A lot of times people ask me for recommendations on where to go in San Francisco and the Bay Area.

This is not meant to be comprehensive, just a list of places which I can recommend, because I’ve been to them recently and enjoyed myself.


Bar Jules: Hayes Valley Jewel.
Canteen: Tenderloin/Nob Hill Oddity.
Commonwealth: Eclectic New American Cooking.
Front Porch: Carribean influenced home cooking.
Fish!: Sustainable and delicious Seafood in Sausalito.
Gialina: Pizza and Italian home cooking in Glen Park.
Ichi Sushi: Sushi in Bernal Heights.
Ken Ken Ramen: Great Ramen in the Mission.
La Ciccia: Sardinian Food in Noe Valley.
Magnolia Brewpub: Great Pub food and charcuterie in the Upper Haight.
Mission Chinese Food: Eclectic Asian Food in the Mission.
Papalote Mexican Grill: Depending on my mood, it may be San Francisco’s best burrito.

Cocktail Centric Bars and Restaurants:

15 Romolo: Newly remodeled North Beach bar.
Absinthe: Food also quite good.
Alembic*: Along with cocktails, some “offally” good food at Alembic. Sweetbreads, Hearts and Kidneys, Marrow Bones.
Bar Agricole: Sustainable food and excellent cocktails.
Beretta: Great Pizza and Italian small plates.
Bourbon & Branch: San Francisco’s first neo-speakeasy.
Cantina: Latin American inspired cocktails downtown.
Clock Bar: Maybe the best cocktails you’ll have in an American hotel.
Comstock Saloon: Inspired cocktails and food.
Flora: Food and cocktails in Oakland.
Heaven’s Dog*: Chinese Food and Cocktails.
Jardiniere: My wife and I announced our plans to marry to her parents at Jardiniere. A sentimental favorite.
NOPA: Really good food, too!
Presidio Social Club
range: Food also quite good.
rye: Oft overlooked Tenderloin/Nob Hill Bar.
Smuggler’s Cove: Traditional drinks of the Caribbean islands, classic libations of Prohibition-era Havana, exotic cocktails from legendary Tiki bars. Lots and lots of Rum.
Slanted Door: One of the first, and still best, new school cocktail bars in the bay area. Good food, too.
Wilson & Wilson: New reservation only bar from the team behind Bourbon & Branch.
Wo Hing General Store: Chinese Food and Cocktails from Brooke Arthur & a ridiculously fine cast of bartenders.

Bars where I am routinely insulted or otherwise abused, yet go back anyway:

Li Po Lounge

Just Bars:

Bender’s: Yes, that Bender. Now does the Heavy Metal makes sense?
Broken Record: Actually they have pretty decent bar food, too.
Rite Spot
Wild Side West

Classic SF Bars:

Big 4
House of Prime Rib
Pied Piper Bar at the Palace Hotel
Tadich Grill
Tonga Room

*I sometimes bartend at these places.

6 thoughts on “Haunts

  1. Pingback: Underhill-Lounge » New Pages

  2. Love you blog, and really enjoy your comments on each cocktail. Would you make a short list of the best Savoy drinks you have had say top 20-30?

  3. Hi, Erik,
    I love your Blog and I had no idea that you bartend at the Tadich Grill. When are you there? I invented a new drink tonight.

    The Froggy Dragon

    3 parts Kirkland (Greygoose) vodka
    1 part Soho Lychee liqueur
    one cute little round of lemon peel with your fancy $1.98 kitchen tool

  4. Hi. Great site! Are any of the haunts you list really haunted? I’m always looking for places for haunted meetups. Thanks!

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