We’re gonna blame the June gloom that had us steering clear of all outdoor spaces for failing to mention this beer garden in last month’s roundup. Though the pop-up, fueled by Lagunitas, only lasts through the summer (Thursday-Sunday 12pm-7pm), there’s still time to take advantage of the second-best reason to visit this timeless, tourist-happy landmark (the first reason, obviously, is the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company's hot fudge sundae). Enjoy your pints of the Bay Area-based brew with live music from 3-6pm, and feel free to eat your sundae with it -- outside food is welcome. Take the Hyde St cable car to get there to round out the picture-perfect afternoon, especially if you’re entertaining visiting relatives… or if you just want to remind yourself that you live in a freakin’ postcard.
The team behind SoMa StrEat Food Park has unveiled its latest food truck gathering space in Mission Bay, and it might just eclipse its popular predecessor in terms of awesomeness. Cool things about Spark: There’s a vintage double-decker bus, fire pits, complimentary s’mores sessions on Monday and Wednesday evenings, special events like a Mac&Cheese Melt Off and a Poke-con, and 150+ local vendors rotating through the event space for lunch and dinner. Themed evenings with great deals every night of the week means there’s always a good excuse for happy hour, and you can book reservations for both small and large groups -- which means you can actually enjoy the campy, specialty seating arrangements, filled with open-air decks, adirondack chairs, and porch swings. It’s a little bit Austin, a little bit tech playground, and completely the setting for your next company happy hour or Bumble date.
Eleven courses of premium sushi for under $100? Yes, it’s possible to truly live the dream. Sushi Hon offers an 11-course omakase that runs just $65. In case you need a refresher, omakase is a full meal chosen by the chef, based on what’s fresh that day. It’s decadent and luxurious, and up until now pretty expensive, making $65 per person (not including drinks) a steal. Owner Min Choe also runs another successful sushi spot, Cow Hollow’s Tamashisoul Sushi Bar.
Seven Stills, known for creating whiskey distilled from craft beer, opened its massive tasting room and distillery in Bayview this month. The industrial space offers its own craft beer and whiskey at two bars, and adds a few house cocktails to the mix (when the cocktail guy is around). All the whiskey and beer renditions will expand your taste buds and your idea of what a shot and beer can offer whether you drink them separately, or pair them together. We especially loved the Fluxuate, derived from a coffee porter. The Chocasmoke will also have you splurging on bottles and growlers, which you can buy on-site. Pop-ups and themed nights such as Sunday's BYOBBQ, in which you bring a meat or veggie to throw on the grill, are an attempt to lure folks to Bayview’s burgeoning craft drink scene. The "trek" (can you still call it a trek if you’re Ubering there and back?) is definitely worthwhile, especially if you think whiskey and beer are #strongertogether. Tastes and tours available Thursday and Friday 3:30-10pm, Saturday 12-10pm, or Sunday 12-8pm.
Homebrewers, prepare to get discovered: monthly homebrewing competitions hosted at this new, inventive brewery give amateur craft brewers a chance to see their creation on the menu. Even if you’re more into drinking beer than making it, this Bernal Heights newcomer is worth checking out, so you can taste inventive brews and have a say in what shows up on taps. The fan favorite from monthly competitions will rotate through the brewery’s menu, in addition to ales by head brewer Cortlandt Toczylowski (Drake's), including Espresso Macchiato Milk Stout with Paramo Coffee, a New England-style IPA, and a California kolsch-style ale. Co-founders Lester Koga, Michael Seitz, and Ben Sterling, homebrewers themselves, began this project after many years of entering and judging beer competitions, and noticing that the most inventive concoctions were usually crafted in someone’s garage. Now they’re giving homebrewed beer its moment in the spotlight and cultivating the Bay’s robust homebrewing community. Pop in for a pint Wednesday through Friday from 3-9pm, Saturday from 12-9pm, and Sunday from 12-7pm... and stay tuned for beer-themed cultural events and workshops.
This one isn’t new per se, but the space is. You likely already know and love Tacolicious, the local gourmet taco group that’s spread throughout the city, but you’ll especially love the same menu in a bigger, brighter space, with less of a wait. The original Chestnut location spread its wings to new digs two blocks away and across the street from where it all began.
1. SPARK Social SF601 Mission Bay Blvd N, San Francisco
2. Ghirardelli Square Beer Garden900 North Point St, San Francisco
3. Sushi Hon2598 Harrison St, San Francisco
4. Seven Stills1439 Egbert Ave, San Francisco
5. Barebottle Brew Co.1525 Cortland Ave, San Francisco
6. Tacolicious2250 Chestnut St., San Francisco
The best way to describe Spark Social is as a designated food truck space. Or a permanent block party. Or a community park. The 18,000sqft outdoor space in Mission Bay features a rotating line-up of more than 150 local food vendors and hosts regular events like oyster happy hours, taco Tuesdays, and s'mores sessions. As for ambience, there's a vintage double decker bus (because why not?), fire pits, Adirondack chairs, and picnic tables.
Ghirardelli Square, in partnership with Lagunitas, has been transformed into a pop-up beer garden for summer 2016. The tourist-heavy Fisherman's Wharf destination is strictly serving up Lagunitas brews and hosting live music sessions. Thankfully outside food is welcome, so you can bring in that hot fudge sundae you've been thinking about.
From the owner of Tamashisoul Sushi Bar in Cow Hill, Sushi Hon proves that high-quality omakase sushi doesn't have to break the bank. The Mission restaurant is known for its 11-course chef's tasting menu, which is almost exclusively sourced from Tsukiji Market in Japan. It also serves a drink menu that's better than what you'd find at other sushi restaurants in the same price range, featuring Japanese beers, an extensive sake collection, and shochu. The space is sleek with dark wood communal tables and a sushi counter.
Whiskey distilled from craft beer is the name of the game at Seven Stills Brewery. The process begins with house-made beer, whose varieties include "beerceptions" (beer that's been aged in a whiskey barrel made from the same beer...meta, we know), and collaborations with other breweries, like a recent peanut butter milk stout brewed with Belching Beaver. Said beers are then distilled into whiskey, proving that the brown stuff is only as good as the beer from which it's derived. Seven Stills' bright and industrial tasting room is a great place for small groups thanks to tables, counters, and stools made out of barrels.
This Bernal Heights brewery puts the spotlight on homebrewers. Every month, Barebottle hosts amateur brewing competitions, and the finalists (as chosen by visitors like you) get added to the tap room's rotating menu. The emphasis is on discovery and experimentation, so come with an open mind and be ready to taste an inventive roster of beer.
Two blocks down from the original (and now-closed) Chestnut St location, this outpost of Tacolicious is bigger and brighter than its predecessor. The gourmet taco shop's menu features the original tortilla-wrapped goods you know and love, all of which are made with locally-sourced ingredients. Expect near-authentic tacos filled with house-made chorizo and potatoes, Baja-style Pacific cod, and Guajillo chili-braised brisket. There's also a solid selection of tequila-heavy cocktails and beers from Mexico and California.