As the sun sets in San Francisco, the city’s inexplicable magic continues shining through the night. Whether you’re wrapping up a visit to SFMOMA or the latest art galleries, or finishing a day shopping in one of S.F.’s emerging neighborhoods, the best way to end your day is by winding down with a top-notch cocktail. San Francisco is home to some of the coolest mixologists, the rarest spirits, and the hottest drink trends around (hello, Fernet!). Expect plenty of handlebar-mustached, suspender-wearing hipsters pouring hand-crafted concoctions. (But don’t worry, there are craft breweries and amazing wine lists here too. Napa is just a stone’s throw away, after all.)
Since the city is filled with creative types and techies alike, one thing bartenders certainly will not ignore is how they serve their cocktails. You’re bound to find a drink -- or two -- that’s not only delicious, but innovative as well. Grab a seat at one of these hot new bars and feel right at home. Your drink possibilities are endless.
Owners Justin Lew and Ian Scalzo, who are responsible for S.F. institutions like Bourbon & Branch and Local Edition, recently opened a new concept in their former pop-up bar Tsk/Tsk’s space. While Tsk/Tsk specialized in “adult slushies,” the new establishment, Horsefeather, takes an earthier approach. Featuring wood paneling throughout, a semi-outdoor patio under a glass ceiling, and plenty of greenery, you can enjoy a signature cocktail (we think the CISCO, with Rittenhouse rye, raisin, dry vermouth, blackberry, vanilla, and Campari, sounds delightful) under the San Francisco stars.
If gin is your game, you’ll want to belly up to this new bar star. With the largest selection of gins in North America (more than 400), there’s a pour for every palate. Designed to mimic an underground train station, locals revel in the bar’s uniquely S.F. touches: Reclamation Etchworks bottles, moldings reproduced from Victorian homes, and even a house spirit made by local Distillery 209.
Solidifying S.F.’s Polynesian pop revival, this tiki bar is kitschy, classic fun. Two immersive bars float masterful Mai Tai’s—the Captain’s Quarters sinks you into a ship’s hull, while private huts and a smoking volcano welcome you ashore. Share a Rum Monkey and you may just lose your sea legs.