It’s been a while since I lived in San Francisco full time. Whenever I would go back to visit I’d find something new to gawk at and enjoy. This time, my husband and I headed down to Hayes Valley on a leisurely Saturday. This neighborhood has been positively transforming for the past decade, and it’s morphed into a cool destination for dedicated locals as well as any traveler wanting to catch some true SF vibes. There are quite a few hip oddity shops, boutique stores, eateries, and bars on Hayes Street, so I’m splitting up my coverage into parts as I recently returned to check out a place I had missed before, one all travelers will be stoked to hear about.
Two Sisters Bar and Books, showcasing a reading nook right in its storefront window, is a slim bar on Hayes Street in the middle of all the shops you’d want to drop into.
The proprietors took their love of books, traveling, and spirits to create the spot in their hometown.
“Two Sisters Bar and Books was born on a train, as my sister and I traveled between Krakow and Warsaw. It was inspired by: an English language bookstore in Krakow; a quintessential coffeehouse in Vienna; a neighborhood bar in Paris…” – the two sisters
We ordered the Good & Plenty cocktail—which tastes like a liquid, icy version of its namesake candy and more bitter than sweet, not to be fooled by the Concord grape—and enjoyed some red wine. We also shared the most awesome buttery, gourmet grilled cheese we’ve ever had. (This is from professional grilled-cheese-leftover-bits-tasters/parents-of-a-toddler.) There are books to flip through in the window seat, and more line the bar down one wall. The place is small but cozy. The tables for two make meeting someone for a tête-à-tête just as likely as finding a lone soul reading that classic he never got to before over a glass of wine.
We took the little time we had on this trip to meet up with some old friends (and some new ones). My friends’ one-year-old came along to check out this neat hybrid of some of our favorite things and added to the afternoon delight.
If you’re in the city for the holidays, grab a drink or a book and a grilled cheese here. And definitely check their blog for the next meeting of their book club Books and Booze, a sure-to-please combo.
*My husband can eat every 30 minutes, so even after the aforementioned delicious grilled cheese and tomato soup to whet the palette, we went across the street to Hayes & Kebab for some dinner. Here you’ll find killer lamb kebabs, falafel, tabbouleh, and other Mediterranean goodness in à la carte, combo plates, or huge family style trays to share at low tables with your friends. The option of outside seating in the sun is a treat!
Visit: Two Sisters Bar and Books, 579 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Eat: Hayes & Kebab, 580 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA 94102