Bar Hop: San Francisco

There are few places on the planet that I like more than San Francisco. The facts that it’s a city built into the side of a cliff, it’s home to some of the most influential bands in my life and the cocktails in the city are incomparable. For this Bar Hop, you will need comfortable shoes (those hills are no friend to high heels) and probably some cash for cabs. Keep in mind that San Francisco has some genuinely seedy areas. We may have wandered through a neighbourhood called The Tenderloin by accident. Avoid that if you decide to walk around after dark.

Bar Hop San Francisco

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1/ The Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar
San Francisco has one of the leading culinary scenes in North America and the world. This bar and restaurant has nothing to do with that. This is a legitimate tiki restaurant held over from the first time tiki was cool. There is a pool and thunder storms and thatched…everything. The menu is made up of what you would expect from a tiki restaurant and their drinks are the same. It’s located in the basement of Fairmont Hotel – just take the elevator town to level T.

Tonga Room

2/ Comstock Saloon
This pre-prohibition style bar has all the classics you know and one of the most gorgeous bar rooms in the world. They have cute little boot shaped shot glasses too, if souvenirs are your thing.

3/ Smuggler’s Cove
We all need more tiki and Smuggler’s Cove has it by the treasure trunk full. Drinks full of falernum, garnished with flowers, an indoor waterfall and you can head downstairs and it actually feels like you are going below deck on a ship. The owners just put out a book, so you should pick that up too.

Smugglers Cove

Captain Moony via Tumblr

4/ Trick Dog
You will find this bar online on every “best bars in the world” list and in real life in The Mission District. Known for their creatively designed menus and gorgeous library style back bar, Trick Dog is always busy, but never too busy to make you whatever you want very quickly.

5/ Hideout
This bar, hidden inside another bar, has a cocktail list of about 12 modern takes on classics. They also have a great selection of beer and wine if you maybe feel you are a few cocktails too deep.


Do you have any bars in San Francisco to add to our list? Comment below.

Note: As with all Bar Hops, we are not encouraging getting inebriated. This is a list of great cocktail bars that we suggest visiting while in San Francisco. We want you to have fun and play safe. Check out How to Do a Good Bar Hop for some hot tips.

Josh Lindley
Co-Creator at Bartender Atlas
Josh Lindley has been bartending in Toronto since 2007. Before working for Hendrick's Gin as a Brand Ambassador he was bar manager at Campagnolo and a hired gun at Bar Isabel before working at Chantecler, Le Phenix and Eataly. He has contributed to many magazines, tv shows and newspapers with his recipes and opinions. He recently put his diploma in Radio Broadcasting from Humber College to good use through The Blackbird audio documentary. Currently pouring at Civl Liberties and teaching cocktail classes for Evelyn Chick's Love of Cocktails, he enjoys being an ambassador to Toronto and talking about horror movies, punk rock and basketball.
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