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A Christmas pop-up bar.
Deck the Halls bar takes over three spaces on Union Street in Cow Hollow.
Deck the Halls

All of the Most Festive Holiday Bars and Restaurants in San Francisco

Tis the season for Christmas bar pop-ups and eggnog cocktails

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Deck the Halls bar takes over three spaces on Union Street in Cow Hollow.
| Deck the Halls

The halls have been decked at bars and restaurants across the city, which means it’s time to put on your ugliest sweater and raise a glass of spiked eggnog with a group of friends. There’s no shortage of places to order a holiday-themed cocktail this time of year, as the ever-popular annual pop-ups Miracle and Sippin’ Santa continue to take over a handful of venues around the Bay Area. But there are homegrown favorites worth checking out too, including the Fairmont’s two-story gingerbread house so big you can dine inside it. Whether you’re a Grinch, an elf, or a cotton-headed ninny muggins, here are 12 places to get in the holiday spirit in San Francisco.

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Causwells

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This Marina District spot might not throw up the over-the-top decor, but beverage director/managing partner Elmer Mejicanos has a full menu of seasonal drinks available to help you embrace the holiday vibes. The list includes the Candy Cane made with Tulchan gin, Chareau, citrus, tonic and peach bitters served in a take-home candy cane ornament. Meanwhile, the Ube Coquito riffs on Puerto Rican eggnog and Filipino flavors, while the Feliz Navidad blends Aviation gin, prickly pear, ginger liqueur, lime, and hibiscus.

Décanteur Media

Mistletoe

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Head to the former Rendezvous space, next door to Westwood on Lombard, for the Mistletoe Christmas pop-up, which runs through January 1. On top of festive drinks, a constellation of lights, and holiday tunes, the bar will offer drag brunch on the weekends and a bar food menu all week. Look for dishes like Green Eggs and Ham (or deviled eggs with pancetta) and caramel kettle corn topped with peppermint bark. Reservations can be made via Opentable.

Mistletoe

Del Mar

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Lombard Street bar Del Mar launches a month-long pop-up called Tinsel in Tulum now through December 30. The holiday vacation-inspired event features special cocktails such as the Espresso, Yourself, a tropical twist on an espresso martini made with coconut-infused tequila, Cantera Negra Cafe, and Wandering Bear cold brew. 

Del Mar

Deck the Halls

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Deck the Halls, an annual pop-up, takes over 1787 Union Street through Christmas. There’s a list of festival cocktails and plenty of decor.

Deck the Halls

Fairmont San Francisco

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The historic Fairmont Hotel always does it big for the holidays — and we mean that literally. The hotel has a 22-foot-high, 23-foot-wide two-story Victorian gingerbread house on display made from “thousands of bricks, a ton of royal icing, and candy décor,” according to the hotel’s website. It’s on show through the holiday season and if you want to really soak it all in, you can even book a reservation to dine inside.

A two-story gingerbread house with candy decorations. Fairmont San Francisco

Winter Wonderland at the Vault Garden

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From November 24 through the new year, the Vault Garden transforms into a winter wonderland strung with garland and dripping in ribbon and wreaths. Best of all, it’s a fully tented space so you can enjoy the decor and views of the absolutely enormous tree at 555 California Street without having to brave any weather. There’s also a special cocktail menu on tap including warm concoctions such as the Hot and Buttered made with banana and roasted walnut butter.

Miracle at Pacific Cocktail Haven

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Starting November 24, New York City–born holiday pop-up Miracle returns to Pacific Cocktail Haven once again. Expect over-the-top holiday decor and cocktails served in Santa head-shaped mugs. It’s on a first-come, first-served basis only, and there’s a $10 cover at the door. Open from 3 p.m. to midnight Tuesday through Saturday.

Melissa Hom

Sippin’ Santa at Kona's Street Market

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Kona’s Street Market feels pretty festival all year ’round thanks to its glowing marquee and strings of lights. But through the holiday season, it’s taking things up a notch with the tropical-themed Sippin’ Santa pop-up, which started on November 8 and runs through New Year's Eve. Extra lights and tons of tinsel add to the cheer, plus there’s an annual menu of rum-filled festive cocktails. There’s a $10 cover (cash only) and it’s walk-ins only.

Randy Schmidt

Thriller Social Club

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Head to the second floor of this sprawling SoMa bar to explore Grinchville, a green and grouchy holiday pop-up. Decorations include strings of colorful lights, a massive inflatable Grinch, and hoards of presents that dangle from the rafters. There are green sour apple-flavored cocktails and, of course, dozens of arcade games.

Nikkei Wonderland at KAIYO ROOFTOP

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This year rooftop bar Kaiyo has transformed into a “Nikkei Wonderland” with a virtual yuletide fire, ample lights, and other tropical holiday decor. On the food and beverage side, look for seasonal offerings such as a hot Peruvian Cacao topped with an orange flan marshmallow and served in a Christmas mug, or a Pisco & Brandy drink made with creme de menthe, amaro, gin, and sparkling wine. Chef Alex Reccio will also roll out parihuela, a seafood stew that was a family staple during the holiday season in Peru.

The Madrigal

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Step inside the Madrigal to be transported into some of your favorite holiday movies. A seasonal cocktail menu takes inspiration from films such as Home Alone and A Christmas Story, resulting in drinks including the Wet Bandits made with butter-washed bourbon, baking spices, and amaretto whipped cream (served hot) or the Elf-inspired World’s Best Cup of Coffee, which blends vodka, Mr. Black, cold brew, and maple whipped cream.

