Whether you like bars with a massive beer selection, tons of televisions to watch sports or expertly crafted cocktails, San Francisco has a little bit of everything. Each San Francisco neighborhood has a cool selection of sports bars, mixology bars, country bars, dive bars, tiki bars and more.
If you are visiting San Francisco, you will also want to check out some of the historical and famous bars in the city and surrounding Bay Area. If you want to check out the oldest bars in San Francisco, you can find some cool spots that were built during the Gold Rush era. The Old Ship Saloon in the Financial District is the oldest bar in San Francisco, dating back to 1851. The famous spot was actually built out of the remains of a boat that shipwrecked on Alcatraz. Another historical bar is Elixir, which was built in 1858. Despite being burned to the ground during the 1906 earthquake & fires and rebuilt on the same spot, Elixir has stood the test of time and is still operational today. The Buena Vista in Fisherman’s Wharf is another historical bar to add to the list. Their claim to fame is bringing the Irish Coffee to the United States after the owner tried one of these delicious cocktails at the Shannon Airport in Ireland. After a lot of experimentation, he finalized the recipe for his own version of the Irish Coffee that is still served at the bar today. Other great bars to check out are Vesuvio Cafe (popular spot for the Beat Generation in the 1950s), The Tonga Room (which features a floating barge in the center of the room) and Specs’ Twelve Adler Cafe.
If you are looking to do some bar hopping in San Francisco, make sure to check out the upcoming San Francisco Pub Crawls that take place throughout the year. A great way to not only get a chance to grab drinks at a bunch of great bars in the city, but also to get a chance to meet a bunch of fun people who share your love of day drinking. Popular pub crawls include the Lepracon St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl and the Crawloween San Francisco Halloween Pub Crawl, which bring thousands of people to some of the best bar areas of the city.
No matter what you are looking for, you can find a variety of amazing bars to satisfy a variety of different tastes. Below are some of the best bars in San Francisco to check out when you are in the mood for some great drinks and fun times.
SAN FRANCISCO BARS
This small dive bar located in Polk Village is a great place to grab drinks any day of the week. Spend a night drinking here and you will see why locals choose R Bar as one of their favorite places in the city. The friendly bartenders, strong drinks and great crowd will keep you coming back for more.
1176 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
Balboa Cafe has been around since 1913 and when you step through it’s doors, you can feel the history of the popular watering hole in the Marina District. Despite it’s unassuming entrance, you can expect a high end selection of alcohols and delicious food served on white table cloths. Balboa is a bar that you can visit on any day of the week and expect a crowd drinking and having a great time.
3199 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA 94123
San Francisco’s favorite speakeasy, Bourbon & Branch does a great job at making you feel like you are sneaking into the back door of a prohibition-era bar with some of the best coktails in the city.
Bourbon & Branch
501 Jones Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
If you are a beer lover, Toronado has the best selection of beers from all over the world on the 40 rotating taps. This is a bar that should be on the top of your list when you visit San Francisco.
547 Haight Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
This 3-story tiki bar offers an amazing selection of creative coktails in a unique nautical-themed setting. Boasting the largest rum selection in the United States, you can sip on some cocktails like Hibiscus Rum Punch, Hinky Dinks Fizz and the Rum Flip which taking in the tiki artifacts and nautical decorations.
650 Gough Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Since opening in 2015, Whitechapel has made quite an impact on the cocktail scene in San Francisco. Gaining recognition like “Top 10 Bars in the US” in Playboy Magazine and “Best New Restaurants” in Eater SF, the forward thinking gin-focused bar is a great place to grab unique signature cocktails and eat some delicious food with friends.
600 Polk Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
A great bar with an old-school feel, Harry’s Bar offers a great selection of beer, wine and cocktails along with a full menu of great bar food.
2020 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
Upcoming San Francisco Pub Crawls
Sweatercon – San Francisco Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl
St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl San Francisco
St. Patrick’s Day San Francisco Pub Crawl
You Drink, We Drive
The Best Pub Crawls in San Francisco
Recommended Tours and Attractions