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San Francisco nightlife

One day if I go to heaven, I'll look around and say, "It ain't bad, but it ain't San Francisco."
– Herb Caen

$1 - €0.91
08:38
78 °
Photo courtesy of Bin 38

Blackbird Bar

  • Castro, Bar, $$$$ $$
  • 2124 Market St.
  • San Francisco, CA, 94114
  • +1-415-503-0630
  • Website

Drinks and beer are a steal, but intriguing drink ingredients like acid phosphate and "Trix syrup" keep your eyes on the curious cocktail menu.

Blue Bottle Coffee

  • Hayes Valley, Cafe, $$$$ $
  • 315 Linden St.
  • San Francisco, CA, 94102
  • +1-415-252-7535
  • Website

The small-batch roaster of legend with smooth brews and deep espresso. What the Hayes Valley kiosk lacks in counter space it makes up for with neighborhood charm. For a proper sit-down and maybe a bit of breakfast, stop by the Mint Plaza location.

Boot and Shoe Service

  • Oakland, Bar, $$$$ $$
  • 3308 Grand Ave.
  • Oakland, CA, 94610
  • +1-510-763-2668

By the same genius behind the beloved Pizzaiolo, you can expect much of the same here by way of excellent pizza and Italian dishes. But the strong cocktails and communal tables makes for a fun night out. Come back the next day to nurse a hangover with Sightglass coffee at the cafe.

Bourbon & Branch

  • Tenderloin, Bar, $$$$ $$$
  • 501 Jones St.
  • San Francisco, CA, 94102
  • +1-415-346-1735
  • Website

There's the main bar, and then there are five more not-so-hidden bars inside, including the standing-room only library bar, a fictional Wilson & Wilson Detective Agency, JJ Russell's Cigar Shop, and a secret trapdoor that leads to the original speakeasy but is only available for large events. It's not all smoke and mirrors though — the drinks are strong, the classic cocktails are solid, and the craft ones are fun. There's a refreshing no-cellphone house rule too.

Coqueta

  • Embarcadero, Bar, $$$$ $$$
  • Pier 5
  • San Francisco, CA, 94105
  • +1-415-704-8866
  • Website

Come at sunset for delicious tapas by Michael Chiarello, Moscow mules, and a stunning view of the Bay Bridge.

Hard Water

  • Embarcadero, Bar, $$$$ $$$
  • Pier 3
  • San Francisco, CA, 94111
  • +1-415-392-3021
  • Website

The bright, horseshoe-shaped bar has the deepest whiskey cabinet in town (some 400 American varieties!). Pair your tumbler with soulful Creole fare and sunset views of the Bay and you've got a good night ahead of you.

Rickhouse

  • Financial District, Bar, $$$$ $$
  • 246 Kearny St.
  • San Francisco, CA, 94108
  • +1-415-398-2827
  • Website

If there was ever a reason to be spirited away to a FiDi (a cutesy moniker that makes the financial district automatically more fun), it would be sharing a seemingly bottomless punch bowl at a handsome watering hole.

Smuggler's Cove

  • Fillmore, Bar, $$$$ $$$
  • 650 Gough St.
  • San Francisco, CA, 94102
  • +1-415-869-1900
  • Website

Accessorize with an eyepatch here and no one will think anything of it. High seas overload is only emphasized by bartenders pouring long drinks and mixing swizzles fit for a Caribbean island, prohibition-era Havana, and the tiki god next door.

The Tipsy Pig

  • Marina , Beer Garden, $$$$ $$
  • 2231 Chestnut St.
  • San Francisco, CA, 94123
  • +1-415-292-2300
  • Website

The garden of this gastrotavern provides the perfect backdrop for frosty pints of artisanal brews and pretzel braids served with whole-grain mustard and smoked cheddar dip. If macaroni and cheese suddenly appears, no one is to blame.

Tradition

  • Tenderloin, Bar, $$$$ $$
  • 441 Jones St.
  • San Francisco, CA, 94102
  • +1-415-474-2284
  • Website

A revelrous cocktail revival bar in the Tenderloin remembers its manners with a reverential menu that spans every era of alcohol (really) and reservations-only snugs (high-backed booths that were introduced so European ladies could imbibe with with abandon without being seen).

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