Absinthe Brasserie and Bar Hayes Valley

One of the oldest kids on the Hayes Valley block, Absinthe has serving creative cocktails long before mixologists became a thing. In close proximity to the opera and symphony, the bar scene is always lively here, not least because it’s a great place to get a perfectly executed drink.

Bourbon and Branch Tenderloin

Hidden behind an unmarked door, you can’t just walk into Bourbon & Branch. No, you’ll need to ring a buzzer and whisper a secret password only obtainable when making the reservation. Once in, a wall of books, sliding hidden doors and low lighting re-create the atmosphere of the speakeasy that reportedly occupied the same space during the Prohibition era. The bartender’s goal is to pour you a drink you have never had, so go with an open mind.

Cold Drinks China Town

Tucked away on the second floor just above the bustling food market at China Live, Cold Drinks is a Scotch-centric bar accessible via a stairwell. Inside, the vibe is decidedly modern Shanghai meets old-school San Francisco, where tuxedo-clad bartenders serve up whiskey-heavy tipples. But with names like the Sword Swallower – served in a tiki mug – the traditional spirit has been given a heavy dose of the cool factor.

El Techo de Lolinda Mission District

San Francisco might be known for its chilly summers, but when the sun is out El Techo – on the roof of Lolinda restaurant – is the place to be. Nab a stool and order a pitcher of sangria along with some small Mexican plates, then sit back and enjoy some of the best views of the city.

  • +1 415 550 6970
  • Go to Website
  • 2516 Mission Street
    San Francisco

Over Proof Mission District

Located above neighbourhood watering hole ABV in the city’s Mission District, Over Proof is a rotating bar concept that focuses on a different spirit, accompanied by food from the region where that spirit is made. Changing every three months, the reservations-only venue is a hit with the locals, so make sure you book early.

Absinthe Brasserie and Bar

Bourbon and Branch

Cold Drinks

El Techo de Lolinda

Over Proof

You May Also Like

City Guides

You know how you have that one incredible friend who knows their city inside out? That’s us. We take the world’s most dynamic destinations, hand-pick the best bits and give them to you in one place. This is the kind of guide that you don’t need to run by a local – it was written by one. Eat your heart out, shop until you drop, drink like a fish, dance your socks off, sleep – then repeat.


Need some inspiration while working from home? Shop 20% off magazines when bundled together.

Download Suitcase App
Learn More