The Best of San Francisco Nightlife
Collected by AFAR Traveler, AFAR Contributor
Great bars are a hallmark of San Francisco, from friendly neighborhood drinking holes to meccas of craft cocktails and artisanal beer.
355 11th St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
If their New American–style brunch and dinner menus don’t tempt you to Bar Agricole, in SOMA, maybe their recent James Beard Award nomination for Outstanding Bar Program will. Cocktails run at $11 across the board, and head bartenders Thad Vogler...
Lower Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA, USA
Bourbon and Branch is a traditional speakeasy. Their 8 house rules—hushed voices and no cell phones among them—encourage neighborly conversation in a very relaxed setting. It's a great way to meet people if you're traveling alone as...
8 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA
In a city renowned for its "gastro-this" and "fusion-that," it was a surprise that my decadent waterfront meal at the Americano ended with a simple dessert. Simple, I soon learned, only at first glance. What looks like a standard ice cream...
155 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
A San Franciscan watering hole since 1907, Comstock Saloon serves up classic cocktails (think Negronis and Manhattans) in the buzzing North Beach neighborhood. The bar is run by the bartending duo of Jeff Hollinger and Jonny Raglin, previously of...
1725 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA
The Alembic’s pink quail eggs are pickled overnight in coriander, allspice, and clove. They’re tangy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and beg for a Sazerac or bitter beer. For more drinking tips, check out our feature "How to...
424 Octavia St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
THE place to gather outside in Hayes Valley and soak up the classic biergarten/beer garden experience. The food is delicious and the setting encourages you to talk to everyone at the communal tables. This spot is a fantastic way to enjoy some...
3176 17th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Six bowling lanes, a full bar, and delicious "technique-driven comfort food" await you at Mission Bowling Club in San Francisco. Thoughtfully designed, this 21-and-up venue champions local artists by displaying their works on the wall. With indoor...
3639 Taraval, San Francisco, CA 94116, USA
The Riptide is a fun bar with a brick fireplace. It is a great place to hang out in the winter. They host a surf movie night on Wednesdays. 3639 Taraval St., (415) 681-8433, riptidesf.com. This story appeared in the January/February 2012 issue.
55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
The California Academy of Sciences is an unfortunately stuffy name for an institution that is anything but staid. The country's largest natural-history museum includes an aquarium, a planetarium, an enormous rain-forest exhibit under a...
620 Treat Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
This 15-barrel on site brewery creates a wonderful variety of house brews that go swimmingly with chef Corey Walsh's beer influenced culinary skills. Come hungry and thirsty, stay late and enjoy the ample indoor and outdoor communal seating areas....
3202 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
The martini may or may not have been invented in San Francisco—booze authorities, with breathtaking seriousness, have debated the matter for decades. Either way you can't swing an olive in this town without finding a swell cocktail bar. Nod...
473 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Most clubs on Broadway in San Francisco can leave something to be desired as far as aesthetics and class go, but the Monroe Lounge is a cool, old school venue. I had the pleasure of attending San Francisco's latest 'Travel Massive' meet-up and I...
3845 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
St. Mary's Pub in the Bernal Heights neighborhood serves the types of spicy Bloody Marys that get the blood flowing. There's a menu of seven flavors, including Southwestern with chipotle and Japanese with wasabi. At the side of the bar, there's a...
2216 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612, USA
One of the recent additions to Oakland's Uptown neighborhood is Plum Bar, adjacent to Daniel Patterson's Plum Restaurant. The Bailout blends scotch, gin, carpano antico, and orange bitters. It complemented the creamy macaroni and cheese quite...
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