Bars, Cocktail bars Yerba Buena
3 out of 5 stars
Photograph: Noelle Chun Novela

This literary-themed bar combines two of life's great pleasures: booze and books. Wall-spanning shelves of color-coordinated classic tomes punctuate the strikingly modern black and white interior. The design foreshadows a seasonal cocktail menu that nods to beloved literary characters such as Romeo and Juliet, Mary Poppins, Ichabod Crane and others. The Emma Woodhouse, for instance, a bright and refined mix of gin, peach liqueur, Aperol, dry vermouth, Peychaud bitters and maraschino liqueur, pays homage to Jane Austin's heroine. Another novel touch is the bar's punch program. Crafted in bulk using the labor-intensive traditional method, it's available on tap in six strong and delicious seasonal flavors, organized by the main liquor. Choose your poison (gin, pisco, tequila, rum, corn whiskey, or the house recipe made of three different types of whiskey) and order it by the cup, the flight or the pitcher. With plenty of space for lounging on large armchairs or low sofas, Novela is a popular happy hour destination for techies from nearby startups and a nightcap spot for well-heeled residents of nearby apartment buildings. Boisterous groups gather on weekend nights. The bar frequently hosts events, such as movie nights and “oysters and bubbles,” so check the website for the latest.


Venue name: Novela
Address: 662 Mission St
San Francisco

Cross street: at Annie St
Opening hours: Mon–Fri 4pm–2am; Sat 7pm–2am; Sun 6pm–1am
Transport: BART & Metro to Montgomery
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