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Rooftop Bars or Bars with Views in SF

j
jseakoi Feb 5, 2013 07:27 PM

Any suggestions for cool rooftop bars or bars with great views? I got a recommendation for Waterbar and we will definitely check it out but I was wondering if anyone else had any other suggestions?

We are staying near Market and 7th but are open to anywhere that is easy to get to via public transportation or a relatively short cab ride.

We prefer bars that are not too "upscale"; more into hip, chill, affordable bars. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Robert Lauriston Feb 5, 2013 07:33 PM

    Blooms Saloon,if you can get the table in back.

    B Restaurant & Bar on top of Yerba Buena Center.

    The Ramp

    Red's Java House, not really a bar, more of a bad greasy spoon with bottled beer but it's right on the water.

    Waterbar's pretty upscale except maybe at happy hour.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Robert Lauriston
      j
      jseakoi Feb 6, 2013 12:39 AM

      Excellent! Will check these out!

    2. n
      nocharge Feb 5, 2013 11:09 PM

      For panoramic views, it's hard to beat the View at the jukebox Marriott on 4th and Mission. As for "hip" and "chill", well..., it's in a Marriott. It's not that far from where you're staying, though.

      I like Waterbar, but if you are looking for a slightly younger crowd, there is Palomino across the street. Unfortunately, some of the Bay views from the patio are partly blocked by the Waterbar building, but you can still see the Bay Bridge and the spectacular new light show if it is on.

      2 Replies
      1. re: nocharge
        j
        jseakoi Feb 6, 2013 12:43 AM

        Thanks for the heads up. I actually have stayed at that Marriott and had no idea of the jukebox! Will check it out this time!

        1. re: jseakoi
          Windy Feb 10, 2013 12:28 AM

          The jukebox refers to the architecture.

      2. hill food Feb 5, 2013 11:27 PM

        given the typical late afternoon/evening weather, rooftops are generally not advised or popular in SF. plenty of indoor ones with spectacular views and prices to match.

        wasn't there a rumor once that the Wurlitzer Marriott if one claimed to be a local gave a 10% discount (old, Herb Caen posted that story once IIRC)

        4 Replies
        1. re: hill food
          j
          jseakoi Feb 6, 2013 12:41 AM

          Makes sense given the weather.
          Do you have any recs for bars with indoor views then? I'm not a local BTW. Visiting next weekend.

          1. re: jseakoi
            hill food Feb 6, 2013 01:23 AM

            a lot of large hotels do. Top of the Mark is a classic, the Drake's Starlight is nice too but not as much. the Fairmont has one in the 'new' tower, but their basement Tonga Room is more amusing.

            the Cliff House looks out over the ocean (squint and you still won't see the Farallones). Orbit Room and The Cafe (San Marcos) offer great people watching on upper Market. and in North Beach so does Mario's and the Savoy Tivoli.

            outdoors I always liked the view of the Bay from the Ramp as Lauriston mentioned and the nearby Mission Rock Resort, though it was more fun in its grubby pre-fire(s) state(s).
            take the ferry and buy a beer or wine on board. or brown bag it and take the walking pier near the foot of Pacific out into the Bay, or up on the roof of the Crocker Galleria.

            1. re: hill food
              j
              jseakoi Feb 6, 2013 04:38 PM

              Thanks! These sound like great suggestions!

          2. re: hill food
            drewskiSF Feb 10, 2013 08:35 AM

            they had a local's discount the last time i was there maybe 10 years ago. they did ask for ID to verify.

            not sure if still the case.

          3. c
            calumin Feb 6, 2013 03:59 PM

            Is the rooftop bar at Lolinda (formerly Medjool) open yet? The old bar was really nice.

            3 Replies
            1. re: calumin
              j
              jseakoi Feb 6, 2013 04:37 PM

              I've read so many good things about Medjool...too bad it is closed. I would be curious if this new place is opened in it's place.

              1. re: jseakoi
                d
                dunstable Feb 7, 2013 11:48 AM

                Medjool was just okay. The real draw was the rooftop bar (which did have heatlamps everywhere, so it wasn't cold up there), which I guess will continue with the new place? I haven't been there a while. I don't know if it could be called hip or chill, though -- Medjool in general got to be very lively, like it may as well have been a club.

                1. re: dunstable
                  Robert Lauriston Feb 7, 2013 11:56 AM

                  There was a report a while back that Lolinda's remodeling the roof. There might be permit issues.

            2. steve h. Feb 6, 2013 04:24 PM

              Pier 23, outside in the back, has really good views of the bay. It's not fancy. Higher up the food chain is Quiver Bar (second level) at Epic Roast House. Epic is next to Waterbar.

              1 Reply
              1. re: steve h.
                j
                jseakoi Feb 6, 2013 04:38 PM

                Cool! Will check it out!

              2. k
                Keesey Feb 7, 2013 03:00 AM

                I am going to throw out Jones Bar, which is almost walkable from where you are staying (about 10 blks away). It has no real view, but it is a rooftop bar with heated lamps for typical SF cold weather. Vibe is very chill with a youngish crowd. I believe it is cash only.

                1. t
                  trespinero Feb 9, 2013 03:28 PM

                  empress of china

                  1. Windy Feb 10, 2013 12:28 AM

                    The best bars for what you're describing don't have views. Most of the hotel bars cater to 40+ tourists.

                    B restaurant above the MLK fountain at Yerba Buena (noted above) has $1 oysters for happy hour, truffle fries, and decent wine and cocktails. Nice outdoor seating if it's sunny but also very pleasant inside.

                    La Mar is expensive but on the bay. Honestly you could also just get a picnic in the Ferry Building and sit out back without buying anything. Or better yet, hop on a ferry to Larkspur or Sausalito and back. They have bars and a great view.

                    It's not alcohol but SF MoMA has a wonderful sheltered rooftop sculpture court with a Blue Bottle cafe. Requires admission.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Windy
                      hill food Feb 10, 2013 02:14 AM

                      or the ferry to Oakland. ya go under the Bay Bridge that way...

                      around '96 or so there was a BART strike and I had classes in the East Bay so I had to and loved it. if i had the time and the money i'd have done ferry every time. it's peaceful.

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