.

Buffalo Exchange: A used-clothing buy-sell bonanza, with racks and racks of hip jeans, sweaters, jackets, dresses, T-shirts, shoes and much, much more! There are a few new items sprinkled throughout the store, but they're usually pretty cheap, too. 1555 Haight St., (415) 431-7733.

Cheap Thrills: These shops are a dream for the retro punk contingents in the Haight. Whether it's a CBGB's tank top, skull shirt, Manic Panic hair dye, or studded punk bracelet, Cheap Thrills hearkens an early '80s New York vibe. Other paraphernalia includes body art tattoos, Elvis lighters, Bart Simpson Pez dispensers, and Bendy toys. 1324 Haight St., (415) 252-8395 and 1687 Haight St., (415) 252-5687.

Clobba: Geared toward men and women ages 15 to 32, Clobba carries trendy and upbeat designs mainly from Los Angeles and New York. Aside from the clothing lines, the front of the shop features accessories such as jewelry and belt buckles. 1604 Haight St., (415) 864-4701.

Costumes on Haight: A mecca for Halloween and Mardi Gras revelers, Costumes on Haight is the place to find those Viking hats, boas, king's crowns, colorful wigs, pimp jackets, pirate shirts, Victorian boots, poodle skirts or whatever else you can dream up. The main floor is stocked with vintage clothes as well. Costumes are also for rent. 735 Haight St., (415) 621-1356. (

Crossroads Trading Co.: Though the front of this expansive store shows off some new lines for men and women, most of the stock at Crossroads is high-quality used clothes. This location reflects the style of its Haight Street shoppers -- items are hip, young and often clubworthy. Other sections are devoted to hats, belts, scarves, sunglasses and jewelry. See their Web site for details on selling your clothes. 1519 Haight St., (415) 355-0555.

Daljeets: For more than 30 years, Daljeets has been catering to alternative tastes. The main store carries punk, fetish and goth clothing and accessories from design labels like Johnny Suede, Lip Service, DogPile and Dragonfly. 1773 Haight St., (415) 668-8500.

Held Over: Sift through racks of vintage clothes from the '60s and '70s for men and women -- basic used sweaters, T-shirts, dresses and jeans. Held Over charges relatively reasonable prices, such as $20 or $30 for a pair of jeans or $250 for a good-quality leather jacket. 1543 Haight St., (415) 864-0818.

Jaxx: Stepping into San Francisco's fashion scene in early 2002, Jaxx has gained recognition as a trend-setting boutique frequented by fashion editors and members of the music and movie industries. Jaxx's minimalist interior has been likened to a SoHo-style atmosphere. Designers include Louis Verdad, Cocokliks, Juicy Couture, Buddist Punk, Ffiocca, Betty Blush, and Lip Service. 1584 Haight St., (415) 869-1070.

Kweejibo Clothing Co.: "Simpsons" fans will recognize the name of this shop as a made-up word from one of the show's early episodes. That has nothing to do with the fashions at this men's-clothing boutique. All clothes are designed by the shop's owner and made locally. Some of the button-up shirts are retro style. 1580 Haight St., (415) 552-3555.

La Rosa: This upscale vintage boutique focuses on clothes and collectables from the '20s to '50s, though there are some items from the '60s and '70s in stock. Dinner jackets, formal dresses, feather hats and other accessories come from all over the world. While shirts range from $65 to $265, some carry as much as a $1,000 price tag, while gowns can cost up to $2,000. 1711 Haight St., (415) 668-3744.

New York Apparel: This is the spot for that fishnet bodysuit, silver vinyl pants, black vinyl lace-up dress, chains, leather and sexy lingerie. Old-school New York punk wear, like studded belts and bracelets, lives on here. A wall of cheap colored tights and fishnets is a main attraction. 1722 Haight St., (415) 751-8823.

Piedmont Boutique: The two giant fish-netted legs sticking out over Piedmont give a hint as to the creative and colorful clothes inside. For more than 30 years, Uti, Piedmont's designer, has been fashioning costumes and outfits for dancers, stylists, theater folks, drag queens and local rockers like Super Booty. About 90 percent of the clothes, lingerie, hats, coats, boas and assorted accessories are produced by Piedmont, and Uti says its seamstresses can produce anything on request in two days. Prices are midrange, but the store uses only high-quality fabrics. 1452 Haight St., (415) 864-8075.

Rehab: Rehab captures the quirky Haight Street vibe with its new and vintage clothes and novelty items. Upstairs is the vintage stock, featuring fashions from the '70s, '80s, and some earlier designs. Downstairs are new T-shirts as well as oddities such as Mexican wrestling mask bean bags and the UndieRug, a bathroom rug, yes, in the form of a pair of undies. 1364 Haight St., (415) 864-KICK.

