Where are the best cocktails in San Francisco?

Answers from Our Experts (2)

Katie Sweeney

San Francisco is a cocktail lover's city and the bartenders here take their drink-making seriously. Look in any neighborhood and you'll find several craft cocktail bars where the staff make their own bitters and tinctures, fill the shelves with artisanal spirits, and offer a unique selection of classic and modern libations.

15 Romolo and Comstock Saloon are two favorites in North Beach. They are within walking distance of each other and make a great mini cocktail tour of the city. 15 Romolo is a modern speakeasy with Pimm's Cups and fried chicken sandwiches on the menu. A juke box always plays in the background. Comstock Saloon has an old time feel with a live jazz band most nights and excellent preparations of classic drinks like the Southside and Negroni.

Other noteworthy bars with exceptional cocktails are Rickhouse (known for its collection of whiskey and punches), Elixir (a dive with the city's best bloody Mary bar), Smuggler's Cove (a tiki bar that has many hard to find rums on hand), and Trick Dog (San Francisco's newest cocktail bar that has a line around the block on weekend nights).

Maria Hunt

It’s probably no surprise that cocktail bars are sources of some of the best cocktails in San Francisco. Some of the most popular spots for drinks include Rickhouse and Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco, and Flora in Oakland and Honor Kitchen & Cocktails in Emeryville. But cocktail bars aren’t the only places to find a good drink Leading restaurants often have themed cocktail programs to match, so be sure to check out the list of drinks offered at places like Prospect in the Financial District or The Slanted Door on the Embarcadero. And if you’d like a cocktail served up with some education, head to The Boothby Center for the Beverage Arts in SoMa, where you can learn whether martinis should be shaken or stirred. You’ll get lots of tips from San Francisco’s leading mixologists for improving your cocktails at home while sipping your handiwork.

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