Top 12 Hidden Bars in San Francisco

By Niraj Kakade on Nov 23, 2016
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First rule of hidden bars is we don’t talk about hidden bars. Can you guess the second rule? Keeping up with the tradition of breaking rules we cannot help ourselves but tell you about some of the most secretive bars in San Francisco. After all some of them are inside a bank vault!!
So here are some hidden bars in San Francisco you need to find NOW!

1) The Hogshead Reserve 

Hidden Bars in San Francisco 

Image Source: barrelroomsf/Facebook

The best part of speakeasy bars is their sheer unpredictability. There is no better example of this than The Hogshead Reserve. Why you may ask? Because this bar which is underneath The Barrel Room’s wine store has not one or two but three hidden rooms! One of those resembles inside of bank vault (yes you read that right). If you ever wanted to sit inside a bank vault, sip your cocktail and think about ironies in life, this is the place to go! To find this, just simply walk to the rear end of the wine store and take a left. No, you don’t need a combination lock to open the vault.

2) Marianne’s

Everyone at one point wanted to be a secret spy or James Bond and have their own little safe house with cool gadgets. You can now live that fantasy (sort of). Replace the hi-tech gadgets with rare whisky and extensive cocktail list. To enter this place, you’ll need a special code which you have to punch in at the door. This code can only be obtained if you are a member, or are invited by one. Inside you will find interiors that look like they are pulled from royal castles and palaces. They have a rare collection of whisky which you can sip while sitting on one of their very comfortable chairs. 

3) Tivoli Sour Room

It is said that nothing good ever comes out of the basement. But this bar might just prove it wrong. To enter this fine basement establishment, enter Mikkeller and look for a staircase that will lead you downstairs, head down left and you will come across The Sour room. The bar is fairly lit with nice interiors and murals. There is no view as this is an underground bar, but the lively music makes it up for everything. A visit here is one of the most enjoyable things to do in San Francisco.

4) The Hidden Vine

This place takes its name a bit too seriously. It is very difficult to find unless you know where to look. Good for you we already know where it is so don’t go knocking on stranger’s doors. Look for a little alley between some of the two busiest streets of the finical district. Once inside you will find a very cozy place which looks cut-off from the hustle and bustle of San Francisco. They have a collection of over 800 wine bottles which you can enjoy with some delicious gourmet meal. 

5) The Ipswitch


Image Source: bourbonandbranch/Facebook

It seems only fair to include a REAL speakeasy which is operational during the prohibition era. The Ipswitch is located in the basement of Bourbon & Branch which can only be accessed by a trap door (told you basements are fun). The Ipswitch is available only for large bookings. So next time when your HR is looking for a place for a corporate party you know what to do.

6) Leopard Lounge

No there are no actual Leopards here. Also no leopard was harmed during the construction of this speakeasy. To enter this place, go upstairs from the Romper Room and you will come across the Leopard Lounge. The interiors are bright red in color with a leopard printed carpet (obviously). The another exciting thing is that this secret place comes with a secret menu, with some exotic cocktails to offer! They also have some delicious food on the menu. So go wild! (I’m sorry)

7) The Gotham Club

This next entry on our list will attract all the Batman nerds out there. Contrary to it’s name it is not located in Gotham, but behind the scoreboard of the AT&T park. To enter, look for the G/C logo with crossed bats just pass the Virgin America Loft. If you are a member or know a member you will have access to a secret hidden area which includes a private bowling alley and a Billiards room. They have wide selection of rare whiskies exotic cocktails which are served with baseball shaped ice cubes.

8) Bourbon & Branch

Wasn’t it cool when Batman use to enter his Batcave through a book which used to open up when the correct book was picked up? You can have the experience at Bourbon & Branch (sort of). All you will need is a secret password which you will have to whisper into the telecom. Inside you will find a very rustic place with beautiful chandeliers and just the perfect lighting. There is also a bookshelf which you can use to find your own Batcave. Grab one of the crafted cocktails while going through every book. 

9) Wilson & Wilson 


Image Source: Wilson & Wilson/Facebook

This next place is actually located within Bourbon & Branch like one other entry on our list (Ipswitch). Don’t worry you don’t need to remember a string of password to get in. Make a reservation well in advance and get your Wilson & Wilson password which you will need to whisper into the intercom. Once inside you will be taken through a wall, which actually doubles down as a door. The interiors are compared to something you’d see in Peter Jackson movie bar or a Skyrim bar. 

10) Hideout at Dalva

This is one of the cases where the bar doesn’t take its own name seriously. Despite being a popular bar in the city it is still quite difficult to find. Look for a sign that says Hideout and walk towards it. Inside you’ll find a cozy little space with some real amazing lighting and good music. The cocktails are strong and the tap beer is lovely here!

11) 15 Romolo

Named after the Romolo PI, this is ironically one of the toughest bars to find. But don’t worry, we will let you in on the secret. To enter just go north of Romolo PI and look for Basque Hotel sign, take a left when you come across it. What’s inside will truly impress you with Gothic interior, a phone booth and old fashioned barrels. Try out their craft cocktails to blend into the weirdness around you. 

12) Musto Bar 

Remember when we talked about Batman and his Batcave? If you’re still looking for the secret book lever at Wilson & Wilson, we’d suggest you to come here. To enter this place, you actually need to pull a book lever. The interiors are green with golden chair. The bartender will offer you a fancy named cocktail on your request. The only catch is you need to be a member or know a member to get in. So pull out that phonebook and start dialing.
Remember be safe and don’t get lost in the labyrinth! Non-drinkers can book food tours in San Francisco to taste the foods from beach side cafes and bakeries. 
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