So Me: The colorful murals outside So Me reflect the creative fashions and artwork inside, especially the accessories. Crocheted hats, funky sandals, and fuzzy slippers are just a few examples. So Me also sells affordable leather jackets and other basic apparel. 1391 Haight St., (415) 552-1525.

Static: For those longing to don '70s and '80s fashions (oxymoron not intended), Static specializes in those as well as older vintage clothes. The front cases in the shop display Duran Duran and other buttons as well as old Gucci bags. Static also sells used fur jackets, which may not sit well with all the PC types in the Haight. 1764 Haight St., (415) 422-0046.

Sugarpuss: Everything in this small women's boutique falls on the sexy side, whether it be a pair of hip-hugging denims or sheer lingerie. The shop carries light fetish wear as well as more mainstream accessories like jewelry from Peru. Prices tend to be lower here than for similar goods in the Upper Haight. 248 Fillmore St. (at Haight), (415) 861-7877.

Stussy: All Stussy, all the time. The showcase for Stussy men's and women's jackets, shirts, bags and more charges about the same for its products as in department stores. A basic sweatshirt sets you back $55, and jackets go for about $200. 1409 Haight St., (415) 701-7474.

True: There are three True shops, one for men, another featuring women's clothing, and a third focusing on shoes. The men's store carries Akademiks, Enyce and Triple 5 Soul, among other urban street designers. True also has its own line of T-shirts, jeans, hooded sweatshirts and beanies. The women's store carries Enyce and Babyphat, among others, as well as bags from Gravis and Yak Pak. 1415 Haight St., (415) 626-2882; 1427 Haight St., (415) 626-2331; 1429 Haight St., 415-626-2600.

Upper Playground: Upper Playground consists of an art gallery called Fifty24SF, a clothing store and a back room full of used vinyl, mainly soul and jazz. Urban-style T-shirts bearing rap-star monikers like Chuck D and Kool Keith abound. The gallery, meanwhile, spotlights local and national artists with exhibits that change monthly. 220 Fillmore St. (at Haight). (415) 252-0144.

Vickie's Boutique: This store's signature items are T-shirts and undies emblazoned with the "Lower Haight" insignia. Vickie also carries some African tie-dyes and music T-shirts, as well as sunglasses, jewelry and small bags. 603 Haight St., (415) 552-5997.

Villains: Villains has taken over the block with its main store, the Villains Vault and the Villains shoe store. Villains' large storeroom focuses on urban casual and edgy styles, while the Vault offers higher-end, more conservative attire, mainly from Europe. G-Star and Diesel are carried at the Vault store, while brands like Hurley and Volcom and Fred Perry can be found at the main shop. The shoe store focuses on urban wear, though it carries some dress shoes. Villains: 1672 Haight St., (415) 626-5939; Villains Vault: 1653 Haight St., (415) 864-7727.

The Wasteland: One of the most intriguing window displays in the city fronts this used-clothing store, packed full of everything from vinyl skirts (and bras to match!) to less outrageous sweaters and campy T-shirts. And for a change, the stuff's not overpriced. 1660 Haight St., (415) 863-3150.

X Generation: Clothes at X Generation speak to a far younger crowd than the original Gen-Xers. The women's-clothing shop caters to teenagers with its feather-trimmed lace shirts and club-style wear. Its sister store, X Generation 2, carries somewhat more sophisticated clothing. Prices at both shops are quite reasonable. X Generation: 1606 Haight St., (415) 255-2838; X Generation 2: 1401 Haight St., (415) 863-6040; X-Generation 3: 1601 Haight St., (415) 355-9022.

Your Skirt: Owner-designer Belle Borovik has more than 80 styles of skirts to choose from, from pencils to circles to low-waist A-lines, and everything in between (or you can design something together), and lots of fabrics. Her skirts average about $150; they are all fully lined and made in California. She also sells off-the-rack skirts in solid linens, printed chiffons, cottons, silks and gauze; along with a limited selection of skirts, knits, tops and jeans. The space also hosts rotating art shows and events. (-SF Chronicle/SF Gate) 1748 Haight St., (415) 377-1389.

Shoes

John Fluevog Shoes: The sign reads "Peace, good sole and groovy love vibes to all who enter," a taste of the vibe inside this shop. Designer John Fluevog, working with a design team in Vancouver, produces a line of funky "Satan proof" shoes in a range of bold colors and styles. Whether it's oxblood-colored boots, or metal platform sandals, the company makes all its own products, many of which are unisex styles. For more affordable prices, wait until January or August for Fluevog's big storewide sales. 1897 Haight St., (415) 436-9784.

