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The Hottest New Cocktail Bars in San Francisco and Oakland, January 2022

Where to sip the freshest cocktails in the bay

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Welcome back to the cocktail heatmap, where drinkers can expect inventive takes on classic cocktails, unique spirits, garden-inspired ingredients, and all the latest in beverage trends. The pandemic interrupted and complicated many new openings, but bars are back, and if there’s one thing San Franciscans require with all this new variant news, it’s a damn good drink.

Some of these spots are also restaurants, but if they have a roomy bar and cocktails of high caliber, they can make the cut. If you’re looking for something a little more established, check out this list of the city’s essential cocktail bars, to which these places might someday graduate. Want to know the city’s hottest restaurants? Head to the aptly named restaurant heatmap.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Snail Bar

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4935 Shattuck Ave
Oakland, CA 94609
(510) 879-7678
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Snail Bar is a petit natural wine bar and bottle shop that popped open in Temescal in July. Come for the natty wine, but stay for the escargots stuffed with kumquats and miso cashew butter, as well as other seasonal market-sourced snacks. 

2. Tribune

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401 13th St
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 285-6499
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Tribune is a new brasserie within the Tribune building that once housed the eponymous newspaper. Opening its doors in August, it brought mid-century style to those historic digs, and a booze-friendly menu, pairing twists on classic cocktails with trout amandine and steak au poivre.

A spread of plates at Tribune in Oakland Adahlia Cole

3. Bar Iris

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2310 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 827-6898
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Bar Iris is the new sister bar just next door to Nisei fine dining restaurant, located in the former La Folie lounge space). It opened October 14 with fun riffs on high balls and furikake popcorn, starring lots of Japanese whiskey and spirits in the cocktails. 

A yellow-colored cocktail in a tall glass with a dehydrated citrus wheel garnish. @equal_parts_cocktail

4. Boulevard

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1 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 543-6084
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Boulevard’s marvelous Belle Epoque dining room, with its winding tulip lamps and rich jewel tones, has regained some of its lost luster. Acclaimed designer Ken Fulk recently did a glam refresh, and some of the best blue velvet seats in the house are now at the expanded bar and lounge. Cocktails are courtesy of industry veteran Greg Lindgren (Rye, 15 Romolo), and include a Boulevardier with bourbon, Campari, and carpano classico, alongside refined bar snacks.

Boulevardier at Boulevard Patricia Chang

5. Persona

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685 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 400-4598
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A trio of industry veterans has opened a subterranean party hideout in the Tenderloin. Persona bar opened in August, and is now serving intriguing cocktails in an underground space inspired by erotica cinema.

Dark neon entrance to Persona bar Nikki Ritcher/Persona

6. Sushi Sato

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1122 Post St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 851-8830
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The Mins group (Tamashisoul, Sushi Hon) debuted its biggest project yet: Sushi Sato opened in November, and it’s only the first of three new Japanese restaurants in one triple combined space in the Tenderloin. Sushi Sato offers affordable tastings in a warm minimalist space, and best of all, it has a full bar pouring more than 80 different types of whiskey and cocktails infused with Japanese ingredients, from black and green teas to shiso leaves and peppers.

7. Lost Marbles

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823 Clement St
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 592-8169
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In the wilds of the Inner Richmond, this new beer-focused spot is filled with nautical wood and strewn with sea creatures, some wearing suits and evening gowns. Lost Marbles is a brewpub, serving local craft beer, with plans to brew its own on site. But it’s also boasting a Spice Girls-themed cocktail menu, as well as a menu of burgers, wings, candied bacon, and “tubs and tentacles” calamari, of course.

Octopus wall mural and high tables Lost Marbles

8. La Paloma

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332 Golden Gate Ave
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 570-2595
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Drinks are up at the La Cocina Municipal Marketplace. La Paloma is the new cocktail bar within the food hall, and it’s powered by women: Cocktails from an award-winning female bartender, specifically paired with food offerings from female entrepreneurs, and starring ingredients from female producers. It opened with a short list of tequila and rum drinks on October 15, but watch Instagram for rotating pop-ups and happy hours.

