Appetite

Our 50 favorite San Francisco bars -- all on one page!

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From splashy dives to upscale classics (and everything in between) — our favorite spots to grab a drink

This week's cover story in the paper highlights 50 great bars we love (along with 30 honorable mentions and 10 East Bay favorites). That's a lot of pages on the Internet! here it all is on one handy page -- grab a drink and scroll with us to watering hole bliss. (You can also flip through the digital edition of the paper here.)

PS For this list we concentrated specifically on bars (including those at restaurants and hotels), leaving you to judge the cocktails at music venues and dance clubs on their own merits.

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The G50: San Francisco's top bars

From splashy dives to upscale classics (and everything in between) — our favorite spots to grab a drink

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Fresh sips

Cocktail, food on the side: What to eat when you're sipping around town

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virginia@bayguardian.com

APPETITE In my endless treks 'round the city for the best partnerships of drink and food, here are a few notable current menu offerings.Read more »

Latin highs

A new chef livens up beloved Italian tradition Oliveto, and sexy Gitane intensifies its regional Spanish focus

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE Nothing replaces actually experiencing a cuisine served in its place of origin, but regional dinners are one way of traveling vicariously (and, perhaps, with less of a carbon footprint).Read more »

Can Yan noodle?

Martin Yan's M.Y. China and the upscale Hakkasan add to the Chinese scene

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE Style-over-substance at popular restaurants grew old in my Los Angeles days. A pretty package matters little if food isn't excellent. In SF, we tend towards the other direction. Thank goodness for places like Gitane, Bix, Foreign Cinema, which manage both — a little style is welcome. With the entry of two new, upscale Chinese restaurants, we get style aplenty. One, the international Hakkasan chain, feels oh-so LA or NY, and the other, M.Y. China, is inside a mall (very Southern California) from famed chef Martin Yan.Read more »

Southpaw

Spiced ribs and dreamy Natchez: the Mission BBQ makes a tasty comeback

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE As I've often bemoaned, finding authentic 'que outside of the Deep South is a rarity. Case in point: Southpaw opened late 2011 on Mission Street, a BBQ oasis of the gourmet kind, brewing its own beers in a couple in-house tanks. Welcoming staff and flaky catfish impressed me early on, but watery sauces and dry ribs and brisket deflated my BBQ dreams.Read more »

A shot of warmth

New cocktail and bite combinations to light up winter nights

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE Let's be clear: the Bon Vivants crew's newly opened Trick Dog in the Mission — featuring a cocktail menu modeled after a Pantone swatch book — is the hot food and drink destination of the moment (see my early review on the Pixel Vision blog at SFBG.com). But slipping at the bar at these three restaurants, ranging from elegant to festive, offers some of SF's best cocktails with incredible bites on a long winter's eve.

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Appetite: New year sips

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Ringing in the new year is all about celebratory imbibing, but the sometimes dreary days of January likewise call for a cheering pour. It’s a month of planning towards a new year, reaching out for fresh horizons… good reasons to have something quality in the glass, whatever the category. Here are a few worthy bottles, from sake, wine, whisky, even cocktail bitters.

BITTERS

Medicinal and mixable, the glut of bitters released the last few years has all but assured oversaturation. But Brooklyn Hemispherical Bitters ($21 per bottle) stands out. Made in Brooklyn, the focus is on seasonal flavors like popular Meyer lemon, rhubarb or Sriracha. Heat radiates from their savory-sweet blackberry mole or spicy charred pineapple bitters, or a brisk, bitter chill from Icelandic bitters. These are some of the more inventive, elegant bitters on the market. 

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Banchan, ramen, and squid innards

Intriguing Asian hotspots Muguboka, Ramen Shop, and Roku arouse the senses

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE Authentic Asian cuisine of every category is one of California and the Bay Area's strengths, with constant new openings, including Richmond's mellow Daigo Sushi (www.daigosushi.com) and Szechuan outpost Chili House (www.chilihousesf.com). These three spots stand out for one (or a few) reasons.

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Appetite: Jumping at Trick Dog

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The Bon Vivants (Josh Harris, Scott Baird, Jason Henton) need little introduction in the drink world, from humanitarian work with their Pig & Punch events -- they're featured in the latest issue of Imbibe magazine -- to unforgettable Bon Vivants' parties. Last Sunday, I walked through the unfinished space of their long-awaited bar Trick Dog. Though it appeared there was much left to be done, in 24 short hours the bar was looking all grown up and open for business, welcoming a slew of early birds and industry folk at 3pm on January 7th.

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