Best Bar at Which to Nurse an Early-Morning Hangover - 2005
Gold Dust Lounge
The Gold Dust has long been a San Francisco institution, heralded by the late Herb Caen as "the last of the authentic nightcapperies" -- a rave that must have delighted owners Jimmy and Tasios Vovis, who've plastered it all over the walls. The décor is decidedly old-school -- imagine that '30s-era bar from The Shining, minus the creepy bartender -- and the drinks are refreshingly cheap before 8:30 p.m., when the veteran house band serves up a mix of Dixieland jazz and blues. And while the Gold Dust's Union Square location attracts plenty of thirsty tourists, its true charm is its quirky mix of local clientele: Thanks to its 6 a.m. opening time, the bar attracts all kinds, from the early-morning corporate crowd to the 24-hour party people searching for a little hair of the dog.