Emilio Salehi

9. La Bande at SF Proper Hotel

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1100 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 735-7777
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La Bande, that gorgeous green triangular space at the tip of the Proper Hotel, is reopening as a gin-soaked tapas bar on September 21. Pull up a barstool for grilled squid, tomato toast, and gin and tonics.

Tapas plates and cocktails at La Bande La Bande

10. Thriller Social Club

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504 4th St
San Francisco, CA 94107

Thriller Social Club is a massive new arcade bar that smashed open at the end of October, betting big on the return of tech personalities to SoMa. It boasts two levels and three bars, both arcade games and carnival games, a Skee-Ball champion ruling eight lanes, and “the most expensive golf simulator in the world,” so they say. Oh, and craft cocktails and buttered lobster rolls, of course. Barman Sean Doolan from the Westwood team is crafting the cocktails, so expect a lot more than the arcade beer.

Cocktail at Thriller Social Club Jonathan Fong

11. Traveler at 25 Lusk

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25 Lusk St
San Francisco, CA 94107

In addition to the whole rooftop scene, 25 Lusk also opened a new bar on the ground floor in August. Traveler aims to whisk drinkers away with rotating menus inspired by different destinations, starting with tlayuda and tequila from Mexico

A cocktail topped with edible flowers from the new Traveler bar at 25 Lusk Anne-ClaireThieulon/Traveler

12. The Madrigal

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100 Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 796-2531
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The Madrigal shimmered open in early December, debuting a new cocktail bar for symphony and opera goers. It’s the latest project from the Hi Neighbor group (the Vault, Trestle, Mama), replacing their own former restaurant Corridor. There are still sweeping windows at the front and a mezzanine up above, but there’s also now a walnut bar, serving cocktails, steak tartare, and duck smash burgers.

Steak tartare and a cocktail Joseph Weaver

13. Le Fantastique

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22 Franklin St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 432-7888
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The Bird Dog team will finally open their upscale seafood slash wine bar on October 22. Le Fantastique is spinning caviar eclairs, luxe bubbles, and vintage vinyl into Hayes Valley.

14. Copas

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2223 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94114

The chief of staff for the Saison group opened a passion project at the end of September. Copas is a new all-day cafe in the Castro, now serving cappuccinos and avocado toast in the morning and sparkling copas cocktails and grilled octopus at night.

Two pink cocktails garnished with watermelon Liz Barclay/Copas

15. Dalva

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3121 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

After drinking hard for a couple of decades and going dark for a couple of years, Dalva reopened at the beginning of January, with a whole new look for the storied Mission bar. Longtime owner Erik Reichborn-Kjennerud (Dalva, ABV) and new partner Eric Ochoa (Elda) added warmth and style while preserving the Art Deco bar back, along with other details. The new drinks list includes all new cocktails, lots of agave spirits, craft beer, natural wine, and vermouth on tap, as well as snacks from chef friends (think spicy peanuts from Mister Jiu’s).

16. Chezchez

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584 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 658-7878
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The Trick Dog team strikes back. Bon Voyage has sadly set sail, but it was replaced with the new Chezchez in August. Which is honestly ideal timing for serving up tinned fish and cool spritz for real San Francisco summer. (Important note: Trick Dog also finally reopened in October, with maybe its most convoluted menu yet, if you want to turn this into a Mission bar crawl.)

A blood Mary from Chezchez Tiago Russo

17. Buddy

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3115 22nd St
San Francisco, CA 94110

Buddy is a friendly new neighborhood bar that opened in the Mission in November. It’s from a crew of industry veterans Alvaro Rojas (Elda), Nicolas Torres (True Laurel), Nora Furst (Uma Casa), and Claire Sprouse (Hunky Dory in Brooklyn), and the cocktails are expertly crafted, featuring wine, vermouth, and sherry. Plus, the natural wine list is popping off with bubbles, pinks, and oranges. Chef Sean Thomas (Blue Plate) also debuted a fun menu, starring a serious looking fried mortadella “sammy.”  

A cocktail next to a turntable Albert Law

18. MOTHERSHIP

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3152 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

Mothership has finally landed on upper Mission. A trio of industry local bartenders took over the former Virgil’s Sea Room space and transformed it into a funkadelic bar, which quietly opened in October. The patio is currently open for outdoor drinking, serving affordable cocktails and pitchers of margaritas — check the calendar for DJs and upcoming events.

