Emeryville means many things to many people, but they're almost always either work-or IKEA-related. For a city with a fascinating and not-insignificant history as a hub for prostitution, gambling, illegal drinking, and various other forms of Prohibition- and Depression-era lawlessness (hence the nickname "Rotten City"), Emeryville's long been lacking in the nightlife department. Not anymore, however, now that it's become home to not only one of the best bars in the East Bay, but a bona-fide destination for drinkers and eaters in San Francisco and beyond. Honor Bar is comfortable but not lazy, kitschy but not obnoxious, friendly but not obsequious, and — here's the most important part — insanely committed to quality. Its drinks are among the most inventive and intricate you'll find for miles, and the food is also crafted with the same spirit of creativity: Order a Porfiriato (tequila, mezcal, Cocchi di Torino, Licor 43, cinnamon bitters, $10) and the bone marrow (bacon relish, mushrooms, grilled bread, $10) and Emeryville's days as a culinary and cocktail wasteland will begin to feel like a happily distant memory.
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