The Madrigal

Nochebuena at CAVAÑA

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Mission Bay rooftop bar Cavana takes things down to Latin America with holiday pop-up Nochebuena, which launched on November 27. On top of festive decor, there’s a completely new selection of food and drinks including pozole rojo, mole tamales, and gingerbread cookies with milk. On the beverage front, try a hot Holy Molé Rum made with chocolate molé, cardamom cream, and grated Oaxacan chocolate or a Sweet Baby Jesús featuring tequila, banana, toasted pepita, cinnamon, egg, and cream sherry.

CAVAÑA

Causwells

This Marina District spot might not throw up the over-the-top decor, but beverage director/managing partner Elmer Mejicanos has a full menu of seasonal drinks available to help you embrace the holiday vibes. The list includes the Candy Cane made with Tulchan gin, Chareau, citrus, tonic and peach bitters served in a take-home candy cane ornament. Meanwhile, the Ube Coquito riffs on Puerto Rican eggnog and Filipino flavors, while the Feliz Navidad blends Aviation gin, prickly pear, ginger liqueur, lime, and hibiscus.

Décanteur Media

Mistletoe

Head to the former Rendezvous space, next door to Westwood on Lombard, for the Mistletoe Christmas pop-up, which runs through January 1. On top of festive drinks, a constellation of lights, and holiday tunes, the bar will offer drag brunch on the weekends and a bar food menu all week. Look for dishes like Green Eggs and Ham (or deviled eggs with pancetta) and caramel kettle corn topped with peppermint bark. Reservations can be made via Opentable.

Mistletoe

Del Mar

Lombard Street bar Del Mar launches a month-long pop-up called Tinsel in Tulum now through December 30. The holiday vacation-inspired event features special cocktails such as the Espresso, Yourself, a tropical twist on an espresso martini made with coconut-infused tequila, Cantera Negra Cafe, and Wandering Bear cold brew. 

Del Mar

Deck the Halls

Deck the Halls, an annual pop-up, takes over 1787 Union Street through Christmas. There’s a list of festival cocktails and plenty of decor.

Deck the Halls

Fairmont San Francisco

The historic Fairmont Hotel always does it big for the holidays — and we mean that literally. The hotel has a 22-foot-high, 23-foot-wide two-story Victorian gingerbread house on display made from “thousands of bricks, a ton of royal icing, and candy décor,” according to the hotel’s website. It’s on show through the holiday season and if you want to really soak it all in, you can even book a reservation to dine inside.

A two-story gingerbread house with candy decorations. Fairmont San Francisco

Winter Wonderland at the Vault Garden

From November 24 through the new year, the Vault Garden transforms into a winter wonderland strung with garland and dripping in ribbon and wreaths. Best of all, it’s a fully tented space so you can enjoy the decor and views of the absolutely enormous tree at 555 California Street without having to brave any weather. There’s also a special cocktail menu on tap including warm concoctions such as the Hot and Buttered made with banana and roasted walnut butter.

Miracle at Pacific Cocktail Haven

Starting November 24, New York City–born holiday pop-up Miracle returns to Pacific Cocktail Haven once again. Expect over-the-top holiday decor and cocktails served in Santa head-shaped mugs. It’s on a first-come, first-served basis only, and there’s a $10 cover at the door. Open from 3 p.m. to midnight Tuesday through Saturday.

Melissa Hom

Sippin’ Santa at Kona's Street Market

Kona’s Street Market feels pretty festival all year ’round thanks to its glowing marquee and strings of lights. But through the holiday season, it’s taking things up a notch with the tropical-themed Sippin’ Santa pop-up, which started on November 8 and runs through New Year's Eve. Extra lights and tons of tinsel add to the cheer, plus there’s an annual menu of rum-filled festive cocktails. There’s a $10 cover (cash only) and it’s walk-ins only.

Randy Schmidt

Thriller Social Club

Head to the second floor of this sprawling SoMa bar to explore Grinchville, a green and grouchy holiday pop-up. Decorations include strings of colorful lights, a massive inflatable Grinch, and hoards of presents that dangle from the rafters. There are green sour apple-flavored cocktails and, of course, dozens of arcade games.

Nikkei Wonderland at KAIYO ROOFTOP

This year rooftop bar Kaiyo has transformed into a “Nikkei Wonderland” with a virtual yuletide fire, ample lights, and other tropical holiday decor. On the food and beverage side, look for seasonal offerings such as a hot Peruvian Cacao topped with an orange flan marshmallow and served in a Christmas mug, or a Pisco & Brandy drink made with creme de menthe, amaro, gin, and sparkling wine. Chef Alex Reccio will also roll out parihuela, a seafood stew that was a family staple during the holiday season in Peru.

The Madrigal

Step inside the Madrigal to be transported into some of your favorite holiday movies. A seasonal cocktail menu takes inspiration from films such as Home Alone and A Christmas Story, resulting in drinks including the Wet Bandits made with butter-washed bourbon, baking spices, and amaretto whipped cream (served hot) or the Elf-inspired World’s Best Cup of Coffee, which blends vodka, Mr. Black, cold brew, and maple whipped cream.

The Madrigal

Nochebuena at CAVAÑA

Mission Bay rooftop bar Cavana takes things down to Latin America with holiday pop-up Nochebuena, which launched on November 27. On top of festive decor, there’s a completely new selection of food and drinks including pozole rojo, mole tamales, and gingerbread cookies with milk. On the beverage front, try a hot Holy Molé Rum made with chocolate molé, cardamom cream, and grated Oaxacan chocolate or a Sweet Baby Jesús featuring tequila, banana, toasted pepita, cinnamon, egg, and cream sherry.

CAVAÑA

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