Shoe Biz Inc.: The Shoe Biz chain has three locations on Haight Street, each with a different slant. The 1553 Haight store carries old-school, hard-to-find sneakers like Pumas, cheap Converse and other sneakers. At 1422 Haight you'll find brands like Diesel, Camper and El Dante, as well as other high-end imports from Spain and Italy. The 1446 Haight store caters to a younger clientele, with edgier cuts like New Rock, Doc Martens and Steve Madden. Prices are in the $100-$200 range. 1422 Haight St., (415) 861-0313; 1446 Haight St., (415) 864-0990; 1553 Haight St., (415) 861-3933.

Record Shops

Amoeba: Buy, sell and trade inside this cornucopia of music bargains. Even the new CDs are cheap, but there are so many used CD's in good condition that you may never make it to the new side of the store. 1855 Haight St., (415) 831-1200.

F 8: With just two small walls of vinyl and CD's, F 8 doesn't look like much, but the shop is a hot spot for "cybertrance communication" -- DJ dance tracks and progressive trance. The shop carries 12-inches, mostly from Europe, in addition to mixed DJ tapes, CD's and underground magazines. 1816 Haight St., (415) 221-4142.

Future Primitive Sound: Serving as headquarters for the Future Primitive Sound art collective, this Lower Haight location offers the urban music, art, and clothing created by its members. The collective consists of photographers, DJs, spoken word artists, painters, and more. This space presents art openings, musical performances, and other events. 597 Haight St., 415-551-2328.

Groove Merchant: The Groove Merchant carries old collectible vinyl, mainly jazz, soul, funk and Latin music. Among the stacks are hard-to-find soul staples and classics that appeal to DJs looking for a history lesson in music, as well as old-time collectors. There are some new titles, but most of the racks are for used albums. 687 Haight St., (415) 252-5766.

Haight-Ashbury Music Center: A large selection of guitars, amplifiers, keyboards, PA systems, recording equipment, percussion instruments, wind instruments and accessories can be found here, all at reasonable prices. 1540 Haight St., (415) 863-7327.

Recycled Records: Recycled buys and sells used jazz, blues, rock and folk vinyl and CDs, as well as other memorabilia such as vintage rock posters. The walls are lined with rare 45s and hard-to-find albums. Prices are reasonable for the most part, especially considering what many collectors are willing to pay. 1377 Haight St., (415) 626-4075.

Rooky Ricardo's: For those longing for the days of vinyl, Rooky's is a dream. The colorful shop is chock-full of old soul, jazz, gospel, reggae and funk albums and a massive selection (more than 50,000) of old 45s. To top it off, Rooky's does not charge collector's prices, meaning everything is affordable. Rooky's hosts a record swap the first Sunday of every month. 448 Haight St., (415) 864-7526.

Tweekin' Records: Dance music of all varieties takes center stage at Tweekin'. DJs and dance-music fans can find a good stash of underground vinyl, whether it be techno, house, progressive trance, deep house or beats music. 593 Haight St., (415) 626-6995.

Hippie and Eastern-Influenced Shops

Ashbury Tobacco Center: Aside from the expected lighters, cigars, and myriad pipes, the tobacco center also hawks chess sets, mushroom lamps, and an assortment of souvenirs. 1524 Haight St., (415) 552-5556.

Distractions: Distractions is a veteran among the Haight's many psychedelic hippie shops, only this one has changed with the times. Aside from the usual hand-blown glass pipes, bongs and incense, trance kids can find glowsticks, rave clothes, black lights and other paraphernalia. In short, this is an electronic-music-oriented head shop. 1552 Haight St., (415) 252-8751.

Dreams of Kathmandu: The purple-and-green-sherbet-colored faeade makes Dreams of Kathmandu hard to miss. Inside, the inventory is a bit more sedate, with Tibetan prayer flags hanging from the ceiling, Buddha and elephant statues on the shelves and Nepalese paper lanterns, batiks, jewelry, masks and incense boxes adding to the spirit. Closed Mondays. 1352 Haight St., (415) 255-4968.

Golden Triangle: This head shop offers some unique products, like "South Park" pipes and a back area filled with hats, jackets, packs and T-shirts. Of course, hand-blown glass pipes are the main attraction. 1334 Haight St., (415) 431-6764.

Haight-Ashbury T-Shirts: This spot is literally wall-to-wall T-shirts and tie-dye shirts, most sporting Haight-Ashbury insignias or pictures of Bob Marley and, of course, Jerry Garcia, or simply the name of his little jam band. Grateful Dead beanie bears fill the front window. 1500 Haight St., (415) 863-4639.

The Love of Ganesha: Most of the imports in this shop -- Thai silk, sarongs from Bali and jewelry from India, for example -- come from South Asia and Southeast Asia. All the hip paraphernalia, such as henna kits and bindis, are here as well. Neighbors and single mothers get a 10% discount on merchandise, and anyone is free to enjoy hot tea and relax in the meditation room. 1601 Page St., (415) 621-3071.

