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Everyone knows that the Inner Richmond is where it’s at for Korean BBQ (and dim sum, and pho, and Burmese), but Dancing Bull ups the Korean BBQ ante with modern digs and flavorful bulgogi. Their special-specialty (and their menu claims a lot of specialties) is Seoul-style bulgogi, which comes on traditional domed copper grills. Beef or pork sizzles on top while veggies and noodles simmer around the sides, catching the juice to form a comforting flavor medley. Twenty dollars per person sets you up with unlimited traditional sides and meat that doesn’t stop until it comes out your pores. See it in action.
Upper Polk is now home to a much-needed, sexy cocktail spot, specializing in mezcal and Mexican tapas. Mezcalito retains the dark wooded interior and soft lighting of former tenant Reverb, but has added high-top tables and a rustic lounge area to lean more into the bar side of things. Mezcal, as the name suggests, is the star here, showing up in everything from sours (get the sour!) to Negronis. There’s also an extensive mezcal tasting list, which is best ordered neat with the traditional pairing of orange slices and spiced salt. If all the smoky agave has you hungry, the small plates of high-end tacos, crudo, and fresh guacamole and chips will do the trick. There’s even a lobster roll and burger on the menu (except on Tuesdays when creative tacos in the $4 range reign supreme). Stay tuned for mezcal and food pairings, and we’re crossing our fingers that the Mezcalito team will launch brunch soon, so we can spend all day in a little slice of Oaxaca.
Just in time for the spookiest month of the year comes this occult-themed bar that’s playful in theme, while deadly serious about its beers. A pack of five cicerones helm ODM’s 20 rotating taps, and if cocktails are more your thing, they focus on local spirits. Get your fortune told by the bartender when you order a pint and po-boy, then post up by the skull-adorned fireplace to let the spirits overtake you. If it’s too early for the hard stuff, Old Devil Moon has Stumptown Coffee on draft (but they’ll also make a mean coffee cocktail).
While most of the world’s “bodegas” sell jerky, milk, and black & milds, obviously a San Francisco “Bodega” is destined for avocado toast, cheese plates, and local craft beer and wine. At least that’s what’s on offer at this new, airy North Beach cafe, which took over the former Melt space. The new ownership has kept the Euro-cafe vibe while rejuvenating the menu and decor for SF’s modern aesthetic. We hope the Connect Four sets, happy hour deals, and comedy nights from Melt’s tenure will also make reappearance, but the owners couldn’t be reached for comment.
This adorably tiny cafe specializes in British fare, coffee, and tea. Say cheerio to nitro cold brew sweetened with a dash of condensed milk and an array of toasts served on spongy seeded sourdough from The Midwife and the Baker. Weekdays it’s a bustling grab-and-go coffee stop, while weekends offer a mellow respite from ‘Loin madness.
Every day is a fresh powder day at David Chung and Mimi Hanley's new outpost for Taiwanese shaved snow. The fluffy, cold treat is made with filtered water, organic dairy from Straus Family Creamery, and high-quality, locally sourced ingredients -- making it a lighter version of ice cream and a creamier, more delicate take on shaved ice. Try Powder’s black sesame, horchata, Vietnamese coffee, strawberry, or green tea flavors, all of which can be mixed and matched with toppings such as coconut flakes and mochi. This cool treat comes just in time for SF’s best season.
One of SF’s most essential dive bars has finally risen from the ashes after a fire gutted it last year. This cozy bar a block from Ocean Beach quietly reopened a few weeks ago, once again offering its grand brick fireplace, live music, and hot toddies to SF’s salty and wave-weary set. Even if this corner of the beach is a bit of a trek for people outside of the Outer Sunset, we’re sure happy to have this down-home bar back.
1. Dancing Bull4217 Geary Blvd, San Francisco
2. Mezcalito2323 Polk St, San Francisco
3. Old Devil Moon3472 Mission St, San Francisco
4. Bodega700 Columbus Ave, San Francisco
5. Scullery687 Geary St, San Francisco
6. Powder260 Divisadero St, San Francisco
7. The Riptide3639 Taraval St, San Francisco
Dancing Bull ups the Korean BBQ ante with modern digs and flavorful bulgogi. Their special-specialty (and their menu claims a lot of specialties) is Seoul-style bulgogi, which comes on traditional domed copper grills. Beef or pork sizzles on top while veggies and noodles simmer around the sides, catching the juice to form a comforting flavor medley. The best part of the all-you-can-eat special, which sets you up with unlimited bone broth soup and additional toppings like webfoot octopus and fried tofu.
Mezcal, as the name suggests, is the star at this Polk Street bar, showing up in everything from sours to negronis. There’s also an extensive mezcal tasting list, which is best ordered neat with the traditional pairing of orange slices and spiced salt. If all the smoky agave has you hungry, the small plates of high-end tacos, crudo, and fresh guacamole and chips will do the trick.
Even though there are severed doll limbs pinned to the wall, voodoo dolls on shelves, and ghoulish skeleton cats peering from behind the bar, the most incredible part of Old Devil Moon is the craft beer selection. With a passion for rum, whiskey, beer, and the occult, Chris Cohen and his team of spirit enthusiasts serve up fortunes, beer from 20 rotating taps, and a variety of po’ boys, like fried oyster, fried green tomatoes, bologna.
When you hear the word "bodega" you might think candy bars, bottled water, and sub-par breakfast sandwiches, but not with this airy North Beach cafe, where local craft beer, wine, and a little thing called ricotta toast, served with saffron honey and seasonal fruit, are on offer. The friendly team at this bright, Euro-style spot will hook you up with fresh bites to start your day, like avocado toast with farm egg and Italian salsa verde, or snacks and drinks for a low-key night with friends. Cheese and charcuterie plates are perfect for sharing -- and pairing with a glass of Malbec.
Opened by a pair of UK natives, this bustling, teeny-tiny cafe is nestled into the Tenderloin, where they're serving what they know best: British fare, coffee, and tea. The menu features Brit-favorite PG Tips tea and SF-favorite Sightglass coffee, plus a killer nitro cold brew sweetened with a dash of condensed milk. Food-wise, you'll want to soak all that caffeine up with an array of toasts served on spongy seeded sourdough from The Midwife and the Baker.
If ice cream and shaved ice were to mate and have a lovechild, it would be the Taiwanese shaved snow served at Powder, a small, sun-filled shop on Divisadero. This unique treat is fluffy and frozen, and made with filtered water, organic dairy from Straus Family Creamery, and high-quality local ingredients. If we're being honest, it's even better than shaved ice, because the texture is creamier and more delicate. Some favorite flavors? Black sesame, horchata, Vietnamese coffee, strawberry, and green tea. From coconut flakes to mochi, you'll have your work cut out for you choosing how to top off your cup.
Just a block from the beach, and back in action after a two-alarm fire gutted the place, The Riptide is where surfers and non-surfers alike wash up from the shore and settle in with live music and a hot toddy by a roaring fire. The rustic brick fireplace really is the star of this cozy, honky-tonk dive, but the cheap and classic beers on tap are a close second. Riptide has bands ranging from bluegrass to punk perform, plus frequent karaoke nights -- and the strong cocktails you need to belt out that Whitney ballad.