This mid-century modern bar from the chef/owner of Lazy Bear is a playful, color-drenched space inspired by artists like Man Ray and Isamu Noguchi. Behind the bar, True Laurel’s mixologists craft creative cocktails like the West Coast Bounty, a combination of grapefruit wine, pear brandy, raspberry, and gin. True Laurel features two separate spaces—the main bar and a reservation-only bar-within-a-bar serving a tasting menu of original cocktails and small bites of grown-up comfort food like broiled oysters and crispy hen of the woods mushrooms.
Experimental mixologists and detail-oriented bartenders lead drinks in the best cocktail bars in San Francisco and the East Bay, away from expected combinations and towards complex and surprising drinks layered with artisan spirits and flavorful tinctures. It’s not that martinis and negronis are off the menu, they are just better, spiked with ingredients like bee pollen, liquid kelp, cedar, and crab oil.
Here are our picks for 22 bars and restaurants upping the cocktail game in the San Francisco Bay Area right now.
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