Land of the Sun: Land of the Sun carries the typical '60s Summer of Love gear, including tie-dye shirts, Jerry Garcia wall hangings, peace necklaces, Haight-Ashbury T-shirts, Janis Joplin photos, candles and incense. 1715 Haight St., (415) 831-8646.

Life Henna Lounge: Yes, Life Henna Lounge is actually a relaxing place to get that henna tattoo, but there is much more to this shop. Walls of aromatic candles, perfume oils, hand lotions, bath salts, Buddha statues, Chinese Zodiac rubber stamps and Indonesian, Indian and Thai imports are just some of the Eastern-influenced goodies to be found here. 604 Haight St., (415) 252-9312.

Pipe Dreams: Pipe Dreams' motto, "Smoke Shop of the Sixties," refers to its status as the oldest head shop on Haight Street. Aside from an overwhelming choice of glass pipes, ranging in price from $6 to $1,000, the shop carries funky lighter and cigarette cases, hard-rock and punk T-shirts, movie posters and incense holders. 1376 Haight St., (415) 431-3553.

Positively Haight Street: The blast of incense you inhale upon entering the store gives its contents away: hemp bracelets, Grateful Dead photos and T-shirts, mushroom candles, hand-blown glass pipes, knit hats, dresses and skirts from India and other imports from Thailand, India and Nepal. 1400 Haight St., (415) 252-8747.

Sunshine Coast: Yet another of Haight Street's ubiquitous head shops. Sunshine Coast offers pipes galore and other smoke-filled paraphernalia. 1312 Haight St., (415) 255-6075.

Restaurants

Ali Baba's Cave: The grub in this cavern consists of the usual Mediterranean fare. Falafel, shawerma and tabbouleh dominates the menu, and main dishes include the vegetarian shish-kebab platter and the ohzi al-sham, filo dough stuffed with basmati rice, lamb, pine nuts, almonds and green peas. 531 Haight St., (415) 255-7820.

All You Knead: As the name of this diner-like spot implies, one plateful here is all you need for most of the day. Giant breakfast plates overflow with home fries and eggs. Vegetarians have a vast array of lunch and dinner options, including veggie burritos, pastas and hearty soups. This place can get crowded for weekend brunch. 1466 Haight St., (415) 552-4550.

Asqew Grill: From tofu kebabs to grilled caramel apples, everything on the menu is served on a skewer. Food is fresh and cheap. The decor is equally askew: Tables are designed like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, and on the walls are hung with slightly twisted photos featuring subjects such as naked skaters heading over a bridge and an old banjo player with his feet and body oddly contorted. 1607 Haight St., (415) 701-9301.

Axum Cafe: A bare-bones operation packed with a diverse Lower Haight crowd, especially on the weekends. Dishes are served on a large piece of injera, the Ethiopian pancake-like bread, with a refreshingly tangy salad. The vegetarian combo for two or more starts at $12, and includes five different dishes, including spicy mushrooms simmered with tomatoes, and a milder dish of cabbage and potatoes. Many of the meat dishes, especially the lamb, are properly spicy and satisfying, too. (-SF Chronicle) 698 Haight St. (at Pierce), (415) 252-7912.

Bia's Restaurant & Wine Bar: Taking the place of the popular Zare, Bia's retains the old restaurant's California-Mediterranean focus. Whole wheat pancakes are popular for brunch, while dishes like stuffed eggplant make for tasty entrees. Other dinner options include penne pasta with vodka, pan seared sea bass, and smoked chicken linguine. Bia's boasts 70 different varieties of red and white wines from all over the world, which can be enjoyed at the new cherrywood bar in front. 1640 Haight St., (415) 861-8868.

The Blue Front Cafe: The welcoming genie outside the Blue Front reflects the mostly Mediterranean cuisine (with a health-conscious emphasis), such as a super avocado wrap or a falafel burrito. The variety of inexpensive eats also includes basic sandwiches like chicken filet and a number of vegetarian options such as the garden eggplant with pesto and sun-dried tomato. Try the Middle Eastern omelet with tomatoes, garlic, parsley and feta cheese for breakfast. 1430 Haight St., (415) 252-5917.

Burger Joint: If the Jetsons created a retro diner, Burger Joint would be it. The burger, made from Niman Ranch beef and served on a grilled bun, is king. The fat, crisp fries don't hurt, either. Curl up in the booth with two straws for you and a friend and slurp down a classic vanilla shake or delicious root beer float. (-SF Chronicle) 700 Haight St. (at Pierce), (415) 864-3833.

Cafe du Soleil: Pascal Rigo's organic breads and croissants arrive daily, to be eaten solo or in open-faced sandwiches alongside salads or homemade chips. Beer and wine served until Soleil's 10pm closing time; there's also outside seating. 200 Fillmore St. (at Waller), (415) 934-8367.

