Slideshow: Where to Take a Date for Drinks in San Francisco

After an Outdoorsy Date: Sutro's at the Cliff House
After an Outdoorsy Date: Sutro's at the Cliff House
The Cliff House is kind of far out for those not living on the western half of the city, but there are several reasons why it makes a great spot for a date. Located right between Sutro Baths and Ocean Beach, the Cliff House has been one of the best places in San Francisco to watch a sunset since 1858. Start with a walk on the beach, or head over after checking out the Sutro Baths. The bars at Cliff House and down below at Sutro's have similar cocktail menus, but with its floor to ceiling windows, Sutro's wins for best view of the Pacific...on a clear day you can see all the way to the green rolling hills of the Marin headlands.

Sutro's at the Cliff House: 1090 Point Lobos Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94121 (map) 415-386-3330; cliffhouse.com

What to Order at Sutro's: The Ramos Fizz
What to Order at Sutro's: The Ramos Fizz
When visiting a place this old, it makes sense to stick to a classic cocktail like the Ramos Fizz. This light and foamy drink gets its body from vigorously shaken egg whites mixed with half and half and Gordon’s Gin. A touch of orange flower water adds a delicate floral side. And at $5 a pop, you don't have to stress about picking up the tab.
For an After-Work Date: RN74
For an After-Work Date: RN74
If you're working downtown, meet up for drinks at RN74; the sophisticated lounge area offers some great happy hour deals as well as a serious wine list. Even when it gets a little crowded, the dim lighting and soft low-set leather couches make for a comfortable atmosphere. Happy hour bites, like smoked salmon beignets and buttery escargots, are just $7 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., so order when you arrive.

RN74: 301 Mission St, San Francisco, CA (map) 415-543-7474; website

Before or After a Movie: The Hideout at Dalva
Before or After a Movie: The Hideout at Dalva
This hidden gem in the back of Dalva can get crowded on weekends, but hit it up on a weeknight before or after a movie at the Roxy Theater next door. Intricately prepared cocktails make this a great spot for the fancy cocktail lover. The sultry atmosphere mixed with strong drinks means it isn't uncommon to see someone making out in one of the dark corner booths. Don’t be afraid to ask the bartenders for a cocktail recommendation; if you're in the mood for mezcal, go with The Hideout Sour, a deliciously smoky blend of Fidencio Clásico Mezcal, honey vinegar, lemon, egg white and Angostura. The foamy texture makes for a potent but incredibly rich and smooth concoction.

Hideout at Dalva: 3121 16th Street, San Francisco, CA (map) 415-252-7740; facebook.com/dalva.hideout

For a City View: Top of The Mark
For a City View: Top of The Mark
This bar on the top floor of the InterContinental Mark Hopkins hotel offers one of the best views of San Francisco you can find. If you feel like dancing, stop by Wednesday through Saturday for oldies and funk bands, and snag a corner table for views that span from the Golden Gate Bridge all the way to the Bay Bridge. For a quieter evening, plan your date for Sunday or Monday.

Top of the Mark: 999 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94108 (map) 415-616-6916; intercontinentalmarkhopkins.com/top_of_the_mark