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3174 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

“Sit anywhere, a bartender will find you,” is the typical greeting at ABV, an understated San Fran neighbourhood cocktail bar with world-class service. The floor staff are bartenders some nights and servers others, so customers are always interacting with people who know both menu and back bar inside out. The cocktails are typically made with lesser-known, robustly flavoured spirits and modifiers. For everyone else, there’s rosé on tap and Modelo in the can.

ABV opens in the early afternoon and functions a bit like a day-care centre for visiting bartenders and other industry out-of-towners before everyone else packs in for the night. Over the past year it added Overproof in the balcony level, a popular reservations-only seated tasting menu concept featuring five or more bites and beverages for a package price. The food and beverage theme (rum, whisky, gin and sherry) rotates every three months, and the entire room is redecorated to match.