Cafe International: This place just begs you to don a big comfy sweater and come with your favorite book or journal, put your feet up and sip some heartwarming coffee. It also serves salads, soup and sandwiches. Live bands visit occasionally, so you might want to check out the schedule ahead of time. 508 Haight St., (415) 552-7390.

Cantata Coffee Co.: Here, coffee addicts can find flavored coffees like hazelnut as well as basic lattes, mochas and espresso drinks. Health nuts, meanwhile, can revel in fresh-juice choices like carrot, cantaloupe and watermelon or fruit smoothies. On rare warm San Francisco days, sit outside and treat yourself to a banana hot-fudge sundae. 1708 Haight St., (415) 221-5555.

Cha! Cha! Cha!: Widely regarded as the best Caribbean restaurant in the city, this place is well-known for outstanding fish tapas, calamari, plantains and other dishes influenced by cuisine from Africa, Spain, Louisiana and Brazil. It's perpetually packed, so you'll want to put your name on the list early and either stroll the Haight or while away the time sipping the famously delicious sangria. 1801 Haight St.,

Chabela Restaurant: It's not the hippest Mexican joint on Haight Street, but for the best overstuffed tofu-and-brown-rice burrito in town at the cheapest price, Chabela's is it. The grilled-vegetable burritos are also tasty, and there are other eclectic choices like the red-snapper burrito. It's a good spot to fill up before heading to a movie at the Red Vic. 1801 Haight St., (415) 751-6204.

Chilli Cha Cha: This Thai cafe specializes in noodle and other Thai soups, including a tasty vegetarian Tom Kha Pak coconut vegetable soup. The gamut of Thai curry sauces is also available. Chilli serves a number of rice plates and pan fried noodle options. Save room for the sticky rice with mango dessert. 494 Haight St., (415) 552-2960.

The Citrus Club: Udon. Soba. Lo mein. There are plenty of choices to noodle over at this Haight pan-Asian spot. Grab a seat at the bar, or wait for a table to taste noodle soups that rival any pho house in the Tenderloin. Start with neatly wrapped spring rolls or innovative cold noodles such as orange-mint or spicy lime and coconut. And even if the wok-tossed noodles don't always hit the mark, ample portions and speedy service compensate at this bustling joint that seems straight from the set of "Tampopo." Vegan items, too. (-SF Chronicle) 1790 Haight St., (415) 387-6366.

Coffee Tea & Spice: A wall full of loose teas is the highlight at this cafe, with unique flavors like ginger peach, masala spice and rooibos blood orange mixed in with the chamomiles and jasmine. The shop also roasts its own coffee and offers a selection of pastries and quick lunch items like vegetable quiche. There's comfortable room for a kaffeeklatsch upstairs. 1630 Haight St., (415) 861-3953.

El Balazo: This colorful taqueria serves first-rate standards as well as homemade tamales, cactus burritos and other specialties. On weekend evenings the Spanish-ballad-playing guitarist makes for a festive scene. 1654 Haight St., (415) 864-8608.

The Grind Cafe: Locals come to this hangout for the espresso drinks, smoothies and large portions of grub. Breakfast offerings include a vast selection of omelets or creative pancakes like the Coco-loco, with bananas, macadamia nuts and coconut. Lunch sandwiches and salads are available as well. 783 Haight St., (415) 864-0955.

Horseshoe Coffee House: Horseshoe is the best place in the Lower Haight to get jacked up on java and get some work done. It also has the distinction of being the first Internet cafe in the United States, and still has a few Internet stations as well as a large circular table in the middle with outlets to plug laptops in. 566 Haight St., (415) 626-8852.

Indian Oven: The plain white tablecloths here don't reflect the zesty north Indian food. More exotic choices include fish tandoori with Chilean sea bass marinated in herbs and spices, and chicken Madras cooked in spicy coconut sauce with raisins and basic sabji-vegetable curry. Sides include a variety of breads like goat-cheese naan. 233 Fillmore St. (near Haight), (415) 626-1628.

Kan Zaman: Passing by Kan Zaman's windows on the weekends, it's hard not to stop and stare. Belly dancers swirl and clink away in front of ogling guests and passersby, beckoning the latter inside to enjoy tasty Moroccan platters. Another treat is the postmeal hookahs, filled with the diner's choice of flavored tobaccos to top off the evening. 1793 Haight St., (415) 751-9656.

Kate's Kitchen: Get here early, because on weekend mornings and afternoons, there's always a line for super-huge servings of food made with all-natural ingredients. The pancakes are humongous, and the egg scrambles are savory; vegetarian and vegan options are also available. 471 Haight St., (415) 626-3984.

