San Francisco doesn’t have a lot of secret bars and it’s not hard to find the ones that do exist - they probably realize that you need actual customers to survive. Pawn Shop in Soma is another “secret” spot, but instead of having inventive drinks or a constantly changing passcode to get in, it’s primarily an actual restaurant. When you walk in, you’re greeted by a wig-wearing pawnbroker named Jerry who leads you through the ridiculously decorated “pawn shop” up front and into a windowless room that feels like a hidden cabaret bar, with a peacock-colored glowing bar and stained glass on the walls. There are no cocktails here, but the wine list is solid and goes with the tapas they serve, like pan con tomate and serrano ham, along with larger things like pulpo a la plancha. After you’ve spent enough time here to justify the potentially long wait to get inside, head back out through the pawn shop and thank Jerry for showing you the back room where he keeps all the good stuff.
More spots in SomaSee more
Louie’s is a bar in the Financial District that feels like a nice dive. Watch games and eat bar bites or full meals in this brick wall establishment.
We’re still on the lookout for a SoMa go-to, near the ballpark. Marlowe is a base hit but not a home run. (Clever, we know.)
Everdene on top of the Virgin Hotel is a rooftop bar with near 360-degree views of the city from SoMa.
More Spanish spotsSee more
Canela Bistro & Wine Bar
Canela is a tapas and wine bar that happens to be one of our favorite spots in the Castro.
Suggested by our writers
Some of the best Spanish food in town is at Bellota, at the bottom of the Airbnb building in Soma.
Bar Agricole is one of the great utility players in the SF dining scene. Perfect For many occasions.
A low key Russian Hill wine bar with excellent meat and cheese. The ladies love Union Larder.
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