Favorite Bars List
No matter what your drink of choice (mine is a Hendricks martini with a twist), I’m fairly confident that you will also love every bar on this list. They are my go-to spots in no particular order except for Anina, which will forever be my favorite. A thing to note, none of these bars will be found in the marina.. Not to rag on my neighborhood (I do love it!) but let’s be real, there are places just so much better than the few that people rotate through on the weekends there.
Anina - Forever my favorite bar, come with a group and get a punch bowl (they’re actually good!) and hangout on the patio when the weather allows. The Sierra Madre has become my new favorite drink here but you also can’t go wrong with one of their spritzes. And if you have a few too many, Souvla is right across the street. Win-win.
Union Larder - Pour me a glass of Scribe Pinot Noir and sit me at the window here and I will be happy for a long time. Not only do they have a great wine list, the atmosphere is cozy and the food is also delicious (looking at you, burrata with basil oil). It’s definitely better for a date or just a few friends because sometimes seating can be hard but sitting at the window means you also get to watch the cable cars go down Hyde!
Charmaine’s - If there is one thing San Francisco lacks, it’s rooftop bars. However, even if we had a lot, I would probably still go to Charmaine’s. The decor is on point, the cocktails are good (hi, Pimm’s cup!) and few things beat sitting outside at a fire pit with a group of your friends. Also, this is an A+ place to take people who are visiting, just don’t stray too far from the door once you leave.
The Snug - This place became one of my favorites the first time I walked in the door. It’s cozy (in a good way) at night but on a nice day with the windows open it really can’t be beat. If it’s busy, try snagging a table upstairs where it’ll be much quieter. The Marigold is my favorite cocktail here and the sesame naan with shiitake hummus is life changing.
Bodega - Yes, another wine bar but with such good reason. Bodega might be small but it is so light and airy that on a late Saturday afternoon it is the only place I want to be. The bartenders here are always incredibly friendly and if it’s nice outside, snag a window seat if the windows are open. It’s also close to everything in North Beach but just enough removed that you aren’t bumping into tourists every two seconds.
Tony Nik’s Cafe - Another North Beach spot but it is much different than the last. This place is more like a lounge and a good spot to come after a date to wind down with another drink. The tables in the back are perfect for two and they make a great martini. And if you happen to have a few too many martinis, Tony’s Pizza is only two doors down.
Barvale - A NoPa spot that is perfect for happy hour. Not to mention, they have multiple G&T’s on their menu so I was instantly a fan. During happy hour, you get a small plate of tapas free with yourr drink but if you’re ordering normally, the pimentos (blistered shishitos) and the croquetas are my favorite!