Food and Drink

Our 50 favorite San Francisco bars -- all on one page!

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From splashy dives to upscale classics (and everything in between) — our favorite spots to grab a drink

This week's cover story in the paper highlights 50 great bars we love (along with 30 honorable mentions and 10 East Bay favorites). That's a lot of pages on the Internet! here it all is on one handy page -- grab a drink and scroll with us to watering hole bliss. (You can also flip through the digital edition of the paper here.)

PS For this list we concentrated specifically on bars (including those at restaurants and hotels), leaving you to judge the cocktails at music venues and dance clubs on their own merits.

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The G50: San Francisco's top bars

From splashy dives to upscale classics (and everything in between) — our favorite spots to grab a drink

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Up the game

Dodging death and seeking BBQ on Mission Street

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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS K-3PO lives right in the neighborhood and claims to have played ping-pong with me in the '90s. He also claims to have photographed my old band, and on this score I believe him.

We write at the same coffee shop. Right now, for example, I'm writing about him and he's sitting across the room from me, either oblivious or not. Who knows?

He doesn't have a cell phone. He has a weekly planner, with a black cover.

"Remember these?" he said, trying to make a dinner plan with me.Read more »

From the counter: Shots from Reformation Foods' pop-up dinner

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"This should be put in a frame and hung on the wall," said our table mate Jo. The food really did look like pieces of fine art. Chef Keven Wilson has an eye for color. He said he even has a painting in his home that he made using spoons as the brushes. A true chef-artist! We were all gathered around a kitchen counter in a large Victorian in the Mission for a Sunday evening five-course tasting menu that used local, fresh ingredients. Read more »

Bowled over

Move over New Orleans -- Front Porch has the best shrimp and grits

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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS It started when our friend Stringbean texted that their mom and pop were going to New Orleans, where should they tell them to eat? Hedgehog was preparing a long, thorough, annotated email response while I texted back one word: Bacchanal. And then we both looked at each other and started to cry.Read more »

Latin highs

A new chef livens up beloved Italian tradition Oliveto, and sexy Gitane intensifies its regional Spanish focus

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE Nothing replaces actually experiencing a cuisine served in its place of origin, but regional dinners are one way of traveling vicariously (and, perhaps, with less of a carbon footprint).Read more »

Beer Week rolls out the barrel

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With much fanfare, the San Francisco Brewers Guild annual SF Beer Week popped its cork at the Concourse last Friday night, and the Bay Area has been awash in a tsunami of beer ever since.

Unable to attend the grand gala opening celebration, I got the lowdown from beer-tasting buddy Cee Jay, who took a few for the team in his quest for the perfect snifter of suds and got him to wax eloquent on Sierra Nevada’s new line of barrel-aged beers (“The barrel-aged Bigfoot is the tastiest brew I’ve had in a long time,” he gushed) and weigh in on the collaboratively-brewed Brewers Guild malt liquor Green Death -- a brew apparently inspired by one of my secret nostalgic faves Rainer ale, a dubious beverage I have fond albeit very fuzzy memories of. One this subject Cee Jay vacillated between calling it “well-balanced” yet possessed of a “split personality,” code words for “he don’t like it” (decide for yourself at the “Meet the Brewers” event at Speakeasy on February 13).

As I peruse the schedule for the week ahead, all I can say is “thank goodness beer week lasts 10 days”. Because otherwise I don’t know how I’d fit in all the beers that sound too good to pass up.

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Celebrate Black History Month with four days of sf|noir food and drink

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This month, you can observe Black History Month by attending a filmmaking discussion, a childrens dance class, by going to a lecture at USF -- check out this and this event rundown for inspiration. And given how food-oriented we are as a region, it was only natural that eventually you'd be able to eat and drink while celebrating African American heritage, not to mention the black culinary geniuses that add to it here in the Bay. 

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Can Yan noodle?

Martin Yan's M.Y. China and the upscale Hakkasan add to the Chinese scene

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE Style-over-substance at popular restaurants grew old in my Los Angeles days. A pretty package matters little if food isn't excellent. In SF, we tend towards the other direction. Thank goodness for places like Gitane, Bix, Foreign Cinema, which manage both — a little style is welcome. With the entry of two new, upscale Chinese restaurants, we get style aplenty. One, the international Hakkasan chain, feels oh-so LA or NY, and the other, M.Y. China, is inside a mall (very Southern California) from famed chef Martin Yan.Read more »

Ride 'em

Real cowboys, tons of bees, and Thai House 530
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS "It's amazing how Ohio still exists," said Shawn Shine out of the blue. I think it was in Salt Lake City that an old woman, on her birthday, referred to him and my brother Phenomenon as "a couple of real cowboys" — and this made their day.Read more »