MyBartender > Places > California > San Francisco > Our Favorite San Francisco Bars for a Fun Night Out

Our Favorite San Francisco Bars for a Fun Night Out

Isn’t it such a wonderful feeling to sit shoulder to shoulder with a friend in a bar as you sip the glass of your favorite drink? Whether in California for a business trip or to enjoy your holiday, San Francisco has the best nightlife scenes you’d want to experience.

the inside of a speakeasy in san francisco

Arcade bars, password-protected bars, you name it, San Francisco has it all. This article will walk you through the best bars in San Francisco, California.


Trick Dog

3010 20th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Phone: (415) 471-2999
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Trick Dog is one of the popular places to go out located in the eastern Mission District. You’ll witness that most people love this place as it tends to get packed early in the evening.

You’ll love its exceedingly creative drink menus. The bar has a bulletproof reputation as one of San Francisco’s leading cocktail joints; I enjoyed their True Laurel cocktail.


15 Romolo

15 Romolo Pl, San Francisco, CA 94133
Phone: (415) 398-1359
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Located at the North Beach, 15 Romolo is a classic cocktail bar that serves a wide variety of small plates and tapas.

Enjoy your daily happy hour at this dining and drinking joint anytime from 5.00 pm to 2.00 am. The bar offers an avalanche of unique cocktails, including Balsamic reduction, Basil, Amaro, and Seltzer.


Moongate Lounge

28 Waverly Pl, San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone: (415) 857-9688
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Moongate Lounge is a renowned cocktail lounge in the heart of Chinatown, SF. The drinks at this bar take their cues from the Chinese Lunar calendar.

They have all-natural wines, which are reasonably priced. Moongate is among the best bars in San Francisco, California if you have a special party, such as a birthday.


Charmaine’s Rooftop Bar & Lounge

45 McAllister St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: (628) 895-2039
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Charmaine’s Rooftop Bar & Lounge is located on the San Francisco Proper Hotel rooftop. It offers an all-day menu from its executive chef, Jason Fox.

Take your happy hour a notch higher with the bar’s superior cocktails, including Mr. Jinks, Mister Bigglesworth, Salem Saberhagen, and Kissin’ in California’s Sun, as you savor your evening.


The Interval at Long Now

2 Marina Blvd, San Francisco, CA 9412
Phone: (415) 561-6582
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The Interval at Long Now is located at SF’s historic Fort Mason Center in the Marina District. Their neighbors include FLAX Art & Design, Magic Theater, and Greens Restaurant.

The bar is open daily and has lots of parking. Visit this high-end bar to enjoy its critically acclaimed selected bar snacks and cocktail program. 


Pacific Cocktail Haven

550 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94108
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Pacific Cocktail Heaven is an award-winning bar located at the heart of Union Square. The bar has been redefining nightlife with its elegant music, live performances, and lively vibe, enabling it to sweep San Francisco’s bar scene.

Whether you wish to catch up with a long-time friend over a Ko’Olina Swizzle or hold an unconventional business meeting, this multifaceted watering hole gives you convenience.


Smuggler’s Cove

650 Gough St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: (415) 869-1900
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Smuggler’s Cove is a San Francisco cocktail lounge and probably America’s largest rum selection. This state-of-the-art bar neighbors the Civic Center, the seat of power for all things performance and government-related in the city.

From the outside, you may think Smuggler’s bar is a regular apartment. However, a lot of fun is going on inside. The joint serves 80 traditional and exotic cocktail recipes.  


ABV

3174 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (415) 294-1871
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You will love ABV for its fantastic drinks and late-night eats. This joint, located at the Mission, is among the top 50 best bars in North America, and one of the fun places to get drinks.

They have a good food menu, many local beers on tap, and excellent cocktails. If you feel a little nervous about your first date, consider going to ABV for drinks, as the mood there is calming.


Cold Drinks Bar

644 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133
Phone: (415) 788-8188
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Cold Drinks Bar features food from the Eight Tables by George Chen and serves Scotch-Centric cold drinks. The bar is tucked on China Live Complex’s second floor.

If you love the glitzy old Shanghai jazz-era vibe, I recommend you visit the Cold Drinks Bar. While at China Live, you can access this bar via the stairwell.


Li Po Cocktail Lounge

916 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone: (415) 982-0072
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I have an immeasurable love for this dark, gritty dive, Li Po Cocktail Lounge. It’s among the oldest existing lounges in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

As you approach it, you’ll notice a kitschy sign glowing with the words “Li Po” welcoming passers-by. Li Po Cocktail Lounge’s Mai Tai is super tasty and will sneak up on you.


The Alembic

1725 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117
Phone: (415) 666-0822
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The Alembic, located at the heart of Haight Ashbury is one of the best bars in San Francisco, California. This craft cocktail bar offers comforting seasonal meals, an extensive whisky selection, local drafts, and thoughtful cocktails.

The team at this watering hole serves their clients professionally and seeks to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere for everyone. 


Buddy

3115 22nd St, San Francisco, CA 94110
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Buddy is a relatively new, friendly neighborhood bar, one of the fun places to go out in San Francisco. It opened its doors in November 2021 and has since offered tempting snacks and top-notch cocktails.

Are you craving crispy Mortadella sandwiches? Step into this eating and drinking joint, and you’ll find everything snack food you need. It also has an intriguing natural wine list and expertly crafted drinks.


Kona’s Street Market

32 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (415) 432-7006
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Kona’s Street Market is a spacious street-market-inspired lounge with string lights, lanterns, and booths. The bar set-up design allows the attendants to locate and speedily serve you.

