Traveling to new places can be daunting, especially when you are looking for a place to eat or drink. I have found Yelp to be fairly reliable, depending on the location, but it can still present too many choices. One way to narrow things down is to look for local blogs or newspapers listing newly opened venues. In preparation for my trip to California this week, I found a great list of nine newly opened bars in Eater. Most of the picks are co-located with food, so you’ll find more than spirits. Here are a few spots to try out if you’re looking to be sipping in San Francisco.
If you know anything about running a restaurant, you know that it can be a tough business. Changing tastes and new spots opening weekly leads to a ton of competition. But, when you find quality, good design, and friendly staff you have a winner. Marlowe has been in business since 2010 and continues to place on top lists for restaurants in San Francisco.
When I visited, I had the “Butcher’s Mistress” (cava, cardamaro, prickly pear, lime) and the ricotta donuts with raspberry preserves. A great way to start any weekend morning.
If you find yourself near the Financial District of San Francisco on a Sunday night, you might struggle to find a spot open for dinner. Lucky for you, Nommo not only has great cocktails but is also newly open for dinner on Sunday nights. I really only wanted a snack, but the portions were generous. The Ceasar Salad with little gem lettuces, sourdough croutons, fresh parmesan, and radish was particularly good, along with the brown sugar and bbq spiced mixed nuts.
I’ve been getting into mezcal lately. So much so, that I am trying to convince Brian that we should go to Oaxaca, Mexico in December. Nommo has a new cocktail on its menu called the Pelon. Made with mezcal, vermouth bianco, pineapple gum, and lime, it is sweet, tart, and smoky. It made for a nice pre-dinner drink.
The pisco sours are so good, you really ought to get yourself a refill.
Opening in 2002, Peruvian restaurant Limón is operated by three brothers. They’ve continued to expand beyond their original location in the Mission District. They now have six restaurants with the same name including one in the San Francisco airport and one in Hawaii. Their authentic cuisine is worth the trip. I enjoyed the amazing ceviche and a beet and potato salad.
Drinks and Dessert
If you are looking for a quiet hideaway for a nightcap and dessert, you need to find Per Diem. I had the Eva Perron: Fernet-Branca, ginger beer, lime, Domaine de Canton, and Carpano Antica. The pot de chocolate is not to be missed.
Admittedly, I visited ELEMENTS Bar & Lounge at ONE65 because of a photo I saw of this drink in an article. I wanted to take my own picture and figure out how the glass stayed on the branch it was served on. In person, the All Bark & No Bite (five amari blend, carpano blanco, Rittenhouse rye) was quite delicious. And the glass must be blown with the branch as it fits together like a glove. The bar menu riffs off the four elements (air, wind, earth, fire). This drink falls in the Earth category.
On your way back down to the ground floor, it’s hard to ignore the alluring Patisserie & Boutique in the lobby. From classic French favorites like macarons to hand-made truffles, the options are practically endless. They also bake breads daily and serve wine and coffees.
So, those are my recommendations for where to be sipping in San Francisco. I’d love to hear what you’ve been sipping lately. Cheers!