As the top place to go after the ballet, symphony or opera (it’s located about a block away), the crowd is always quite dressy and festive. The crowds come for the stiff drinks (The Sazerac martini is so well known that the drinks have their own published book!) and delicious French bistro offerings like Coq au Vin, roasted beet salad, of course the French onion soup. A great way to finish off the night would be to nibble of their cheese plate with a nightcap.
398 Hayes Street
With the kitchen still serving until 1AM, this has been a go-to place for those in the restaurant industry as well as night owls alike. Going late night is optimal since their reservations during prime dining time often book out weeks in advance. The focus on excellent in season ingredients creates a ever-changing menu full of delectable European-Mediterranean flavored dishes. Some of the crowd favorites are the burger, house made pappardelle pasta and one of the juiciest porkchops. For those who hang out so late that it starts getting light out, NOPA also has one of the best brunches in SF.
560 Divsadero Street
Coming here late night is the best since on average there’s an hour or two long wait on Friday nights for a table (this is what happens when a place does not do reservations!) Squeeze in during the quieter (although the crowd tends to be more raucous then) time and enjoy some of the best pizzas, spicy meatballs and gnocchi of SF. This is a great place to finish off the night since their mixologists are at the top of their game and always creating new seasonal drinks.
1199 Valencia Street
4. The Brazen Head
No night out in Marina would be complete without some heavy English/Irish pub fare to help sober up. The dark wooden décor gives off such a traditional honest feeling that one can’t help but enjoy the rustic but well crafted dishes like the must have French onion soup and burger. Without a sign outside, this has been secret of local SFers for a long time.
3166 Buchanan Street
5. The Alembic
For those in search of the perfect nightcap, the Alembic prides itself on its hand crafted cocktails. But the kitchen stands up on its own with some small plates such as the duck hearts, a rhubarb, artichoke heart and sunchoke salad or perhaps the pork sliders. The roasted bone marrow has become legendary. The decadent dessert menu with its knockout caramelized brioche is worth ingesting all those empty calories after 10PM.
1725 Haight Street