San Francisco has a lot to offer both travelers and locals and its nightlife is no exception. Contrary to many major cities, San Francisco doesn’t have just one neighborhood with a vibrant nightlife scene, but several that can make for an exciting evening. As such, it’s a great city for doing a bar crawl. Today, we highlight some of the best bars in San Francisco for an evening out on the town, something to consider when you’ve booked flights to San Francisco, starting classy and then making our way to some of the city’s premier dive bars.
Bin 38: Since Bin 38 closes earlier than some of the other bars on this list, this is a good start to your evening. Located in the Marina, Bin 38 is similar to many wine lounges you may have visited. While some people may be dressed nicely, it isn’t required. The wine bar has a couple different sections indoors that are great choices because of their added privacy. However, my favorite part is the heated outdoor patio in the back.
Tony Nik’s Café: Tony Nik’s is less cafe and more chic lounge. While much of the décor is traditional, Tony Nik’s has a certain cool vibe to it, which should come as no surprise since it’s located in North Beach. Not to mention it’s next to one of San Francisco’s best pizza joints: Tony’s. While they have a small beer selection, I recommend a cocktail, and especially a martini.
Alembic: This restaurant and bar features one of the most creative dinner menus in San Francisco, but doubles as a great after-dinner bar. Located on Haight St., just a couple blocks from Golden Gate Park, you could easily spend all evening along this strip of nightlife in San Francisco. While you can go with wine or beer at Alembic, you can’t go wrong with their handcrafted cocktails. Even if you aren’t much of a cocktail drinker, this is the one place in San Francisco to have a cocktail and try one of their popular artisanal drinks.
Zeitgeist: Ask most locals about the top bars in San Francisco, and they’re likely to point you to Zeitgeist, which is located in the Mission, and features one of the best outdoor patios in the city. However, whatever you do, don’t take a photo inside the bar unless you want to get reprimanded. However, that’s just part of the charm to this San Francisco bar which is gaining worldwide fame. So much so that the Travel Channel recently filmed here. This is where you’ll want to order a couple beers, as they feature an extensive selection, including some local brews.
Broken Record: You’ll probably want to make the Broken Record either your first or last stop since it’s located further south from San Francisco. However, this is another local spot you’ll often hear locals recommend. Few dive bars in the city compare. However, make sure you’ve got some cash left over, as they don’t accept credit cards. This is how a dive bar should be; highlighted by a juke box, pool tables, and a great beer selection. They also have an impressive whiskey selection. If you have the munchies, I highly recommend the pork fries.