There's nothing quite like an office holiday party for bonding with your co-workers. Or finding yourself doing drunken karaoke in front of your boss.
But we digress. There's no need to limit the workplace festivities to one officially sanctioned event. Be the hero and plan an impromptu celebration at one of these great cocktail bars where, if you show up on the early side (without reservations!), you can secure space for you and your 20 work best friends (and then some).
Yeah, we think it's safe to say you can expense it, too.
① 15 Romolo, North Beach
Some of the city's best cocktails, delicious bar food and a jukebox packed with all kinds of musical goodies (including a mix CD featuring all covers of "Rich Girl")? Romolo's got it, and a photo booth, too. Get a round of Suckerpunches ($11 apiece) and prepare to be employee of the month (until the hangovers kick in).
② Schroeder's, Financial District
Schroeder's has long been a favorite to downtown co-worker parties, thanks to the boots of beer. Following this year's revamp though, it has a cocktail program well worth exploring and a thoughtful food menu of Cal-German fare. Yes, you can still get festive with Das Boot ($32 to $48), too.
③ Rickhouse, Financial District
A veritable temple of whiskey on Kearny Street, Rickhouse has an encyclopedic cocktail list, punch bowl offerings and an upstairs area just waiting for you to take it over for the evening. Please try to avoid ending up with the punch bowl on your head. It won't look good in your next review.
④ Tradition, Tenderloin
Have a choose-your-own-adventure cocktail outing with your office mates at Tradition, a fantastic bar featuring a cocktail menu divided into sections showcasing different cocktail traditions (from tiki bar to speakeasy). You can reserve a cozy booth or two, but we think crowding around a section of the bar is your best bet.
⑤ Novela, SoMA
The literary theme may be more pretense than not (we're not sure how Elizabeth Bennet would feel about having a namesake pisco drink), but Novela's a great place for a party, thanks to multiple varieties of punch available by the glass ($10) or pitcher ($45), as well as bottled Old-Fashioneds ($125) that serve four to eight. Team meeting!
RELATED Best Bar Snacks »
⑥ Oddjob, SoMA
Deep in SOMA you'll find Odd Job, a top-notch cocktail bar from the team of the still-lauded-after-all-these-years Big (even though it's no longer around). In addition to a thoughtful, well-executed cocktail list, this is a bar with space to hang and even a smaller back room if you want a more private party feel for your Secret Santa gift exchange.
⑦ Rye, Tenderloin
One of the O.G. serious cocktail bars in town, Rye still leads the charge in fantastic drinks—yes, it still has that basil gimlet. But don't stop there—this is a drink menu worth exploring more deeply. This, plus spacious digs and a pool table, and you're set for the night (until you venture out for some late-night Indian food with your manager).
⑧ Nihon Whisky Lounge, Mission
Tucked on an unassuming corner right between SoMA and the Mission, Nihon is an easily overlooked drink spot that will do your impromptu holiday celebration proud. The downstairs area is spacious, the drinks are solid and the happy hour (which runs until 7 p.m.) includes half off a large amount of the food menu (including baby octopus and omakase).
⑨ Dirty Habit, SoMA
What's better than an outdoor fire pit on a cool SF evening? An outdoor fire pit accompanied by a massive selection of delicious cocktails and a food menu you'll be dreaming about for weeks to come (chicken wings, we're looking at you). This may earn you a promotion.
⑩ The Hall, Mid-Market
This gourmet food hall is a buzzing place for an after-work gathering—not in the least because of the charming industrial setup, delightful drinks (there's no hard liquor, but there are low ABV cocktails available) and a wide selection of delicious, shareable food. Cement lasting colleague-to-colleague friendships with a charcuterie platter from The Whole Beast—but keep the stupidly good lamb gyro all to yourself.
Please check your inbox to verify your email address.