San Francisco Travel Guide

Bar Beer Wine

Bars and clubs

The best way to find a good bar or club is to ask the advice of a local; but barring that a copy of The SF Bay Guardian or the SF Weekly or a quick search on yelp/google will help you find something suited to your personal taste.

The great diversity of nightlife in San Francisco, sometimes within one neighborhood, reflects the diversity of cultures there. Here's a sampling:

If you want door-to-door bar hopping at friendly bars that serve PBR tall boys, definitely go to "Polk Gulch" in the Tenderloin and work your way north through bars such as Mayes, The Playground, and Hemlock.
Head to the Marina for mid-20s to mid-30s professionals (and those visiting from Los Angeles) as well as a college atmosphere clubbing scene around super packed club/bars such as Circa and Matrix 24/7.
Are you into clubs? If you want to commit to a single venue for the night and club the night away, pay the necessary cover at high end clubs in South of Market (SoMa) such as The Grand, Manor West, and 330 Ritch, where you can find left-over dot-commers and hipsters hanging out on the street. If you're in the mood for world class clubbing, Ruby Skye near Union Square is a must visit place; the SF equivalent of a Vegas club, but be prepared to buy tickets ahead of time and wait in line.
The Castro primarily serves San Francisco's gay men.
The Lexington in the Mission and Wild Side West and Stray Bar in Bernal are lesbian bars.
Other spots in the Mission also offers a more down to earth vibe that still lets you get your dance on in spots like Brunos; a bonus with this is that you can end the night with a great burrito from one of the local Mission taquerias.
With a large Irish population, San Francisco has a number of very good Irish pubs extending out into the Sunset neighborhood (e.g., Danny Coyle's, Four Deuces, and many others). North Beach is home to several dance clubs and strip clubs.
If you like soccer (football) and all things English, you should stop into the Kezar Pub, at the edge of the Haight-Ashbury District, or Lower Haight's Mad Dog In the Fog. The pub quiz and bar food are good. Swill some pints and stay in the dark. Good for an entire day's worth of drinking.
Beer

San Francisco, despite being much smaller than New York City, sports more microbreweries. Anchor Brewing Company (makers of Anchor Steam, found throughout the US) is brewed on Potrero Hill, though it is generally not open to the public (tours are available Friday afternoons by reservation). Similarly, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers opens its doors on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons, though its location in Hunter's Point makes it a long Muni ride if you're traveling without a car. The other microbreweries are housed in brewpubs:

Beach Chalet & Park Chalet are at the Pacific end of Golden Gate Park, where you can enjoy a view of the ocean or sit in the lawn area.
Pizza Orgasmica in the Richmond District specializes in California-style pizza.
Magnolia Brewing Company is in the heart of the Haight, and operates a second restaurant down the street, The Alembic.
Thirsty Bear in SoMa caters mostly to the happy hour crowd.
21st Amendment, also in SoMa, is three blocks away from the Giants' home at AT&T Park.
Social Kitchen & Brewery is in the Sunset District, a block from Golden Gate Park.
Southern Pacific Brewing Company is a large bar in the Mission District.

Other destinations for beer drinkers include the Gordon Biersch alehouse on the Embarcadero in SoMa, the City Beer Store and Tasting Bar on Folsom St in SoMa (your best bet for beer to go), the Mission's Monk's Kettle, and the famous Toronado Pub on lower Haight Street, which specializes in Belgian ales.

The surrounding Alameda, San Mateo, and Marin Counties also host many microbreweries worth trying. Many of these are accessible by BART. And although Santa Rosa is 45 minutes north of San Francisco, no beer lovers should skip the renowned Russian River Brewing Company in downtown Santa Rosa.

source: Wikivoyage

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