Words by Simon Difford on 15-Aug-2013

Address: 3200 16th Street, (corner of Guerrero), San Francisco, California, CA 94103, United States
Tel: +1 415 552 1633
Email: H@ElixirSF.com
Website: view Elixir’s website
Door: Open door/walk-ins
Style: Neighbourhood bar
Food: Bar Snacks
Established: 1858


With roots dating back to 1858, this neighbourhood bar occupies San Francisco's second oldest saloon location. The restored original mahogany back bar reminds guests of San Francisco's Wild West roots. Indeed, Elixir is somewhat rough and ready in a lived in dive bar kind-a-way.

Late afternoon, there's usually a group of dog walkers lined up at the bar enjoying a daily pint and a catch-up. You can tell that this bar is a second home to lots of San Franciscans. There's a dart board in the corner and sports TVs. When 'H' (the owner) feels inclined, he'll take his barbeque out to the pavement out front, and invite passers-by to join him for a burger.

In the evening this unpretentious joint fills with a youngish bohemian crowd with the music turned up and the atmosphere buzzy. Cocktails are reliable but not highbrow and the menu has both a good range of classic cocktails and some inspiring seasonal cocktails which use organic ingredients whenever possible.

This is no high-end bar, but if you want to stray off the regular cocktail trail and see gritty, fun San Francisco then this is a place to go.