Lifestyle Wanderlust the March 2020 issue

In High Spirits, San Francisco Style

Looking for the world’s best cocktail menu? Look no further than San Francisco.
By Carrie Williamson Posted on March 1, 2020

The dream team dreamed up two of San Francisco’s most popular cocktail bars: Trick Dog and the new Bon Voyage. Trick Dog has received the coveted Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award for World’s Best Cocktail Menu. The dynamic duo recently applied their mixology magic to Proper Hotel’s rooftop bar, Charmaine’s, and restaurant, Villon.


Art and mementos from Asia and Africa and a disco ball give this two-floor bar in the Mission District an exotic party vibe. The slings and cocktails lean toward sophisticated tiki and are concocted with tropical flavors, house-made bitters, cordials, tinctures, and spirits and spices from around the world. Dumplings, steamed buns, rolls and things from the wok are on the Chinese menu. There’s no sign, so be sure to look for the address.


This rooftop bar is the watering hole of the moment. The inviting lounge areas have artful arrangements of bespoke modern and vintage furniture in vivid colors and patterns, but it’s hard to pass up the million-dollar views and cozy seating around the fire pits. The bar and drinks are named after famous movie cats. Though it’s crowded, bartenders shake up the highly original craft cocktails in record time. Reservations are $50 per person and highly recommended.


This dimly lit neighborhood bar in the Mission District changes its cocktail menu twice a year. The most recent, the Whole Dog Catalog, has witty descriptions of the unique concoctions as well as bartender tips—how to create a clear ice cube or how to mix a drink. The designs are so delightful that Trick Dog sells prints, with proceeds benefiting charities. There’s also a tasty selection of small plates.


Sit at the intimate bar for a post-theater cocktail, where you can watch the bartender climb the ladder to fetch bottles, or sink into a velvet settee in the charming lounge to partake in some day drinking. The 7-by-7 inch cocktail menu pays playful homage to San Francisco’s 7-by-7 mile area and features 7 thematic categories—among them “cocktails invented in famous clubs”—each with 7 cocktails.

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