This award-winning cafe, tea house, bar, restaurant, venue, and gallery is one of Uptown's most happening spots.
Dive bars can run the gamut from grimy to homey, from imposing to welcoming. Baggy's by the Lake certainly lands on the friendly side of the continuum, but its charms never threaten its dive-bar cred. Twentysomethings and old-timers rub elbows enthusiastically at this Eastlake joint, where the drinks are cheap, the decor is as classy as it is gaudy, and the bartenders (and fellow customers) are just friends you haven't met yet.
Complete with bamboo walls and other tropical-themed embellishments, the San Francisco tiki bar offers a multitude of brain-freezing, hangover-inducing drinks. You might recoil at the thought of imbibing an entire flaming volcano bowl, but the next day you'll marvel at how you somehow downed two of the massive cocktails.
Owned by an elderly couple who still tend bar, this is damn near the definition of a neighborhood dive: drinks are dirt-cheap, the clientele is composed of an eclectic groups of regulars, and the entertainment includes a pool table, TVs, and a legendarily cheap jukebox — or you could just pass the time people-watching.
Another example of the emergent lounge-bar-hybrid breed. It's got the energy of a dive, but with an auspiciously non-sticky floor and a lovingly curated playlist. Its house-made tonic makes for a delicious gin and tonic.
Located on the lobby level of the InterContinental San Francisco, the grappa bar has more than 120 selections of the specially distilled brandy, plus grappa-based cocktails and other wines, beers, and spirits.
The self-professed "spirits-driven meat sanctuary" in Oakland's Uptown district will surely satisfy your cocktail and cured-meat craving with an array of delicious offerings, from hearty meat and cheese platters to a ginger-y cocktail with house-made ginger syrup.
Located in Oakland’s Rockridge neighborhood, Barclay's is popular for its extensive food menu and thirty beers on tap. Its outdoor patio is pet-friendly and often crowded on warm evenings. Inside, darts and TVs keep drinkers occupied.
The Barrel Room, which has a sister location in San Francisco, pairs more than fifty wines with dishes such as tea-smoked duck breast with arugula and Satsuma tangerines.
A favorite among students, The Beanery serves up coffee drinks, pastries, bagels, ice cream, and whatever else you need to power through a long study session. During finals, it's as quiet as a library. Ample tables and power outlets, and free wifi.
Housed in a renovated brick warehouse in the heart of SOMA, the club hosts a regular mix of live shows, dancing, and other events, from gay dance parties to line dancing.
Characterized by its checkerboard Formica floor, sparkly walls, and hot pink facade, this vintage-style (the bar actually opened in 1998) Mission District salon has all the accouterments of an actual beauty bar, including rubber-stooled dryer chairs (the ones with those space-helmets designed to incubate your new perm) and, if youre lucky, a cute hipster manicurist to paint your nails. Not to mention the drinks are reasonably priced, especially for San Francisco. Beauty Bar gets packed on the weekends (and some weekdays) when rotating DJs come to spin hip-hop, funk, pop, and classics.
Oakland's emerging beer renaissance finds a firm foothold at Beer Revolution, located near Jack London Square. Inside, a bevy of beers on tap includes local selections, Belgian and German styles, and microbrews from across the country. Perhaps even more impressive are the large coolers lined up against the wall opposite the bar, stocked with four hundred of the world's finest and rarest brews. Take one to go or enjoy it on the sunny front patio for a $1 corkage fee.