The iconic Top of the Mark is famous for two things: stunning views of San Francisco from the top of Nob Hill and an irresponsibly large "martini" menu. Seriously, the thing has 100 cocktails. I generally avoid hotel prices like the plague, but a friend recently talked me into a Sunday evening cocktail hour at Top of the Mark and I relented. The view, as you might suspect, is immediately arresting.
It was foggy when we went, as it often is, so much of the time we saw this:
But, every few minutes a fog bank would pass us and we'd see clearly:
A really beautiful spot. The interior is stunning as well. You feel as though you've stepped back in time:
The place has some cool history behind it. The menus explain it all, but in a nutshell, WWII soldiers would visit the Top of the Mark while on leave and buy a bottle for the next solider to have a free drink. Whoever finished the bottle would buy a new one and pay it forward. When you first walk in, you'll see some signed bottles, which I enjoyed reading.
The cocktails are pricey––$14 a pop.
My favorite part of these drinks were the custom toothpicks, which say "Top of the Mark" and have a streetcar at the end.
If you're a regular martini or cocktail drinker, I'd recommend opting for a beer or a glass of wine, sitting back, and enjoying the view.
Check out the Flickr set for more pictures and pictures of the entire (19 page!) cocktail menu:
Top of the Mark
InterContinental Mark Hopkins
999 California St.