Best Steakhouses for Cocktails in San Francisco
Long regarded as temples of red wine and digestifs, steakhouses in San Francisco have come a long way when it comes to drink lists. Most notably, these restaurants have built out enviable cocktail programs that have made them into some of the best destinations in the city for mixed drinks. Featuring elaborate layers of flavors, textures, colors and aromas, they’ve got complexity and body to hold up to the burliest meats, appetizers and desserts. Here are the best steakhouses for cocktails in San Francisco.
5A5 Steak Lounge: One of the city’s most modern and exciting steakhouses extend that ingenuity onto its beverage menu with a brief-but-mighty list of cocktails. Featuring an assortment of spirits, the menu really runs the gamut, from Thyme for Smiles with bourbon, aperol, Benedictine and citrus two ways, to The Saint of Pier 50 with gin, St-Germain, creme de violette, Cava and citrus. For those who aren’t averse to smoky fragrance, try the Where There is Smoke, a mezcal-based tipple with botanical-spiced tincture, egg white, agave and citrus.
Press: This being Napa Valley, wine gets most of the focus when it comes to drinking. As it should. But you’d be remiss to not at least start or finish your meal at Press without venturing into cocktail territory. Riffs on cocktail classics are the name of the game here, and options get quite inventive. Like a Gin & Tonic that gets infused with thyme and finished with a citrus-infused ice cube. Or a Strawberry French 76, an upgrade on the standard French 75 with strawberry puree and lemon. There’s even a non-alcoholic option, the Green Machine, which contains a wholesome blend of cucumber juice, mint and housemade ginger beer.
Osso Steakhouse: Speaking of non-alcoholic, Osso Steakhouse employs numerous mocktails as an anchor of its impressive cocktail list. From “Nojitos” to cranberry-splashed Basil Breezes and Ginger Mocktinis, they’ve got plenty of options for those abstaining from alcohol. Or for those who aren’t, there’s plenty for you too. Like Guavamosas, Fernet-infused Manhattans, blood orange margaritas and something called the BLT on Rye, a cleverly named libation that’s got Bulleit Rye, lemon and tonic.
Bourbon Steak: One of the most interesting, complex and inventive mixology programs in the city (and one of the best in the nation) can be found at Bourbon Steak. Great thought and care goes into these intricate creations, which employs hand-squeezed juices, house infusions, housemade syrups and garnishes and small-batch spirits for all its offerings. Specialty cocktails include Time, a bourbon drink with raw honey water, thyme and lemon juice, and Because, an agave-packed tequila and mezcal combo with green apple juice and cider. Bourbon Steak also has cocktails on tap, like The Sa Franciscan, which has Fernet Branca, ginger liqueur, lemon and ginger beer, plus barrel-aged cocktails like a Sazerac and the Quick Brown Fox, with whiskey and Galliano Ristretto.
Cole’s Chop House: For something a little more classic, head to Cole’s Chop House in Napa for a stunning medley of old-school gems. Like the Napa Manhattan garnished with port cherries, the Sour Dickel, an Aviation and Russell’s Mule with bourbon, Fever Tree ginger beer and lime in a copper mug.