Joanna Ricco, Alicia Griffiths, and Sean Mabry of Mothership Mothership

1. Snail Bar

4935 Shattuck Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

Snail Bar is a petit natural wine bar and bottle shop that popped open in Temescal in July. Come for the natty wine, but stay for the escargots stuffed with kumquats and miso cashew butter, as well as other seasonal market-sourced snacks. 

4935 Shattuck Ave
Oakland, CA 94609

2. Tribune

401 13th St, Oakland, CA 94612
A spread of plates at Tribune in Oakland Adahlia Cole

Tribune is a new brasserie within the Tribune building that once housed the eponymous newspaper. Opening its doors in August, it brought mid-century style to those historic digs, and a booze-friendly menu, pairing twists on classic cocktails with trout amandine and steak au poivre.

401 13th St
Oakland, CA 94612

3. Bar Iris

2310 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109
A yellow-colored cocktail in a tall glass with a dehydrated citrus wheel garnish. @equal_parts_cocktail

Bar Iris is the new sister bar just next door to Nisei fine dining restaurant, located in the former La Folie lounge space). It opened October 14 with fun riffs on high balls and furikake popcorn, starring lots of Japanese whiskey and spirits in the cocktails. 

2310 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

4. Boulevard

1 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94105
Boulevardier at Boulevard Patricia Chang

Boulevard’s marvelous Belle Epoque dining room, with its winding tulip lamps and rich jewel tones, has regained some of its lost luster. Acclaimed designer Ken Fulk recently did a glam refresh, and some of the best blue velvet seats in the house are now at the expanded bar and lounge. Cocktails are courtesy of industry veteran Greg Lindgren (Rye, 15 Romolo), and include a Boulevardier with bourbon, Campari, and carpano classico, alongside refined bar snacks.

1 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94105

5. Persona

685 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Dark neon entrance to Persona bar Nikki Ritcher/Persona

A trio of industry veterans has opened a subterranean party hideout in the Tenderloin. Persona bar opened in August, and is now serving intriguing cocktails in an underground space inspired by erotica cinema.

685 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94102

6. Sushi Sato

1122 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94109

The Mins group (Tamashisoul, Sushi Hon) debuted its biggest project yet: Sushi Sato opened in November, and it’s only the first of three new Japanese restaurants in one triple combined space in the Tenderloin. Sushi Sato offers affordable tastings in a warm minimalist space, and best of all, it has a full bar pouring more than 80 different types of whiskey and cocktails infused with Japanese ingredients, from black and green teas to shiso leaves and peppers.

1122 Post St
San Francisco, CA 94109

7. Lost Marbles

823 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118
Octopus wall mural and high tables Lost Marbles

In the wilds of the Inner Richmond, this new beer-focused spot is filled with nautical wood and strewn with sea creatures, some wearing suits and evening gowns. Lost Marbles is a brewpub, serving local craft beer, with plans to brew its own on site. But it’s also boasting a Spice Girls-themed cocktail menu, as well as a menu of burgers, wings, candied bacon, and “tubs and tentacles” calamari, of course.

823 Clement St
San Francisco, CA 94118

8. La Paloma

332 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102
Emilio Salehi

Drinks are up at the La Cocina Municipal Marketplace. La Paloma is the new cocktail bar within the food hall, and it’s powered by women: Cocktails from an award-winning female bartender, specifically paired with food offerings from female entrepreneurs, and starring ingredients from female producers. It opened with a short list of tequila and rum drinks on October 15, but watch Instagram for rotating pop-ups and happy hours.

332 Golden Gate Ave
San Francisco, CA 94102

9. La Bande at SF Proper Hotel

1100 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Tapas plates and cocktails at La Bande La Bande

La Bande, that gorgeous green triangular space at the tip of the Proper Hotel, is reopening as a gin-soaked tapas bar on September 21. Pull up a barstool for grilled squid, tomato toast, and gin and tonics.

