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Restaurant Review



Look, we know how it is. Sometimes you just need to get out there — at whatever time it is — and grab a dang drink. Fret no more: Here’s our handy guide to getting a little tipsy on, round-the-clock.

View the Clocktails chart it in full and print it out (PDF) here.

NOON: The Ramp Huge, killer Bloody Marys and a heaping plate of fried calamari on the waterfront — that’s how to welcome in the afternoon, especially if you’re on your way to a ballgame. 855 Terry Francois Blvd, SF. www.theramprestaurant.com

1PM: La Mar perfectly made Peruvian Pisco sours, sipped by the seaside — well, bayside — please. If you’re feeling especially adult, dive into a tangy, whiskey-like capitan cocktail. Pier 1.5, Embarcadero, SF. www.lamarsf.com

2PM: Wild Side West The sun goddesses are usually on your side, whisking away the Bernal Heights clouds and allowing you an afternoon basking on the patio here with a tall glass of cider. 424 Cortland, SF. www.wildsidewest.com

3PM: Biergarten: Wednesday-Sunday, grab a glass of Hacker-Pschorr, Schneider Weisse, or Almdudler and enjoy a (hopefully) sunny Hayes Valley late afternoon. Sometimes, there’s even oompa-pah. 424 Octavia, www.biergartensf.com

4PM: Yield Nothing better in the late afternoon than a great glass of sustainable vino — say, an Urban Legend pinot — and a little downtime with charm at this Dogpatch wine bar. 2490 Third St, SF. www.yieldandpause.com

5PM: Hopwater Dash to this too-cool spot right after work to beat the crush: 31 taps of delicious California brews — try Altamont’s Scarcity IIIPA for a quick buzz — and a singles scene that will keep you busy into the night. 850 Bush, SF. www.hopwatersf.com

6PM: Hi Tops This surprisingly diverse gay sports bar in the Castro boasts the city’s yummiest Michelada, the “Big Unit” tequila cocktail, awesome vintage décor, and 25-cent buffalo wings on Mondays. 2247 Market, SF. www.hitopssf.com

7PM: Top of the Mark Perch atop the Mark Hopkins hotel for a perfectly made Cosmopolitan — sip it slow (it’s $14) and enjoy a near-panoramic view of San Francisco as the sun sets. 999 California, SF. www.topofthemark.com

8PM: Tosca Cocktail time with classic, date-friendly flair: The recently rejuvenated North Beach fave can still make a fat lady sing with a sharp Casino Bar Negroni 1919 or fruity Zamboanga. 242 Columbus Ave, SF. www.toscacafesf.com

9PM: Virgil’s Sea Room Get naughtical at the hippest recent addition to the bar scene, with a cute patio, Mission-scruffy crowd, and drinks named after beloved locals like the slinky, vodka-licious Vicki Marlene. 3152 Mission, SF. www.virgilssf.com

10PM: Martuni’s Show tunes + martinis = Martuni’s, and you’ll be singing your heart out at the piano with a jovial crowd of musical-lovers after a couple dirty ones, guaranteed. 4 Valencia, SF. martunis.ypguides.net

11PM: Li Po If you would like your mind erased with a raucous, fun-loving Chinatown crowd, order the magical Chinese Mai Tai here and hold on for dear life. 916 Grant, SF. www.lipolounge.com

MIDNIGHT Nihon Whiskey Bar Slip out of the club and into something silky and sophisticated at this beautiful Japanese hot spot. Great for conversation, especially when sipping a smoky Bunnahabbain Toiteach. 1779 Folsom, SF. www.dajanigroup.net

1AM: 500 Club Drink in some true old school Mission atmosphere — we’re gonna recommend sticking with Fernet shots and Trumer back here, since by this point your taste buds are shot. 500 Guerrero, SF. www.500clubsf.com

2AM: Sidewalk sale: Our fascistic 2am closing time? It’s 3am, really, if you count the socializing crowds cast out on the sidewalk, flasks flashing. Locally bottled Cyrus Noble bourbon is really good from a flask.

3AM: The after party: “Back to mine” shouts the lucky lady with accommodating neighbors, and off you go. Don’t settle for Smirnoff-chugging: our own Hangar One vodka, made from grapes, will win the night.

