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Bars & Clubs

  • Readers' Poll Winners

    Best Bartender Chupa Best Beer Selection Toronado Best Dive Bar Zeitgeist Best Gay-Friendly Bar/Club Blackbird Best Happy Hour Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem Best Karaoke Kor Best Live Music Venue Tie: The Fillmore, The Independent Best Cocktail The Alembic Best Margarita Tommy's Best Martini Martuni's Best New Bar Tie: Churchill, Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem Best New Club Brick & Mortar Best Pub Crawl SantaCon Best Rooftop Jones Best Singles Bar Bus Stop Best Sports Bar Taco Shop at Underdogs Best Strip Club The Gold Club Best Sunday Funday Dolores Park Best Wine Bar Tie:… More >>
  • Best Time You Can Have with Drunken Tourists

    Johnny Foley's Irish House

    It looks Irish, and it sounds Irish, but while you're here you're most likely to bump into Wisconsinites or Texans who are relishing a cosmopolitan buzz. Johnny Foley's opened about a dozen years ago in the touristy haven of Union Square. It's a favorite lunch spot for downtowners and a prime after-work watering hole. It's got high ceilings, a certain… More >>
  • Best Bar When You Want to Be Left Alone

    Hogan's Goat Tavern

    We've all had the kind of day that leaves us wanting nothing more than a quiet drink alone at some place not plagued with rowdy crew of inebriated bros, where there's no blaring TV or 20-minute wait to snag a bartender's attention. That place is Hogan's Goat Tavern, also just called "The Goat" on one of its two signs. Ever-present… More >>
  • Best Beer and Food Ambassador

    Almanac Beer Co.

    Every once in a while, we find ourselves thinking "Man, we sure could go for some beer brewed with locally sourced fennel." Evidently, Almanac Beer Co. is listening. The Almanac team collaborates with local farms to incorporate sustainably farmed fruits and vegetables into their brews. The result is food-friendly beers that appeal to both the beer geek and foodie contingent.… More >>
  • Best European Beer Cave

    La Trappe

    Times are tough. It's pricey enough to drive anywhere these days, let alone get away for a foreign vacation. There is, however, a way to enjoy a slice of the Belgian countryside, today. Below ground. In North Beach. Welcome to La Trappe, your one-stop shop for a Belgian staycation. You might come for the house-made Belgian waffle or mussels cooked… More >>
  • Best Place to Mix Beer and Booze

    Jasper's Corner Tap and Kitchen

    At some point, you've likely dropped a shot of Bailey's into a pint of Guinness. Or, perhaps you prefer to let your sake splash around in a glass of Japanese lager. Either way, we have some bad news: You haven't created a "beer cocktail." To do so demands more thought and finesse. Different styles of beer can offer wildly diverse… More >>
  • Best Promoter

    As You Like It

    Scan the assorted social media broadcasts of party entity As You Like It, and you'll likely come across the word "quality." That most excellent descriptor has become something of a regular expression and sign-off for the group in its various online communiques. That works, as it's one of the few words that can adequately describe the ethos and aesthetic that… More >>
  • Best Soundsystem


    There couldn't be a better metaphor for the state of San Francisco nightlife in 2012 than the arrival of Monarch. Starting with a bang in late 2011, the club took over the building that once housed the Room Ultra Lounge. In many ways it feels like a changing of the guard, another victory won in a subtle battle being waged… More >>
  • Best Spooky Singalong

    Caritas Gothic/Industrial Karaoke at the Cat Club

    San Francisco is a karaoke-happy town, and every night of the week, there's at least one club you can visit to get your rock star on. But what if you want to put on your finest black clothes and gloomily sing some Skinny Puppy or Nick Cave? If it's Tuesday night, get yourself to the back room of the Cat… More >>
  • Best Display of Hipsters on Tricycles

    Pop's Bar

    Sure, it only happens once a year, but Pop's deserves an award for coming up with this idea and executing it so entertainingly. For those of you who've never born witness to the glory of it all, a competition is held outside the bar, every Fourth of July. The participants race on children's tricycles around a course of tiny orange… More >>
  • Best Hangover Cures


    We don't even care if it's goddamn raining outside, when you find yourself hungover and you need help ridding your head of an ache, your belly of a sickness, or your mind of a fog, Zeitgeist is the place to do it. This place serves some of the greatest Bloody Marys in the city, and when you throw in the… More >>
  • Best Bar Snack


    If you're a fan of tequila, mezcal, and sotol, then chances are you're already planning to visit Mosto, the Mexico City-inspired bar adjacent to Tacolicious. With a massive selection of over 300 bottles of agave spirits available by the glass (1.5 oz.) or carafe (5 oz.), served with housemade sangrita and a spicy, tangy escabeche pickle back, this dark, narrow… More >>
  • Best Bar to Drink in the Seasons

