MyBartender > Places > California > San Francisco > 17 Bars in San Francisco That You Should Check Out

17 Bars in San Francisco That You Should Check Out

If you’re looking for a great night out in San Francisco, you’ll definitely want to check out some of the city’s best bars.

From lounges and wine bars to pubs and sports bars, there’s something for everyone in this city. So whether you’re in the mood for a relaxing evening or an exciting night out on the town, read on for the best bar recommendations in San Francisco.

Best Bars in San Francisco, CA

  1. Charmaine’s Rooftop Bar & Lounge
  2. 15 Romolo
  3. Moongate Lounge
  4. Smuggler’s Cove
  5. Trick Dog
  6. Cold Drinks Bar
  7. Elixir
  8. Li Po Cocktail Lounge
  9. Pacific Cocktail Haven
  10. ANINA
  11. Blackbird
  12. Comstock Saloon
  13. Horsefeather
  14. Kona’s Street Market
  15. Macondray
  16. Pagan Idol
  17. The Beehive

Charmaine’s Rooftop Bar & Lounge

45 McAllister St, San Francisco, CA 94102
(628) 895-2039
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Charmaine’s Rooftop Bar & Lounge is a rooftop cocktail lounge & kitchen with highbrow bar bites, drinks by the Bon Vivants & city views. Here, the energetic chic of a European terrace meets the laid-back vibes of “California cool.”

Now serving an all-day menu from Executive Chef Jason Fox with new daytime cocktails created by partners, BVHospitality (Bon Vivants, Trick Dog) featuring the vibrant flavors, original combinations, and unique bitters and syrups for which the duo is known.

My all time favorite drink at this spot is the The Baumer. It comes with choice of vodka, gin, and tequila, with our spicy tomato juice and is absolutely delicious! I also tried the Mr. Jinks and On the Moon which were equally as good.


15 Romolo

15 Romolo Pl, San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 398-1359
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A classic North Beach bar since 1998, 15 Romolo keeps it simple with delicious artisanal cocktails and a locally sourced menu of bar plates. Call them a modern saloon or a neighborhood watering hole, but above all, they aim to provide an relaxed, welcoming atmosphere where you’ll feel right at home.

The Pimms Cup was absolutely delicious and had gin, lemon, ginger, cucumber, and mint. Other great cocktails I tried were the Velvet Jukebox, Buffalo Nickel, and Pixie. This spot is a must-visit!


Moongate Lounge

28 Waverly Pl, San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 857-9688
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Moongate Lounge is a lavish lounge above Mister Jiu’s serves Cal-Chinese bites & cocktails by Brandon Jew & company. They serve natural wine, unique spirits and an eclectic food menu.

This place is one of my favorites! I came here with a group of co-workers and had a great time. I ordered the Major Snow with mala tequila, amaro, and blood orange and loved it.


Smuggler’s Cove

650 Gough St, San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 869-1900
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Since opening its doors in 2009, Smuggler’s Cove has established itself as one of the top rum and exotic cocktail destinations in the world. They offer their guests an innovative new approach to rum by featuring the largest rum selection in the United States, and cocktails from over three centuries of rum history.

I highly recommend trying the Cuba Libre, Mojito, and Hurricane. My favorite cocktail was the Manhattan with rum, sugar, mint, lime juice, and seltzer.


Trick Dog

3010 20th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 471-2999
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Trick dog is a trendy hangout in a converted warehouse with an array of craft cocktails & eclectic small plates.

Enjoy craft cocktails like the Michaelangelo with Don Q Rum, amontillado sherry, pandan, coconut dulce de leche, and lime. Other great drink options include the The Optimist, Ergo Sum, and Closer to God.


Cold Drinks Bar

644 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 788-8188
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Cold Drinks Bar is located on the 2nd floor of China Live, they feature “scotch-inspired” cocktails & delicious bites from their Eight Tables by George Chen kitchen.

If you stop by this place, I would recommend trying the The Unplugged; Paul John Nirvana Single Malt Whiskey, black lemon, angostura bitters, and orange bitters. Other drinks that caught my eye were the Silk Degrees, Waltz, and Montenegro. I’ll be ordering those next time I pop into this spot!


Elixir

3200 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 552-1633
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Elixir is the second oldest continually operating saloon location in San Francisco, making it one of the most historic bars in the country.

Pouring fresh and diverse draft beer, wine and cocktails, and mixing unique, hand-made cocktails with fresh produce distinguishes Elixir from the numerous bars in this vibrant nightlife corridor

We had so much fun at this place! My friends ordered the Old Pale and Manhattan, and I opted for the Rattlesnake. My drink came with wright and brown rye, lemon, simple, egg white, and absinthe.


