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16 Big, Boozy Cocktails for Sharing in SF

Grab some friends and some extra (compostable) straws

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The adage “sharing is caring” extends doubly to cocktails. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of bars in San Francisco offering large vessels filled with booze. Whether you’re out with friends, or just feeling thirsty, there is a broad spectrum of styles and flavors to please the whole group.

From tiki-inspired bowls adorned with flames and flowers to the more traditional punch bowl to pitchers of margaritas, check out these 16 great places to share a larger-than-normal beverage with pals.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

You are bound to see multiple punch bowls being dipped into on the always crowded patio at this one-year-old Hayes Valley spot. The three summer-y punch options stay the same year round, and none of the bowls are huge (3 people might feel satisfied, but probably not 4 unless they’re lightweights). Go for the Avila, made with tequila, aperol, grapefruit, lime and prosecco.

Bellota

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If you’re not sure whether you’ve ever had properly made sangria, this Spanish spot underneath Airbnb HQ in SoMa is where to get the good stuff. For $44 you get a pitcher of proper sangria made with both red and white wine (tempranillo and garnacha blanca), gin, brandy, apricot, and rosemary. The added bonus here is you can also order some of the best Spanish food in town.

Sangria at Bellota
Elena N./Yelp

Hobson's Choice

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This stalwart rum parlor in the Upper Haight sees its share of tipsy amateurs on weekends, many of which end up that way because of their reasonably priced and potent punch bowls. There are three punch options here, and two sizes – small, serving 3-4 people, and regular serving 6-8 – both of which are a pretty good deal. If you like mango, go for the cheapest of the three, the House Punch ($20/$34). And while not authentically Victorian in its construction, the Victorian Punch is the most complex of the bunch, with a blend of three rums (silver, coconut, and pineapple) mixed with cranberry and pineapple juice.

Holy Mountain

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At the hidden upstairs bar inside Hawker Fare there’s always a surreal Tiki ambiance going on. And besides an ever-changing menu of interesting cocktails (and bar snacks!), there’s always a Parlour Punch option, which is also ever-changing depending on the bartenders’ whims – but you can bet it very likely involves rum. At $52 it’s not the cheapest punch bowl in town, but it is a generous one, serving 6 to 8.

Last Rites

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The newest bar on this list is the Castro-adjacent Tiki den in the former Residence space from the team behind Horsefeather, with Tiki concoction help from a former Forbidden Island bartender. Most of the drinks on the menu can be turned into bowls for groups, but you should probably stick to the house Mai Tai, made with three rums, dry curacao, and a house-made lime-cashew orgeat.

Albert Law

The popular, library-themed SoMa booze hall Novela has since the start featured multiple punches on tap. There are always four, and a typical selection includes bourbon, rum, gin, and pisco options with seasonal flavor variations. Some are sweeter than others, and all come in either tasting or full-glass pours, or in a 32-ounce pitcher for a group – and since they’re on tap, wait times tend to be short. ike traditional 19th Century punches, there’s often tea in the mix, like the current bourbon punch offering made with blueberry, apricot, green tea, and grapefruit. Also unique to Novela is a punch-to-go program, too, with bottles of punch mixer that you can take home, and “just add booze and water.”

Punch Flight at Novela
Punch Flight at Novela

Pacific Cocktail Haven

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The creative cocktail selection at this Nob Hill spot includes three punch options that are served, impressively, in large crystal decanters with spigots. Fans of a good Pimm’s Cup will love the Pimm’s Punch option, made here with fresh strawberries along with cucumber, mint, and ginger beer. But the most complex and delicious of the trio is the Louisville Slugger, made with Larceny Bourbon, carpano bianco vermouth, guava, calamansi, grapefruit soda, and bitters.

A brightly hued tiki-style drink from Pacific Cocktail Haven

Pagan Idol

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This two-year-old Tiki den from the Future Bars (Bourbon & Branch, Rickhouse) team features an intermittently erupting volcano, as well as two reservable Tiki huts that can accommodate groups up to 8 people – and which are perfect for sharing bowl-style drinks. There are a few options there, but the best is probably the rich and delicious Rum Monkey (Ron de Venezuela, rhum Martinique, banana, pineapple, orange, lemon, cinnamon, macadamia nut, cream, and a whole egg), which is meant for just two people, and is served in a cute monkey-adorned bowl.

Puerto Alegre

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The Mission’s go-to spot for cheap and cheery, no-fuss Mexican food for groups is famous for their equally reasonably priced margarita pitchers. The house margarita with well tequila will do you just fine, but the fancier options include the Puerto de Oro, made with fresh squeezed lime juice and Sauza Tres Generaciones Reposado; and a Cadillac margarita with Sauza Tres Generaciones Añejo and Cointreau.

