The first Mikkeller beerhall opened in Copenhagen, so expect a tasteful Danish aesthetic with gleaming taps, pale woods and modernist barstools, plus a global appreciation for the craft. The draft menu is meticulous and pulls from the best breweries in the world, including a dozen Mikkeller originals.
34 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94102
This Tudor-style English pub sits happily among the redwoods and marries two legends: Sir Francis Drake of the high seas and John Muir of the high Sierras, both of whom have real history on this stretch of coastline. Grab a Lagunitas pale ale, the fish and chips, and if you need it, one of seven cozy rooms upstairs. Perfect stop on a Highway 1 daytrip.
10 Pacific Way, Muir Beach, CA 94965
Once a North Beach boarding house for adventurous passersby and troubadours, this dark-red cocktail den came back to life in 1998, setting the bar for the new scene of higher-end spots in SF. Tucked up a narrow alley off Broadway, the bar’s owners still keep 25 handsome rooms for “roving reporters, enterprising entrepreneurs, and carefree travelers.”
15 Romolo Pl, San Francisco, CA 94133
In the shadow of the TransAmerica Bulding, this corner wine bar stands out with a vast by-the-glass menu, which sommolier Sarah Trubnick reinvents every three months. When we popped in, every bottle was from Eastern Europe with notable Austrian reislings and a couple big reds from Northern Greece. If you’re looking for cocktails, head to the downstairs speakeasy.
415 Sansome St, San Francisco, CA 94111
Looking to sip a $150 glass of Eagle Rare 17 year or a Willett Family 22 year for a shade less? Hard Water is a whiskey vault that’s unrivaled in the city. And it’s likely the one spot where bourbon hounds can order a flight of Pappy Van Winkle rarities, including the Reserve 23 year.
Pier 3, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94111
This gin palace opened its doors in 2015 with 400 varieties and a 17-page drinks menu with a family tree of martinis and an encyclopedic grasp on the frangrant liquor’s story. Pick your juniper wish: Gimlet, Tom Collins, Ramos Gin Rizz, Hanky Panky, London Buck, Gin Daisy, or, if you’re feeling it, a Kopstootje, i.e. a shot of cold Dutch gin and a beer.
600 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94102
The word “inventive” doesn’t come close to capturing the magical thinking at this Mission drinkers den. Every six months the entire cocktail list starts from scratch, with full-fledged conceptual menus of drinks based on everything from horoscopes to tourist spots to conspiracy theories. But don’t mistake the off-kilter fun for a lack of focus: This place is world class (and jam-packed).
3010 20th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
A finalist for James Beard’s highest bar award six years running, this contemporary tavern (named after the farmhouse rums of the French Caribbean) tends to the finest details: an interior that mimicks the hull of a ship, chairs made from cabernet-stained barrels, billowing herbs on the patio, and expert riffs on island classics like Planters Punch and El Presidente.
355 11th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Nearing its 100th birthday, Tosca found second life in 2014 with New Yorker restaurant gurus April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman. As true pros, they treasured the historic vibe, restoring the murals, honoring the red-leather booths, and re-opening the long shuttered kitchen. Grab one of 45 bar seats, order a mustardy Caesar and Black Bird Punch, and raise a glass to the icon reborn.
242 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133
The stylish Cow Hollow spot brings major street cred to its first full-service cafe and brew bar. Besides industry bonafides, one of the co-founders, Trish Rothgeb, coined the term “third-wave coffee” in a roaster’s guild newsletter back in 2002, referring to the rise of post-Starbucks artisanal pursuits in the industry.
2271 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94123
Seasoned barista and cupping judge Andrew Barnett started his modern cafe and roastery after his previous coffee venture (Ecco) was bought by Intelligensia, so rest assured at Linea Caffe you’re getting a world-class cup. And if you really love it, try the roaster’s choice subscription service. Fresh beans get mailed out every other Friday.
3417 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Espresso and cinnamon toast. That’s the to-go at this tiny and community-driven outpost in the Outer Sunset, appreciated by SF surfers, earlybird walkers, and even radiofolk at This American Life, who profiled the joint in 2015. Whatever your order, take a seat on the patio and enjoy the sea breeze.
4033 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122
The tall, narrow space on Polk (once home to a nail salon) was reimagined to be a sunlit ode to minimalism, a refreshing take on the neighborhood coffee shop. Its name nods to the city itself, past, present and future. Expect beans sourced with great intention via small farmers from Honduras, Burundi, Kenya and beyond.
2340 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Brothers Jerad and Justin Morrison launched the SF favorite in 2009 with a couple Chemex pots, a used espresso machine, and a small coffee cart parked in in the SoMA district. Today, their beautiful roastery and flagship coffee bar welcomes 100s of devoted drinkers from 7am to 7pm. Find sibling Sightglass locations in the Mission, at SFMoMA, and at the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market.
270 7th St, San Francisco, CA 94103