Flaming Drinks to Ramen: A Guide to Winter in SF

By Tamara Palmer  |  February 10, 2014
Credit: Twenty Five Lusk

It's officially February, and the drizzly, drippy cold we've grown to expect this time of year has settled in with a vengeance. Here are the best ways to warm up and steel yourself from the elements in San Francisco.

  • Credit: Elixir

    Hot Drinks, Adult-Style

    Head to Elixir, where it is warm and unpretentious and there's usually some sort of flaming drink to distract you from the fact that it's winter. Right now, get the Sore Loser, a mix of Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur and everyone's favorite malt whiskey-honey liqueur, Drambuie.

  • Credit: Tamara Palmer

    Meal-Making Soup

    A quick bowl of Men Oh Tokushima Ramen provides a lasting blast of internal heat for the body. You can get the pork-bone broth with salt (tonkotsu) or soy (Tokushima, named after the Japanese town where this restaurant was founded). The former comes with a lovely cooked egg, while the latter comes with the more daring raw egg.

  • Credit: Caviar

    Comfort Food Worth the Extra Pounds

    Citizen's Band knows that if you're going to have a calorie splurge in the name of powering through a cold spell, you should make it count. That's why you should come here for bacon, onion rings and cheese-topped mac 'n' cheese, burgers with fried-egg "sombreros," a pork-belly take on poutine with potatoes and eggs (pictured), and desserts by neighbor Pinkie's Bakery.

  • Romance-Igniting Fireplace

    Downstairs at Twenty Five Lusk, jet-set fireplaces provide the perfect toastiness while you unwind with a drink. Bar bites like tempura octopus with basil and black garlic vinaigrette and Bavarian pretzels with Gruyère fondue are certainly a cut above the average bar fare in the adjacent blocks. 

  • Where to Warm Up After Ice-Skating

    The Yerba Buena location of Samovar Tea Lounge is located right near the Yerba Buena Ice Skating Center. After you've taken off your blades of glory, it's a two-minute walk over here into a tranquil space with an intriguing menu of international teas and bites. Indulge in a full Russian, Japanese or English service, or order à la carte from choices like smoked duck jook (porridge), quinoa waffles and grilled cheese sandwiches.

  • Heated Patio

    There's a good reason beyond legalities that San Francisco doesn't have many rooftop restaurants. But El Techo de Lolinda does a remarkable job of keeping the outdoor roof space warm and shielded from the wind chill. It's an easy place to share plates of carnitas, chicharrones and skewers over stiff cocktails.

  • Credit: Tamara Palmer

    Hot Chocolate Time

    Christopher Elbow Artisan Chocolates in Hayes Valley takes the art of European-style drinking chocolate to sophisticated levels with a menu of enticing flavors. Our favorite is a deep and dark Venezuelan chocolate spiced with cinnamon and red chiles. It packs the potency of a Depth Charge and will rocket you through any inclement weather.