1. Burritt Room
Tucked away in the Mystic Hotel and next to the somewhat seedy massage parlor in Union Square, is a venue perfect for discrete conversations, hide-away meetings and lascivious lounging. With its dark wood bar, exposed brick and traditional furnishings, it's the epitome of speakeasy. However, since everyone knows how this is THE hot spot for a drink, you're going to have to share that space with about a hundred others . Nonetheless, the Study Abroad and many other custom quaffs keeps us coming back.
417 Stockton Street 2nd Fl.
2. Bourbon and Branch
This is a prohibition speakeasy to the T with it's password required for entry. Its location on the corner of troubling Tenderloin and trendy Union Square gives it just the right mix of credibility. Once inside there's rooms upon rooms of secret nooks. Feeling more social, go to the Library next door or perhaps at Wilson and Wilson for some low key mixology magic. This place is definitely a stand out place for a well made cocktail.
501 Jones Street
For a muddling night, for once they muddle the fruit into your drink, it gets a bit hazy after three or four of these dangerously delicious creations, one needs to hit up Rye. Their Basil Gimlet is worth the trip here alone. Well that and they're smoker friendly with a special section just for smokers! The owners know how a good Brandy always should be accompanied by a good Cuban. Great scene to enjoy a cocktail and build up the confidence to talk to someone new.
688 Geary St
4. 25 Lusk
Pick your base flavor and add a top note, shake, stir or swirl for 10 seconds then viola, your custom made quaff is ready for consumption here at 25 Lusk. Known for it's beautiful lounge and tasty treats, 25 Lusk is the one of the best scenes here in SF. Tucked away in a nondescript alley in SoMa, the swanky crowd keeps coming back for the Dark & Stormy and other great bar offerings.
25 Lusk Alley
5. Bar Agricole
An Indian summertime favorite with it's concrete slab patio, Bar Agricole is a place to have a perfectly muddled mojito or some small plates for snacking. Despite it's name, it's more of a restaurant with a great bar than a bar that serves food. Nonetheless, we find the magnificently complicated cocktails create an oasis in an otherwise rather industrial area so it's up in our top 5. We strongly recommend the Presidente and the Hanky Panky.
355 11th Street