Rickhouse

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It’s a downtown, after-work, finance-bro spot to be sure, but Rickhouse has long been a popular go-to for lovers of a good punch bowl, all of which are served in pretty vintage bowls with matching teacups. The options change seasonally with the rest of the menu, but the punches typically include fresh berries or or other fruits. Do note that they know their crowd and these are expense account prices, with four people easily able to polish off two bowls total.

Sara N./Yelp

Smuggler's Cove

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The best place in SF for an education in rum and Tiki tradition is this award-winning, almost-decade-old spot on the Hayes Valley/Civic Center border where no expense was spared on the kitschy decor. With over 400 rums available to try, you can be assured that the cocktail selection is deep as well, with just about every classic and obscure Tiki concoction represented. There are a few drinks you can get as bowls here, but only if you’re lucky or patient enough to snag a table, given how tight things can get in the bar area. Also, these bowls are not the hugest, and are really only good for 2 to 3 people, so bear that in mind. Still, this is the place to find out what a Scorpion Bowl should actually taste like.

Tommy's Mexican Restaurant

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This 53-year-old Mexican mainstay in the outer Richmond remains home to one of SF’s best tequila arrays (over 300 brands, and only all-agave), and all of their margarita variations can be ordered by the pitcher when you’re digging into some enchiladas. Be prepared for some old-school charm and authentic Californian-Mexican fare, and don’t be afraid to ask for sipping portions of some obscure tequilas, if you’re curious.

Pitcher of margaritas
Elena N./Yelp

Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar

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Though the Tiki drinks at the Tonga Room aren’t among the city’s finest, despite a bar reboot a few years back, this is the OG Tiki spot in town and they do serve authentically sweet-and-sour versions of Tiki classics like the ones your grandparents would have been drinking when this place opened more than half a century ago. Every 30 minutes, the famous fake thunderstorm rolls through the room, rain and all, and with that you can enjoy the better of the two shared cocktails, The Rainmaker (Jamaican rum, Nicaraguan rum, Puerto Rican rum, amaro, orange, lemon, orgeat, falernum, bitters), which serves 2.

Rainmaker at Tonga Room
Tonga Room/Yelp

West of Pecos

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For a Tex-Mex angle on the punch bowl, head to West of Pecos, where a solid food menu is complemented by some cocktail choices in general. There are only two shareables here: the two-person Cactus bowl ($35), made with tequila, the tequila-esque cousin spirit bacanora, hibiscus, lemon, and cinnamon; or the four-person Headhunter ($60), made with tequila, a fermented pineapple liqueur called tepache, lemon, and honey.

Cactus bowl
Ross S./Yelp

Whitechapel

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You might not associate a gin bar with shareable punch bowls, but the brains behind Whitechapel, Martin Cate, has Tiki in his blood having first opened Smuggler’s Cove back in 2009. The similarly encyclopedic cocktail list here includes a selection of four punches – three with gin and one with genever – all of which are winners and more closely resemble how traditional punch used to get made in the 1800s than anywhere else in town. But if you’re looking for something to match a seasonal mood, be it warm-weather or cold-weather, there’s a Sparkling Summer Bowl (Bulldog gin, peach liqueur, ginger, hibiscus, rose lemonade, lemon, lime), as well as a Warm Winter Bowl that was adapted from Charles Dickens’ own hot gin punch recipe (Tanqueray gin, madeira, brown sugar, honey, lemon, spices). Each serves 4 to 6 people generously.

Whitechapel
Whitechapel
Patricia Chang

Elements at ONE65 San Francisco

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The swanky new bar level lounge at ONE65 serves a suite of high-quality cocktails with New Orleans influences, including a can’t-miss large format Bird in the Hand: It’s a Paloma-style drink with Espolòn blanco tequila, Campari, grapefruit, honey, and absinthe. Thanks to its serving vessel, an Absinthe fountain, it looks as good as it tastes: Grab a spigot and start pouring.

ANINA

You are bound to see multiple punch bowls being dipped into on the always crowded patio at this one-year-old Hayes Valley spot. The three summer-y punch options stay the same year round, and none of the bowls are huge (3 people might feel satisfied, but probably not 4 unless they’re lightweights). Go for the Avila, made with tequila, aperol, grapefruit, lime and prosecco.

Bellota

Sangria at Bellota
Elena N./Yelp

If you’re not sure whether you’ve ever had properly made sangria, this Spanish spot underneath Airbnb HQ in SoMa is where to get the good stuff. For $44 you get a pitcher of proper sangria made with both red and white wine (tempranillo and garnacha blanca), gin, brandy, apricot, and rosemary. The added bonus here is you can also order some of the best Spanish food in town.

Sangria at Bellota
Elena N./Yelp

Hobson's Choice

This stalwart rum parlor in the Upper Haight sees its share of tipsy amateurs on weekends, many of which end up that way because of their reasonably priced and potent punch bowls. There are three punch options here, and two sizes – small, serving 3-4 people, and regular serving 6-8 – both of which are a pretty good deal. If you like mango, go for the cheapest of the three, the House Punch ($20/$34). And while not authentically Victorian in its construction, the Victorian Punch is the most complex of the bunch, with a blend of three rums (silver, coconut, and pineapple) mixed with cranberry and pineapple juice.

