Words by Johanna Harlow
Baby, it’s cold outside—so curl up with a craft cocktail in one of these cozy bars.
faith and spirits
Faith and Spirits has that old-school class that whisks guests off to a previous era. With oriental rugs, a button-tufted sofa and a phonograph in the corner, this bar’s turn-of-the-century living room charm makes it the perfect locale for highballs and martinis. The coziness continues with lamps on every table and live music. Depending on the night, you’ll listen to acoustic guitar or dueling pianos. If you’re not one to sit back, warm up your vocals and come Wednesdays for karaoke (with an accompanying pianist) or lace up your dancing shoes on Thursdays for salsa, bachata and merengue. 765 Laurel Street. Open nightly.
Cover Photo: Sheilla Photography / Photo: Paulette Phlipott
Follow your flight of fancy to Fogbird Lounge, where regulars alight for enchanting evenings in downtown San Mateo. Once a dusty tiki bar, the space has been revitalized with exposed brick, orb lights and playful fern wallpaper. Here, no one will give you guff for ordering the ol’ standbys, but you won’t regret shaking things up with one of Fogbird’s signature cocktails like Swan Song, Night Owl or Old Sparrow. One to surely lift your spirits: Next Flight to Cabo with reposado tequila and Campari punctuated with a grapefruit and lime zing. Feeling peckish? They’ve got that covered too. Dunk warm pretzels into mustard and cheese sauces or tortilla chips into a skillet of spinach-artichoke dip. 144 South B Street. Open Monday to Saturday.
Let the maps covering the wall be your clue: the travel-themed cocktails at Amandine will taste of adventure. So get yourself a Beautiful Oaxacan Sunburn, experience a Shipwreck or have a tasty encounter with a Swashbuckler. And don’t forget to check out the “Postcards From” series—Amandine’s love letter to countries around the world. The Oaxacan “postcard” mixes up mezcal, agave, lime and prickly pear, while a Postcard from Spain blooms with botanical gin, floral vermouth, grapefruit, juniper and rosemary. With its speakeasy-esque atmosphere, Amandine makes a perfect date night rendezvous, so slip into a candle-lit dark-red booth with your paramour for deep conversations well into the night. 235 1st Street, Los Altos. Open Monday to Saturday.