Marcus Fan > Best Bars in San Francisco

Best Bars in San Francisco

A great town for drinking. Some stunning offerings, by some great bartenders.


1. Trick Dog

Type: Medium Volume Bar
Location: 3010 20th St., San Francisco, CA - map
Website: http://www.trickdogbar.com

Located around the block from Flour+Water you will spot it because of the line wrapped outside this otherwise lonely street. These people are waiting because the cocktails are really good. I tried the list and nearly everyone of them is delicious, everyone one of them balanced.


Trick Dog

2. Bourbon and Branch

Type: Low Volume Bar
Location: 501 Jones St., San Francisco, CA - map
Website: http://www.bourbonandbranch.com

This is a speakeasy style bar with highly knowledgeable staff. It is my favorite bar in this city. It is under a sign that says "Anti-Saloon League." Reservations are mandatory and seating can be tight. There are a great many cocktails here. To name a few highlights from just the last visit: Stan Lee Sour, Rum Crawl, Kentucky Egg Nog, Blackberry Royal and Claremont Affair.


Bourbon and Branch

3. Smuggler's Cove

Type: High Volume Bar
Location: 650 Gough St., San Francisco, CA - map
Website: http://www.smugglerscovesf.com

This tiki bar goes a different route and looks more like a pirate ship. It has an extensive cocktail list and also houses one of the widest selections of rum I have seen.


Smuggler's Cove

4. Nihon Whisky Lounge

Type: Medium Volume Bar
Location: 1779 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA, 94103 - map
Website: http://dajanigroup.net/establishments/nihon-whisky-lounge/

This whisky bar has a few cocktails on their list. All of them should be avoided. Instead, as the name of the establishment implies, order a dram of whisky. They have a very nice collection of small distillers which should keep you busy for quite some time.


Nihon Whisky Lounge

5. 1760

Type: Medium Volume Restaurant Bar
Location: 1760 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109 - map
Website: http://www.1760sf.com

Some very good modern cocktails well worth sampling.


1760

6. Wilson and Wilson

Type: Low Volume Bar
Location: 505 Jones St., San Francisco, CA - map
Website: http://www.thewilsonbar.com

This is a speakeasy style bar is inside the speakeasy bar Bourbon and Branch. Only a few seats for a high ratio of staff to guests means lots of drinking. The cocktails are great. Reservations are mandatory.


7. Bar Agricole

Type: Medium Volume Restaurant Bar
Location: 355 11th, San Francisco, CA - map
Website: http://www.baragricole.com

Good cocktails in a beautiful space. They mainly serve classics here.


8. Alembic

Type: Medium Volume Restaurant Bar
Location: 1725 Haight St. San Francisco, CA 94117 - map
Website: http://www.alembicbar.com

Another low key neighborhood bar serves that serves solid drinks.


9. Hard Water

Type: Low Volume Restaurant Bar
Location: Pier 3, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105 - map
Website: http://www.hardwaterbar.com

A mainly classics cocktail list, that are well executed. They are best known for their American whiskey selection. Either way you'll enjoy the drinking here.


10. Aziza

Type: Low Volume Restaurant Bar
Location: 5800 Geary Blvd., San Francisco, CA - map
Website: http://www.aziza-sf.com

Most people do not come here for the cocktails which is a shame because they are really very good.


11. Beretta

Type: Low Volume Restaurant Bar
Location: 45929 Geary Blvd., San Francisco, CA - map
Website: http://www.berettasf.com

One of the first places in SF to do solid cocktails they continue to do so today.


12. La Urbana

Type: Low Volume Restaurant Bar
Location: 661 Divisadero St., San Francisco, CA 94117 - map
Website: http://www.laurbanasf.com

With a mediocre cocktail list, I enjoyed the mezcal here. I think they have the best selection of mezcal in SF, but Tommy's has them beat in terms of tequila/mezcal/agave selection over all. So come to sip some mezcal.


13. Monsieur Benjamin

Type: Low Volume Restaurant Bar
Location: 451 Gough St., San Francisco, CA 94102 - map
Website: http://www.monsieurbenjamin.com

This french bistro also serves a handful of cocktails which are pretty good.


14. Rye

Type: High Volume Bar
Location: 688 Geary St., San Francisco, CA - map
Website: http://www.ryesf.com

For such a high volume bar they can still manage to push out some solid cocktails.


15. Tommy's Mexican Restaurant and Bar

Type: High Volume Restaurant Bar
Location: 5929 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco, CA - map
Website: http://www.tommystequila.com

The birth place of the famed "Tommy's Margarita." A huge selection of tequila. A place where every person that works there is passionate and friendly which makes every drink taste a little better.


16. Dosa

Type: Medium Volume Restaurant Bar
Location: 995 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA - map
Website: http://www.dosasf.com

The bar at this restaurant can get very lively which is unfortunate for those trying to dine, but hopefully they are also enjoying some of their solid cocktails. They have 2 locations. This is the only one I have been to.


17. Rickhouse

Type: High Volume Bar
Location: 246 Kearny St., San Francisco, CA - map
Website: http://www.rickhousebar.com

While it has lost mush over the years it is still pretty good.


18. Tradition

Type: High Volume Bar
Location: 441 Jones St., San Francisco, CA - map
Website: http://www.tradbar.com

A big open spaced bar takes reservations for the booths in the back if you want.