Let’s face it: It’s easy to get stuck in a sad desk lunch rut. Or to get sick of your favorite coffee shop you stop by every day before work. Or to frantically search for a happy hour bar that you haven’t been to a dozen times before. Fortunately, knowing where to eat and drink in San Francisco is a talent we’ve become known for — and we’re here to help. The good news is that even within a half hour from your office, you’re in the perfect radius for great bars, restaurants, fast-casual lunches, and coffee shops nearby. If you find yourself in need of some new restaurant inspiration on a slow work day, reference this list of our favorites near you — you can thank us later.Read More
Where to Eat and Drink Near Your Financial District Office
Iron Horse Cocktails
Paying tribute to the legendary Iron Horse Restaurant that once stood on Maiden Lane, Iron Horse Cocktails blends the best of the old school with the new in digs that are simultaneously cozy and festive, a great mix for that happy hour. Think cocktails concocted by some of San Francisco’s mixologists and decor that will transport you back to another era.
One Market Restaurant
Sometimes the occasion calls for getting dressed up and taking your clients out for a special meal. And for that, Embarcadero staple One Market has you covered. Start off your evening with a Hemingway Daiquiri, a far cry from the overly sweet frozen slush you might be used to. Made from BACARDÍ Superior, fresh lime, and house-squeezed grapefruit, it’s a refreshing way to kick off your meal. Then treat yourselves to bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin or pan-seared scallops, or go all out with the chef’s tasting menu.
Liholiho Yacht Club
Reservations book out a month in advance at Oahu-native and James Beard Best Chef finalist Ravi Kapur’s Liholiho Yacht Club. Luckily for last-minute planners and those who might be short on time, bar seats are easier to come by (especially before 6 p.m. on weeknights). Order like a local and ask for the off-menu spam, made in-house and served over furikake rice, or tuck into popular appetizers like tuna poke or beef tongue steamed buns. For something more filling, the grilled short rib with bone marrow, escargot, mushrooms, and horseradish is pure decadence.
Reservations book out a month in advance at Oahu-native and James Beard Best Chef finalist Ravi Kapur’s Liholiho Yacht Club. Luckily for last-minute planners and those who might be short on time, bar seats are easier to come by (especially before 6 p.m. on weeknights and 5 p.m. on weekends). Order like a local and ask for the off-menu spam, made in-house and served over furikake rice, or tuck into popular appetizers like tuna poke or beef tongue steamed buns. For something more filling, the grilled short rib with bone marrow, escargot, mushrooms, and horseradish is pure decadence.
Descend into the Hearst building basement and you’ll be transported back to the heyday of the printing press — with all the ‘50s- and ‘60s-inspired glamour that high ceilings, red velvet drapes, and mood lighting evoke. Strewn with antique typewriters, archival clips, and, yes, vintage printing presses, Local Edition is at once nostalgic and posh, popular with the after-work crowd. It’s great for group, too; each of its cocktail bottles (signature libations like the Courier, made with rum, agave, lemon, allspice dram, bitters, and sparkling wine) serves five to six patrons.
Pagan Idol is one of many revivals of San Francisco (and the rest of the country’s) tiki obsession in the mid-20th century. Among the others, this bar earns a spotlight for its unabashed penchant for the fantastical — its “captain’s quarters” resemble the interior of a wooden ship, outfitted with kraken-inspired light fixtures and underwater videos styled like portholes. Its other lounge area is a tropical dreamscape of twinkling sky, thatched huts, towering totem poles, and an “erupting” volcano that spews smoke. The Mai Tai is an obvious drink of choice here, though those who prefer less saccharine tipples should order the Witch Doctor (rum, grapefruit, passion fruit, spices, and egg white).
Just a tad campy, to be sure, but jailhouse-turned-lounge Barbarossa is a beloved homage to what once was San Francisco’s red light district. The area’s “Barbary Coast” moniker has ties to a former pirate territory in Northern Africa — which accounts for the curious combination of prison cell decor and bondage-themed art here. It also explains the cocktail menu’s signature grog. The pirate’s and sailor’s drink has been elevated with citrus blends (kiwi, mint, and lime, for example), to be paired with your spirit of choice. Raw bar items, cheese and charcuterie, salads, and desserts are also on offer to fuel your wayfaring.
You can choose from a selection of local beers and boutique California wines at Rickhouse, but you’ll likely want to try a whiskey-based drink here, if only because it suits the rugged look and history of the place. The ceiling is made from the staves of barrels imported from Kentucky, and the walls of the bar originally came from a Prohibition-era nunnery in the Ozarks. If you come with a group of coworkers or even the clients you’re trying to win over, go ahead and try the popular punch bowl to share. Bartenders use fresh juices, natural sugars, and local produce in all the cocktails.
For when you need a light snack or afternoon pickmeup, Plentea is it. This is not your average milk or bubble tea; instead, Plentea uses the tea of your choosing (oolong, green, or black) and adds fresh toppings into the mix, like taro pudding, chia seeds, egg pudding, aloe, and red bean. You’ll also feel good making Plentea into your weekly routine, as they’ve been using eco-friendly glass bottles long before everyone else threw out their plastic straws.
Don’t be surprised if you and your coworkers are one of dozens of work groups to head to Wayfare Tavern for post-work drinks. The Wayfare Tavern has quickly become one of Fidi’s most popular after-hours haunts, and we can see why. Pub-style overstuffed booths and old-timey decor? Check. Easy American fare to sink your teeth into, like fried chicken or the house burger? Check. Full beer and wine lists and a stiff cocktail list to boot? And check again. Order round of Tavern Sours for everyone, made with the restaurant’s Select Eagle Rare Single Barrel whiskey.
Uno Dos Tacos
You can definitely come in for a quick burrito lunch, but we all know that team bonding is done best with extra sides of guacamole and rounds of margaritas. Wind down after work with your choice of six different tacos (bonus points for a stellar vegetarian option, made with poblanos, yellow squash, onion, and mushrooms), and your choice of a tequila cocktail. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by happy hour prices, too.