Li Po Cocktail Lounge

916 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 982-0072
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The Li Po Lounge also known as the Li Po Cocktail Lounge, is locate at the address of 916 Grant Ave., San Francisco, in Chinatown.  Considered a dive bar, the Li Po Lounge is home locals and an oddity to be briefly enjoyed by visitors all over the world.

If you’re looking for one of the best spots to go out for drinks, this is the spot! I had the Chinese Mai Tai.


Pacific Cocktail Haven

550 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94108
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Pacific Cocktail Haven is an elevated cocktails, punch bowls, beer & wine poured in a dramatic, stylish space with a lively vibe.

My favorite drink is the Silk Road with sapphire east gin, infanta lambonog, grilled pineapple, Japanese curry, and soda. Or you can try the Leeward Negroni, Swizzle my Nizzle, and Thrilla in Manila.


ANINA

482 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102
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AINA is an airy, island-inspired cocktail lounge offering punch bowls, beer & a patio with picnic tables.

The bartender at this spot recommended the Near Dark with vodka, hibiscus, vanilla, lemon, and orange vermouth, so I had to try it! The group of friends I was with ordered the Salad Days, Royal Scum, and Hard Eight, Unfair Trade, and Lucila.


Blackbird

2124 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 872-5310
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Blackbird specializes in comfortable experiences. They strive to have something for everyone and options for those who like to try something new, rare or even luxurious. They pride themselves on value and selection. Its a neighborhood bar with a curious selection of cocktails, spirits, beer and wine.

We dropped by this spot one night and had a blast! If you end up visiting this bar, I would try the Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sour, or Early Bird.


Comstock Saloon

155 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 617-0071
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Comstock Saloon offers patrons refined turn-of-the-century saloon fare, an assortment of snacks, and a menu of classic cocktails, such as Pisco Punch and the Manhattan, in a setting that preserves the saloon’s historic design elements and pays tribute to San Francisco’s Barbary Coast.

I really loved this place, so I’ll be coming back soon. When I was here I ordered the Boothby with bourbon, sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters, and bubbly. Some other drinks that the bartender recommended were the Cherry Bounce, Martinez, or South Side.


Horsefeather

528 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 817-1939
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A casual neighborhood cocktail gathering place with an adeptly designed interior loosely inspired by the American arts & crafts period.

Featuring a well-executed list of cocktails with fresh ingredients, house-made syrups and showcasing new American food offerings that are fluid, diverse and eclectic, offering full meals and shareable plates inspired by all cuisines and cultures.

I really loved the drink I ordered, Lowrider with mezcal, hibiscus, agave, cucumber juice, and fresh lime. Our bartender also recommended a few of the other drinks on the menu; Daywalker, Apres Ski, and Golden Hour.


Kona’s Street Market

32 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94103
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Kona’s Street Market is located in the Financial District of San Francisco. Its a cocktail bar inspired by night markets are the world.

This spot has always been on my list of best bars. Whenever I’m here I get the same drink, the One Thousand Cranes. It comes with Saiten Shochu, cucumber-melon, lemon verbena, citrus and yuzu soda.


Macondray

2209 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 829-3464
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Macondray is a friendly neighborhood cocktail bar in San Francisco’s Russian Hill. Offering to-go food and drink Wednesday through Sunday during Covid. They serve highbrow bar bites, including oysters & New England-inspired seafood.

This spot served up some of the best drinks I’ve had and was so much fun. I came here with a group of friends and ordered the Root Down with vodka, beet, carrot, and ginger. My friends ordered the Midnight Mookie and The Paisley.


Pagan Idol

375 Bush St, San Francisco, CA 94104
(415) 985-6375
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Pagan Idol is a Tiki bar located in the Financial District of San Francisco housed in a historical space that was once home to the infamous Tiki Bob’s Mainland Rendezvous.

As you enter Pagan Idol you find yourself in the belly of a wooden ship that will transport you off the streets of San Francisco and deliver you to an exotic escape. They serve Island-inspired cocktails poured in playful quarters outfitted with tiki huts & an erupting volcano.

This is one of the most popular bars in the area, so you’ll be sure to have a good time. I ordered a few drinks, but my favorite ended up being the Kingston Negroni.


The Beehive

842 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 306-8209
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The Beehive is a ‘60s-inspired neighborhood cocktail bar that channels free-spirited, funkier times. Located in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District, The Beehive offers era apropos craft cocktails and delicious fare that exudes modern Mad Men vibes.

My friends tried the The Beehive, Hound Dog, and Gemini and loved them! I had the Crystal Pistol with beluga vodka, beehive golden limoncello, suze, sparkling wine, and soda and it was delicious!


Final Thoughts

San Francisco is a great city for nightlife, and there are plenty of bars to choose from. We’ve highlighted some of our favorite spots, but we know there are plenty more out there.

If you have a favorite bar that we didn’t mention, let us know in the comments! We always love trying new places to drink. Thanks for reading, and happy drinking!

My Bartender

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