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South of Market (SoMa) is a sprawling neighborhood that’s home to industrial warehouses, tech start-ups, AT&T Park and some of the best bars and restaurants in San Francisco. Here, you’ll find speakeasies, cocktail lounges and sports bars that are all perfect for a drink or two.
Once upon a time (when Edison bulbs were still a thing), Bloodhound might have been considered a hipster destination, but today it’s just a solid not-quite-dive bar with hunting lodge-inspired decor that caters to people who work and live in the neighborhood. The cocktail menu is solid, but not complicated; it’s the beer list, which focuses on obscure local beers (most of which are pretty hoppy), where things get interesting. Grab a pint and play a game of pool or kick back in one of the comfortable leather chairs by the front windows.
This is one of the oldest bars in San Francisco (it’s been here since 1908) and is referred to as the place “where time stands still.” That’s partly because there are no clocks inside The House of Shields (never have been), but also because so many of the original details, like the ornate chandeliers, cozy booths, ceramic floor tiles and rich walnut walls, were recently restored to their former glory. The dimly lit bar is popular with people craving a classic cocktail after work, but in this case, “after work” is regular business hours in addition to the night hours when industry folks clock out late and look for a drink or two to help them wind down before last call.
Soaring ceilings, a long marble bar, exposed brick, sexy lighting – Mourad takes glamor to a level rarely seen in San Francisco. The Moroccan restaurant also has a phenomenal and thoughtful cocktail menu with many of the tinctures and syrups made in house (most of the drinks have feature around ingredients). The wine list is also a (somewhat pricey) sight to behold and offers selections from California wine country, classics from Europe and more.
Tempest is the go-to SoMa dive bar for everyone from bike messengers to tech workers who want to watch the game, shoot some pool and fill up on some good grub in a laid-back space in a ‘hidden’ alley off Sixth Street. It’s the kind of a place where you order a shot and a beer (the menu even has several specific combos) until you decide that mac and cheese egg rolls (which you’ll get at the food window right outside) sound like the best idea ever.