aub zam zam
It’s a rite of passage for any booze-drinking human who would like to refer to themselves as a San Franciscan to enjoy a martini at Aub Zam Zam, a bar that was once known for its cantankerous (yet beloved) owner, Bruno Mooshei, who had very specific rules about bar etiquette and was not afraid to ask someone to leave who did not live up to his standards (a martini is made with gin, not vodka, for instance). Since his passing, things at the dimly lit watering hole with a Middle Eastern ambiance have mellowed out a little bit. Yes, you’ll still need to have cash, but you don’t need to have it immediately ready to place on the horseshoe-shaped bar, and you can certainly ask what the bartender recommends, though the only real answer is a dry martini made the way Bruno liked, which is the same way his father made them when the bar first opened in 1941.
How to book: Walk-ins only.