With so many styles and surprising ingredients, beer's versatility makes it a perfect partner for food. These Bay Area restaurants expertly pair pints with what's on the menu.
This Castro neighborhood gem features seasonal comfort food crafted with beer in mind, and the regionally focused draft and bottle list also includes a few Belgians and big-name labels. Boutique breweries often headline pairing dinners and themed events on the cozy patio. 3583 16th St., San Francisco, 415.252.7500
Founder Dave McLean began brewing small-batch ales in the basement of this Haight-Ashbury gastropub in the late 1990s, and he’s expanding with a new beer and barbeque place in the Dogpatch neighborhood later this year. Cask and draft beers complement the farm-fresh menu, and enthusiasts can also grab growlers to go. 1398 Haight St., San Francisco, 415.864.7468
Check out the chalkboard menu for draft options at this Fillmore favorite, or dig into an extensive bottle list that’s big on Belgians and categorized by flavor—crisp, hoppy, sour, malty and more. The casual cafe puts an upscale spin on cuisine, offering a tasty mix of shareable plates and flatbreads. 1740 O'Farrell St., San Francisco, 415.525.3013
With communal tables, a sleek bar and an ambitious tap selection showcasing the biggest names in Bay Area brewing, this Oakland newcomer puts its own stamp on the beer hall concept. Complete the classic tasting experience with an order of sausage plus a salad, side or soft pretzel. 375 40th St., Oakland, 510.338.3847
Mill Valley Beerworks
Locals pack bar and communal table seats at this Marin County gathering spot, where beers pair well with market-driven dishes showcasing the region’s produce, meat and seafood. Try a house-brewed pint, or choose from a long bottle list that boasts plenty of international and hard-to-find options. 173 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley, 415.888.8218
Though best known for its artisan wine selection, this modern venue just off Market Street also carries a well-curated assortment of lagers and ales—and the beer menu includes helpful tasting notes for each. The lively lounge dishes up charcuterie, cheese platters and seasonally influenced small plates, as well. 20 Yerba Buena Lane, San Francisco, 415.744.5000