The Best Bars in San Francisco
Collected by AFAR Editors, AFAR Staff
Since its days as a port town, San Francisco offers serious drinkers some serious options. At the forefront of the craft brewing movement and a contender for one of the best cocktail cities of the world, San Francisco has a bar for everyone, whether it's a refined hotel bar with views of the city and the Golden Gate Bridge, a meticulous laboratory for spirits, or just a cluster of picnic tables by the water. You can get your coffee elsewhere. Bottoms up.
950 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA
This 70-year-old Polynesian-inspired bar at the Fairmont Hotel is part Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean and part theme party with potent drinks. The bartenders mix rum cocktails of their own creation and showcase...
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...
1705 Mariposa St, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA
For anyone who likes beer and appreciates how it's made, with a little local history on the side, the Anchor Brewing Company guided tour is a not-to-miss San Francisco experience. The tour starts out in the right place—in the taproom. Here...
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...
2765 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA
A writer walks into a bar. It sounds like the beginning of a joke, but when it happened at the Buena Vista on November 10, 1952, a new drink was born. Stanton Delaplane, a longtime columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, walked...
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...
650 Gough St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
If rum is your drink of choice and you love nothing more than a good tiki bar, head to Smuggler’s Cove in Hayes Valley. This dark, pirate-themed bar has one of the best rum selections in the city, delicious cocktails made by talented...
3174 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
At ABV, you’ll find upscale riffs on classic bar comforts, such as falafel-battered merguez corn dogs and these mapo pork sloppy joes served in steamed buns. For more drinking tips, check out our feature "How to Drink Anywhere in the World"...
398 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
Absinthe is a popular bar on Hayes with a distinguished cocktail menu. Once you catch the bartender's attention, try one of their more surprising concoctions, like the spicy Galapagos or the eye-opening Corpse Reviver. Perfect for pre-dinner...
15 Romolo Pl, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
If the walls of North Beach’s 15 Romolo could talk, they’d certainly have quite a few stories to tell. Over the last century, this building has been home to a speakeasy, a brothel, and the Basque Hotel, which still operates today along...
563 2nd St, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA
Kick back, relax, and enjoy their rotating beers on tap. Great atmosphere to catch games - especially when the Giants are playing. And the thing to get here - Watermelon Beer. It is indeed as good as it sounds (pictures on the right).
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