Night owls voted for Zagat’s 2013 San Francisco Nightlife Survey

Zagat Releases 2013 San Francisco Nightlife Survey Covering 601 Bay Area Nightspots

Zagat guide, known as the “burgundy bible”, released the results of its 2013 San Francisco Bay Area Nightlife Survey, covering 601 bars, clubs, lounges, and restaurants. The Survey is based on the voting of 3,617 night owls.

The “gorgeous Carmel sunset” provides a top-rated experience at Sunset Lounge in the Hyatt Carmel Highlands, this year’s winner for Top Atmosphere, while Bourbon & Branch in the Tenderloin won for its “swanky” Decor. Over in Hayes Valley, “friendly” bartenders “make you feel right at home” at Top Service winner, Place Pigalle, and surveyors chose the “long-standing” 1015 Folsom in SoMa as their Most Popular nightspot.

Among the unique nightlife options in the Bay Area are Cerveceria de MateVeza in the Castro, serving unusual beers that are naturally caffeinated because they are brewed with yerba mate, as well as Polk Gulch’s Upcider, where dozens of ciders from around the world are made available to customers.

When it comes to nightlife in the Bay Area, there’s something for everyone. The speakeasy trend continues to spread with bar-within-a-bar standout The Hancock Room (inside North Beach’s Sip Bar) and bespoke cocktails at the ironically named Big in the Tenderloin.

For those seeking cocktail specialists, the East Bay is experiencing a renaissance with Top Newcomer Plum Bar, as well as original and revived cocktails at Fauna, top-shelf spirits from Alex Smith (ex-Gitane) at Honor Bar and midpriced libations at Prizefighter, both located in Emeryville.

Meanwhile, oenophiles can take a flight from the “super-knowledgeable staff” of Cask Wine Bar in San Carlos, who navigate visitors through a global wine selection, or experience new wine bars such as Healdsburg’s Bergamot Alley, the “upscale without being pretentious” EtceteraWine Bar in the Mission, and SoMa’s Jamber Wine Pub.
The full list of Zagat’s 2013 San Francisco Nightlife Survey winners:
(S) = South of San Francisco; (N) = North of San Francisco

Best Atmosphere
1. Sunset Lounge (S)
2. Bourbon & Branch
3. Hotel Biron
4. Top of the Mark
5. Ritz-Carlton Lobby Lounge
Best Decor
1. Bourbon & Branch
2. Ritz-Carlton Lobby Lounge
3. Redwood Room
4. Sunset Lounge (S)
5. Smuggler’s Cove


Best Service
1. Place Pigalle
2. Residence
3. Mansion Lounge (N)
4. Ritz-Carlton Lobby Lounge
5. Twin Peaks Tavern
Popularity test
1. 1015 Folsom
2. 111 Minna
3. Bourbon & Branch
4. Ruby Skye
5. Britannia Arms (S)
Winners across other categories and features include:
(S) = South of San Francisco; (N) = North of San Francisco; (E) = East of San Francisco

● After Work: Specs Bar
● Lesbian: Cafe
● Beer Specialists: Trappist (E)
● Lounges: Ritz-Carlton Lobby Lounge
● Cocktail Specialists: Bourbon & Branch
● Music Performance Venue: Fillmore
● Dance Club: Mighty
● Newcomer: Plum Bar (E)
● Frat House: Jupiter (E)
● People-Watching: Vesuvio
● Gay: Last Call
● Sports Bar: Danny Coyle’s
● Hotel Bars: Sunset Lounge (Hyatt Carmel)
● Strip Club: Penthouse SF
● Jazz Clubs: Rrazz Room
● Wine Bar: Hotel Biron

Restaurants: In addition to nightspots, this year’s Survey includes 107 restaurants with outstanding nightlife scenes for views, meeting for a drink, or even grabbing a late bite. Among the top spots by feature are Auberge du Soleil (E) (Meet for a Drink), Ozumo (E/SF) (Single Scenes), Nopa (Open Late) and Jardiniere (People-Watching.)