HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Are you making a specialty food?
TELL US

NICE Bar suggestions in SF?

c
crystalrae May 3, 2010 09:12 AM

I want to go to a bar in SF either on a Friday or Saturday night. I want to go to a bar in the NICE areas of SF. Nothing ghetto please. Does anyone have any suggestions? Dont really want the club scene but just a nice bar to get some drinks at! I do love Vodka so any martini bar suggestions? Also needs to have beer and Jack Daniels! :0) Thanks for you help!

  1. Jumbo_Jack May 3, 2010 11:04 AM

    What would you consider the NICE areas of SF, and not too ghetto at all? Is ghetto referring to a music style, property values on the block, or patrons in the bar?

    All of the dives, and cheapest to moderate priced bars in SF will serve both beer and Jack Daniels. Some of the NICEST bars in town will only have a small selection of bottled beer and not serve Jack Daniels at all.

    Jack Daniels--and the 'Jack and Coke' is seen by some as simply too common. I think their recent co-branding of supermarket bbq sauces and TGIF food-like products isn't helping the image either. I would mostly fault Jack Daniels for lowering their alcohol content the past decade, but not lowering their prices accordingly.

    How do you usually drink your Tennessee whiskey?

    5 Replies
    1. re: Jumbo_Jack
      c
      crystalrae May 3, 2010 12:08 PM

      Ok by ghetto I mean not in a bad area of town where I need to be constantly looking over my back when I leave the place in hopes I dont get mugged. Dont really want a dive bar either. I am going there for my anniversary so that is why I want a nice bar in a good part of town. And I like my Grey Goose Vodka with Cranberry juice and Pineapple juice and I like my Jack with Coke!

      1. re: crystalrae
        Robert Lauriston May 3, 2010 01:06 PM

        As Jumbo Jack says, you might want to avoid the places that usually get recommended as the best bars on this board, since they might not have Jack, Coke, or Grey Goose (though if you tell them what you like they'll come up with something you might like even better).

        Pacific Heights is probably the best upscale neighborhood to find bars with nice atmosphere and normal drinks.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston
          c
          crystalrae May 3, 2010 01:34 PM

          Thanks for the suggestion. I will always try a new good vodka if the bartender suggests it! Thanks!

          1. re: crystalrae
            daveena May 3, 2010 06:28 PM

            The one vodka you should really try is Hangar One. It's locally produced, so most good bars in the Bay Area carry it (I've seen it in NYC and Vegas, but it's way less ubiquitous than Grey Goose). The plain vodka is actually so good I can sip it straight, at room temperature. It's made partly from viognier, so it has a lovely, floral flavor - order it on the rocks. It's too good to mask with cranberry.

            Their Mandarin Blossom and Raspberry vodkas are really good too - they can hold up to being mixed with soda.

            If you drink Jack and Coke, maybe you'll be open to bourbon based cocktails? There are a lot of good ones out there.

            1. re: daveena
              c
              crystalrae May 4, 2010 10:40 AM

              I am for sure going to try that one when I go! Thanks for the suggestion! I am going to try it straight and sip it just like you said. Thanks!

    2. a
      Andrew H May 3, 2010 01:10 PM

      Pied Piper in the Palace Hotel

      Bourbon and Branch

      You can do way better than Jack. Stretch yourself. Try Elijah Craig.

      -----
      Pied Piper Bar
      Market New Montgomery, San Francisco, CA 94102

      Palace Hotel
      2 New Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA

      1 Reply
      1. re: Andrew H
        c
        crystalrae May 3, 2010 01:32 PM

        We are Tennessee people so Jack is just our hometown thing to always have! But I will try Elijah Craig sometimes. Always up for trying new things. Thanks for the suggestions!

      2. v
        vis May 3, 2010 01:24 PM

        you may want to check out some hotel bars - Americano, Redwood Room...some of the better lounges/bars typically reside in places like the Mission and SOMA. I have been incredibly underwhelmed by lounges and bars in the "nicer" parts of SF (Marina, Pac Heights, Cow Hollow).

        3 Replies
        1. re: vis
          c
          crystalrae May 3, 2010 01:33 PM

          I love the hotel bar idea! They do always have some great bars. Great suggestion! Thanks a bunch!

          1. re: crystalrae
            c
            Calvinist May 3, 2010 04:26 PM

            crystalrae, I think the hotel bars, and Bix, might give you just what your looking for.

            -----
            Bix
            56 Gold St., San Francisco, CA 94133

          2. re: vis
            k
            Keesey May 3, 2010 03:15 PM

            Also adding Clock Bar in the Westin St Francis and XYZ in the W hotel.

            Non-hotel bars -- Bix, Waterbar, and Jillian's.

