Drink This Winter Bourbon Smash and Conquer Cold Weather Forever
1. Nostra Spaghetteria and Bar Mia280 Valencia St, San Francisco
2. The Dorian2001 Chestnut St, San Francisco
3. Oro8 Mint Plz, San Francisco
4. Coco Frio2937 Mission, San Francisco
5. Scotland Yard3232 Scott St, San Francisco
6. Sessions at the Presidio1 Letterman Dr, San Francisco
7. The Crafty Fox Ale House1700 Mission, San Francisco
8. Old Bus Tavern3193 Mission St, San Francisco
9. TSK/TSK528 Divisadero St, San Francisco
10. Belle Cora565 Green St, San Francisco
11. Petit Crenn609 Hayes St, San Francisco
12. Black Hammer Brewing544 Bryant St, San Francisco
An energetic bar scene, hearty plates of Italian food, and digestible prices -- hello, favorite new regular spot. Celebrated chef Alexander Alioto has revamped his former Plin restaurant, keeping the fresh handmade pasta he’s known for but doing away with Plin’s hefty prices. This time around he’s intent on catering to the lively vibe of the neighborhood with the addition of Amaro-centric Bar Mia, which offers double happy hours, its own bar bite menu, a flight of fernet (!), and an all-day $5 shot-and-a-beer deal. We've never liked Italian food this much.
The Dorian is an opulent oasis with classic cocktails, a separate martini menu, and a sophisticated list of more than 75 whiskeys. Enjoy $1 oysters and half-off champagne during happy hour in the light-filled dining room (where you can also enjoy classic American fare), then retire to the lofted study that overlooks the main rectangular bar.
The sleek marble bar and industrial bi-level space at this Mint Plaza spot offers a cool space to entertain clients or out of town guests, or just grab after-work drinks and bites. Meanwhile the California-Mediterranean menu, with its drink-friendly snacks, sharable plates, and made-for-one tiny bites, allows diners to taste a wide variety -- which is good because you’ll likely want to order one of everything.
Dining here is kind of like a Caribbean vacation, complete with rojo sangria, cocktails in coconuts and the kind of dated 1970s décor that seems ubiquitous in South American restaurants. While portions on the tasting menu are on the small side, the a la cart menu of sharable snacks, such as signature arepas (filled with lobster, shrimp, chicken, or beef) and fresh mussels (at just $5 or $7) make supplementing the meal totally worth it. Also did we mention you can get a Hipster Colada, officially giving you license to drink pina coladas during a weeknight dinner? Yep. Cheapest vacation ever.
Everything on the menu at this Marina gastropub is worth trying: the burger with two kinds of cheese, the clam chowder puff pie, and the truffle fries. On weekends, Scotland Yard takes brunch to new levels with classy dishes like egg muffin sandwiches and brioche peanut butter & jelly. The interior is gorgeous in a Victorian-chic kind of way, and the back patio is definitely a plus.
This beer-focused restaurant has 100 beers on tap, which range from lower-alcohol “session beers,” to hoppy IPAs, to Belgians. The menu is super approachable, organized by style and whether it’s “easy,” “exciting,” or “fun,” it is conducive to trying something new. You’ll find dishes that utilize some of those beers like the duck liver mousse with a red ale gelee or mussels in a Henhouse Saison broth.
The Crafty Fox has got 36 California-leaning beers on tap behind its copper topped bar, many of which you can't find in San Francisco outside this upscale Irish-style pub. Plus, the bar snacks are killer - we're talking grilled octopus, fried rabbit, and avocado tempura - all of which you can enjoy alongside the floor-to-ceiling windows that line most of the space.
This casual gastropub in Bernal Heights serves game-changing drinks and eats in a cool, friendly atmosphere. For starters, the bar's 14 taps are split between OTB beers brewed in-house and a rotating selection of local craft ones. The food menu, which has a four-course tasting option, is too good to be considered basic pub fare. The desserts are listed simply by flavor ("chocolate" and "vanilla") and are thoughtful, complex, and downright unforgettable. Old Bus Tavern's menu will tempt you to order everything on it.
TSK/TSK is the temporary, pop-up bar answer to our impatience in waiting for owners Justin Lew and Ian Scalzo (of Bourbon and Branch) to open Horsefeather on Divisadero. It's no frills with delicious and hilariously named boozie slushies, like the Beet Down.
This intimate North Beach wine bar has an interesting selection of drinks and is a great spot for splitting unique and tasty plates. Their Bavarian pretzel with house-made mac and cheese dip is what late-night snack dreams are made of.
This Hayes Valley restaurant looks more like an American cafe than a French spot, but that's kind of the point. Pulling from the freshest farmer's market and seafood spoils of the day, Petit Crenn offers an accessible, all-day menu of French food, consisting of courses like grilled market fish, french onion soup, and butter bean casserole that'll make you nostalgic for the Parisian childhood you never had. The airy, all-white interior mirrors the food with a serene, pastoral feel, while putting the spotlight on the artistically plated dishes.
This German style brewhaus produces awesome barrels of squid ink IPA, Jaded Raver English Ale, Oktoberfest and many other brews. The tasting room is a spectacle, made from 100-year-old wood from the old Pier 39 as well as reclaimed redwood. A curated local art gallery is a great addition to the space.