Eating / Drinking, San Francisco
My nice bar for eats and people watching would be in the Hotel Monaco. downstairs besides the lobby is THE GRAND CAFE with big windows to look out on the live street action. Drinks are great and so is the food. Along that street also iare bars with live venues and across the street is the Redwood Room that I love also for the late night. Haave fun bar hopping in that area.
cheers tommy x
Dress Code: CASUAL CISCO
Top of the Mark is the place for spectacular brunches and they also serve light dinner besides being one of the best bars here in the city. The area becomes soo packed that they don't accept reservations for the evenings! The Top of the Mark is the second most romantic cocktail lounge in San Francisco(hey i'm biased since I like the ambiance more in the View Lounge in Marriott Marquis in South Of Market ok). Legendary since its opening in 1939, It sits atop the Mark Hopkins Hotel on Nob Hill. Always elegant, it has been a favorite with famous (& infamous), rich and beautiful people from all over the world who love this attractive area with its breathtaking 360 degree views of San Francisco and beyond. Their ambiance sports an elegant club-like decor, with stunning night lights and day views of the San Francisco skyline. This is the place to be on Valentines Day, or any day for romance. Even if you choose another San Francisco restaurant to dine in, this is where you go for after dinner cocktails and the pinao man at the bar is par excellance bar none!
Cocktails start $ 14 for various kinds of martinis adn between $ 10 to 15 depending on what the cocktail is like a Mai Tai or Tequila Sunrise or Long Island Iced Tea or Tom Collins, $ 8 for local beers and $ 9 for imported beers and artisanal beers, they provide free assorted mixed nuts for free and you can order bar chow like shrimp cocktails at $ 15.
Dress Code: Smart Casual, No Flip Flops or Shorts Please
Mon-Sat 6:30 am - 2:30 pm
Mon-Thu, Sun 5 pm - 12 am
Fri-Sat 4 pm - 1 am
Sun 10 am - 1 pm
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While in San Francisco in May 2008 I had to watch Stanley Cup final game one Pittsburgh vs Detroit. Since we were in North Beach right before game time we headed over to one of the city's largest sports bars: Knuckles Historical Sports Bar in the Fishermans Wharf Hyatt. Sure, the combination of chain hotel bar and Fisherman's Wharf left me a little uneasy with my decision, but when we arrived, I was pleasantly surprised. This is a huge, open, well-lit bar with probably 25 TV. We went straight to the bar and the bartender informed us the Penguins game would be on the giant TV and the volume would be on across the whole restaurant once the game started.
We sat down and had a few beer under the watchful eye of our attentive waiter Lawrence. I was surprised that local Anchor Steam beers were so expensive at $6 each and a Stella was even worse at $7. We were planning to eat, but wanted to wait until the after first period of the Pens-Wings game. Well, the game started and there was no sound.... when I asked Lawrence, he said they were going to have the sound on for some basketball game, so sorry. We almost decided to stay, but then we started calling other sports bars throughout the city. Finally after about six calls we found Zeke's over by AT&T Park, and they had the volume on for the hockey game. We quickly paid, jumped in a cab and headed over to Zeke's.
In a nutshell, Knuckles is a expensive chain bar, in a hotel, and in tourist area, all major negatives. On the flip side, I like the huge open area, the number of TVs, and the friendly service. I definately would have stayed if they were truthful to their word and playing the volume on the championship series I wanted to watch.
This is actually more of a restaurant than a bar, but this is definitely my most-frequented spot for drinking! I've been a regular here for 7-8 years; Olivier, Pierre, & Pascal are like old friends!! There is an upstairs, a downstairs, and plenty of outdoor seating when the weather is nice. They have live music (i.e. jazz ensembles) on the weekends, but are closed on Sundays. The food is fine (crepes, quiche, hachis parmentier, croque monsier, etc.), but I'm all about drinking wine here!
Dress Code: Casual
We weren't there at night but I'll stick it here as there's no VT category for daylight tippling.
