Best of SF: 3 Distinctive Heart-of-Town Bars

By Kindred SF Homes

Reading time: 2 minutes

San Francisco loves to drink and has since back in its “wild west” days. In a town filled with students, young professionals and tourists, there are countless bars to choose from on any given day, each offering something different than the others. Here are three bars in particular which stand out as having particularly great atmospheres and drink selections: WhiteChapel, Elixir Bar/Soda Shop and Linden and Laguna. They’re all located pretty near a BART or MUNI stop, and more or less in the hub of San Francisco.

  1. Whitechapel: The bar itself is newish but it has quite a following because of its excellent service and wide variety of drinks. It was named by Esquire magazine as one of the 18 Best Bars in America. You can enjoy house-original libations like a “Critical Darling” or a “Dover Strait Sling.” The entire bar is done in a themed manner which makes it feel like you’re stepping into Victorian London when you walk in. The main room is dimly lit with candles, the music has an old English vibe, and the drinks are served in teacups. They have almost any type of beverage available at their full bar but they are best known for their flavored martinis. It’s a classic Tenderloin watering hole!
  2. Elixir: This opened up during Prohibition so customers could still get their favorite spirits without being arrested by authorities. It used to be connected to a pharmacy that was operating legally during Prohibition so they incorporated many of the elixirs and potions from that establishment into their bar. The Elixir Bar is decorated in early American decor, has live music throughout the week, plus tastings and classes. Their drinks are well crafted with unique flavors. Now open again 7 days a week and centrally located just off Market Street where the Mission, Duboce Triangle, lower Haight and the Castro meet.
  3. Linden and Laguna: L&L is an inviting wine and beer bar located in a cozy space formerly occupied by businesses offering ice cream, baked goods and art – for the last 100+ years. The curbside seating will make you feel like you’re lingering outside a Parisian café, and the selection of wine is ever-changing and varied. Good bar food, too! Before or after your visit, stroll along Hayes Street for more shopping or dining.

You’ll feel like you’ve really been somewhere, when you visit any of these fine San Francisco bars. Cheers! Vashe Zdorov’ye! Ganbei!

Photo Credit: Ash Edmonds


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