Kona Shores Ice Cream & Surf Co.: What started as a concept for a Hawaiian themed ice cream shop has expanded into an ice cream and surf shop. Kona serves Lappert's gourmet Hawaiian ice cream, with exotic flavors such as Kahlua Truffle and Organic Ceremonial Green Tea. The shop is being stocked with surf gear, as well, including surfboards, reef sandals, and board shorts. The front of the shop is spacious enough to hang out while demolishing a couple of scoops, and there is WiFi Internet access. 1206 Masonic Ave., (415) 861-3172.

Magnolia Pub and Brewery: The Haight's only brewpub boasts its own array of beers -- the award-winning Blue Bell Bitter, the hearty Stout of Circumstance and lighter ales like the Sara's Ruby Mild, to name a few. Magnolia also brews special seasonal beers, such as the Winter Warmer, with a blend of malt and fruit flavors, and the Jubilee Ale, brewed specially for the Haight Street Fair each June. Magnolia offers a varied menu that includes grilled wild salmon, a grilled portobello-mushroom sandwich and salad with organic greens, tomato and goat-cheese fondue. 1398 Haight St., (415) 864-7468.

Massawa Restaurant: At Massawa (named after an Eritrean town), diners eat the Eritrean way -- sans utensils. Vegetarian or meat entrees are served on injera, the traditional East African spongy bread, and eaten with the hands. Meals come with mildly seasoned chickpeas cooked with onions, tomato and pepper, as well as lentils, spinach and salad. Some dishes are cooked with hot pepper, but they're not overwhelmingly spicy. 1538 Haight St., (415) 621-4129.

Memphis Minnie's: Flights of sake may be touted at the counter and tables papered with reprints from Gourmet magazine, but don't let that fool you. Memphis Minnie's is a barbecue joint, and behind its fire-engine-red facade it serves up enough ribs, brisket, chicken, pork and sausage to satisfy the hungriest 'cue fan. Decor is at once kitschy and cool, with a pig pieata hanging from the ceiling and another flying oinker circling above the counter. Don't miss the killer banana pudding. 576 Haight St., (415) 864-7675.

Metro Caffe: Four tables inside and two tables out sum up the seating at Metro Caffe, an unassuming hole-in-the-wall whose claim of using Niman Ranch beef is the first sign you're in for a treat. The Metro Burger is a delectable patty served with mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion. Pair it with some hot, crunchy onion rings or french fries and a root beer float and a quick bite becomes the All-American meal. Service is basic but the staff is friendly and responsive. (--SF Chronicle) 247 Fillmore St. (at Haight Street); (415) 621-9536. Lunch, dinner daily.

Naan N' Chutney: Another addition to the Lower Haight's inexpensive culinary options, Naan N' Chutney serves basic Pakistani and Indian fare. The menu includes the usual tandoori, curry, and masala dishes, but the healthy portions here are cleaner and lighter than at some of the similar restaurants in the city. The 45-seat locale also offers naan bread chutney wraps. The Indian and Pakistani artwork on the walls adds to the flavor. 525 Haight St., (415) 255-1625. (

People's Cafe: Sandwiches and light meals prevail here at the People's Cafe. Eggs are served all day and in an imaginative array of variations. The coffees are strong, and the salads are large. Weekends get crazy when brunch is served, but if you're lucky, you can sit in front of the large glass windows looking onto the street. 1419 Haight St., (415) 553-8842.

Ploy Thai Cuisine II: The cozy, sometimes cramped, upstairs seating overlooks Haight Street. Good, consistent Thai food keeps regulars coming back, with most dishes, such as roast duck curry, garlic-pepper beef and charbroiled vegetables, at or less than $10. The spicy tofu or Thai fresh egg roll make perfect appetizers. 1770 Haight St., (415) 387-9224.

The Pork Store Cafe: The photos on the wall give its full history, but in short the Pork Store Cafe is a Haight Street relic. Opened in 1916 as a butcher and sausage shop, the cafe turned into a restaurant in the '50s under another name and assumed its current title in 1979. Heaping breakfast plates are the main attraction -- check out the Pork Store Special, with two pork chops, eggs, biscuits and hash browns. Vegetarian options include scrambled eggs with onions, spinach, Jack cheese and salsa. Closes by late afternoon. A second location is between Valencia and Guerrero in the Mission. 1451 Haight St., (415) 864-6981.

Raja Cuisine of India: There's a strong but pleasant mix of incense and curries at Raja, a popular neighborhood restaurant. The menu offers extensive vegetarian choices, including vegetable coconut curry and baigan barta -- baked eggplant with tomatoes, onions, ginger and garlic. One whole section of the menu is called the Curry Zone. 500 Haight St., (415) 255-6000.

