This book-themed bar serves slightly expensive drinks with literary names (like the Atticus Finch and the Jay Gatsby), but it’s not totally a gimmick. The cocktails are legitimately good, and you can also get punch on tap (or order it to-go 48 hours in advance if you’d rather host drinks at your house). Novela usually gets pretty crowded after work, especially since people can reserve tables, but there’s nothing wrong with standing at the bar or forming a middle-school-dance-style circle with your coworkers.
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We can always rely on Cotogna in the Financial District for an excellent upscale Italian meal.
Comstock Saloon is an old-school spot in North Beach serving great food and cocktails. Get the brussels sprouts.
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True Laurel is a cocktail bar and small plates spot in the Mission that’s great for a date.
The Beehive is a retro-futuristic bar in the Mission where you can get ’60s-inspired drinks and fondue.
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Leo’s Oyster Bar
Leo’s Oyster Bar involves pricey, but tasty seafood in an ’80s power yacht come to life. Obviously it’s in the Financial District.
Hit Palm House’s Happy Hour in Cow Hollow for alcoholic slushies and Caribbean bar food.
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