To kick off Eater Cocktail Week, it's time to update the Cocktail Heatmap, our go-to compendium of the newest spots to sip a fancy drink around town. Whether you're looking to indulge in Mexican food and classed-up margaritas, sip a great drink while catching a comedy show, or indulge in a few drinks and some late-night snacks, this 15-bar-strong list has you covered. Happy drinking.Read More
Where to Drink Cocktails in SF Right Now, Fall 2014
Cocktail Week is here. Time to get your drink on.
This Mission newcomer from three cocktail industry vets boasts a sizable menu organized by spirit, with recipes rooted in San Francisco and its history. We like the Lefty's Fizz, with mezcal, grapefruit, and dry curaçao, or the smoky, peaty pear flavors of the Whiskey in Church. Bonus: delicious bar snacks, all under $10, until 1 am.
Marlowe's new home on Brannan now features cocktails, with fun names like The Bull and The Sow, not to mention The Grindr, which we're sure will inspire a few awkward hookups when consumed in large enough quantities.
3. Arguello Restaurant
Enjoy Mexican fare, margaritas, and mezcal at Traci des Jardins' new Presidio spot, which features a heated, sheltered patio for those days when your desire for outdoor drinking conflicts with the forecast.
Suzanne Long has created a tiki wonderland in uptown Oakland, where classics like a Mai Tai and Cuba Libres made with St. George rum intermingle with new creations like the Zawadi Cup, with rum, lime, chocolate-orange syrup, sparkling rosé, and fresh mint. Pu-pu platters will keep the party going.
5. Doc Ricketts & Doc's Lab
This bi-level space aims to offer the best food and cocktails possible in an entertainment venue, whether you're catching a show in the downstairs Doc's Lab or enjoying dinner at Doc Ricketts upstairs. With a lineup of live music and comedy nightly, you'll have something fun to watch while you sip.
The artist formerly known as Bandidos is all about the tequila and mezcal, whether in a jalapeño and chile-infused margarita or a tamarind sour. Fans of theatrics should order the Guns A-Blazin', which arrives, as suggested, en fuego.
7. The Interval at Long Now
San Francisco, CA 94123
This stunning Fort Mason space features an extensive cocktail menu from Slanted Door alum Jennifer Colliau, who's put together selections featuring variations on classics, bottled and draft cocktails, and a "Drinking Around the World" menu.
Berkeleyites are gravitating to the smart bar snacks and tasty cocktails on offer at this newcomer, where Diana Krell mixes up combos like the Barley Flower (genever, Lillet Blanc, St. Germain, orange bitters). Or get the $8 Townie Special, a shot of Bulleit and a can of Olympia.
9. Urchin Bistrot
Comal alum Rafael Jimenez Rivera is behind the French-inspired drinks at the new bistro from Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani (Ame, Terra), which feature Suze, absinthe, Chartreuse, and other Gallic ingredients in delicate, balanced combinations.
John Maire, formerly of Chaya, is whipping up Italian-inspired cocktails at Alexander Alioto's new Valencia spot, like a fall-inspired combo of cognac, nocino, lemon, maple, and cranberry bitters.
11. Natoma Cabana
A lush outdoorsy ambiance is the aim of this new FiDi spot, which comes from noted empire-builders Dennis Leary and Eric Passetti. "Drinks of the Southern latitudes" form the basis of the cocktail menu, with drinks like the Natoma Paloma, a mai tai variation, and a strawberry-bourbon mule on offer alongside housemade Fireball.
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Mina Group Head Bartender Carlo Splendorini has prepared a menu of Japanese-inspired cocktails with a creative twist to tempt the American palate, and Pabu's drink menu has an eye toward delicate, clean flavors and Japanese spirits. Check out our In the Drink profile for more.
Spanish food and well-shaken cocktails join forces at this Oakland newcomer, where the Autumn Cozy (with cinnamon-infused rye and maple) sits side by side with the refreshing Caribbean Buck, with two kinds of rum, orgeat, and ginger beer. Whether the fall runs warm or cold, consider yourself covered.
14. Monsieur Benjamin
Unlike many chefs, who contract out the bar work to experts, Corey Lee and Jason Berthold devised their own cocktails for Monsieur Benjamin. The results, like the Pass the Hat (rum, Aperol, fino sherry, Bonal, lime) and the My Morning Sun (iced green tea, gin, saffron liqueur) are delicate and unusual.
Bartender Danny Louie echoes the flair of Chino with his playful drink menu, which features crowd-pleasers like the Flying Dutchman (genever, apple-tea shrub, celery juice, lime) and the Chinatown Iced Tea (baijiu, almond milk, passion fruit, Lipton tea, and lemon), plus super-fun boozy boba slushies, served in the appropriate plastic-wrapped cup with an oversize straw.