4. North Beach
Are strip clubs bars? If so, does that earn North Beach points in this exercise or is paying to see nekkid lady parts a con? And did we ever think asking ourselves these two questions in all seriousness would be a part of our job when we grew up? Dreams really do come true. If you love strip clubs, feel free to bump North Beach up on your personal list. If not, no worries because there are plenty of places to drink in North Beach that aren’t adult entertainment venues, including some of SF’s most iconic watering holes (Tosca, Specs', Vesuvio) and finest cocktail bars (Comstock Saloon, The Devil’s Acre). Add in a few old standbys (Sweeties, 15 Romolo, Northstar Café) and this neighborhood is a shoe-in for a top spot. The only thing keeping it from the top three? All of those bridge-and-tunnel peeps who turn North Beach into a total shit show on Friday and Saturday nights.
3. The Tenderloin
Home to one of the best rare whiskey selections (Whiskey Thieves), some of the best craft cocktail bars (Bourbon & Branch, Wilson & Wilson, Rx, Rye), a crazy beer selection and tap system (Mikkeller Bar), and the best gin bar (Whitechapel) in all of the city, the TL’s only flaw is that we don’t necessarily always want to see someone smoking crack when we’re out and about and trying to have a good night.