The Alberta district up in NoPo is no stranger to great food and drink. The Branch offers both without making you go out on a limb. The Doors would have tweaked their song lyrics ("show me the way to the Branch Whiskey bar") had they been privy to the BWB. This bar-with-benefits has a great vibe and the menu is inventive, accessible, and always on the move. Whiskey is king at the Branch, but don't let that scare you off, beveratologically. They have a nice selection of local wines, beers, and other spirits for the folks who don't have a hankerin' for that brown liquor.
On the culinary side, the duck-fat fries and lobster corn dogs will challenge everything you think you know about junk food. Check the board for the oyster selection or try the Branch burger with the veggie option. The Branch prides itself in fresh, 12-year-old bourbons notwithstanding. Happy hours make the eating cheap—and some of the drinking, too. We like to stop in before a show at the Alberta Rose, down the street. The neighborhood has lots of options for food and fun, but the Branch tops my nightlife list.