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Sports & Recreation

  • Best A's Bar in S.F.

    Thieves Tavern

    Whether it be the traffic on the Bay Bridge, a long day at the office, or the crippling phobia of getting shivved at Oakland's Coliseum, there are plenty of excuses for San Franciscans not to join the other couple dozen A's fans who show up to games. Though you can choose from a handful of green-friendly bars around town, none can top the dutiful reverence of Thieves Tavern. Aside from the disgusted grumbling of the team's loyalists, there are... More >>

  • Best Sports Bar

    Kezar Pub and Restaurant

    Kezar Pub 770 Stanyan (at Waller), 386-9292 With a dozen satellite dishes, 20 televisions, and all the requisite DIRECTV sports packages, the Kezar, located near the stadium that once housed the 49ers before their tumble to the bottom of the football food chain, is a sports fanatic's paradise. Naturally, the pub has its bases covered: football, basketball, baseball, and (theoretically) hockey on tap for domestic patrons, soccer and rugby for the U.K. crowd. And if watching the games isn't enough... More >>

  • Best Hidden Tennis Courts

    Presidio Theatre

    When Golden Gate Park is full or a tournament holds sway over your usual tennis court, try one of the several little-used public gems scattered throughout the Presidio. Julius Kahn Playground, on West Pacific Avenue at Spruce Street, offers several courts just inside the southern border of the Presidio; if folks are playing on these, head deeper into the park and search out the single court at Lombard Street and Letterman Drive. There's another on Moraga Avenue, across from... More >>

  • Best Place to Learn Tai Chi

    Washington Square Park

    Every morning dozens of people get up early to participate in communal tai chi and qigong classes in Washington Square Park. Some of the larger groups have more than 50 people; many individuals, wary of appearing too interested, follow along at a distance, across the grass field, perhaps behind a tree, giving a disorienting synchronicity to the many swaying motions. Tai chi sword is also popular: Its practitioners swing 3-foot blades in graceful, slow-motion arcs, as if choreographing a... More >>

  • Best Outdoor Store

    REI San Francisco

    REI is an excellent place to experience outdoor-store psychosis, where you'll pick up an ax and think, "Yeah, ice climbing ...," or start seriously comparing rock-climbing clips. The place is pristine, a shrine to the well-heeled explorer, and the breadth of products is nearly absurd, with 14 different lights to wear on your forehead, four different ice-climbing axes, and freeze-dried bananas foster. Specializing in camping, climbing, cycling, kayaking, and snow sports, REI also has an impressive selection of electronics,... More >>

  • Best Martial Arts Instruction

    Ralph Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

    So you want to slap a rear naked choke on a fool, eh? Maybe you want to stick someone in an arm bar and hear a joint pop? Well, Grasshopper, you've got some learning to do. You'll probably be on the receiving end of hundreds of brutal ass-kickings before you reach your goal, but there's no better place to take a beating than the friendly confines of Ralph Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in the Mission. Gracie teaches a form of jiujitsu... More >>

  • Best Neighborhood Dojo

    IOMASDA Karate

    Most weekday evenings at around 6, an uplifting sound wafts across the intersection at 20th and Lexington streets: A class full of ghi-outfitted 3- to 10-year-olds belts out "Yaaaaa!" It's particularly easy to hear the joyful little hollers on warm summer nights, when the door of this corner dojo is propped open. Owner Sensei Reed is celebrating 10 years of specializing in affordable self-defense and exercise classes for kids and teens. As impressive as this is, the real value... More >>

  • Best Bike Shop

    Valencia Cyclery

    Unless you plan to wear tight shorts and shave your legs, deciding which bike to buy should be easy, and it shouldn't take all day. For those who want a city bike, Valencia Cyclery won't try to sell you a Rockhopper or something you can lift with your pinkie. Good, honest advice and a pressure-free atmosphere keep this store -- and its bustling repair outlet a few doors down -- moving. Bargains are easy to find, especially when last... More >>

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