Photography by

Words by Simon Difford on 16-Aug-2013

Alembic image 1

Address: 1725 Haight Street, (btwn Cole & Shrader Sts), San Francisco, California, CA 94117, United States
Tel: +1 415 666 0822
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Daily: 12pm-1am
Door: Go early
Style: Gastro bar
Recommended for: Cocktails
Price guide: Middling
Food: Plates & dishes
Established: 2006


In its former life, the bar-top at Alembic was a group of baseball benches from the local stadium, which explains the embossed seat numbers on the wooden bar, and adds to the wholesome all-American feel at Alembic. There are filament-exposed bulbs hanging from the ceiling, and handwritten chalk blackboards which list the bar's spirits.

The cocktail menu is divided into two groups, on one page is 'The Canon,' listing classic cocktails like Sazeracs or Old Fashioneds; on the other is a 'New School' list of original drinks, including 'The Vow of Silence' - claiming to be 'responsible for breaking more than one vow', and the very north American Pumpkin v.3.14.

The bar snacks at Alembic were memorable - in particular the jerk-spiced duck hearts with pickled pineapple and thyme salt ($5). It's also worth noting the interesting cheese selection which ranged from Spanish Idiazsbal to California's Bellwether Carmody. All eventualities are catered for in this warm and homely bar - it's the little touches that make the difference, right down to the lumps of cucumber flavouring the tap water.

Alembic image 1
Alembic image 2
Alembic image 3
Alembic image 4
Alembic image 5