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Place Pigalle

Place Pigalle

This dive gives those in Hayes Valley who'd rather not drop rent on a bar tab a place to go. Locals love the pool table and the foosball table, and after looking around at the well-worn couches, one may wonder, "Wait, am I in a frat house?"
The Final Final

The Final Final

Its walls covered by 49ers and Giants memorabilia, the Final Final is a solid place to kick back and watch sports in the Marina, with a crowd of regulars, sports enthusiasts, and whoever else shows up to enjoy the pool table, dartboard, and free popcorn.
Delirium

Delirium

With nightly DJs playing good ol' rock 'n' roll, Delirium's small, black-walled back room is one of the city's coolest places when the DJs are firing on all cylinders. And with a motto like "service for the sick," we can dig it.

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  • Ha-Ra

    Ha-Ra

    875 Geary San Francisco, CA 94109
    415-673-3148

    http://www.two-laneblacktop.com A classic Tenderloin dive in every way, with a notoriously grumpy bartender serving cheap drinks with no pretensions (but probably a little sass). Black-and-white photos featuring the tough pugilists of yesteryear also stare down from the walls, keeping you company as you shoot some pool in an environment perfect for the film-noir recreation of your choosing. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • Harrington

    Harrington's Pub

    460 Larkin San Francisco, CA 94102
    415-775-1150

    One doesn't have to look hard to see Harrington's age: the dust on the bar's bottom-shelf bottles says it all. If the walls and bottles of this Tenderloin pub could talk, they'd likely tell the tale of its many single, older gentlemen who frequent the bar stools. As every Irish pub should, Harrington's has Guinness on tap (as well as Stella), plus dozens of low-brow spirits, e.g., Absolut is considered a top-shelf vodka. Animal lovers can rejoice since they have a friendly black Lab whose doggie bed is under the giant catfish aquarium. Late night drinkers, however, should be prepared to be forced out early, as Harrington's closes promptly at midnight. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • Hi-Lo Club

    1423 Polk St. San Francisco, CA 94109
    415-885-4788

    http://www.hilosf.com You could walk right past the Hi-Lo and not even know it -- the exterior not only looks like an old storefront, it IS an old storefront. Despite the wall of windows, however, this Polk Street destination keeps the lights low, creating an air of semi-mystery that makes its abraded walls and antique lamps feel like something out of a Jeunet & Caro movie. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • The Hot Spot

    The Hot Spot

    1414 Market San Francisco, CA 94102
    415-355-9800

    The Hot Spot fills this quasi-neighborhood's crucial need for an all-around dive. Is it in SOMA? Tenderloin? Hayes Valley? Civic Center? Yes and no to all the above. It exists along an awkward stretch of Market Street that's relatively sleepy and deserted, which is a selling point in and of itself. Besides the obvious - that it serves up alcohol nightly - other unique character traits are its stringent ID policy, the upstairs pool table, a wide variety of scratch-it lotto tickets for sale, decent beers on tap (e.g., Fat Tire, Widmer), standard liquor options, TVs, an internet jukebox, and beloved Thursday night karaoke from 8 p.m. to midnight. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • Hotel Biron

    Hotel Biron

    45 Rose San Francisco, CA 94102
    415-703-0403

    http://www.hotelbiron.com Don't be misled: this bar has nothing to do with a hotel. It does, however, have everything to do with the fine art of wine and cheese. Calling it a wine bar doesn't quite capture the essence of this special Hayes Valley drinking locale. It's more like a backdoor speakeasy: the candle-lit, cave-like room hosts a humble bar in the back and just enough seats for a few parties of four. It's also dubbed an art gallery, which means they feature new shows every second Thursday. As far as drinking goes, they have dozens of wines by the glass or bottle, as well as an impressive list of bottled beers. Sake, Ritual Roasters coffee, and an assortment of cheeses are also available Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • Jonell

