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Plan Your Trip to San Francisco: Best of San Francisco Tourism

About San Francisco
San Francisco may be small by big city standards, but it packs a lot into its seven-mile-by-seven-mile grid. Each neighbourhood has its own identity, its own vibe, and even its own weather. Spend an afternoon in Haight-Ashbury, where indie bookshops and craft breweries sit next to tie-dye boutiques and vintage shops. Or take a cable car to Chinatown, known as much for dim sum and tea rooms as it is for upscale restaurants and dive bars. There's no shortage of nature here, either. You can hike in the Presidio, play volleyball at Ocean Beach, or sprawl out on Marina Green and take in the Golden Gate views. The food scene is constantly evolving, though staples like Mission-style burritos and the chicken at Zuni Cafe aren't going anywhere. There’s always something new to do, and we’ve got more recs, below.

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Essential San Francisco

How to do San Francisco in 3 days

Scenic views, artsy vibes, and a diverse food scene
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Traveller Guides

The best cocktail bars and breweries in San Francisco

From the miners to the beatniks, the hippies to the techies, San Francisco is a place people have been coming to reinvent themselves for more than a century. And those reinventions have often been fuelled by creative ways to drink. So it should be no surprise that this culturally rich city has plenty of great bars and inventive cocktails worth your time and attention.
Robert K, Las Vegas, NV
  • Trick Dog
    69
    The cocktail menu changes every six months at this eclectic bar in the Mission. The drinks are wildly imaginative, using a combination of unique ingredients with relatively common spirits. If you're hungry, the kitchen puts an elevated spin on familiar snacks with the chicken nuggets and the Trick Dog (a hamburger on a hotdog bun) available to fill you up.
  • Li Po Cocktail Lounge
    82
    This Chinatown dive bar earned legendary status after some well-deserved praise by Anthony Bourdain. It’s got a lineup of colourful libations that complement the overhead paper lanterns. Li Po is famous for the deceptively strong Chinese Mai Tai, which has an officially trademarked name and a recipe that's top secret, although rum and some sort of herbal liqueur appear to to be the key ingredients.
  • Barebottle Brewing Company
    89
    Barebottle Brewing, one of the more adventurous players in the craft beer scene, brings some welcome social energy to Bernal Heights with regular live music and long tables to accommodate special events and large parties. The brews change frequently with the season, crafted with inspiration from local ingredients. A food truck is usually parked outside and you can always take a turn at shuffleboard or an arcade game between sips of beer.
  • House Of Shields
    53
    House of Shields has a strong legacy in San Francisco, dating back to 1908 and operating as a speakeasy during Prohibition for guests at the Palace Hotel. You can feel the history in the space with much of the original decor preserved and restored with timeless wood paneling, vintage chandeliers and an old-school neon marquee out front. The bartenders apply subtle modifications to classic cocktails and are always ready to accommodate special requests.
  • LUMA Hotel San Francisco
    613
    A drink is always better with a great view, and Cavaña is one of the most enchanting rooftop bars in Mission Bay with a perch on the 17th floor of the LUMA Hotel. The outdoor patio is a great vantage point, overlooking the Bay, Oracle Park and the city skyline, but the ambitious cocktail menu is equally worthy of your attention, taking inspiration from South American flavours with food bites to match.
  • Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar
    260
    This Nob Hill Tiki bar surrounding an indoor swimming pool takes kitsch to new levels with its “lagoon”, faux rainstorms (accompanied by a crack of thunder) and a floating boat that doubles as a live music stage. In true Tiki style, the drinks are fruity, but strong and pair well with the pan-Asian cuisine.
  • Fort Point Beer Co.
    19
    Fort Point was founded by a pair of friends who bonded over a love of homebrewing and turned their passion into the largest independent craft brewery in San Francisco. The company's first taproom is in the iconic Ferry Building on the waterfront near the Bay Bridge. Try the signature KSA Kölsch Style Ale first and take it from there. A second taproom welcomes guests on Valencia Street in the Mission district.
  • The Riptide
    8
    The Riptide isn't the fanciest place in San Francisco, but gives the Outer Sunset neighbourhood a dive bar to call its own near the beach. Beer and basic cocktails are the specialties with a variety of live music and bingo nights to pass the time. The Riptide opened in 1941 and little has changed over the years, especially the stone fireplace. No food, but guests are welcome to bring over a slice from neighbouring Brothers Pizza.
  • Rye
    43
    As the name suggests, Rye is a bar that loves its whiskey with an excellent selection of brown spirits and knowledgeable bartenders ready with a stiff pour. A dark and moody escape, Rye is something of an industry clubhouse with rugged brick and wood decor in an area between Lower Nob Hill and Tenderloin. The Basil Gimlet is my longtime favourite, but you'll love any variation on an Old Fashioned your bartender has in mind.

Explore San Francisco by interest

Soak up wine country

Doable day trips to Napa and Sonoma

Dragon Gate to dim sum

What to eat, see, and do in Chinatown

Pack your sneakers

Scenic hikes and walking tours

Show your pride

LGBTQ bars, performances, and more

Fam-friendly fun

Activities for the children (and children at heart)

San Francisco Is Great For

Day trips around the Bay Area and Wine Country

Digging into incredible Asian eats

Urban hikes you won’t find anywhere else

Letting Your Pride Flag Fly