Welcome to the final day of the 9th annual Eater Awards, honoring the most esteemed restaurants, bars, chefs, and more in cities across the world. Here’s how the Eater Awards work: All 24 Eater cities and the national site will award prizes in multiple categories, including but not limited to Restaurant of the Year, Chef of the Year, Design of the Year, and Pop-Up of the Year. In each category, editors will choose an editor’s choice winner and readers will vote for a reader’s choice winner — all to be announced on December 5, 2018.
It’s been a long, long year, filled with many excuses to grab well-crafted cocktail with friends. There are many great drinking destinations in San Francisco, but this year brought an excellent new crop, including the five candidates for Bar of the Year. Here’s a little background on each to whet your whistle before voting:
Three disco balls light up the room at this hot new Mission bar, which is a tropical, mid-century wonderland filled with statues of zebras, monkeys, and other jungle creatures. BV Hospitality is behind it (as well as Trick Dog), with a menu of exceptionally adventurous cocktails that skew in the direction of tiki, with slings, collinses, and more. (And there’s a menu of dumplings and other Chinese classics to go along with them.)
It’s all about spritzes at the very laid-back Cordial, where the cocktails are $11. There’s beer and wine to accompany the very short list of signature drinks, which includes many light and refreshing options.
Dark and foreboding is the vibe at this modern tiki bar, which is intended to feel like the site of an airplane crash in a remote jungle: Big bowls of booze, fire, and so, so much fake greenery are all part of the scene there. Most importantly, the drinks are well-balanced, and include tiki classics in addition to more updated concoctions.
Lazy Bear’s cocktail spinoff brings Nicolas Torres’s inventive cocktails to the forefront in a unique, mid-century inspired setting (also nominated for Design of the Year). The design of the restaurant is unique, as is the menu of elevated comfort food with fried hen of the wood mushrooms and more.
Traci Des Jardins opened her first standalone bar in Dogpatch this year, creating an outlet for drinks made with whiskey, pisco, and agave spirits. It’s only open on “school nights,” Monday through Thursday, acting as an event space during the weekends. Great cocktails are accompanied by food from the smoker like queso fundido with chorizo.