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The 7 Best Bars In San Francisco

By Neharika Padala

Like much of the West Coast, San Francisco is a relaxed, liberal and multicultural city.

The diversity of wine bars here reflects this, with several located within walking distance of Union Square. From Napa to Livermore, San Francisco is surrounded by wine-making regions, resulting in the bars being stocked with both local and international varieties.

Our list of the best bars in San Francisco includes Jardinière, a bar worth visiting for its spectacular décor alone. The ground floor bar is topped with glistening marble and is set beneath the twinkling lights of a golden dome, designed to represent bubbles in an inverted champagne glass.

San Francisco has been at the forefront of reviving cocktail culture, and enjoying an unusual and interesting drink is part and parcel of experiencing this diverse city. Whether you’re looking for an expertly-made cocktail courtesy of a highly trained mixologist or all-encompassing views of the city, our guide to the best bars in San Francisco will have you covered.

Big 4

This renovated restaurant and bar has been named after the ‘Big Four’ industrialists, namely Collis P. Huntington, Charles Crocker, Leland Stanford and Mark Hopkins.

They each played an important role in San Francisco’s early history and development. Since it was established in 1976, the restaurant and bar at The Scarlet Huntington Hotel has boasted original artifacts and historical photographs, showcasing California’s unique history. Guests can enjoy the mellow atmosphere here as well as live piano entertainment.

Jardinière

Located beside City Hall and the Performing Arts District, Jardinière attracts the upper echelons of society, making it the place to be seen in San Fran.

The bar on the ground floor is topped with marble and sat beneath an impressive golden dome. The no reservations policy makes this the ideal place to pop in for a cocktail and visit with friends.  Its opulent interior and sophisticated wine list make this a surprising jewel within San Francisco’s bar scene.

Clock Bar

Created by Michelin-starred chef Michael Mina, Clock Bar is set in The Westin St. Frances on Union Square Hotel and combines classic elegance with chic, modern style.

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Clock Bar offers handcrafted cocktails and a variety of snacks, including cheddar popcorn and the famous Clock Bar burger. Popular choices at Clock Tower include Ginger’s Cousin (vodka, Thai ginger and lemon) and Hala-Kahiki (whiskey, pineapple and mint).

The View at The Marriott

You won’t find a more spectacular view in all of San Francisco than that of The View at The Marriott.

Located on the 39th floor, the oversized arched windows showcase all-encompassing city views, creating an ideal destination to enjoy handcrafted cocktails and locally inspired bar food. The View at The Marriot is perfect for both business and leisure guests.

The Pied Piper Bar & Grill

Located within the Palace Hotel, the Pied Piper Bar & Grill is the perfect place for comfortable dining in a relaxed atmosphere.

The walls are adorned with paintings by Maxfield Parrish and his signature tones and warm colors create a cozy ambiance. If you are looking for old school elegance, The Pied Piper Bar & Grill is the place to go.

OneUp

The recently opened bar and restaurant located within the Grand Hyatt at Union Square is the perfect spot to enjoy a selection of wines and cocktails with friends.

The lounge offers a range of small plates, classic cocktails, craft beer and wine.

The bar here has a modern, chic interior and large windows showcase spectacular views of the Union Square district. For a more intimate experience, a private venue fitted with leather benches and cocktail tables creates an ideal space for a night out with friends.

Burritt Room + Tavern

Located within Mystic Hotel, Burritt Room+ Tavern offers a diverse drinks menu.

The team of highly trained mixologists here will happily prepare both classic and new cocktails to suit your every mood.

You can also select one of 150 carefully chosen wine labels from around the world. Guests can enjoy live jazz music Tuesday through Saturday in the Burritt Room. Behind this space, Mystic Hotel also boasts the Berlinetta Lounge, San Francisco’s premier event space, perfect for a special occasion.

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