Bourbon And Branch (credit: Chris Rochelle/Chow.com)
For those looking to take their nightlife up to the next level, speakeasies are an excellent alternative to the everyday neighborhood bar. Popular with both tourists and locals alike, San Francisco has a broad selection of Prohibition-era speakeasies. Options abound for everyone from those looking to plan an intimate evening for two, to those planning large mixed gatherings. Here is a list of 5 of San Francisco’s best speakeasy bars.
501 Jones St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
Located in the Tenderloin, Bourbon and Branch is one of San Francisco’s most well-known speakeasies. Situated on a site that has been home to some sort of bar dating all the way back to the 1860s, Bourbon and Branch pulls out all the stops to celebrate the speakeasy era. Beginning with a non-descript doorway and password-required entry, all the way to a newly-opened hidden bar-beneath-the-bar, B&B patrons flock here for an authentic speakeasy experience. Excellent selection of bourbon and whiskey cocktails, rums and tequilas. Reservations are recommended for those looking to explore the full menu.
360 Jessie St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
Named after British singer-songwriter and former flame of the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger, Marianne’s is a secret back-room bar behind San Francisco restaurant The Cavalier. Accessible only through an alley, this hidden speakeasy is frequented by many Bay Area tech startup founders looking to seal the next deal. When not reserved for private events the intimate lounge makes for a perfect secluded date spot, with comfortable couches and a delicious gin punch. Call ahead for reservations and availability.
256 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133
North Beach’s The Devil’s Acre is a throw-back speakeasy open 6 days a week from Tuesdays through Sundays. Everything about the décor screams vintage speakeasy, from the cozy atmosphere to the old-timey menus. Libations range from Barbary Coast and prohibition-era classics to sophisticated bourbon and soda elixirs. Weekend table reservations are recommended.
679 3rd St.
San Francisco, CA 94107
Located just around the corner from AT&T Park, the Alchemist Bar and Lounge is the perfect melding of old speakeasy and modern style. From the steampunk ambiance to the East-West fusion cocktails, the large open space offers plenty of room to gather for a few drinks with friends. Cocktails are $11 each and the menu includes a variety of gin, bourbon, and tequila libations. Also available are several beers and wines by the glass.
1195 Evans Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94124
Best known for their on-site brewed stylish bottled beers such as Big Daddy IPA and Prohibition Ale, San Francisco’s Speakeasy Ales and Lagers also has old-world feeling tap room. Guests congregate in the dark and mysterious bar area to partake of the 12 beers on tap and to enjoy the company of the bar’s resident black cat. Various sized bottles of favorite samplings are available to purchase for take home sipping. The tap room is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.