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Jun 24, 2010 09:16 AM

Looking for bars/drinks close to Union Square area

I'm staying 3 nights (Sat-Tues) in a hotel near Union Square in July. We have dinner plans for each night, but might like to go to a bar/winebar/place for cocktails either before or after dinner, so it might make sense to go somewhere not too far from our hotel. Any suggestions in the Union Square area, or other locations which wouldn't be too difficult to get to on public transportation?

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  1. The cocktails at Rye are quite good. Also, Bourbon and Branch (though you must make a reservation here).

    1 Reply
    1. re: mrs bacon

      I second bourbon & branch.
      Also, if you're willing to walk over to North Beach, Comstock Saloon, Tosca are both great.

      Also really nice hotel bars nearby, the Pied Piper bar at the Palace Hotel (Market & New Montgomery) is beautiful and historic, and the 39th floor bar at the Marriott Marquis (5th/Market) has incredible views of the city.

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

      Palace Hotel
      2 New Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA

      Comstock Saloon
      155 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

    2. Have not been, but Burritt Room opened last month and was written up in Food and Wine:

      I really like the cocktails at Cantina, and the place is usually never that crowded.

      I agree with Rye and Bourbon and Branch, if you go to Bourbon and Branch on Saturday, best to get a reservation -- the Library can get crowded and have slow service. Rye can get very packed or is very empty, can't figure out the crowd system here.

      I like the Pied Piper recommendation as well, in a similar vein, the Redwood Room at the Clift Hotel is a beautiful bar, but probably best enjoyed on the Sunday or Monday night -- Saturday can be a scene, in a bad way.

      For the past couple of months, I've been going to Smuggler's Cove with a vengeance, not in Union Square but a close cab ride away. Really great tiki bar with a fantastic, rum centric drink list (100+ drinks). You might have to wait in line on Saturday, but for a reason -- they limit the number of people in the bar so that you have space to talk, imagine that. I cannot say enough good things about this place. Probably best for after dinner, since you won't want to leave!

      Alembic is a bar that is a longer cab ride away, but for my money, some of the best cocktails in San Francisco. Great food as well, though I see you have dinner plans.

      For wine, there are Press Club and the Hidden Vine in Union Square.

      Hidden Vine
      620 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94109

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

      Redwood Room
      495 Geary St, San Francisco, CA

      Smuggler's Cove
      650 Gough St, San Francisco, CA 94102

      Burritt Room
      417 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94108

      2 Replies
      1. re: david de berkeley

        I think David really hit the nail on the head with his review. Hint: with no reservations for Bourbon and Branch use "Books" as the PW. Rye has really great cocktails. One that no one hit on is Swig, which is in the same family as Bourbon & Branch. Smuggler's Cove is really incredible.

        One that I really want to go to and is actually in Union Square is Bar Drake, in the Sir Francis Drake Hotel.

        Have fun in SF.

        Bourbon & Branch
        501 Jones St, San Francisco, CA

        Smuggler's Cove
        650 Gough St, San Francisco, CA 94102

        1. re: sef_one

          The Pied Piper and Clock Bar (in the St. Francis) are my favorites in that area.

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

      2. The Top of the Mark and Tonga Room are worth a stop for the view and weirdness/kitsch, respectively. Cozier, more local, might try Tunnel Top.

        Tunnel Top
        601 Bush St, San Francisco, CA

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

        Tonga Room
        950 Mason St., San Francisco, CA 94108