4AM: The after-after party: Nothing is better (or more romantic) than a bottle of Roederer Estate brut downed between swingset rides at Alamo Square Park — watch you don’t get a ticket, though.

5AM: The morning cap: Slip on those shades as the sun slips up — it’s time for a fizzy pick-me-up. Some Alameda-made St. George gin with a splash of sparkling grapefruit will get you up and at ’em.

6AM: Gino and Carlo: Morning shots! This North Beach classic — since 1942 — sports good old-fashioned Italian moxie, a ton of tipsy Beat history, and strong enough pours to wake you right up. 548 Green, SF. www.ginoandcarlo.com

7AM: Ace’s Budweiser for breakfast? Hey, you’ve come this far. Sink deep into the couches of this proud, dimly lit Nob Hill dive, and clink cans with your fellow “morning people.” 998 Sutter, SF. www.acesbarsf.com

8AM: Bechelli’s Flower Market Café A well-kept secret: the Flower Market Fizz, with orange juice, gin, and egg whites, is one of the best wake up calls around. Nice breakfast too, if you’re into that. 698 Brannan, SF. www.flowermarketcafe.com

9AM: Beach Chalet Nothing beats a refreshing peach Bellini after your morning run along Ocean Beach (or to steel you for a day of sightseeing with guests). You can get these by the pitcher here! 1000 Great Highway, SF. www.beachchalet.com

10AM: Buena Vista Café Was the contemporary Irish Coffee really invented here in 1952? Who cares, this is the perfect time to down a couple delicious ones — before the Fisherman’s Wharf tourists rush in. 2765 Hyde, SF. www.thebuenavista.com

11AM: Cafe Flore Mornings on Flore’s spacious patio are a quiet, sunny Castro treatany kind of margarita you want in a European atmosphere, brimming with gorgeous people, of course. 2298 Market, SF. www.cafeflor.com





COCKTAIL HOUR Yes, the rest of the country is sipping piña coladas and pink lemonade margaritas, while we shiver and pour whiskey into our hot tea. No problem: this is a primo time to ditch the sickly sweet and explore some solid bellywarmers in the cocktail category.



Let’s start with this classic — Buena Vista claims that it was invented here, why not, and the Fisherman’s Wharf-adjacent cafe’s gotten a rep for being a tourist magnet. Don’t let that detour you, it’s all super-charming. Served piping hot with coffee, whiskey and topped with whipped cream, the Buena’s Irish Coffee ($8) is pretty perfect for sipping as you imagine knitting little sweaters for the seagulls darting over the frigid bay.

2765 Hyde, SF. www.thebuenavista.com



Coffee not your thing? Pop over to Tradition in the Tenderloin and see if you can handle its version of Mexican Hot Chocolate ($10). Rich in vitamin agave (this drink contains both mezcal and tequila), a few sips of this will thaw you out in no time. It’s usually on radition’s winter menu, but asking for it at the bar is well worth a try: even if they can’t whip one up, the bartenders will steer you in a warm direction.

441 Jones, SF. www.tradbar.com



The easy-to-make hot toddy cocktail is a staple during cold weather. But the lovely Brasserie S&P in the Mandarin Oriental kicks it up a notch on the serenity scale by replacing the traditional bourbon with gin — and adding a pour of chamomile tea ($12). All that’s missing is the purr of a cat and a good hardcover book.

222 Sansome, SF. www.mandarinoriental.com



There’s nothing like a milkshake on a warm day, but yeah, about that…. This thick, rich Manhattan Shake ($10) is a nice compromise with SF weather. A cold concoction with the kick of a well-made Manhattan, the Corner Store’s treat will booze you up to the point that you’ll forget you’re drinking it in the fog.

5 masonic, SF. www.thecornerstore-sf.com



When the clouds part and we are blessed with hot day, Elixir has the perfect summer, fruit-filled cocktail menu. I originally visited in search of another warm drink for this list, but was instantly swayed by the bartender’s suggestion: a Whatamelon ($11). A tequila drink with watermelon juice, elderflower liqueur, agave nectar, and mint, it was light, tasty, and refreshing. Perfect for summer, even if just the summer in your mind.

3200 16th St., SF. www.elixirsf.com