Foreign Cinema's sumac-rimmed, Persian-style Bloody Mary. (Courtesy of Drunken Tomato)

12 Bloody Good Marys in San Francisco

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Fiery, sweet, or peppery, there's nothing quite like a good Bloody Mary.

When it comes to brunch cocktails, beyond a yummy mimosa, there's no denying that the Bloody Mary reigns supreme. With a multitude of pungent flavors varying from mild and sweet to spicy and zesty, the options are endless; and with a tomato base and celery and pickled green beans for toppings, it's basically a salad, right? You can even toss in a bacon strip for some protein. We won't tell.


Finnegans Wake

The Bloody Mary at Finnegans Wake is so good, it won the best traditional Bloody Mary at the Bloody Mary Festival twice (in 2015 and 2016). Its award-winning ingredients include Marz vodka, horseradish, and Sacramento tomato juice. // 937 Cole St. (Cole Valley) , finneganssf.com.

Zeitgeist

It'd be a crime to talk about San Francisco Bloody Marys without giving Zeitgeist a shout-out. Their's is the perfect balance of spicy, smooth, and strong, with a generous amount of vegetables to balance it out; and it's best enjoyed outside on the biergarten patio. // 199 Valencia St. (The Mission), zeitgestsf.com.

Elite Cafe

This New Orleans-inspired cafe has earned Bloody Mary notoriety for their three-level version of this classic, made with standard, jalapeno, or habanero vodka. Pick your poison—they're all delicious. // 2049 Fillmore St. (Pacific Heights), theelitecafe.com.

Harvey's

Forget one, this Castro watering hole has seven Bloody Marys on their menu, all named after famous Marys. Harvey's is serving up everything from the pepper-infused vodka Bloody Mary Lou Retton, to the citrusy Bloody Mary Tyler Moore, to the tequila-splashed Bloody Mary Montez. We love them all. // 500 Castro St. (Castro), harveyssf.com.

Zuni Cafe

Zuni Cafe's Balsamic Bloody Mary has earned a well-deserved spot on virtually every roundup of San Francisco Bloody Marys—and once you try it, it's crystal clear why. True to its name, the balsamic vinegar adds a sweet and tangy kick that's irresistible. // 1658 Market St. (Hayes Valley), zunicafe.com.

Elixir

Take matters into your own hands with Elixir's notorious DIY Bloody Mary bar, and choose between three kinds of juice, 17 hot sauces, numerous spices and peppers, and all the essential vegetable fixings. Play mad scientist with the wide array of ingredients, or keep it classic and pair your half-full pint glass of vodka with Clamato and celery. 3200 16th St. (Upper Market), elixirsf.com.

Park Tavern

This classic American tavern in North Beach not only serves up a killer Bloody Mary complete with worcestershire sauce, horseradish, and Tabasco, but also an equally-good Michelada, which consists of lemonade, house-made hot sauce, and pickled jalapenos. //1652 Stockton St. (North Beach), parktavernsf.com.

Foreign Cinema

The Persian Bloody Mary makes it clear from the get-go that you won't find a typical mix stocked at this restaurant. Additions of curry and balsamic vinegar make this a standout on the list. // 2534 Mission St. (Mission), foreigncinema.com.

Cliff House

The Cliff House's version of the Bloody Mary tied for 1st place in 2015 (with Finnegan's Wake) as the Bloody Mary Festival's best traditional Bloody Mary. It is so good, the oceanside restaurant sells the mix to patrons. // 1090 Point Lobos (Sea Cliff), cliffhouse.com.

Waterbar

Many say that a Bloody Mary is like a meal. This is definitely true of the Ultimate Bloody Mary at Waterbar. The mighty drink includes Ketel One vodka, gulf prawns, a house-made spice blend, and smoked bacon. // 399 Embarcadero (FiDi) , waterbarsf.com.

The Ramp

Not only can you have one of the best Bloody Marys at The Ramp, but you can also enjoy it in the sunshine, right by Mission Bay. // 855 Terry A Francois Blvd. (Dogpatch), theramprestaurant.com.

Thieves Tavern

The BLT Bloody Mary is aptly named—the perfectly spicy mix comes with a high-rise garnish of bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes. // 496 14th St. (Mission), Facebook.

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