There is really only one reason to come here and that's the killer location on the water. Yes they have food but the menu is pricey and YELP reviews were so-so but you can't snag a better spot for a beer/margarita on a sunny day than a barstool/table on the back deck. You would think there would be tons of casual bars/restaurants in SF with decks overhanging the bay? No go - this appears to be one of the very few. Anyway, we ended up here at least three times to catch some rays and watch the boats over a couple of cold ones. They also have live music (some free - some with a cover) and other special events so check the calendar on the website. I read that this can be pretty wild spot at night...!
Dress Code: Very casual - shorts, shirt, shoes
This is one of my favorite hang-outs whenever I happen to be in San Francisco (which is not that often). The theme of this place is RED. So if you're anti-red, this is not the place for you. Red bar stools and red couches greet you as you sail through the red entrance door. Since everything is blood red here, you might as well order a red cocktail drink to get into the swing of things!
The loooong queue most nights at this place is quite legendary. A very nice place with a cool and sophisticated crowd (ahem!).
Dress Code: DRESS UP, please!
Located in San Francisco's upper Soma (South of Market Street) District, where there are many dance clubs and live night clubs, Asia SF is a fun place to hang out to grab a few drinks, eat some unique Asian Fusion style food and watch transgender dancers entertain in a fun, lively, and social atmosphere.
For around $70/person, you get around 3 drinks, very good food, and you are entertained by around five different dancers. The MC is the funniest dancer who interacts with the audience. She is a doll. Funny as a man; and as lovely and graceful as a woman.
Dress Code: Casual. Jeans are ok; but you will not look out of place if you come in with a suit as many come here after work.
This little hidden wine bar is very well worth to visit, attention is great as wine recommendations are given. Soft and sometimes live music makes this place even cozier!
Dress Code: As formal/informal as you want
Somehow...and who knows how it got started...fernet has become extremely popular in San Francisco. More fernet is drunk here than in any other place in the United States. And more is drunk per capita than in any other place in the world.
Produced with over 40 herbs and spices, this Italian aperitif is usually compared to Jagermeister...or Campari. But really...it tastes nothing like that and is highly original...and to some...extreme. With a definite hint of mint, it's a unique liquor that you will either hate or love. But just remember that a lot of people around the Bay Area love it.
This is a "Pittsburgh" place-all the Steeler fans hang out here when they play on Sundays. There's live music after the game. I'm from New York, and the Steelers beat the Jets when I first visited, but I felt right at home here anyway. There's a big Steelers blow-up doll in front of the restaurant-that's how I noticed it. If the Steelers make the Super Bowl, make a visit here...but save me a place at the bar :-)
Dress Code: Casual
We came, we stayed, we drank. Yep, we pretty much spent our whole afternoon in this place in Haight Ashbury meeting a bunch of really interesting and diverse group of locals and having a great time. The drink prices are average and they have some unique specialty drinks and some interesting beers on tap. There's a cool upstairs loft overlooking the main level, although the Saturday afternoon crowd was centered on the bar. We met this really cool guy who goes by the name "LA" and ending up hanging out with him most of the day. The bartenders were really laid back and friendly too.
Great website too. Check it out.
Dress Code: Come as you are.
All the beer is unfiltered and unpasteurized and they always have around 7 beers on tap. The location is cool too, right where Chinatown, North Beach and the Financial District intersect. They've got great beer, good food, regular live music and an interesting history, so check out their website for all the details.
E & O Trading's location right in the heart of the main downtown shopping district around the corner from Union Square. It's a great looking restaurant and the Asian inspired menu looked great, although we just hung out at the bar and drank some overpriced drinks.
Dress Code: Come as you are although, most people were the well-dressed sort.
Red velvet couches, Tiffany-style lamps, ferns and other greenery, and female bartenders in camisoles and such. Can be a relaxing place, though sometimes a notorious pick-up joint! Go early to get a seat.
Dress Code: Extremely casual.
Actually part of a hotel, Ponzu has a beautiful Asian-inspired decor with large aquariums behind the bar. It's an intimate and tasteful place for a drink. A full menu is also served. The bar is open 4:30-midnight Tuesday through Saturday.
Dress Code: Casual.