Who said date night had to be sedate? Rock and roll all night long with a cocktail-fueled, concert-filled agenda on Divisadero in the Western Addition. Home to hot restaurants, killer dives and one of the best concert venues in town, it's not hard to create a night to remember and one you'll want to repeat ASAP.
Get warmed up at El Garaje Urbano, the casual offshoot of mezcal-centric Mexican hotspot, La Urbana. Housed in an actual former garage, the space features folding tables and chairs surrounded by a gorgeous mural from local artist Zio Ziegler, so you can indulge in some art appreciation over mezcal cocktails and sangria, or engage in a heated game of dominoes. Fuel up with a selection of delicious, reasonably priced snacks, too—huevos con chorizo ($5) or bacon-wrapped shrimp ($6) ought to do the trick. If it's a Tuesday, take advantage of the nightly special: $2 tacos.
Once you have a solid buzz going, head across the street to The Independent, a great little music venue that plays host to indie rockers, DJs and local legends alike (upcoming shows include the hard-rocking, good-timing Mariachi El Bronx and indie-country crooners Hiss Golden Messenger). Some hard dancing (fueled by plenty of local beer) will work up your appetite—perfect timing for a late-night dinner at Nopa. Get cozy with seats for two at the bar or communal table, and order to share (with a great bottle of wine, of course). The ingredients-driven menu changes regularly, but we always love the wood oven-fired flatbread (prices vary, currently topped with bacon, butternut squash, olives and Crescenza), the thick-cut pork chop ($26) and the grilled broccoli tossed with lemon, anchovy and breadcrumbs ($8). The burger ($15) is one of the best in town, too.
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Wrap things up (and lock down a follow-up date) across the street at Club Waziema. The Ethiopian restaurant-cum-dive bar is notable for its excellent local beer selection, sultry bloodred wallpaper and cozy neighborhood vibe—make some jukebox picks together and play a game of pool while sipping on your after-dinner drinks. Bet on who's buying the next round. . . or coffee the next morning. We take ours black, with a side of toast ($3.50) from The Mill.
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