The Western Addition contains a wealth of both daytime and nightlife attractions. This diverse neighborhood has everything from classy dining establishments to cheap and simple dive bars. From craft cocktails and gourmet plates to a tall glass of beer and a basket of nachos, the Western Addition is a must-visit for drinks and eats in the city.
If you can manage to snag a seat at this amazing two-story bar and restaurant, consider yourself lucky, as NOPA is the most popular establishment in the Western Addition. It once employed Neyah White, a nationally famous resident bartender. Although Mr. White is no longer working there, NOPA provides weekly classes and tastings for both mixology and culinary fanatics. Remember, NOPA is a neighborhood favorite, so you can expect it to be packed every night.
The name of the bar, indeed, reflects the tight quaint quarters of Mini Bar. Specializing in mostly beer and wine, their assortment of hard liquor and cocktails is also quite impressive.The bartenders recommend the ‘old fashioned’ and their delicious ‘black Manhattan‘. You can choose to sit at the bar or in the lounge areas in both the front and rear sections of the venue, which is adorned with local art. Locally owned and operated, its patrons are also true San Franciscans who love their bar and welcome all.
The Page, San Francisco | Courtesy of Vinyl Coffee and Wine Bar
On the corner of Page and Divisadero, The Page stands with its beautiful red wooden doors. Stepping inside, you’ll find it contains that classic bar vibe, walls with old oak paneling and eclectic decorations throughout the room. Although they don’t specialize in cocktails, they do have ‘Piney The Elder’, an incredibly refreshing but heavy ale that is guaranteed to get you dancing on the pool tables. The crowd and staff are probably some of the most friendly people you will meet. The bartenders certainly have a sense of humor, and they only have a few requests for their patrons: ‘We don’t serve mojitos’ and ‘Please don’t play Rush’s 2112 on the jukebox.’
Bar, Pizzeria, Restaurant, Pub Grub, American, $$$
Bar 821 | Courtesy of Shannon McLean
When people think of Fly Bar, they think of the quintessential San Francisco bar. Giant beautiful murals cover the walls and a quote by Hunter S. Thompson in giant bold letters rests over the bar reading, ‘Good people drink good beer.’ Grab yourself a big plate of the nachos and a tall glass of their locally brewed sour beer. Fly Bar is also the longest running bar in the Western Addition, having been open for more than 15 years.
Check out Bar Crudo for an fancy atmosphere, with its a wide selection of fresh seafood, ice cold white wine and beer. Go for the smooth and refreshing assyrtiko white wine along with a half dozen raw kusshi oysters on a half shell. The cocktail sauce they use is a mixture of garlic, vinegar, and ketchup. Although it may lean toward the pricier side, it’s worth visiting at happy hour from 5:30pm to 6:00pm for great prices on oysters. You have to act fast though!
Madrone Art Bar falls into the ‘divey’ category of bars in the Western Addition. However, it is still a neighborhood favorite with an exhibit or event scheduled just about every day. Be sure to visit on ‘Motown Monday’, a modern twist to old Motown music, as it’s sure to be a memorable time. Be prepared to sweat those Monday blues away with a refreshing mule.
Bistro Gambrinus specializes in Eastern European imported beer and food. The quaint little pub is a perfect place for any college student or sports fan to come sit and grab a drink after class or to watch the game. The sausages go well with any of the Belgian, Czech, and German beers. Located right down the road from University of San Francisco (USF) on Fulton, the bistro’s owner, Neil, has a drink special for USF students.
Barrel Head Brewhouse is a two-story bar-restaurant with more than 40 beers on tap! Start off with the ‘flight du jour’ and get a sample of some of their house brewed drinks, freshly poured from their decommissioned torpedo tap. Stall your hunger with some their tasty bar entrées, such as the ‘barrel beef burger’, or the ‘seared tombo tuna’. Come in after work or school for their happy hour Monday-Friday from 4:30pm-6pm. Sit at the gorgeously smooth wooden table or bar and take a load off.
It’s not what you think. The Corner Store isn’t like your local bodegaesque corner shop where you can buy groceries and cigarettes. The Corner Store is a casual Americana-style restaurant and bar with comfort food and fountain-style mixed drinks. At night, sit at the bar and order a couple rounds of the ‘she’s right behind me, isn’t she?’ or their amazing ‘Corner Store float’, a mixture of bourbon, root liqueur, root beer, and vanilla ice cream. Then, come in the next day during brunch hours to nurse that hangover with some house-made chicken gravy and biscuits. Make sure you get there early or make a reservation because it’s bound to be packed.
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