On his blog yesterday, Michael Bauer discussed a few of his favorite bars around town for dining whilst drinking, which include Spruce, A16, and Town Hall. We’ll see his list, and raise him a few more of our own. See our suggestions below, for all those afternoons and evenings when you really would rather not be at a table, especially when you’re flying solo.
A16 - The small but comfortable bar at this oenofile heaven in the Marina lets you watch all the comings and goings up at the front of the restaurant.
Absinthe - If you can ever get a seat at this popular bar, it’s a great place especially for brunch.
The Alembic - One of our all-time favorite bars, cocktail-wise, but the food’s terrific too.
Barbacco - There’s barely any line between the bar and the table seating in this casual, Roman-style trattoria, there’s a mind-boggling wine selection, and the food’s really good.
Bar Bambino - It’s a narrow, busy space, and you’re bound to have hoverers, but the bar at this place is great for some wine, salumi, and pasta.
Bar Tartine - It feels like France to us, and we love the marble bar.
Boulevard - Again: France, but it’s also a more casual way to enjoy Nancy Oakes’ and Pam Mazzola’s food without all the tablecloths.
Bix - Bruce Hill and Erik Lowe’s food is always solid, and we recommend the Bix Manhattan and the Ginger Gimlet to go with it.
Delfina - When we want to eat at Delfina we want to eat right away, and we’re not good with reservations. The bar is a great place, and one commenter notes that it’s become almost a pick-up scene with plenty of single diners.
Frances - You won’t get a table there until 2011, so why bother trying? The bar and counter are cozy, and you get all the same great service, food, and wine.
Globe - A small bar down in the Financial District but nevertheless a good place to while away a few hours over drinks and a pizza.
Hog & Rocks - It’s new and still finding its legs, but the padded and backed bar stools are quite comfortable and the food well priced. We see this becoming a favorite.
Home - One of our favorite dining bars in the city, design- and vibe-wise, but the food isn’t always consistent. Stick to burgers and meatloaf and you’ll be golden.
Jardinière - As Old Hollywood as a bar can get, and a truly theatrical feeling space in the heart of opera-ballet-symphony country.
Kokkari - Willie Brown’s bar of choice, and a hotbed of politicians.
Lark Creek Steak - Bauer and Willie Brown like this one, and certainly if you’re stuck in the mall and it’s raining outside, it’s a perfectly comfortable place.
Marlowe - One of the smaller and cozier bars around town, but also a great way to enjoy Jennifer Puccio’s terrific bistro fare.
Orson - The grand horseshoe bar in the center of Elizabeth Falkner’s SoMa space is as lively and cool a dining bar as they come. Also: $5 martinis at happy hour and a great burger.
Prospect - It’s a big space, but the bar area feels especially well designed and lively, and Ravi Kapur’s food combined with Brooke Arthur’s drinks are a match made in foodie heaven.
Quince - The bar at this sumptuous North Beach/FiDi space is just as elegant as the dining room.
Range - Amazing cocktails, always excellent food, and a cozy bar where the bartenders are always helpful and personable.
Serpentine - This Dogpatch mainstay has a bar made for eating, and it’s more fun than sitting at a table.
Spruce - One of Bauer’s picks, and we concur. Everyone says you should eat at the bar there.
Tadich Grill - It’s San Francisco’s oldest restaurant, complete with white-coat service, and one of Bauer’s and our favorites, especially during the daytime.
Town Hall - A modern classic, and a Bauer favorite.
Zuni Café - One of the only bars we know of (besides Absinthe) where you can look straight through the bottles and out to the street. It can get busy on weekends, but still, a perennially swell place.
Where’s the Best Dining Bar in San Francisco [Between Meals/Scoop]