Best Lounge Bars In San Francisco

July 18, 2013 5:00 AM

When the familiar neighborhood bar simply won’t do for celebrating or having a drink with friends, head out to a spot a notch or two above the rest. Here are five lounge bars in San Francisco that definitely have some class.

Bubble Lounge
714 Montgomery St.
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 434-4204

The Bubble Lounge has built a reputation as a premium and sophisicated San Francisco champagne lounge serving over 300 champagnes and sparkling wines, hors d’oeuvres and a first-class full bar. Looking for a night out that’s a little bit special? Then look no further than the Bubble Lounge. This is a comfortable, elegant spot worthy of your attention. With happy hour events just about every evening, live music and themed events, The Bubble Lounge is definitely a step or two above the neighborhood bar scene. Truffle popcorn, mini burgers with cheeses and curried deviled eggs are just a few of the hors d’oeuvres offered that pair easily with the bubbly, fine wines and beers available here.

SIP Bar & Lounge
787 Broadway
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 699-6545

The SIP owners have created something pretty different, and in San Francisco that is difficult to do. SIP Bar & Lounge stands out for its cool class and style, combining a spacious main bar area, 16-foot ceilings, a 30-foot long bar and elevated DJ platform overlooking both levels of the venue into a classic, urban cocktail lounge and weekend nightclub. Good drinks abound and the music is definitely eclectic with crowd-pleasing selections. The big draw at SIP is it is an awesome place to throw a party or reserve for corporate events. For guests of 25 or more, the Hancock Room lounge area is offered at no rental fee with a minimum bar purchase agreement; for guests of 100+ the entire venue can be reserved at no rental fee with similar bar purchase requirements. No food is served here but may be catered in by hosts for their events. Visit the website to get further information on this unique spot that operates with its patrons’ comfort and enjoyment in mind.

Related:  Best Summertime Bars In San Francisco

Bourbon and Branch
501 Jones St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 346-1735

Housed in a former speakeasy, Bourbon and Branch has a 1920’s ambiance that comes complete with a password to enter. You will defiitely feel as if you’ve stepped back in time. The book-lined library bar continues the Prohibition era aesthetic and adds a comfy feeling as you drink some top-quality libations. The beautifully furnished Russell Room, a cigar shop in a pervious incarnation, comes complete with secret exits, de rigueur for a legitimate speakeasy. No food is served here. It’s just a swell place to chill out with friends or your special sweetie for some perfectly crafted drinks set down in a distinctively nostalgic setting. Visit the website to get a feel for the throwback appeal of the place.

1300 On Fillmore
1300 Fillmore St.
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 771-7100

Talk about class. 1300 On fillmore has it all: the look, the feel, the mood, the ambiance, the food, the everything to transport you to an era steeped in the San Francisco history-rich Fillmore Jazz District. Yet 1300 On Fillmore is modern at its core. The food by English-born, French-trained chef/owner David Lawrence is highly personal, with American Southern cuisine influences evident throughout the menus. The gospel brunch menu, lounge menu, dinner and dessert menus each shine with chef Lawrence’s touch. Happy hour at 1300 is at the bar and lounge Monday through Friday from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., when select lounge menu items are half-off. The Heritage Lounge is the draw on Friday nights at 8:30 p.m. when live music takes center stage. See the Heritage Wall in the lounge that is a visual celebration of this vibrant neighborhood, where dozens of photographs capture the district’s vibrant past in all its stirring historical incarnations.

Nihon Whiskey Lounge
1779 Folsom St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 552-4400

If you like whiskey, then the Nihon Whiskey Lounge is the place to go. Boasting one of the largest ranges of single malt whiskey in Califronia, the Nihon is as serious a venue as any true Japanese bar would be. This spot is part of the Dajani Group, the folks who also run Tsunami Sushi, Bar 821 and Cafe Abir. The food is served in the traditional Izakaya style, which means small plates, more similar to tapas. A special feature of Nihon for the whiskey lover is all bottles purchased at the lounge can be stored in a private locker at the site for future visits. You then will have your favorite drink waiting for you and served in a sexy space with a welcoming cool vibe.

Related: San Francisco’s Best Mixologist Bars

Melanie Graysmith is a writer, artist and educator based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. She is also a member of an independent filmmaking group. Her work can be found at