B Restaurant and Bar
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Expansive views, plentiful sangria and dollar oysters during happy hour? What more could you want? B Restaurant and Bar has some serious attitude on the menu (truffle fries or Peruvian fried chicken sliders make an appearance) but it’s the view that’s truly unrivalled. From the top level of the Moscone Center and Gardens, you’ll get a good look at the Yerba Buena Gardens, a nearby waterfall and the spread of San Francisco.
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Rooftop25 at Twenty Five Lusk brings a Sonoma feel to an elevated area with mini olive trees and woven loungers. But the atmosphere is actually munh punchier than the décor suggests – including a cocktail list that includes spicy passionfruit margarita slushies and bottled piña coladas.
Oeste Rooftop Café
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Though not strictly San Francisco, this Oakland bar is only a 20-minute trip across the bay. No need to squeeze for space at this 90-seater rooftop and if you’ve come for a drink, you’ll be tempted to stay for more: the menu centres on sustainably and locally farmed Californian produce, expressed in the dishes of Southern and Latino-fused fare.
The View at San Francisco Marriott Marquis
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It may not be open to the elements but that hardly matters with a vista like this. The View is a like a wide, unblinking eye over the cityscape of San Francisco, perfectly capturing the area’s captivating sprawl with rolling hills in the background. Platters are resplendent with artisan cheeses and delicious charcuterie while drinks lean towards the classic – think
Loews Regency San Francisco
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It’s the third tallest building in the city so stellar views are guaranteed at Loews Regency’s Skydeck. From this viewing point – 40 floors in the air – drink sippers can spot the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island and see even as far as the mountains of Marin county. The cocktail menu regularly rotates, giving guests an excuse to return on multiple occasions.
Hotaling & Co.
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It was only two years ago when this gin-, vodka- and whiskey-distilling dynamo decided to open its charming rooftop to punters for a tipple. The rooftop garden features rose geraniums, berries and blooming fruit and citrus trees – all of which can be sampled as you make your way around for a tasting of the six varieties on Thursdays and Fridays.
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This eatery and bar gives the phrase “dinner and a movie” a whole new meaning. With a cluster of tables topped with white linens, gathered under a sprinkle of marquee lights and a plexi-glass roof, the romantic atmosphere is aided by the fact the brick wall at the end of the terrace becomes the screen for evening showings of independent and foreign films.
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Cocktails are the drink to order at Dirty Habit, a sleek watering hole perched five floors above the busy SOMA district: from shot and beer pairings to shareable potent punch bowls, every level of thirst will be quenched by the inventive drinks list. The bar nibbles make perfect accompaniments, too – enjoy fine dining favourites such as seared foie gras and dayboat scallops parcelled into bite-size portion.
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Towering over the glittering South Beach district, Hotel VIA’s location gives rooftop dwellers a clear shot of the Bay Bridge, the East Bay Hills and AT&T Park (home of the San Francisco Giants). The hotel’s interiors also emulate that oh-so-San Francisco minimalist loft look locals love to showcase – a collection of private cabanas spread out over the terrazzo don’t hurt, either.