travel

Bars

  1. Bubble Lounge

    Right in historic Jackson Square, this very upscale, multi-roomed champagne bar features around 300 bubblies on its list. The main room is very beautiful, in a traditionally clubby sort of way .

    Bubble Lounge
  2. Nova Bar

    A hip little bar in the SOMA neighborhood with modern, trendy decor. The bartenders are friendly and the atmosphere is relaxed and inviting. Try one of their constantly changing range of tasty infused vodkas. Great place for a drink after work. Easy parking.

    • 555 2nd Street

    • 415 543 2282

    • Dis. access

    Nova Bar
  3. Vesuvio

    This landmark watering hole was a major Beat and hippie gathering place and attempts to carry on the alternative tradition amid the stained-glass, psychedelic décor. Check out the literary and other memorabilia on the walls and sit on the narrow balcony, from which you can survey the action below.

    • 255 Columbus Ave

    • 415 362 3370

    Vesuvio
  4. Americano Bar

    The outdoor patio is the big draw at this uber-chic, buzzing bar filled with beautiful people. The views will amaze, as will the drinks and the inviting sleek interior space. Try the plum mojito and the baked goat’s cheese, but beware of the pricey bill.

    • 8 Mission St

    • 415 278 3777

    • Dis. access

  5. Mecca

    This dolled-up industrial space attracts some of the Castro’s prettiest men, including the occasional drag queen, around the glowing circular bar, with red velvet and chiffon drapery. It’s also a supper club featuring New American cuisine.

    • 2029 Market St

    • 415 621 7000

    • Dis. access

    Mecca
  6. Edinburgh Castle Pub

    A hugely happening place incorporating live indie music, a fish ‘n’ chips delivery service, as well as darts, pool, and general carousing in the Scottish manner.

    • 950 Geary St

    • 415 885 4074

  7. Medjool

    The orange, red, and gold decor will delight you as you enter this funky Mission bar and lounge. The Mediterranean wines combine perfectly with tapas-style dishes. Be sure to venture upstairs to the rooftop terrace where panoramic views of the city await you. At night, DJs play club music with a Persian feel.

    • 2522 Mission St

    • 415 550 9055

    • Dis. access

  8. Ruby Skye

    A Victorian playhouse has been restored in lavish high-tech coolness, incorporating a captivating blend of Art Nouveau and Daliesque Modernism. And where else can you see trapeze acts on a Saturday night or puff cigars in a private billiards room? If you want to fit in, wear designer gear.

    • 420 Mason St

    • 415 693 0777

    • Dis. access

  9. Destino

    Relax and experience the passion of flamenco and the intensity of tango every evening. This place exudes a special energy and serves the best mojitos in town. South American food, too.

    • 1815 Market St

    • 415 552 4451

    • Dis. access

  10. Lefty O’Doul’s

    Opened in 1958 by the local baseball legend, this Downtown landmark is a cafeteria-style sports bar with live piano music. Good fun when the old crowd starts on their renditions of even older show tunes.

    • 333 Geary St at Powell

    • 415 902 8900

    • Dis. access

Top 10 San Francisco Tipples

  1. Cabernet Sauvignon

    This full-bodied red, with overtones of blackcurrant, is a Bay Area favorite. Try the Robert Mondavi Winery.

  2. Chardonnay

    Of the whites, this is the most popular, fermented in French oak barrels, lending it smooth vanilla tones. Try Sterling Vineyards.

  3. Other Red Wines

    Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Zinfandel are giving Cabernet Sauvignon some healthy competition of late.

  4. Other White Wines

    Sauvignon Blanc, White Zinfandel, Chenin Blanc, and Pinot Grigio are whites that can tempt you away from the Chardonnay grape.

  5. Sparkling Wines

    Top French wine producers such as Mumm and Moët & Chandon have set up wineries in the Napa Valley .

  6. Cocktails

    Mojitos – white rum, ice and fresh mint – are an old standby still going strong.

  7. Beers and Ales

    Local breweries abound in the Bay Area, such as Anchor Steam Beer .

  8. Tea

    A huge range of infusions, springing from the healthy attitude that dominates here.

  9. Coffee

    Many more ways to drink your coffee than there are in all of Europe – latte is still the blend of choice.

  10. Mineral Water

    The top local brand comes from, and takes its name from Calistoga in the Napa Valley.

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