    Jonell's Cocktail Lounge

    401 Ellis St. San Francisco, CA 94102-1927
    415-776-8345

    Old mirrors and worn surfaces let you know this Tenderloin dive has seen more than its fair share of alcohol action over the years. When you're in Jonell's, you can almost imagine you're back in 1970s San Francisco. Wait long enough and Dirty Harry might even amble through the door. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • The King George Hotel

    The King George Hotel

    334 Mason San Francisco, CA 94102
    415-781-5050

    http://www.greystonehotels.com/kinggeorge/ Hotel bars are a breed all their own: the only locals are likely the ones pouring drinks and conversations often cover topics such as travel itineraries and weather comparisons. King George Hotel is no different. This England-themed bar exists primarily as a meeting place for guests on their way somewhere else. Nevertheless, the wall-to-wall carpeting, low ceilings, and brightly glowing wall sconces provide a simple space to enjoy a simple drink. Alcohol options are slim - beer and wine only - as are the operating hours: last call (if you could call it that) is usually around 9 p.m., though if bartender-chatting runs over, you might squeeze out another glass of wine before braving the Union Square mobs. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • Ma

    Ma'velous

    1408 Market San Francisco, CA 94102
    415-626-8884

    http://www.maveloussf.com Ma'velous has a lot going on. It serves some of the hardest-to-find coffees (prepared six ways, no less), a tight menu of light local fare, a wide variety of wine, and a small selection of bottled beer. The glamorous space attracts a mix of coffee geeks, theater-/museumgoers, or Market Street loners. Wines range from local Sonoma vineyards to French and New Zealand imports. By-the-glass options start at $7 and bottle prices can exceed $40. The food menu changes, but is steered towards complimenting the wine, so expect small cheese plates, olive blends, and nuts. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • Mark Twain Hotel

    345 Taylor San Francisco, CA 94102

    http://www.hotelmarktwain.com

  • Mark

    Mark's Bar

    1092 Post St. San Francisco, CA 94109
    415-829-3623

    A new cocktail spot in the former Lush Lounge space, Mark's Bar is suffused with a rich blue light -- so if you like tropical drinks, but don't want to leave the Polk Gulch neighborhood, this could be your blue heaven. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • McTeague

    McTeague's Saloon

    1237 Polk San Francisco, CA 94109
    415-776-1237

    http://www.mcteagues.com Located down the block from Frank Norris Street, this Polk Gulch saloon is named for the protagonist of Norris' novel McTeague, a Victorian-era tale about a doomed San Francisco dentist - hence the decorative gold tooth hanging outside the door. That literary reference, however, is probably lost on the jocks who crowd into McTeague's on weekends to watch sports on the many flat-screen TVs. The bar interior is an admittedly confusing blend of Old West taproom (horse murals, wagon wheels) and Irish pub (dark wood timbers, fake stone walls, "football" team colors), but you can always slip into one of the high-backed booths, quaff some of the European ales and American microbrews on tap, and admire the paintings of the bar's patron saints: Charles Bukowski, Kurt Cobain, Richard Pryor, Joe Strummer, et al. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • Mikkeller Bar

    34 Mason St. San Francisco, CA 94102
    415-984-0279

    http://www.mikkellerbar.com

  • The Mint Karaoke Lounge

    The Mint Karaoke Lounge

    1942 Market San Francisco, CA 94102
    415-626-4726

    http://www.themint.net Top-notch singers - amateur and, it's suspected, otherwise - flex their intimidating karaoke skills here, but the lounge's dim lighting and cozy feel when packed (which is often) are sufficiently comforting to the rest of us, too. This is not the place for awkward first-timers, tin-eared mewlers, or your "funny" version of those old Journey anthems, however: The Mint takes its karaoke quite seriously. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • Mortimer

    500 Geary St. San Francisco, CA 94102
    415-775-5000

    http://www.hoteladagiosf.com This Union Square hotel bar is as fine a place as any to drop in for a cocktail before and/or after a performance at the nearby Curran Theatre or A.C.T. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • Noble

