This tea shop offers a wide variety of tea and related accessories. It stocks single estate, loose-leaf teas from around the world. The service is friendly and focuses on the rituals and traditions associated with tea. Far Leaves is a great place to sit, sip, and talk. No wi-fi.
"Community in a cup" is the mantra at Farley's, a cozy coffee hub with a local art gallery and a plethora of magazines awaiting your bleary-eyed perusal. The food menu includes plenty of classy salads — pine nuts, arugula, and goat cheese are just a few of the ingredients — and paninis both hot and cold. There's even a store with beans and Farley's T-shirts. Free wi-fi.
Talk about old-school: The Fat Lady's building dates back to the 1870s, and the bar has been in the same family since it was bought, refurbished, and reopened in 1970. It's now outfitted with well-chosen knickknacks — Tiffany lamps, stained glass, a sign rescued from the Fox Theater during its revitalization — and as far as the clientele goes, it's filled with whatever the human equivalent of well-chosen knickknacks is. Try the Mafioso (American Honey Bourbon, St. George's Firelit Coffee Liqueur, and steamed milk, $9 — looks like a root beer float and tastes like an alcoholic espresso).
A more drinks-oriented, offshoot of next-door neighbor Flora, Fauna is, much like its forebear, well-appointed, art deco-inspired, and committed to using fresh ingredients in interesting ways — though in this case, in a slightly more casual, though no less attractive, setting.
The family-owned sports bar has thirteen flat-screen TVs and three huge projector screens for an all-encompassing sports experience on game days. There's plenty of promise in this Alameda bar. Namely, promises of pizza, pool playing, free Wi-fi, and a daily happy hour from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
This enduring Alameda bar has a wide selection of local craft beers, cocktails made from fresh-squeezed juices, and supposedly one of the longest wooden bars on the island. Shoot pool or enjoy tacos and trivia on Tuesdays. If you reserve your barhopping ventures for the weekends, every Saturday is 80's night, with DJ's, drinks specials, and general dance floor debauchery.
Turns out, the Hotel at Shattuck Plaza has not only a rock-solid restaurant, but a bang-up — if slightly mannered — bar space as well. Drinks are well-made and undeniably thought-out — you'll be hard-pressed to find a cocktail here with fewer than five ingredients — but it's a pleasant place for an after-work or post-theater cocktail.
This tony uptown SF club caters to the corporate crowd: On quieter nights, the dance floor is crowded with people gabbing on cell phones, sending dispatches via Blackberry, and generally acting like they have someplace better to be. Still, most of the events at Fluid have a hip-hop or house edge. With its ice-blue lighting, wraparound bar, and smattering of VIP booths (all cordoned off with four-foot faux champagne tumblers), Fluid combines opulence with spare, hyper-modern decor. Located two blocks from Montgomery BART station, across the street from SFMOMA.
Forbidden Island is a tiki bar at its best, offering everything it takes to capture that elusive blend of island kitsch, pure spectacle, and festive mood: a nautical wood interior, gaudy cocktails, a jukebox crammed with vintage Martin Denny and Frankie Laine tunes, and a tropical lanai for outdoor guzzling. It’s apparently the only tiki bar in America that makes fresh fruit juice in-house every day, and there are appetizers of the deep-fried variety. Entertainment includes live surf-rock bands and dance parties with DJs.
Foxes is a fifteen-minute walk from South Hayward BART. This club is equipped with pinball, pool, dartboards, video games, and ample parking. Play pool for free (with a two-drink minimum) every Monday and Wednesday. There’s an open mic on Thursdays and R&B and hip-hop with DJ Supa K every Friday.
This cafe, located in the heart of the UC Berkeley campus, gives students a place to study and interact with their peers. The space hosts various exhibits that fit in with the cafe's emphasis on political activism, sure to stimulate study-break conversation.