Here are our 10 favorites in the city.
10. The Li Po Lounge
Home to the most gigantic Chinese lantern we've ever seen, plus more dust than we care to think about, the Lipo Lounge is the only dive in Chinatown truly worth bothering with. Whether you're in the front bar pretending to be in Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom, in the stark seating area in back absorbing the bizarre, brightly-lit-canteen vibe, or in the low-ceilinged basement listening to dance DJs, there's literally nowhere else like this in the city.
9. The Nite Cap
If you want to get into some weird conversations, hang out in here for a couple of hours on any given evening. This spot has some of the chattiest patrons, friendliest bartenders and -- hey, we're just gonna say it -- most lovable kooks you can find in the whole city. Getting in and out of the bathroom is a logistical nightmare at times, but with the pool table, comfy armchair and overall intimate vibe, there are fun times aplenty to be had in here.
7. The RiptideProbably the greatest hidden gem in all of San Francisco, the only people that know about this great bar are (a) people who live in Ocean Beach and (b) people who drink and drive. This place ain't convenient for most of us, but its log-fire smell, wood-paneled walls, red brick floor, foxy tattooed bartenders, amazing nautical décor -- and, gosh, every bar should have one -- gigantic moose head, make this the coziest place to go on dark and stormy nights by the beach. Well worth the journey.