    Noble

    600 Polk San Francisco, CA 94102
    415-525-3499

    http://www.noblesf.com Those looking for signs that the Tenderloin is "on the up" may have found another one: Noble, a VIP lounge dedicated to the club-going set. Valet, coat check, and velvet ropes are telling signs this bar is built for those willing to shell out the proper fees to enjoy its services. If you're in the bottle-service crowd, Noble has some selling points: you get your own bathroom, your own host, a lockable place for valuables, and your own table amidst the masses. Not into the VIP treatment? Then don't expect to sit down - all seating is for reservations only. The interior is cut from the typical classy-club cloth: DJ booth, modern furnishings, backlit bar, dark walls, and a generous dance floor. The crowds tend to show up later in the night, so don't expect company until after 11 p.m. on weekends. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • Noir Lounge

    581 Hayes St. San Francisco, CA 94102
    415-431-6647

    http://www.noir-sf.com Also home to the weekday lunch pop-up Lunchpad. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • The Orbit Room

    The Orbit Room

    1900 Market San Francisco, CA 94102
    415-252-9525

    http://www.orbitroomcafe.com Its interior might be a stylistic mash-up of 1930s Art Deco with 1980s avant-chic, but the Orbit Room's famous drinks are 100 percent indebted to the 21st Century artisanal cocktail trend, with fresh, organic ingredients mixed into every glass. There's also a small menu of gourmet pizzas for sale in the evening until the "dough runs out" - although if you drink too many delicious $10 cocktails, your own dough may run out first. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • Our Little Comedy Club Theater

    287 Ellis St. San Francisco, CA 94102
    415-928-4060

    http://www.comedyonthesquare.com

  • The Outsider

    The Outsider

    894 Geary St. San Francisco, CA 94109-7228
    415-474-0556

  • Pandora Karaoke & Bar

    177 Eddy San Francisco, CA 94102
    415-359-1888

    http://www.pandorakaraoke.com Tenderloin/Union Square bar featuring a slick main lounge plus 15 private themed karaoke rooms available for reservation, with songs available in many Asian languages. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • Pause Wine Bar

    1666 Market San Francisco, CA 94102
    415-241-WINE

    http://www.pausesf.com

  • Place Pigalle

    Place Pigalle

    520 Hayes San Francisco, CA 94102
    415-552-2671

    http://www.placepigallesf.com This dive gives those in Hayes Valley who'd rather not drop rent on a bar tab a place to go. You wanna have a pizza delivered here? Sure! No problem. You wanna scream "Happy Birthday" to your 10 friends at the top of your lungs? Yes - it's totally acceptable here. Locals love the pool table and the foosball table, and after looking around at the well-worn couches, one may wonder, "Wait, am I in a frat house?" The bar offers beer and wine only, but has a decent selection of both (e.g., Hoegaarden and Guinness on tap; pinot grigio by the glass). Don't get your heart set on anything specific, though, as many beers can be tapped out after busy nights. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • Playland Bar

    1351 Polk San Francisco, CA 94109
    415-440-7529

    http://www.playlandsanfrancisco.com San Francisco's old Playland amusement park was torn down in the 1970s after years of becoming increasingly rundown and unpopular -- so it's somewhat ironic that the noticeably upscale and trendy Playland Bar would choose to name itself as such. (Not like the young people who pour through here on weekend pub crawls would even notice the vaguely carnival-themed decor anyway.) At this slick new Polk Street cocktail lounge, everything old is indeed new again. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • R Bar

    R Bar

    1176 Sutter San Francisco, CA 94109
    415-567-7441

    http://www.therbar.com The bare-bones exterior and block-letter signage may lead you to assume this Polk Gulch joint is a dingy hole in the wall, but the R Bar is more of a trendy hangout than a Tenderloin dive. Inside you'll find stylish, subtle lighting and snazzy decor, plus a post-collegiate crowd knocking back microbrews while sports and movies beam from multiple flat-screen TVs and rock and hip-hop blare from the CD jukebox. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • Redwood Room

    495 Geary St. San Francisco, CA 94102-1222
    415-929-2372

    http://www.clifthotel.com/en-us/

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