15 Romolo Place
San Francisco, CA 94133
Amidst the bustle that is North Beach, 15 Romolo is tucked away in an alley that a passerby could easily miss. Known for its handmade, artisanal concoctions, 15 Romolo has become a staple in the San Francisco cocktail scene. But it takes its bar bites just as seriously. Made with seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients, 15 Romolo’s menu is self-described as carnival fare. Think of your favorite fair foods but with an upgraded, more sophisticated taste. Check out the fresh-cut fries served with madras curry catsup and fancy ranch or the pork sliders made with michelada braised pork, dino kale slaw and yuzu/dill aioli. Starting this summer, 15 Romolo is introducing Fat Thursdays, when it will offer a host of fat-inspired cocktails and food – including dishes like duck-fat fries. If you are a vegetarian, have no fear, 15 Romolo offers meatless options as well.
(Azúcar Lounge’s Papas Con Rajas / Credit: Jenna Broughton)
229 9th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
Azúcar Lounge is the relatively new kid on the block having just opened at the end of 2011. It has assembled a list of creative cocktails made with fresh ingredients and a food menu featuring Mexican-inspired street fare. Azúcar offers a selection of tacos including the papas con rajas (potato tacos) which is a savory and fresh mixture of potato, poblano, queso fresco and pico de gallo. The zucchini, cheddar-jack cheese and bean quesadilla is served with a chipotle creama and is the perfect match to any of the handmade cocktails. If you are looking for a deal, check out Taco Tuesday, which features $4 margaritas and all-you-can-eat tacos for $10. The tacos start with seasoned ground beef and are married with the house blend of herbs and vegetables. Vegetarian and vegan options are available as well.
(Biergarten’s Deviled Eggs / Credit: Jenna Broughton)
424 Octavia St
San Francisco, CA 94102
Large outdoor dining areas are a rarity in San Francisco, but the Biergarten in Hayes Valley is helping fill that gap. From the owners of Suppenküche, the Biergarten features six German beers on tap that rotate on a regular basis. It also offers a focused menu of traditional German fare made from locally-sourced ingredients. Revelers can sip on half liters or full liters of beer while dining on doughy, salty pretzels or bratwursts with tangy sauerkraut. The pickled deviled eggs are a fun twist on a classic dish and visually stunning with their bright purple color from having been dipped in beet juice. With hearty fare and a lively atmosphere, it is no wonder why the Biergarten continuously fills up every weekend.
1398 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94117
Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery in the Haight District has been brewing up its award-winning beers since 1997. Today, it offers 13 to 17 beers on draught and cask that are brewed in house. It also offers a playful, classic pub fare with a creative twist. Magnolia features housemade sausages like the rabbit currywurst served with duck-fat fingerlings and sandwiches like the P.B.L.T. with pork belly, lettuce, tomato, bacon aioli and cheddar all on sliced pan de mie. Magnolia prides itself on getting its meat and produce from sustainable farms and ranches. Every Thursday, the pub features heavily-dredged fried chicken and $4 pints. It also offers brunch on Saturday and Sunday starting at 10 a.m.
(Taverna Aventine’s Burrata / Credit: Jenna Broughton)
582 Washington St
San Francisco, CA 94111
Among the suits that inhabit the Financial District sits Taverna Aventine, the Cal-Italian eatery and bar. The building is steeped in history with its foundation made up of a 150-year-old seawall, which marks the site of the infamous Barbary Coast. While the core of Taverna Aventine may be old, it embodies modern elegance. The food and drink menu personifies those same qualities with classic cocktails and dishes with a contemporary twist. Here, popcorn gets a new flavor profile with the addition of parmesan, parsley and truffle. The creamy burrata with baby arugula, shaved fennel, marinated tomatoes with cherry balsamic and black lava salt paired with crispy crostini marries simple clean flavors with the decadence of the cheese. With so many options, take a friend and order several plates to share.