Photo by Rie Yamaoka
Speakeasy Culture Is Alive and Well in San Francisco
It’s hard to imagine a time when alcohol was illegal in San Francisco, because it flows so freely now. But speakeasy culture—without the bathtub gin— still has a hold here. San Francisco’s speakeasy bars feel like a drinker’s theme park. They are dark, atmospheric places with small menus and serious, suspenders-wearing bartenders who make drinks that seem too good to be legal. Start with a reservation and a password at Bourbon and Branch in the Tenderloin. If you're near Market Street, keep an eye out for the entrance to the underground (literally) Local Edition, in the iconic Hearst building. In North Beach, the Comstock Saloon is modeled after the oldest bar in San Francisco and serves food too.
By Kristin Zibell, AFAR Local Expert
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.