Really, every bartender in San Francisco is worth knowing (and tipping, generously), but if you’re gonna go full-on BFF with someone behind the stick, you might as well make it one of the city’s most creative cocktail minds.
Blackbird (address and info)
With an extensive, generous happy hour menu on weekdays from 5-8pm, Blackbird feels at once like a cozy neighborhood bar and a hub of cocktail innovation, where Matt Grippo tinkers with new concepts and flavors. His latest creation: a limited-edition, off-menu selection of cocktails inspired by Game of Thrones.
Specialty cocktail: The New Orleans Iced Coffee, a boozy carbonated cold brew coffee with bourbon and chicory served on draught.
Where he drinks when he’s not working: “Nopa. Hands down the place where I have consumed the most food and beverage in the six years I’ve lived here. One of my favorite cocktails in the entire city and beyond is the Eucharist at Nopa. Simple, elegant, three ingredients. Yanni (Kehagiaras) has a skill with simple cocktails I don’t see often.”
What he loves about San Francisco: “San Francisco is the cradle of creativity and abundance for food and drink. It’s one of the reasons I moved here. Cocktails, beer, wine, amazing food — it has so much to offer I couldn’t ask for a better city to live an indulgent lifestyle. We are spoiled and I love it.”