Aub Zam Zam

Bar / Lounge
Aub Zam Zam When longtime regulars visit Persian-themed Aub Zam Zam, they probably reminisce about former owner Bruno Mooshei, a man so famously cantankerous he'd toss a customer just for ordering a martini with vodka instead of gin. San Francisco United States 37.7696218 -122.4492641
3.87 6
Aub Zam Zam - Bar | Lounge in San Francisco.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review When longtime regulars visit Persian-themed Aub Zam Zam, they probably reminisce about former owner Bruno Mooshei, a man so famously cantankerous he’d toss a customer just for ordering a martini with vodka instead of gin... ... read full review

  • Metro:

    N Line: Carl Street & Cole Street

  • Phone:

    415-861-2545

  • Hours:

    M–F 3pm–2am, Sa–Su 1pm–2am

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Party Earth Aub Zam Zam Review

The Scene

When longtime regulars visit Persian-themed Aub Zam Zam, they probably reminisce about former owner Bruno Mooshei, a man so famously cantankerous he'd toss a customer just for ordering a martini with vodka instead of gin.

When longtime regulars visit Persian-themed Aub Zam Zam, they probably reminisce about former owner Bruno Mooshei, a man so famously cantankerous he’d toss a customer just for ordering a martini with vodka instead of gin.

The rules have relaxed since Mooshei went off to that hand-woven carpet in the sky in 2000, but while there’s less danger of getting booted for ordering the “wrong” drink these days, the dimly lit joint still looks much as it always has – a strange hybrid between an Iranian prince’s boudoir and a divey cocktail lounge.

During mellow midweek evenings, hipsters sidle up to the horseshoe bar to marvel at the beautiful mural depicting a traditional Persian fairy tale, as laid-back locals and romantic couples head through the archway to the intimate booths in back, cozying in beneath arabesque sconces that barely cast enough light for patrons to see what they’re drinking. The clientele on busy Thursday through Saturday nights, meanwhile, is usually a mixed bag of nearby UCSF med students, fedora-clad Mad Men wannabes, and bubbly college girls giggling loudly after one too many gimlets – something Mooshei never would have stood for.

Aub Zam Zam may no longer be the best place in town to learn bar etiquette the hard way, but it remains a chill haunt devoid of any pretentious airs, and a great spot for anyone to grab a solid, proper cocktail in The Haight.

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Tip from Emma:

Fan of Anthony Bourdain? He made a special visit to Aub Zam Zam in 2011 and was sure to order a martini – properly, of course – so even if you don’t usually drink them, you might want to try one here.

  • Crowd

    Hipsters, USCF students, former hippies, current hippies, Haight Street tourists, and a few curmudgeonly old regulars, early 20s to late 40s+.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Jukebox stocked with jazz, blues, 1950s R&B, and other old-school favorites.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    No food. Happy Hour M–F 3–6pm. Cash only. ATM on site.

  • Prices

    Beer $3–$5, wine $5–$7, cocktails $4.50–$8.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Casual: shabby hipster dresses, thrift-store accessories, flannel plaids, vests, jeans, t-shirts, khakis on the tourists.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Midweek for a more mature set of relaxed locals quietly sipping away, or Thursday through Saturday nights for a rowdier college-age crowd, though it never gets as off the hook as the more youth-centric joints nearby.

  • Close By

    Magnolia Pub and Brewery (1398 Haight Street) is a popular gastropub with turn-of-the-century décor, hearty fare like fried sausages and braised pork cheeks, and a long list of micros that are brewed right in the basement.

Aub Zam Zam User Reviews

Average rating:
Dependable, stiff drinks at a reasonable price. My go-to on Haight for the unpretentious cocktail.
Lucie D. May 21, 2013
Go here. Order a Martini or a Manhattan. Love it. Return and be comforted by the lack of frou-frou BS that sometimes gets to be too much in hipsterville. Don't get me wrong, I love a multi-layered drink that takes 15 minutes for a true mixologist to assemble (for that, go down the street to Alembic). But more often than not, I just want to sidle up to the bar or one of the tables-for-two and have a cocktail made right with a friend, a date, a friend of a date, or some other real person who isn't going to try and put basil in my gin. Think red. Think vaguely "Oriental-Themed". Think dimly-lit. Think great way to end an evening. I end up at this place perhaps more often than I should admit.
Haight Institution for Proper Boozing
Jayson M. Sep 4, 2012
I miss Bruno. Man, he was a cantankerous old goose. But he was the kinda old fart you grew to love because of his demeanor. And once he knew you were going to behave like a gentlemen, he treated you as such. I once saw him single-handedly throw out a pack of rowdy frat boys. They never knew what hit them. Bruno is gone, like the review says, but the guys who man the bar nowadays are still old-timers who do things the “right” way. IN other words, don’t go getting fancy with your order. Tell them you want an Old Fashioned and expect and Old Fashioned made the way your grandpa drank it, not infused with some specialty coffee bourbon or dressed in umbrellas and organic garnish. It’s dark, sleepy, nice for a chill date or a group of friends. Crowd can be weird as hell, but that’s the Haight for you. Great neighborhood bar.
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