An Intersection of Taste

By Bob Barnwell

With over thirty restaurants in Hayes Valley it’s hard to choose where to eat. If you’re lucky enough to end up on Hayes Street at Laguna you have five unique restaurants, each with its own flavor, to tempt you.

For seventeen years Suppenküche has been a fixture at the southwest corner of Hayes and Laguna. Its bright yellow building is a draw to large crowds for dinner starting at 5:00 PM every night of the week. Suppenküche also serves Sunday brunch starting at 10:00 AM. Specializing in German food Suppenküche is a beer lover’s paradise, with over twenty beers on tap served in seven stein sizes ranging from .2 liters to 5.0 liters and more bottled beer, patrons have plenty of choices to wet their appetite for the good food. Suppenküche is a family restaurant with family style seating. The owners have been longtime supporters of the Hayes Valley community and are members of the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association. Suppenküche will soon have a second location – an outdoor restaurant and beer garden on the vacant lot at the corner of Linden and Octavia. For more information and history check their website at

Across the street from Suppenküche at the northwest corner is Café Altano. For over a year and a half Café Altano has served European and Italian food nightly. The flavorful dinner dishes include the popular pork ossobucco and seafood fettuccine. The restaurant also serves lunch on weekdays. Located at 602 Hayes, Cafe Altano also serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 am to 3 pm. They have been generous in providing food for HVNA community meetings.

At the southeast corner of Hayes and Laguna is Marino. The 579 Hayes location specializes in Mexican seafood. The owner, Raul Vargas who lives in Hayes Valley, has been in business for over a year and has already provided food for some HVNA meetings. The fish tacos with your choice of six Mexican beers are a favorite for lunch and dinner. The Vargas family is well known in San Francisco for creating outstanding restaurants. Check out their family history on their website at

Bar Jules is next to Suppenküche at 609 Hayes. For over two years Bar Jules has provided fresh food offered up on their chalkboard menu that changes daily. It’s often included on Bay Area “Best of ” lists.

Frjtz is at 581 Hayes and has another location in the Mission. Come for the belgian fries and accompany them with crepes, burgers or mussels for lunch or dinner. They also serve brunch on the weekends.