    AQ Restaurant & Bar

    The East Coast may have the benefit of snow in winter and colorful foliage in fall, but in the Bay Area, it’s rarely apparent what season we’re in. To the rescue comes AQ Restaurant & Bar. Seemingly overnight, the décor, tabletops, bar, lighting, and staff uniforms change from one season to the next. The bar that gleamed with copper in… More >>
  • Best Daytime Drinking Option

    Anchor Brewing Company

    For anyone whose first exposure to the inside of a brewery was a mammoth Budweiser plant and a sample of fizzy lager, the Anchor Brewing Company tour is like visiting the Musée d'Orsay. (If the museum had a tasting room, that is.) Commencing with a history of the venerable San Francisco firm and a guided stroll through the operation, the… More >>
  • Best Japanese Happy Hour

    Delica Rf-1

    In the evening hours, when Delica Rf-1 transforms from casual Japanese deli to full-service sushi counter, you'll probably hesitate stepping in. The display cases in front sit empty and dark, but just like a mullet, the party's in the back. The happy hour (5 to 7 p.m.) is indeed happy with a mix of commuters, suits, and backpackers enjoying bowls… More >>
  • Best Non-Ikea Reason to Visit Emeryville

    Honor Bar, Grill & Cocktails

    There's a funky kind of comfort to Honor Bar. Walking in, you're met with a big bucket of chilling beers — the best kind of greeting on any day. Grab a seat at the bar and enjoy the plush shag covering that runs underneath it, giving you — as you enjoy some of the most interesting and delicious cocktails around… More >>
  • Best Bar to Sit Out the Opening Act

    Boom Boom Room

    Everyone knows the Fillmore is one of this country's premier venues to take in a show. But any concert veteran knows openers can be hit or miss, and drinks at the Fillmore might not be cheap enough to get you through a set from some experimental alt-country dubstep band. So skip it. Instead, start your night around the corner at… More >>
  • Best Place for Whiskey in Peace

    Blind Cat

    You’re looking for good whiskey in a quiet place. The Internet will point you to Nihon Whisky Lounge, Rye, or Bourbon & Branch, all of which have the selection. But they won’t always be quiet — and don’t ask about the prices. Luckily, Blind Cat sits tucked away on 24th and Treat. There’s no name on the sign, just a… More >>
  • Best Alternative to Overpriced Bars


    Dave's defies easy description, sitting somewhere between dive bar, sports bar, hole-in-the-wall, after-work hangout, and late-night haunt. Somehow, it's all and none of these at once. It provides sanctuary for those overdosed on the upscale. Along with its recession-friendly prices, Dave's has an old-fashioned, unpretentious vibe, complete with friendly, no-nonsense bartenders who seem to read minds when it comes to… More >>
  • Best Beer Bar to Brave a Trans-Bay Trip For

    Beer Revolution

    There's no kitchen churning out high-end pub fare, no graphic-designed drink list, no muddled fruit, purées, or homemade tinctures to get in the way at Beer Revolution. There is simply beer: rivers and rivers of wonderful beer, flowing from 47 taps, filling head-to-toe coolers full of bottles that you can take home or crack open at the bar for a… More >>
  • Best Bar to Watch European Sports at Odd Hours

    Mad Dog in the Fog

    At 2 a.m., just prior to the kickoff of the Rugby World Cup final between New Zealand and France, several dozen French nationals belted out La Marseillaise. It was just like Casablanca but with less alcohol, more rugby, and no Nazis. At a 5 a.m. soccer World Cup qualifier, a Scotsman was seen to leap from his seat, drop his… More >>
  • Best Happy Hour at an '80s Relic

    Tommy Toy's Cuisine Chinoise - CLOSED

    With its stained carpets and garish décor, there's no denying that Tommy Toy's isn't the place it once was, and it definitely isn't courting the kinds of folks looking for a hip, modern room to drop a chunk of change on a meal. And with the death of its namesake and founder in 2008, it's unlikely to again attract the… More >>
  • Best Place to Hang Out with Strippers without Going to a Strip Club

    Vesuvio Cafe

    Vesuvio is a great spot to get a drink or three at any hour, and if the décor doesn't immediately get you in the mood to celebrate its Beat past, then perhaps house drinks like the Jack Kerouac (rum, tequila, orange or cranberry juice, and lime) or Bohemian Coffee (brandy, Amaretto, and lemon) will do the trick. But arguably the… More >>
  • Best Pub Quiz

    Fishbowl Bar & Grill

    Nobody cares that you can ID every Game of Thrones bannerman, have an encyclopedic knowledge of Motown B-sides, and quote the Kardashians' latest tweets verbatim. Nobody important, anyway, which is why such ridiculous topics aren't part of Fishbowl's bar trivia. Instead, San Francisco native and emerging sportscaster Scott Armstrong brings to the quiz table a never-mundane mix of questions that… More >>
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