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Best Cocktail Bars in San Francisco

Best Cocktail Bars in San Francisco

Coming up with a “best of” list for San Francisco is nearly impossible – there is quite literally something for everyone! And that’s what’s so great about SF, the diversity! Rather than have the audacity to choose the best bars overall, we are going to focus on the art of the cocktail.

So if you’re into finding the next great cocktail bar, read on for some great finds!

For awesome cocktails with an exotic flair, try DOSA on Fillmore. They have a rotating list of Spice Route cocktails such as the “Fillmore Lemonade” (Vodka, Lemon, Crème De Violette, Ancho Chile, and Lemon Verbena) that are inspired by the cuisine and spices of South India. They create their own spice infusions, tinctures, and special flavors. Find them on Facebook as well; they are always posting videos of new creations.

For Spanish tapas meets Livermore Valley wine region, with global influences, head to Sabio On Main. From day one, they have been creating some beautiful craft cocktails. Check out this video for some of their craft in action. While you’re there, try the 2018 Taster’s Cup Winner, the “Tennessee Tiki” created from rye, Tiki Mix, citrus, and Angostura.

Comstock Saloon is one of the original Barbary Coast bars with Mixologist Johnny Raglin. The place is historic, and they definitely play to that, but Johnny and his team take their craft and their cocktails very seriously and elevate it to the next level. By far, the best place to go and simply tell whoever is behind the bar, “just make me happy.” With names like “Death in the Gulf Stream” and “Fourth Regiment,” you’ll want to try them all. They also have great happy hour specials from 4-6p.

If you want something lighter, head to Myriad Gastro Pub in the Mission. With only a beer & wine license, they still manage to concoct some very tasty libations that go down easy and won’t take you to the floor with them! Of course, if you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, Trish’s take on butterscotch pudding (butter-with-scotch pot de creme) is heavy with the Scotch!

Wildseed on Union is a vegan restaurant infusing their creative cocktails with signature juices and amazing combinations. General manager Lauren Fitzgerald has encouraged sustainable drinks with seasonal ingredients that come fresh from local farmers. Try the “Aquafaba Sour” mixed with tequila, artichoke, elderflower, grapefruit, and lemon or taste the “Salt and Pepper” which contains Mezcal, tequila, ginseng, lemon, ginger, and turmeric. Go for their 4-6p happy hour where workout clothes are just fine.

Head to the Mission for Eastern European comfort food at Dear Inga. The cocktail menu is extensive and boasts unique spirits in exotic combinations. Ever tried Kümmel? It’s a liqueur flavored with caraway, cumin, and fennel, which is served with Manzanilla sherry and beet shrub as “The Schrute.” Zwack is a Hungarian spirit mixed with caraway, Rittenhouse rye, and dubonnet rouge in the “Belmont.” 

If you want a view and rooftop lounging, then head downtown to Everdene in the Virgin Hotel. They don’t take reservations, but they love a good party, so be sure to check their events calendar. Their seasonal cocktails include “Queen Anne’s Revenge,” a mix of dark rum, Malibu coconut, and pineapple orange-infused coconut water over ice. The “Desert Rose” features Mezcal, cucumber, hibiscus, and pineapple gum. 

For Thai food and cocktails, head to Nari on Post street where heritage Thai meshes with California sensibility. Within the contemporary atmosphere, you can choose the “Bai Toey” from the Punch selections made from coconut rum, yellow chartreuse, Wray & Nephew lime cordial, and Pandan. From the Cocktails list, try a “Monthoe” created from Sea gin, sherry, Chareau, lemon, vanilla, absinthe, muddled basil, and cucumber.