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Your favorite places with great bar menus near Union Square?

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We're coming to SF next month for my birthday and would love your suggestions. We're staying at the Prescott Hotel and would love to know about places w/in walking distance where the bar is comfortable, not too dressy and the menu is interesting. No limitations on food type or price. Any thoughts?

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  1. Le Colonial has a great bar area. It's on the dressier side, but I've been there in jeans and such without any problems (probably wouldn't go in cargo shorts and flip flops) www.lecolonialsf.com

    E&O Trading Company is a little less dressy and has a decent at scene. www.eotrading.com

    The Grand Cafe is super comfortable. Can be crowded before and after theater shows. But they do a good job. www.grandcafe-sf.com

    1. It is a hike, but walkable: bacar. Their by-the-glass wine list is excellent (so is their by-the-bottle) and they are welcoming of singles and bar folk. And open late. Food is a little pricey by SF standards, though.

      2 Replies
      1. re: whiner

        Bacar is in flux--per the Chronicle, the chef and somellier quit suddenly, then the replacement chef and 17 cooks quit, and a new chef and replacement kitchen staff just started on May 1. So unless you've been there this month, it's something of an unknown quantity.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          I've not been in almost a year and a half. I hadn't heard of the exodus. Thnak you for the update. I've heard May reports that the food is good, but I have no way of knowing if that is a vestige...

      2. Lots of San Francisco restaurants have bars that serve most of their menus; this is somewhat preferable to bars that have food, in my experience.

        Perbacco (hot Italian restaurant) in the Financial District has an attractive bar area.

        Bix is a gorgeous spot; food is pricey, but drinks are excellent, and you can order their best items (steak tartare, marrow bones) at the bar.

        There are lots of new wine bars in town. The Hidden Vine is a cozy spot with cheese and snacks available; it's two blocks from Union Square.

        Generally you'll do best if you get away from Union Square, where food tends to be mediocre and overpriced, catering to convention tourists and theater goers. A few blocks toward any of the neighborhoods will make a big difference in quality.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Windy

          I did mean restaurants with comfy bar areas where you can dine. These and above sound perfect for what I'm looking for. Thanks, all, and keep 'em coming!

        2. If you want to drop into a place that is more bar than restaurant but still offers interesting bites, then Bar Crudo might be good for you. It's very close to Union Square.

          http://www.barcrudo.com/

          1 Reply
          1. re: singleguychef

            I completely agree with the Bar Crudo suggestion. I've eaten there twice and have been absolutely delighted. Staff is friendly and made excellent wine pairings for my dining companion. On cold nights I crave their seafood chowder.