            -----
            Bix
            56 Gold St., San Francisco, CA 94133

            XYZ
            181 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

          3. tvham May 3, 2010 03:30 PM

            Seasons at the Four Seasons
            Le Club
            Matrix Fillmore (though it might be too much of a scene)

            -----
            Four Seasons Restaurant
            1163 S De Anza Blvd, San Jose, CA 95129

            Le Club
            1250 Jones St Ste 100, San Francisco, CA 94109

            1 Reply
            1. re: tvham
              Ruth Lafler May 3, 2010 09:44 PM

              I love Seasons -- it's very classy
              Fifth Floor (in the Palomar) also has a nice bar
              I'm a sucker for the atrium in the Hyatt Regency on the Embarcadero -- seems like the kind of place that's not to snobby to serve Jack and Coke, plus it's pretty down there at night.

              -----
              Fifth Floor Restaurant
              12 Fourth St., San Francisco, CA 94103

            2. bbulkow May 3, 2010 07:01 PM

              Special occasion, likes vodka, you should be at the Top of the Mark. Old school room, page of martinis. Or the clock bar in the fairmont. "mmmm, classy"

              Since there are hundreds and hundreds of "nice bars" in san francisco, you'd be better off saying what part of town you'd like, and getting a suggestion. Like that nice lounge on Noe with the fireplace, or Pier 23.

              Don't forget some of the best bars are at good restaurants. I'm fond of the bar at the Globe, although they don't have jack. Boulevard's bar is quite nice, and they might have jack.

              Don't go to bourbon and branch. They will make fun of you mercilessly.

              -----
              Top of the Mark
              Number One Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA 94108

              Pier 23 Cafe
              The Embarcadero and Union St, San Francisco, CA 94111

              2 Replies
              1. re: bbulkow
                s
                SanJoseHound May 3, 2010 07:48 PM

                Have res @ Bourbon and Branch on Thursday - hope they don't make fun of me :) I read the rules carefully and have told the people we're going with, no frou-frou, no cosmos... I am there to be educated =P

                1. re: SanJoseHound
                  bbulkow May 3, 2010 08:33 PM

                  That's a good attitude, there will be a nice list of their signature cocktails, order one and enjoy. If that kind of experience ends up pleasing you, there are several dozen places with similarly excellent well-designed cocktails - just don't ask for substitutions.

              2. t
                Truffle Dog May 3, 2010 10:30 PM

                I recommend Chaya Brasserie for happy hour and sit in the bar/lounge or the outdoor area. Good cocktails, sushi and other bar bites, nice neighborhood, beautiful views of the bay bridge.

                -----
                Chaya Brasserie
                132 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105

                2 Replies
                1. re: Truffle Dog
                  c
                  crystalrae May 4, 2010 10:39 AM

                  I love your suggestion! Thank you so much!

                  1. re: crystalrae
                    bbulkow May 4, 2010 09:06 PM

                    Good rec. Better than Waterbar across the street.

                2. Sushi Monster May 4, 2010 11:10 PM

                  The Redwood Room at the Clift Hotel is the very textbook definition of "nice bar." You won't go wrong here. It has undergone myriad "improvements" since back in the day, but it's still one of the best rooms in the state to drink. This is the kind of place you'd bring your mom and dad to toast them after you pass the bar exam. Or something like that. My own family has several decades of special occasions tied to the place. If you're really lucky and there's an artist at the piano and you want something special and sentimental, remember to tip well!

                  Have a wonderful anniversary.

                  Sushi Monster
                  www.emeraldlake.com/sushilist.html

                  -----
                  Redwood Room
                  495 Geary St, San Francisco, CA

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Sushi Monster
                    Jumbo_Jack May 5, 2010 12:04 PM

                    There are a multitude of experiences available at the Redwood Room, although I'm unsure what specific ones you have tied to the place.

                    On afternoons, particularly weekends, you'll see tourists in pleated khakis and mom jeans (they're not just for mom's anymore) poking around and shocked at how expensive a single drink is in sf.

                    In the early evenings is quieter and more sedate with the dinner crowd, but thurs/fri/sat late it's a full blown scene complete with a velvet rope and a bouncer keeping people in a straight line.

                    A keen eye will notice a couple higher end working girls plying their trade, whereby 'higher end' denotes more expensive, not necessarily more exclusive. Sorta like Grey Goose. And the usual assortment of gold diggers available wherever uber expensive drinks are sold.

                    But amidst all that, the bartenders are good, the wood paneling gorgeous, and it's the first place I heard B-Star (AKA Battlestar or Battlestar America) played by any DJ. You can reserve a table for a fee on the weekends. Good times.

                    -----
                    Redwood Room
                    495 Geary St, San Francisco, CA

                    1. re: Jumbo_Jack
                      v
                      vis May 5, 2010 01:47 PM

                      somebody was telling me Rye was a decent spot...although that may not be in a strollable location. like i said earlier, there is typically an inverse relationship with "nice" neighborhoods and the locations of the best bars/lounges

                  Show Hidden Posts