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Bars & Clubs

  • Best Deal on Craft Beer in America

    Lucky 13's Happy Hour

    The world nearly stopped last year when rumors that this well-graffitied, deeply historied Market Street rock 'n' roll bar would be knocked down and turned into condos started circulating. Lesson learned: Everything is temporary, including happy hour, so the time to roll in and grab a cheap pint is now. This barn-sized bar's status in the local drinking circuit is well-known, but less-advertised — until now; you're welcome — is the true silver tuna. The bar has such a good... More >>

  • Best Bar to Stare at Boobs

    High Tide

    If you like boobs — and staring at them to your heart's content — then you should mosey on over to High Tide. Granted, the boobs we're talking about are made out of oil paint and hanging on a wall behind the bar, but they're real nice — plump and round, milky white in hue, and demurely framed by a white feather boa. In fact, they're almost better than the real thing because you can leer and stare all you... More >>

  • Most Ridiculous Drag Night

    The Monster Show At The Edge

    One consequence of drag becoming almost mainstream is that the different subcategories of drag are better able to differentiate themselves. If you want sassy event hostessing, unimpeachable realness, or septuagenarian dance moves, you can have your pick of places. But if you want a ridiculous evening of well-curated performances — on an exceptionally tiny stage — check out The Edge on Thursday nights. The Monster Show, the Castro's longest-running drag show, has maintained its standards of absurdist excellence even after... More >>

  • Best Shuffleboard Table

    Fly Bar

    If you're like us, and you appreciate the slap-happy singles style of Tony Gwynn to the deep-ball threat of Barry Bonds, then the shuffleboard table at Fly Bar on Larkin and Sutter is definitely your speed. It's like half the normal size of a regulation board — a standard enforced by the United States Bartenders' Guild — which means that placement and strategy take precedent over speed and power. It's also made huge wimps out of us — when we... More >>

  • Best Tenderloin Bar for Watching The Giants And Meeting TL Locals

    Brown Jug Saloon

    With neighborhood institutions like the 21 Club closing to make way for yuppie cocktail bars, Brown Jug remains an oasis — and one that takes full advantage of the state's operating hours window, 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. This watering hole is not for the faint of heart, or for anyone who takes fresh sage in their drinks. And don't call it a dive just because they have Busch beer by the can. It's oh so much more. What... More >>

  • Gay Bar We Hope Will Live Forever

    The Gangway

    In this city, the gay-bar funeral procession starts up every six months when another one announces its impending closure. But when The Gangway said in January that it was getting sold and then rescinded the news in April, we found ourselves hanging out there all the time, enjoying the hell out of the place. This working-class dive on Larkin Street has been around since the early 1960s — having been a bar of whatever kind for over a century —... More >>

  • Best Neighborhood Dive

    Flanahan's

    A dive, friends, is not measured by the number of out-of-order taps, shady characters slumped at the bar, or questionable stains. A dive is comfortable, a lived-in (or drank-in) space where regulars and bartenders can keep a running tab going back weeks in their heads and pretentiousness stays at the door for risk of being 86'd. Out on the avenues, there are patrons who have been ambling through Flanahan's swinging doors for decades who rub elbows with regulars of just... More >>

  • Best Shot of Ouzo

    Silver Crest Donut Shop

    You may measure your true 415 cred by the amount of times you've strolled into the diner that "never close[s]" (as the sign says), sidled up to the bar, ordered a drink, and received a shot of ouzo on the house — without blinking, looking sideways, or feeling the need to keep an open line to flee for the exit. Silver Crest claims not to have closed since 1970 — not even on Christmas, not even after Loma Prieta —... More >>

  • Best Wine Club

    Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant

    Please: Stop boring your friends with your expansive knowledge of Napa Cab's jamminess, and stow your expert Pinot recommendations for just a second. Allow your worldview to expand beyond the Bay Area — or, if you haven't yet uncorked insufferability, enter the often confusing and humongous world of bacchanal pleasures with a trusted guide. Every month, the master merchants select a few bottles to send your way. But the best part about joining the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant's monthly wine... More >>

  • Best Irish Pub

    O'Keeffe's

    You can enter many an "Irish pub" in San Francisco with an ample Guinness flow and trad music on the PA that is about as Irish as a bowl of Lucky Charms floating in green beer. There is no Guinness on tap here in this small Inner Richmond corner bar, but don't let that fool you: This is the real Mac Aodha. The walls are covered with hurling posters, flags of counties back in Ireland, and newspaper clippings and other... More >>

  • Best Reclaimed Dive Bar

    Ha-Ra Club

    The Tenderloin was set to lose another irreplaceable when the Ha-Ra Club — a low-ceilinged dive of the slummiest reputation, long fallen into neglect, but nevertheless beloved for strong pours, idiosyncratic bartenders, and a long history — was taken over by the crew who run Ace's and Dobbs Ferry. Then something magical happened: They improved it. The joint's been classed up — there are actually beers on tap now, plus solid classic cocktails at neighborhood-regular-friendly prices — but original divey... More >>

  • Best Bar For Slumming It

    Geary Club

    The true Tenderloin dive bar is an endangered species, a fact driven home by the sudden demise last year of the 21 Club at Turk and Taylor. What spirit that lived there migrated a few blocks up and has settled into one of the stools in this subterranean windowless tunnel of a watering hole. Signless and nearly anonymous on the street, and entered via a portal akin to a cellar door, the Geary Club has no beers on tap, no... More >>

  • Best "Business Lunch"

    Leo's Oyster Bar

    As much as venture capital or entrepreneurial vision, the lifeblood of business is libations. It wasn't "innovation" that powered the heyday of American business and industry; it was innovation sparked by a dose of Vitamin V at lunchtime. There is much that Herb Caen and his contemporaries would appreciate about FiDi hideaway Leo's, the product of the same team that brought back his beloved Park Tavern. There's the skylight splashing the sun on wicker furniture and the tropical wallpaper; the... More >>

  • Best Place To Sip Rosé

    Hotel Biron

    The rent's beyond too damn high, your roommate won't shut up about his worthless-yet-about-to-be-sold app, and you're this close to driving for Uber, not riding in one. Face it: Being a San Franciscan in 2016 has many pitfalls. There are no shortages of reasons for asking if it's not past time to become an expatriate. A romantic notion, sure, one you can only feed as you settle into a sofa with a glass of wine, with candlelight bouncing off of... More >>

  • Best Place to Drink with a Giant

    The Gotham Club

    No passwords or prowess will gain you entry to the Gotham Club, the San Francisco Giants' answer to the city's fascination with speakeasies and secret locales. Situated behind the out-of-town scoreboard in right field, it is a respite for the baseball elite, featuring swanky decorations, a game room with a bowling alley and billiard tables, and a clubhouse for when Matt Cain's latest start is just too much to take. While a membership will set you back $1,250 a year... More >>

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