This favorite is full of congenial spirits (both the drinks and the regulars), fish and chips and some of the best in local and Irish bands. Enjoy over two dozen beers on tap, including an impressive selection of local brews and ales, as well as the usual suspects (Guinness, Rolling Rock). There is a small dance floor that fills up during live performances, but also features locals who jump on in for folk dancing. Traditional Irish dance lessons are held on Mondays, and Happy Hour lasts from opening to 7p.
Rustic and romantic, Freehouse is a haunt for the beer lover in you. The interior of this beer garden is made to look like a cozy living room; it is furnished with intimate seating spaces and the fireplace keeps patrons warm on colder evenings. Yellow lights and timber-clad walls give this place an old-school look. The outdoor seating in the spacious courtyard lets larger groups dine under the bright California sun. At Freehouse, the menu is ever changing but classics like Beer Poached Mussels, the house salad and Chicken Pot Pie never go out of style. Limited but potent cocktails are on offer along with beers sourced from eminent breweries.
For decades, this large coffeehouse on the corner of Ashby and College has been a veritable institution in Berkeley, like the University itself. A place for students to study over excellent espresso, and artists and writers to create while munching on a croissant. The floor is Tuscan tiled, the ceiling vaulted. Order at the coffee counter and seat yourself at a table, at the small circular bar, or at one of a handful of tables outside with the view of the College/Ashby foot traffic. Try the large, stuffed calzones filled with cheese, meat, veggies and fresh sauce.
Billed as "San Francisco's Premier Dive Venue," Thee Parkside lives up to its claim by recreating the classic American dive bar in San Francisco's Potrero Hill neighborhood. For years the club has come to be known as the Bay Area's go-to venue for metal, 60s soul, country, indie and punk rock. It regularly hosts a wide range of special events such as the "Free Twang Sunday" where you can go and see the Bay Area's finest country and bluegrass bands for free. Thee Parkside's kitchen serves up dishes by a rotating roster of talented guest chefs. If you're tired of rock clubs that replace comfort with tribute bands, head down to Thee Parkside for a tall can of PBR and great music.
It's Haight-Ashbury, so what better music to be wafting in the air as you sip the house-made brews than the Grateful Dead in a place that was known back in the '60s as the Drug Store? Remodeling has made the setting less psychedelic, though there is an ebullient mural on the wall, but Jerry and the guys are always on the sound system taking you back to the Summer of Love. That sets a mellow mood for the huge sandwiches, plates of sausages, bowls of hearty soup, and tempting finger foods such as french fries and onion rings. The service from the hip and hippie wait staff is friendly and the atmosphere is always 1967. Do not miss their special brunch every Saturday and Sunday, 10a to 3p.
Drake's Dealership is a cozy neighborhood restaurant and bar located in Uptown, Oakland. Set in a large and spacious former warehouse that is reminiscent of a green-house, this eatery is child-friendly until 9pm. Exposed brick-walls, lantern-lit trees, small tables and fire pits under an open sky give this bar the perfect ambiance for an intimate date night. Enjoy a wide range of cold local craft-beers on tap along with tasty food dishes like wood-fired New Haven-style pizzas, fish & chips, Roy's rib basket or BBQ pork sandwich. The perfect trendy, relaxed and laid-back ambiance here will make you want to visit and again!
Named after the owner's mother whose recipes have inspired the menu, Hazel serves a fusion of traditional Southern food with inspirations taken from Texas, Georgia, and Louisiana. The interiors are also inspired by the owner's childhood home. Golden accents dominate the 70s-themed space featuring a lot of TVs, pool tables, a mural of Hazel and beautiful artwork. The menu is dotted with comfort food such as Tater Tot Nachos and Hazel's Fried Chicken, with the bar serving over 200 different whiskey options, craft cocktails, and beers.
Set in a cozy place, Kaya is a perfect stop for those looking to indulge themselves in some hearty Caribbean delicacies. The modern decor of the place boasts of hanging lights, Caribbean artwork on the walls, wooden floors and light colored walls. Specializing in serving sumptuous Jamaican delicacies, one can opt for dishes like Salt Fish Fritters, Piri Piri Chicken or Oxtail Stew here. All the dishes served here are made to order and are cooked using the finest of fresh, local ingredients. After you have feasted on the tasty delicacies, don’t forget to complement your meal with a glass of Montego Slang, a cocktail made using blended rum, mango, cilantro and cheery heerings. You can also watch old Caribbean movies that are projected on the walls of the restaurant as you enjoy your meal. If you are willing to treat yourself to some authentic Caribbean flavors, head to no place other than Kaya.
Cadillac Bar and Grill is a casual Mexican eatery situated in vibrant SoMa. The ambiance is lively and the staff personable, which makes for a great night out on the town. The restaurant highlights real Mexican dishes packed with flavor that pair well with their specialty hand-shaken margaritas made with fresh ingredients. Savor aperitivos like queso flameado or chicken panchos, followed by signature puffy tacos filled with ingredients like turkey chorizo, slow-braised pork or grilled steak. Seafood enthusiasts can opt for the grilled red snapper with Veracruzano sauce or the mesquite-grilled prawns. Excellent happy hours between 3p and 6p from Monday to Friday means this place is always abuzz with energy; it's a great place to unwind with friends after a long day.
The ritzy Azúcar Lounge is found at a busy spot in SoMa's main nightlife hub. Pistachio-green sitting booths well complement the soft wood floors and tables in this intimate space, where guests get to indulge in some toothsome Mexican street food specials and other Latin delights in a homely setting. Along with an expansive list of Mexican eats, Azúcar also offers a fine selection of Latin-style cocktails and other chilled libations. Birthday celebrations and wedding receptions can also be organized at its function hall.
Enjoy creative gin-infused cocktails and contemporary eats at Whitechapel. Corpse Reviver, Cucumber Lavender Sour and The Buccaneer are just some of the local favorites on the menu. The talented mixologists ensure that not only are the drinks strong, but smooth tasting as well making Whitechapel a popular venue with the young and trendy alike. If you begin to feel the hunger pangs, call for one of the innovative delicacies from the kitchen. The British-inspired cuisine is sure to delight your taste buds. Set in a hip, elegant space with loud music resonating through the interiors, Whitechapel is the place to be if you are looking to have a good time with your friends.
Charmaine's is a rooftop cocktail lounge at the Proper Hotel. Here one can enjoy inventive drinks along with highbrow bar bites, while enjoying the views of the city's skyline. The place has been tastefully designed with stylish furnishings, bright colors and patterns, and an outdoor seating with fire pits. They have an impressive drink list that featuring Californian beers and a fine selection of wine and cocktails by the Bon Vivants. Do try their fancy hot dogs that are creatively prepared and are loved by one and all.