RNM: Lower Haight's new, stylish resident stays up late, offering small plates and whimsical desserts in a sleek, moody setting punctuated by floor-to-ceiling chainmail curtains, a loft filled with comfy couches and a chandelier made from electrical conduit. The menu takes on the best of the season. A dish of cornmeal-crusted heirloom tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella is a fine pairing with a bowl of white corn soup topped with a poached oyster and truffle oil. The menu also features more substantial offerings like seared scallops on artichoke puree and a summer vegetable chicken pot pie. Desserts include fun twists like homemade Oreo cookies and a vanilla malt or a plate of little nostalgic nibbles like lemon bars. And every night, RNM offers a $25 three-course prix fixe menu from 5:30-7 p.m. -SF Chronicle 598 Haight St. (near Steiner), (415) 551-7900.

Rockin' Java: This coffeehouse exists where the old Nightbreak once stood. Musician photos, fetauring artists from Miles Davis to Green Day, line the walls where the Nightbreak stage was set up. Try the special drinks, such as the Banana Rama, with espresso, chocolate, banana syrup, milk and whipped cream, or a healthy meal, like the garden burgers or bagels with hummus. There are performances occasionally, but this is mainly a coffee shop with Internet access. 1821 Haight St., (415) 831-8842.

Rosamunde: If you have a craving for a sausage sandwich, you just can't beat Rosamunde. This small eatery specializes in sausage, including a smoked duck sausage with juniper berries, hazelnuts and pork and a Merguez sausage with spicy lamb and beef, and a seafood sausage filled with shrimp, scallops and snapper. Sausages are grilled to order and served on large buns; grilled onions are a delightful accompaniment. Limited counter seating. (--SF Chronicle) 545 Haight St. (near Fillmore Street); (415) 437-6851. Lunch, dinner daily.

Squat 'N' Gobble/Squat 'N' Gobble Too: Warm and homey, these twin cafes serve excellent coffee drinks and satisfying food. Their crepes and sandwiches are filled amply, and nearly everything on the menu comes with a heap of home potatoes. You'll always leave this joint fully gratified, but beware -- the food coma will be close behind. 237 Fillmore St. (near Haight), (415) 487-0551; 1428 Haight St., (415) 864-8484.

Thep Phanom: The restaurant frames and hangs its many accolades from the walls -- and all the praises are just. Thep Phanom cooks up specialties like the Bird of Paradise, with marinated quails in garlic and pepper deep fried and served with spicy-and-sour sauce, or specialties like crispy jumbo prawns and snapper served with peanut sauce. There is a choice of more than 20 appetizers such as spicy seafood salad with cashews in lemon dressing. 400 Waller St. (near Haight), (415) 431-2526.

Zona Rosa: Though Zona Rosa's food is not all that distinctive, it was one of the first taquerias in the Haight. There are plenty of vegetarian options and fresh juices. 1793 Haight St., (415) 668-7717.

Nightlife

An Bodhran: This Irish bar, named after an Irish drum, doesn't feature live music, but the crowd is lively, especially on weekends, when it can be packed. The Guinness flows freely and frequently. 668 Haight St., (415) 431-4724.

Club Deluxe: Keeping the swing era alive with big bands, art deco and boogie-woogie since the '50s, Club Deluxe is a unique experience when it comes to the Haight. There's always live music on Friday and Saturday, and on Sunday the owner's band puts on a show featuring Frank Sinatra covers. Try the artisan-style pizza, with has an organic flour crust and fresh toppings each day. They're served served 7 p.m.-midnight Wednesday-Friday and Sunday. 1509-11 Haight St., (415) 552-6949.

Hobson's Choice: If rum is your specialty, then Hobson's Choice is your choice. There are more than 110 kinds of rum, about 80 percent of which are hard to find elsewhere. Many brands are imported from the Virgin Islands, Haiti, Anguilla and Puerto Rico. Bartenders will mix specific rums into different cocktails such as the basic mojito, the Brazilian carpirinha and the dark & stormy. Rum flights, a special order in which patrons choose three kinds of rum, are available every night. Hobson's packs out Thursday to Saturday nights. 1601 Haight St., (415) 621-5859.

Mad Dog in the Fog: A funky British pub famous for its stout pints, bangers and mash, open-mic nights and pub quizzes. Order a pint, play some darts and slake your appetite at this Lower Haight favorite. 530 Haight St., (415) 626-7279.

Milk: The latest club to take over this ever-changing Haight Street music venue, Milk has been a success with its soul, funk, hip-hop, and house beats. Catering to the 20-something set, Milk is a lively spot, serving drinks with a powerful punch. Local and international artists and DJs perform most weekends. Milk also brings rock and roll sushi Sundays back to the area, in the vein of the old Nightbreak that used to be across the street. 1840 Haight St., (415) 387-6455.

