Even locals should check out these 14 hotel bars and restaurants, for their swanky decor, drinks, and food. Have a staycation, or just swing by before or after the theater, as they’re mostly located right in the heart of downtown SF.Read More
14 of SF’s best Hotel Bars and Restaurants
Where to eat and drink even if you’re not staying there
Dim Sum Club
Nestled within the Da Vinci Villa Hotel, Dim Sum Club is a no-frills hidden gem. It has Cantonese classics like chicken and broccoli, and fried rice, but the dim sum is the order here. Choose from pork buns, steamed shrimp dumplings, pork and shrimp shumai, vegetarian dumplings, and soup dumplings. Or, just get them all, because they are all of very high quality, with full pieces of shrimp, tender, chewy wrappers, and expert folding.
Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar
Underneath the stately Fairmont lurks this retro tiki bar, complete with an indoor lagoon, fake rain storms, and a tiki boat that holds a live band. A destination on its own or maybe the best hotel bar ever, Tonga is a must for every local and visitor. Food is fine, drinks are pretty good, the ambiance is everything.
Parallel 37 Ritz-Carlton
It’s the Ritz, so as one might expect, this is a sumptuous dining experience. The bar and lounge is the place for a casual bite, especially on Wednesdays when it’s “Burgers and Beers.” From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. feast on the P37 burger for $15, $5 beers, or a combo beer/burger for $18. The surroundings are sleek and will make you feel rich, even if you’re only having one drink.
Top of the Mark
Go for the view, a martini, and some spiced nuts. It’s not the hippest, but it’s a classic, classy place to gaze at the beautiful SF skyline. It’s really the best view in town, especially when paired with some live jazz, and a friendly companion.
Big 4 Restaurant
Old-school, with dark wood and snobby waiters, Big 4 brings SF’s retro glam back to life. Perched atop Nob Hill in the bottom of the classic Huntington Hotel, it’s a white table-clothed enclave with a menu of pleasing, and unsurprising dishes.
Burritt Room Tavern
Within the Mystic Hotel, at the mouth of the Stockton Tunnel, Burritt Room consistently serves some of the city’s best drinks. Now under the purview of chef Charlie Palmer, the menu is hearty take on “tavern” food, with wings, tots, bone marrow, and chops all owning a spot.
A two Michelin-starred hotel restaurant, Campton Place has long been one of the best dining destinations in town. Eat the “spice route” menu of California-influenced Indian dishes, or head to the bar for a paired down menu of classics like a chicken club sandwich, mixed with kerala fish curry.
Within Hotel Zeppelin, Ramber takes up a historic bit of real estate, as it was home to Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio. Now its dark, moody, and chock full of high-end cocktails. The ground level bar is a good place to hang, but the dining room is a cozy, intimate place for drinks and dinner. American classics like roast chicken and pork chops are solid choices.
Newly restored within the Clift Hotel, this is swanky hotel bar will make you feel very fancy indeed. Perch at the bar with a Redwood martini with blue cheese-stuff olives paired with 4505 mini corn dogs, or order full dinner. Decompression hour is their version of happy hour, Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m.- 7 p.m.
Inside the styled out dining room, or on the roomy patio outside, Dirty Habit is an excellent bar for the guests of Hotel Zelos, or just people who like a great cocktail. There’s a whole list of boilermakers on offer, plus snacks like wagyu beef tongue, foie gras with Hawaiian bread and strawberry prserves, and oysters.
You’ll barely even register that this restaurant is in the Parc 55, until you have to go down the winding hallway to find the bathroom. Get a creative cocktail at the bar, or sit down for a dinner of some very excellent Thai food. Expect creative, off-the-beaten-path offerings here; whatever you do, don’t miss the “pretty hot wings” that are tangy, sour, and spicy, and come with a hot towel for swabbing down the mess.
From the party-makers behind Leo’s Oyster Bar and Marlowe, The Cavalier gives Hotel Zetta a slightly British vibe. A clubby, pubby interior with black and white tile is a great place to grab a craft cocktail, or order up fish and chips, lamb scrumpets, or a scotched duck egg. Duck into Marianne’s for a more intimate, and cool, cocktail experience.
CHAMBERS eat + drink
Dark, moody interiors are the setting for dinner and drinks at Chambers, located in the Phoenix Hotel. Like all hotels, the menu is meant to include something for everyone, but with a twist. Kobe tri-tip, octopus confit, and fried oyster bao take it to the next level.
SF isn’t known for its abundance of Scandinavian food, so Plaj stands out from the crowd from the start. Elk, foie gras, and Swedish meatballs are great reasons to visit this restaurant within the Inn at the Opera, including the playful Nordic decor.