A Very Hayes Valley Mardi Gras

For a relatively small neighborhood, we'll have more than our fair share of Fat Tuesday fun today. Here's one itinerary to keep you celebrating all day long, without leaving Hayes Valley.

Start your day at Blue Bottle, and get yourself a New Orleans-style iced coffee. It's coffee mixed with chicory, plus simple syrup and milk, served over ice. Just like at Cafe du Monde, but far tastier (and way closer to home). In the afternoon, head to Place Pigalle for the start of a Mardi Gras parade. The parade is scheduled to kick off at 5:30pm and will feature a second line by Jazz Mafia and other performers, marching toward the Mission for an evening show at Brick and Mortar. But be sure to march right on back to Hayes Valley, because the Boxing Room is where it's at for dinner. Starting at 5pm, they'll have live jazz music, a crawfish boil, and Abita beer specials, in addition to their regular menu. There are no tables left on OpenTable, but you can try your luck at a walk-in, or just stand outside and enjoy the music from the sidewalk while you pray for someone to cancel their reservation. Finally, a true Mardi Gras experience requires a beverage, and we've got plenty of options for those. Head to Smuggler's Cove, where the hurricane recipe ditches the powdery Pat O'Brien's mix in favor of lemon juice, passion fruit syrup, and dark rum. Or if whiskey's your thing, end the night with a sazerac at Absinthe. Know of any other Mardi Gras fun in the area today? Let us know. Otherwise, laissez les bon temps rouler!

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A very hayes valley mardi gras