Nickies: One of the Lower Haight's longtime attractions, Nickies (formerly Nickie's BBQ) has re-opened after lengthy renovations. The dance floor's now level, the sound system's improved and the bar has been spiffed up with natural wood and a sleek design, but the unpretentious vibe remains. 466 Haight St., (415) 255-0300

Noc Noc: A cozy bar with great seating -- if you get there early enough. Find a cushiony bench or pillow along a wall or tucked into a corner, then slouch and fixate on the abundance of zebra prints, TV screens and airplane fuselage. Noc Noc doesn't serve hard liquor, but it's creative (in a good way) with its sake and wine. It also has a great selection of beers. There is music, but no dance floor -- but at least there's no cover. 557 Haight St., (415) 861-5811.

Zam Zam: One step into Zam Zam and you're back in the 1940s. The infamous Martini Nazi has passed on, leaving only the stories in his wake, but although martinis are still the drink of choice, it's no longer a faux pas to ask for a cosmopolitan, a margarita or any other cocktail. The tables in back are open again (Bruno had closed them off years ago), and the old name, Persian Aub Zam Zam, has been shortened. Ask new co-owner Bob Clarke about his college years playing basketball with Dubya. 1633 Haight St., (415) 861-2545.

If the Haight's got one thing figured out, it's dive bars. There are too many to mention them all, but be assured that any you might stumble into will have plenty of character -- and characters. Here's a sampling:

Gold Cane: This is your ideal chew-the-fat kind of bar, utterly plain in decoration, with a decent jukebox, a full bar and plenty of tables for brainstorming sessions. 1569 Haight St., (415) 626-1112.

John Murio's Trophy Room: Once the Trophy Room was a tiny little joint with a pool table, an array of motorcycles outside and a really cool, loud jukebox. Then someone knocked out the back wall, added another pool table and expanded the pinball/videogame selection. The most colorful clientele were quickly replaced by more formal, professional types. The trend recently seems to have reversed itself, however, making this a spacious and eminently casual venue. 1811 Haight St., (415) 752-2971.

Kezar Pub & Restaurant: Sports fanatics unite at the Kezar, with its 10 digital receivers and two C-band channels. The bar shows everything from Sunday football games (different contests on each television) to curling matches. International sports, such as Aussie-rules football, and college football are popular here as well. The pub has been in business since the opening of the Kezar Stadium, and features walls filled with old '49ers photos. Aside from the 20 beers on tap, the bar serves pub grub like buffalo wings, burgers, corned beef and shepherd's pie. 770 Stanyan St. (near Haight), (415) 386-9292.

Martin Mack's Bar & Restaurant: This Irish sports bar fills with football crowds as well as fans of Irish sports, which are shown on the TVs. The bar also has a restaurant in the back that serves burgers, fries, nachos and more healthy entrees like sauteed fresh sole or broiled salmon filet. Irish specialties like corned beef and cabbage are on the menu, and the original Irish breakfast, with eggs, Irish sausage and bacon and black-and-white pudding, are popular for brunch. 1568 Haight St., (415) 864-0124.

Molotov's: Pool is available, along with a number of tables, plenty of room to move around and barkeeps who are known to put on spontaneous firebreathing shows. 582 Haight St., (415) 558-8019.

Toronado: Toronado is the best Lower Haight neighborhood hangout for those who want to just suck down a few brews. The draft choices are extensive, with names like Brutal Bitter, Boney Fingers and Prohibition Ale. German beers are also offered on tap. The crowd can get loud and boisterous. 547 Haight St., (415) 863-2276.

Trax: After 30 years on the block, Trax is the only gay bar to survive in the Haight out of about a dozen over the years. The red neon sign outside hints at the decor within: red bar stools, red lighting, red pool table. Happy hour lasts from noon to 7 pm weekdays, and on Tuesdays beers are $2 all day and night. Trax is also known for its vast selection of tequilas. 1437 Haight St., (415) 864-4213.

Where To Stay

Red Victorian Bed, Breakfast & Art: The Red Victorian, a-turn-of-the-century hotel that has had two previous incarnations, is one spot on the Haight where the Summer of Love lives on. Sami Sunchild's Peace Arts Center, which is part of the guest house, sells peace T-shirts, human-diversity posters and the like. Rooms are decorated in themes, such as the Flower Child Room and the Sunshine Room, and the staff acts more like family than workers. Prices are very reasonable. 1665 Haight St., (415) 864-1978.

Stanyan Park Hotel: Built in 1904-05, the Stanyan Park Hotel is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. The Victorian-style hotel has since been restored and now houses 36 rooms and suites with period artwork and decors. The hotel does have modern amenities, but adds old-fashioned touches like evening tea and cookies. 750 Stanyan St. (near Haight), (415) 751-1000.
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