photo credit: Krescent Carasso
The Alembic opened in 2006 on the wave of the city’s craft cocktail movement. While most bars in town have long since figured out how to make a damn good Manhattan, we still love the Alembic. It’s a fantastic bar with fantastic drinks, and a mainstay for casual hangouts and dates in the Haight.
This place has a cozy, laid-back air and looks like an apothecary crossed with a scholar’s den, with floral wallpaper, dark wood, and shelves stocked with books. As much as you might want to read about medicinal plant healing, the cocktails are the most important aspect of this truly exceptional bar. There are classic negronis, herbaceous gin drinks, and cocktails that change seasonally. And like any great bar, there’s a substantive food menu that includes everything from light bites to a full-on meal. Fancified dishes are executed with varying degrees of success: The burger is just-above basic but exactly the move after drinking a few Night Markets, while the bone marrow, served cold, is overpowered by whipped butter. But the housemade potato chips are perfectly crispy, and need to be on the table. Order those (and a drink of course) at the bar, and spend the rest of your night hanging out in a leather booth with plenty of both.
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