Holy Mountain

At the hidden upstairs bar inside Hawker Fare there’s always a surreal Tiki ambiance going on. And besides an ever-changing menu of interesting cocktails (and bar snacks!), there’s always a Parlour Punch option, which is also ever-changing depending on the bartenders’ whims – but you can bet it very likely involves rum. At $52 it’s not the cheapest punch bowl in town, but it is a generous one, serving 6 to 8.

Last Rites

Albert Law

The newest bar on this list is the Castro-adjacent Tiki den in the former Residence space from the team behind Horsefeather, with Tiki concoction help from a former Forbidden Island bartender. Most of the drinks on the menu can be turned into bowls for groups, but you should probably stick to the house Mai Tai, made with three rums, dry curacao, and a house-made lime-cashew orgeat.

Albert Law

Novela

Punch Flight at Novela
Punch Flight at Novela

The popular, library-themed SoMa booze hall Novela has since the start featured multiple punches on tap. There are always four, and a typical selection includes bourbon, rum, gin, and pisco options with seasonal flavor variations. Some are sweeter than others, and all come in either tasting or full-glass pours, or in a 32-ounce pitcher for a group – and since they’re on tap, wait times tend to be short. ike traditional 19th Century punches, there’s often tea in the mix, like the current bourbon punch offering made with blueberry, apricot, green tea, and grapefruit. Also unique to Novela is a punch-to-go program, too, with bottles of punch mixer that you can take home, and “just add booze and water.”

Punch Flight at Novela
Punch Flight at Novela

Pacific Cocktail Haven

A brightly hued tiki-style drink from Pacific Cocktail Haven

The creative cocktail selection at this Nob Hill spot includes three punch options that are served, impressively, in large crystal decanters with spigots. Fans of a good Pimm’s Cup will love the Pimm’s Punch option, made here with fresh strawberries along with cucumber, mint, and ginger beer. But the most complex and delicious of the trio is the Louisville Slugger, made with Larceny Bourbon, carpano bianco vermouth, guava, calamansi, grapefruit soda, and bitters.

A brightly hued tiki-style drink from Pacific Cocktail Haven

Pagan Idol

This two-year-old Tiki den from the Future Bars (Bourbon & Branch, Rickhouse) team features an intermittently erupting volcano, as well as two reservable Tiki huts that can accommodate groups up to 8 people – and which are perfect for sharing bowl-style drinks. There are a few options there, but the best is probably the rich and delicious Rum Monkey (Ron de Venezuela, rhum Martinique, banana, pineapple, orange, lemon, cinnamon, macadamia nut, cream, and a whole egg), which is meant for just two people, and is served in a cute monkey-adorned bowl.

Puerto Alegre

The Mission’s go-to spot for cheap and cheery, no-fuss Mexican food for groups is famous for their equally reasonably priced margarita pitchers. The house margarita with well tequila will do you just fine, but the fancier options include the Puerto de Oro, made with fresh squeezed lime juice and Sauza Tres Generaciones Reposado; and a Cadillac margarita with Sauza Tres Generaciones Añejo and Cointreau.

Rickhouse

Sara N./Yelp

It’s a downtown, after-work, finance-bro spot to be sure, but Rickhouse has long been a popular go-to for lovers of a good punch bowl, all of which are served in pretty vintage bowls with matching teacups. The options change seasonally with the rest of the menu, but the punches typically include fresh berries or or other fruits. Do note that they know their crowd and these are expense account prices, with four people easily able to polish off two bowls total.

Sara N./Yelp

Smuggler's Cove

The best place in SF for an education in rum and Tiki tradition is this award-winning, almost-decade-old spot on the Hayes Valley/Civic Center border where no expense was spared on the kitschy decor. With over 400 rums available to try, you can be assured that the cocktail selection is deep as well, with just about every classic and obscure Tiki concoction represented. There are a few drinks you can get as bowls here, but only if you’re lucky or patient enough to snag a table, given how tight things can get in the bar area. Also, these bowls are not the hugest, and are really only good for 2 to 3 people, so bear that in mind. Still, this is the place to find out what a Scorpion Bowl should actually taste like.

Tommy's Mexican Restaurant

Pitcher of margaritas
Elena N./Yelp

This 53-year-old Mexican mainstay in the outer Richmond remains home to one of SF’s best tequila arrays (over 300 brands, and only all-agave), and all of their margarita variations can be ordered by the pitcher when you’re digging into some enchiladas. Be prepared for some old-school charm and authentic Californian-Mexican fare, and don’t be afraid to ask for sipping portions of some obscure tequilas, if you’re curious.

Pitcher of margaritas
Elena N./Yelp

Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar