The friendly staff at Longboard Margarita Bar serves up savory eats and refreshing margaritas in a laid-back, beach-themed setting. Fingers can unearth jalapeños, onions, tomatoes, olives, and more from a heaping mound of nachos ($6) and complement the feast with fresh-squeezed fruit swirls with tequila in Longboard's singular cocktails, which include the Burrito mojito ($7.50) and Misdemeanor margarita ($9), electrified with green chartreuse and zesty jalapeño. Enjoy postfeast euphoria atop a plush couch in the bar's warmly lit interior, or prepare for a posteuphoria sock hop by shimmying to weekly live music while half smiling.
Once a bootleggers' haven frequented by the sister of Al Capone, today Cameron's Inn & Restaurant celebrates its 100-year history with old-fashioned hospitality and eclectic vintage décor. The restaurant harks back to English pub traditions with Inglenook-style seating crafted from old church pews and a menu that includes bangers and mash, shepherd's pie, and burgers flame-grilled over fragments of Big Ben. Near the bar, which touts 18 beers on tap and more than 60 bottled ales, walls are stacked to the ceiling with more than 2,000 beer cans, which owner Cameron Palmer began collecting at age 10. A functioning fireplace and five big-screen TVs cast a warm glow across the dining room, whose stage hosts occasional live music, karaoke contests, and shadow-puppet beauty pageants. Overnight guests snooze soundly within the rustic timber-lined walls of the inn’s three rooms, or at an RV park and campground near scenic ocean cliffs.
A turn-of-the-century hotel built in 1905, San Benito House welcomes visitors with 11 inviting guest rooms, a romantic suite, and a full-service bar and restaurant. Servers ferry pizza, pasta, and Niman Ranch hormone-free burgers to wooden booths as patrons converse in an airy atmosphere. On Wednesdays–Saturdays, live musicians enliven the bar as the audience sips imported beers and knits dentures, inspired by the building's old age. Queen-size beds await visitors amid flowing curtains and salmon- or eggshell-colored walls. The inn also hosts catered weddings replete with bar service, a garden reception area, and cannons for launching bouquets.
Of all the hooting and victory dancing coming from the group in the corner booth, only half of the commotion is a result of the game of Sorry! the group is immersed in. The other half occurs during breaks in the action when the competitors dig into the decadent morsels in front of them—desserts forged from ingredients such as rum mascarpone cream and homemade marshmallow. Evenings of spirited merrymaking capped with sweet treats are standard at Candybar, where seasoned pastry chef Cathleen Li handcrafts a rotating menu of cakes, ice creams, and sorbets.
To complement Li’s signature desserts, mixologists further tantalize taste buds with inventive cocktails ranging from the triple-chocolate bellini with chocolate sorbet to the blood-orange cocktail. Throughout the candlelit dining room, minimalist bulbs dangle from ceiling tracks, casting dancing shadows across plush red couches, black-and-white damask poufs, and contemporary artwork. A collection of board games infuses the dessert lounge’s chic atmosphere with a touch of whimsy and encourages good-natured rivalries between friends or high-stakes games to determine who gets the last bite of the ice-cream sundae.
The brainchild of two native San Franciscan chefs, Dell'Uva sprung from a joint love of food and wine, inspired by travels around the world. After finishing culinary school, Juri McCorkle set off on a journey that carried his palate from Vietnamese markets to Swedish harvests, learning new cooking techniques and ways of saying "These are onion tears" along the way. Returning to the states with a renewed sense of epicurean adventurism, Juri teamed up with chef Jason Marcucci. Together, the two dreamed up a food and wine venue reminiscent of cozy cafés found abroad. The result was Dell'Uva, where an extensive selection of domestic and imported varietals transports palates across the globe, from Napa Valley to Argentina. Diners tuck into tapas from a menu focused on locally sourced ingredients, along with artisan cheeses and charcuterie-cured meats. Dishes pair with themed wine flights composed of vintages from Bordeaux, bubbly wines from France, Italy, and Napa, and dessert wines. Reclining on the outdoor patio or inside amidst the warm tones of the bar and dining room, guests snack on house-cured rosemary balsamic olives, rustic pizzas, and rich desserts.
In 2008, literary-minded barkeeps opened the doors to McTeague's Saloon, named after Frank Norris's naturalist novel about an uncouth dentist living on Polk Street in the early 20th century. Thrillist praises the bar's nostalgic atmosphere, calling it an "homage to turn of the century NorCal … executed in exacting detail." Like McTeague's dental parlor, the bar welcomes customers with a giant golden molar hanging over the door. Inside, old-timey details include deep booths, exposed ceiling beams, and a redwood bar, and a glowing jukebox, TVs playing sports, and running water remind patrons of the modern world's more notable amenities. Knowledgeable bartenders expound upon a formidable selection of bourbon, scotch, and whiskey or fill pints from a vast selection of on-tap brews. Occasionally, the small stage hosts live concerts, delighting intimate audiences with guitar ditties, tuneful vocals, or protracted flossing demonstrations.