Kona’s Street Market serves uniquely colored and textured drinks. Just walk in and slide into a cozy booth as you wait for one of their delighted bartenders to serve you.


Macondray

2209 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Phone: (415) 829-3464
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Located along Polk Street, Macondray is taking up its space as a pleasant drinking oasis in Francisco, offering a variety of foods and drinks.

It offers a peaceful green area to stroll through while at Russian Hill. This lush bar opens with spicy lobster and margaritas rolls. It prides itself on seafood snacks and fruity cocktails.


Bourbon & Branch

501 Jones St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: (415) 346-1735
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Bourbon & Branch bar is housed in a former speakeasy along Jones Street. You’ll love this bar for its sophisticated ambiance, making it feel more than a theme bar.

If you love speakeasies, this is your go-to drinking joint. It’s one of those password-protected bars where you’ll need to identify yourself as you walk in. 


Comstock Saloon

155 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133
Phone: (415) 617-0071
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Comstock Saloon is known for hosting the infamous free lunch routinely on Fridays. Here you can enjoy your evening with vintage cocktails and live jazz music.

Apart from serving delectable food, this eating and drinking joint also offers fine spirits and classic cocktails. The bar is located at North Beach, nearly 0.2 miles from Chinatown.


Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant

5929 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121
Phone: (415) 387-4747
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One thing I love about Tommy’s is the palatability and smoothness of its tequila. Here you’ll have perfectly redefined drinks.

I once visited it on the weekend to have a couple of tequila shots, and I’ve since wanted to be a regular visitor. I enjoyed incredible Yucatecan food as I listened to a live band, which spiced up my evening.


El Techo

2516 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Phone: (415) 550-6970
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Located above Lolinda, El Techo is a covered and heated open-air rooftop bar and restaurant that will leave you with desirable memories.

The bar offers crafty classic cocktails, pan-Latin American casual cuisine, and a sweeping city view. It’s a great destination if you want to complement your dinner or hold a celebration. 


Elixir

3200 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (415) 552-1633
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Elixir is currently the second-oldest drinking joint in San Francisco. It’s a cool bar with an ambient atmosphere, rich history, many whisky selections, and great drinks.

Elixir is located in the Mission District. They offer tasting events for groups and individuals in addition to ticketed cocktail classes.


Horsefeather

528 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117
Phone: (415) 817-1939
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I once visited Horsefeather, and one thing that amazed me was its deeply designed interior. The bar has a great ambiance, making this casual neighborhood cocktail gathering place a go-to point for utmost relaxation.

 Their list of house cocktails includes Goodnight solitaire, Ol’ smokey, Rmblin’ mandarine, and Jack of roses, among other drinks. 


The Snug

2301 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone: (415) 562-5092
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The Snug is a perfect destination if you’re looking for a multi-course meal or a quick drink. The joint offers tasty Californian comfort food, small-producer craft beers and wines, and inevitable cocktails.

All this is served in the joint’s lively outdoor patio space, so you can be sure to enjoy the ambiance as you take your meal or drink. 


Balboa Cafe

3199 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94123
Phone: (415) 921-3944
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If you’re looking for a fantastic joint to enjoy your dinner, brunch, or lunch, Balboa Café has your back. Here, you’ll find above-average people.

My friend once joked that Balboa is an excellent place to begin your search for real homemakers in San Francisco. The bar neighbors Presidio, Cow Hollow, and Marina. 


Zeitgeist

199 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (415) 255-7505
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Zeitgeist prides itself on cold women and warm beer and only allows people above the age of 21. You can visit this place throughout the week from 2.00 pm.

Please, have no pets with you as they don’t allow such. This bar, located at Mid-Market, is barely 0.7 miles from San Francisco City Hall.


Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar

950 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone: (415) 772-5278
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Your visit to San Francisco is never complete without savoring the coolness at Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar. It’s among the best happy hour joints in San Francisco, offering a festive and tropical atmosphere with a rainstorm, live entertainment, and dancing.

Just grab your favorite drinks and be entertained as you turn the bottle upside down. 


The Saloon

1232 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133
Phone: (415) 989-7666
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The Saloon is an excellent old-time dive bar along San Francisco’s Grant Avenue. You’ll be treated to lively sounds of cool blues music.

The bar’s bay area features the ultimate contest hub. As you enjoy your drink, you can play to win tickets to SF’s best events, festivals, and shows. 


Final Thoughts

San Francisco hosts a myriad of offbeat bar spot streets. These city’s party places allow you to savor the live music while relishing live local acts.

If you like meeting people, you can choose to bar-hop or visit crowded lounges for all-night fun. Get the ball rolling with incredible happy hour drinks in some of the best bars in San Francisco, California.


Best Bars in San Francisco

  1. Trick Dog
  2. 15 Romolo
  3. Moongate Lounge
  4. Charmaine’s Rooftop Bar & Lounge
  5. The Interval at Long Now
  6. Pacific Cocktail Haven
  7. Smuggler’s Cove
  8. ABV
  9. Cold Drinks Bar
  10. Li Po Cocktail Lounge
  11. The Alembic
  12. buddy
  13. Kona’s Street Market
  14. Macondray
  15. Bourbon & Branch
  16. Comstock Saloon
  17. Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant
  18. El Techo
  19. Elixir
  20. Horsefeather
  21. The Snug
  22. Balboa Cafe
  23. Zeitgeist
  24. Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar
  25. The Saloon

Paul Kushner

I have always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. My restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time I turned 17 I was serving tables, and by 19 I was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, I opened my first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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