Related Articles: Bars, All

Get Your Drink On

So you're skipping dinner but you need to add some public stimulation to your evening. Then it's time to visit one of the plenty makeout bars in this town. Our favorite is C. Bobby's Owl Tree at Post and Taylor, easily San Francisco's most bizarre corner bar. C. Bobby is quite the curmudgeon, but his owl-encrusted decor, stiff Manhattans, low lighting and loungy, wetnap-stocked tables encourage both conversation and stolen kisses behind the owl-shaped beer menu.

We've waxed nostalgic before about Li Po's virtues as a makeout bar; its cave-like entrance and often-empty, red-boothed back room scream for errant couples to enter, have a cocktail and smooch licentiously out of view of the Chinese men playing games at the bar.

In the Castro, Lucky 13 is a good bet for blending into the crowd and making out, not because it's romantic at all but because Lucky 13 is one of the last remaining "anything goes" punk-ass bars in town.

26Mix, down by Cesar Chavez, is hit-or-miss in many respects; sometimes it's a steamy, packed DJ bar and sometimes it's a subdued lounge scene. Regardless, if you get there early enough on most any night, you can snag the circular booth by the window and get to know your date over a Mojito or a Marzen while the bartenders and the DJs set the lighting and music just right for the night.

El Rio and the Wild Side West both foster well-known lesbian scenes, but regardless of your orientation you'll want to take advantage of the outdoor patios at these Outer Mission/Bernal Heights standbys. The Wild Side West is true frontier town-meets-fishing village nostalgia, both tough and adorable in equal parts, while El Rio has more of a deluxe Caribbean pool shack feel. Both patios, of course, are optimal for making out.