Bars & Clubs 2019


Intro | Shrubs | Cocktails | Old Fashioned | Beer | Video Game Bars | Sports Bars | Trivia Night | Wine | Music & Dance | Gay Bars | Gentlemen's Clubs

HEADY DRINKS: Excelling at the craft cocktail game requires an encyclopedic knowledge of liquors, liqueurs and other ingredients—and understanding how they all work together. Photo by Greg Ramar

The craft cocktail revolution continues to challenge tipplers' taste buds all over the country. Here in Silicon Valley, the trend has exploded in recent years, with bartenders seeking out unique ingredients and paying closer attention to the overall balance and presentation of their beverages.

55 South
55 S First St, San Jose
408.288.6000 |
Though not as grandiose as some other craft cocktail spots in Silicon Valley, this humble lounge boasts some of the best and most imaginative drinks in downtown San Jose. For those into sweet, rummy drinks, the monthly Tiki Tuesday celebration is a can't-miss.

The Cedar Room
1875 S Bascom Ave, Campbell
Attached to the recently revitalized and rebranded Pruneyard Cinemas, The Cedar Room serves up food and craft cocktails, which can be enjoyed in the mellow atmosphere of the bar itself or while watching a movie in one of the multiplex's theaters.

Five Points
169 W Santa Clara St, San Jose
408.982.5816 |
Featuring an eclectic mix of punches, house shots and specialty cocktails, this bar's exquisite carpentry provides a smoky ambience that pairs well with their excellent drink menu.

Formerly known as Hult's, Flights pairs small plates and upscale drinks for a leisurely sipping and snacking experience and boasts three South Bay locations—in Campbell, Los Gatos and Mountain View.

43 W San Salvador St, San Jose.
408.792.7356 |
Haberdasher is often credited with being the pioneer of craft cocktails in the South Bay. First opened as Single Barrel in 2010, it was initially branded as a speakeasy (it is literally underground, afterall). It changed its name a few years later, but the crew of Haberdasherstill serve up some mean vintage cocktails, alongside more modern concoctions for customers' sipping pleasure.

Labyrinth Bar & Kitchen
45 Post St, San Jose | 408.755.5031
Combining Asian fusion and craft cocktails, the menu at Labyrinth features a number of plays on the mule—including the Imperial Mule, made with Japanese whiskey.

Lexington House
40 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos
408.354.1600 |
First rate in every way, the Lexington is one of the few places to have food that rivals its stunning bar menu. The Lexington offers multiple flights of scotch and single malts to melt the heart.

Mortar & Pestle
3250 Zanker Rd, San Jose
408.770.3541 |
Craft cocktails paired with delicious Indian street food from the vaunted Curry Up Now food truck. Try sweet bites like Indian Railway Cutlet and Kofta Fauja Singh, and then chase with the Bangalore Old Fashioned or the Husband & Wife.

48 S 1st St, San Jose
408.287.7199 | nomikai san jose
What better place to sample tasty Japanese whiskeys than at a Japanese restaurant and bar? Nomikai, offers small bites, craft cocktails and a choice selection of whiskeys and sakes from The Land of the Rising Sun.

Oak & Rye
303 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos
408.395.4441 |
Lazy date night eats paired with premium spirits make this a pizza-cocktail get together we can get behind. Learn more about what you're drinking at their regular tasting classes.

The Oxford
195 S Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale
408.245.8503 |
The pride of historic Murphy Avenue, this downtown London-inspired pub is bustling with authentic ethnic cuisines from around the world and a few forceful cocktails (e.g. The Dark Side #2 by Yoda).

Paper Plane
72 S 1st St, San Jose
408.713.2625 |
A wall of spirits seemingly reaches a mile high, but the cocktail craftsmanship goes a step further. The mixologists here make it hard to settle on a favorite, as the menu is regularly updated. Pro tip: Paper Plane also has some of the best food downtown.

The Table
1110 Willow St, San Jose
408.638.7911 |
Recognized as a mecca on the South Bay brunching scene, The Table has a huge selection of handcrafted cocktails. After a long night, consider the Corpse Reviver #2.

Timber & Salt
881 Middlefield Rd, Redwood City
650.362.3777 |
Timber & Salt does a little bit of everything: craft beers, a mix of imported and local wines, and enough comfort food to send us to sleep. But the real stars are The Masked Dancer, Cletus Del Roy and The Great Gabbo.

Verge Restaurant & Lounge
140 S Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos
408.884.1054 |
Located inside the Toll House Hotel, just about any cocktail will please, but there's just something irresistible about The Non-Vergen Mary, which includes Anaheim chile-pepper-infused vodka and Sriracha.

The Vesper
394 E Campbell Ave, Campbell
408.680.0401 |
It's best not to overthink it in a James Bond-inspired bar and just go with the eponymous cocktail. Also, great tasty small plates.