1100 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94102

10. Thriller Social Club

504 4th St, San Francisco, CA 94107
Cocktail at Thriller Social Club Jonathan Fong

Thriller Social Club is a massive new arcade bar that smashed open at the end of October, betting big on the return of tech personalities to SoMa. It boasts two levels and three bars, both arcade games and carnival games, a Skee-Ball champion ruling eight lanes, and “the most expensive golf simulator in the world,” so they say. Oh, and craft cocktails and buttered lobster rolls, of course. Barman Sean Doolan from the Westwood team is crafting the cocktails, so expect a lot more than the arcade beer.

504 4th St
San Francisco, CA 94107

11. Traveler at 25 Lusk

25 Lusk St, San Francisco, CA 94107
A cocktail topped with edible flowers from the new Traveler bar at 25 Lusk Anne-ClaireThieulon/Traveler

In addition to the whole rooftop scene, 25 Lusk also opened a new bar on the ground floor in August. Traveler aims to whisk drinkers away with rotating menus inspired by different destinations, starting with tlayuda and tequila from Mexico

25 Lusk St
San Francisco, CA 94107

12. The Madrigal

100 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102
Steak tartare and a cocktail Joseph Weaver

The Madrigal shimmered open in early December, debuting a new cocktail bar for symphony and opera goers. It’s the latest project from the Hi Neighbor group (the Vault, Trestle, Mama), replacing their own former restaurant Corridor. There are still sweeping windows at the front and a mezzanine up above, but there’s also now a walnut bar, serving cocktails, steak tartare, and duck smash burgers.

100 Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94102

13. Le Fantastique

22 Franklin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

The Bird Dog team will finally open their upscale seafood slash wine bar on October 22. Le Fantastique is spinning caviar eclairs, luxe bubbles, and vintage vinyl into Hayes Valley.

22 Franklin St
San Francisco, CA 94102

14. Copas

2223 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114
Two pink cocktails garnished with watermelon Liz Barclay/Copas

The chief of staff for the Saison group opened a passion project at the end of September. Copas is a new all-day cafe in the Castro, now serving cappuccinos and avocado toast in the morning and sparkling copas cocktails and grilled octopus at night.

2223 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94114

15. Dalva

3121 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

After drinking hard for a couple of decades and going dark for a couple of years, Dalva reopened at the beginning of January, with a whole new look for the storied Mission bar. Longtime owner Erik Reichborn-Kjennerud (Dalva, ABV) and new partner Eric Ochoa (Elda) added warmth and style while preserving the Art Deco bar back, along with other details. The new drinks list includes all new cocktails, lots of agave spirits, craft beer, natural wine, and vermouth on tap, as well as snacks from chef friends (think spicy peanuts from Mister Jiu’s).

3121 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

Related Maps

16. Chezchez

584 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
A blood Mary from Chezchez Tiago Russo

The Trick Dog team strikes back. Bon Voyage has sadly set sail, but it was replaced with the new Chezchez in August. Which is honestly ideal timing for serving up tinned fish and cool spritz for real San Francisco summer. (Important note: Trick Dog also finally reopened in October, with maybe its most convoluted menu yet, if you want to turn this into a Mission bar crawl.)

584 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110

17. Buddy

3115 22nd St, San Francisco, CA 94110
A cocktail next to a turntable Albert Law

Buddy is a friendly new neighborhood bar that opened in the Mission in November. It’s from a crew of industry veterans Alvaro Rojas (Elda), Nicolas Torres (True Laurel), Nora Furst (Uma Casa), and Claire Sprouse (Hunky Dory in Brooklyn), and the cocktails are expertly crafted, featuring wine, vermouth, and sherry. Plus, the natural wine list is popping off with bubbles, pinks, and oranges. Chef Sean Thomas (Blue Plate) also debuted a fun menu, starring a serious looking fried mortadella “sammy.”  

3115 22nd St
San Francisco, CA 94110

18. MOTHERSHIP

3152 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Joanna Ricco, Alicia Griffiths, and Sean Mabry of Mothership Mothership

Mothership has finally landed on upper Mission. A trio of industry local bartenders took over the former Virgil’s Sea Room space and transformed it into a funkadelic bar, which quietly opened in October. The patio is currently open for outdoor drinking, serving affordable cocktails and pitchers of margaritas — check the calendar for DJs and upcoming events.

3152 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

Related Maps