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Review of Bourbon and Branch

Bourbon and Branch
Ranked #154 of 5,693 Restaurants in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $100
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed August 23, 2012 via mobile

Whilst visiting relatives on a trip to San Francisco from the UK this place was reccomended to us as THE place to go for whiskey cocktails.
As an avid fan of quality service and cocktails, bourbon and branch didn't disappoint. Some might say it's a bit showy but surely that's the foundation of their business. My wife and I loved the theatre of the password entrance, the low level lighting and relaxed atmosphere. You only get a limited time and the list is huge but it worked out we could squeeze two amazing drinks in each. Considering the location and the quality we expected to pay a lot more than we did and, compared to similar quality bars in London, it's about a third of what you'd pay!
Can't reccomended this enough.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Andy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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401 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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  • Any
English first
Bend, Oregon
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Amazing atmosphere with great drinks.”
Reviewed August 20, 2012

This was our first visit to a speak easy. IT WAS SO COOL!!! Loved every minute of it. Although we didnt make it any further than the bar. The bartender was fresh from Ireland and he really treated us well. Highly recommend the Irish Whiskey Flights.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Thank Deanna U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
102 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“A Pure Speakeasy”
Reviewed August 15, 2012

Bourbon and Branch was an experience to remember! We visited with some friends who live in the City and have done their bar and restaurant research. Our reservation was for one hour and once we sat down we were already wishing for more time. The cocktails are extremely interesting and creative, some using ingredients that aren't commonly found - either in the U.S. or at all! They seem to seek out the unusual and make it extraordinary.

As it neared the end of our hour, we asked our hostess if we could have another drink, and luckily they had an open table for the next hour so they let us stay. The service was fantastic and efficient, and it was fun people watching. Next time I'd love to sit at the bar and watch the bartenders do their magic.

Be sure to get a reservation in advance if you want to sit down in the speakeasy. If you don't have a reservation you may get escorted through to the Library, a part of the facility that is already accessible from the street.

Also note that they do not serve food, so it is a great after dinner option.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Thank Michele L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
85 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Great Experience”
Reviewed August 13, 2012

I found out about this place from a friend in San Francisco. I was visiting from Georgia and this sounded fun. I went on their website to try and make a reservation, but there were six people with our group, so I was directed to call. I called and got a reservation for a table for six for one hour, which is plenty of time to have one drink. I would recommend you go to their website to read the history.....Once I called, I recieved an email with the password. We arrived about 10 minutes early, we were met at the door and required to have a password. There rare selection of sprirts were amazing and for the most part, very affordable. Friendly and knowledgeable waitress.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Thank Paige B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
33 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Rough start, but overall a good experience”
Reviewed August 1, 2012

We arrived at Bourbon and Branch at precisely the time for which we had made our reservation. However, the doorman asked me for ID, which I didn't have given that I am 33 and haven't been ID'd for a bar in years. I spoke to the host inside, gave my name and indicated that I had to quickly go back to our hotel to get my ID (which was less than a five-minute walk away), and he specifically said that he would hold our reservation.

When we returned, the hostess seated us at the end of what was then a nearly-empty bar (in front of a big bowl of lemons and other drink garnishes, straws etc which took up about half of the space on the bar). This was despite the fact that there were at least two open tables directly behind the bar. When I asked if we could have one of the tables, she indicated that those were for larger parties (they each had three seats, and we were a party of two). However, about 30 seconds later, she sat a couple at one of them. When I asked why that was, she indicated that it was because they had been on time for their reservation, while we hadn't been. Despite telling her that we were happy to leave at the end time of our reservation despite arriving a few minutes late, she refused to seat us at the other available tables. When I told her that we had specifically confirmed that our table would be held while we went back to our hotel, she said she would see what she could do. Several minutes passed during which nothing was done, and no one came to speak to us.

Eventually, the person I had initially spoken to about holding our table offered us a table upstairs in the Wilson bar. In the end, I preferred the ambiance and decor in that bar anyway, so we were happy to have been moved. The bartenders were excellent, and apologized for the incident on our arrival. Apparently the hostess was in training (although in my opinion that doesn't excuse rudeness). They also bought our first round of drinks, which were excellent. I had some sort of champagne cocktail, which I would highly recommend for non-whiskey drinkers.

In the end, we had an enjoyable night, and I appreciated their efforts to rectify the situation. I will probably go back the next time I'm in San Francisco.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
1 Thank Kay M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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