San Francisco's Speakeasies

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Many say that 1920s America was defined by jazz musicians, flappers, writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald and booze, even though it was outlawed until 1933.

But legality didn’t keep the thirsty from imbibing alcoholic beverages—they found strong moonshine underground in surreptitious establishments with passwords and secret handshakes that led to a world of music, women and liquor.

Like New York and Chicago, San Francisco was once a hotbed of illegal bars with intricate underground tunnels that helped bootleggers in case they needed a fast escape.

Though only a few of these speakeasies have been historically documented, a few are still functioning bars, where you can sip specialty Prohibition-inspired cocktails from bartenders dressed the part, relax on wooden whiskey barrels under mood-lighting and enjoy a trip back in time.

1. Bourbon and Branch (slides 1-4) 2. Dalva (slides 5 and 6) 3. 15 Romolo (slides 7 and 8)

Abra Cohen is a San Francisco-based based reporter who spends her free time eating, cycling and mastering the art of the single cup pour-over coffee.