Get Thrillist in your Inbox Invite Friends
Please turn on background colors and images in print options

The SF Streetcar Drinking Guide

Because MUNI weirdly doesn't have them listed on its route map, here's the best place to drink near every stop on SF's historic F-Market streetcar line.

All of the spots on here 1) serve alcohol (duh), 2) are within a block of the designated stop, and 3) aren't in *shudder* Fisherman's Wharf... which we omitted because Fisherman's Wharf is the worst. Let's do this!

Joe Starkey
The Stop: 17th & Castro
The Spot: Twin Peaks Tavern ()
Covered in our guide to the Castro, this historic landmark of a bar has two levels and Irish coffees good enough to make it hard to safely navigate between said two levels. If you're gonna make this a bar crawl (dude, you should make this into a bar crawl), this is the end you wanna start on.
Joe Starkey
The Stop: 16th & Noe
The Spot: Super Duper ()
Not only is this one of San Francisco's best burger chains, but it's also one of San Francisco's best places to get tap beers and a good base of food before getting too far along in a 22-bar streetcar bar crawl.
Joe Starkey
The Stop: 15th & Sanchez
The Spot: Hi Tops ()
Because where else can you drink a pitcher of beer and a cocktail with Muscle Milk in it, while sitting on a set of bleachers? Oh that's right, nowhere. Bonus: if you ignored our Super Duper food advice, they've got a fantastic fried chicken sandwich and wings from a former Top Chef-er.
Grant Marek
The Stop: 14th & Church
The Spot: Churchill ()
Get literally any cocktail here (and by "literally any cocktail" ,we mean very specifically the Jennie Jerome From Brooklyn), and make sure to bring a friend for a pool partner and/or taking your new profile picture in front of the American flag.
Joe Starkey
The Stop: Dolores & Duboce
The Spot: The Mint Karaoke Lounge ()
Sub-$5 beers, sub-$6 whiskey shots, plus one of the coolest karaoke twists in the city: they stream performances live to the TVs in the bar.
Orbit Room
The Stop: Laguna & Guererro
The Spot: Orbit Room Cafe ()
This oft-overlooked bar (because it's not really near anything else) at the intersection of Upper Market/Castro/Mission actually has surprisingly good drinks as of late, and a worth-trying pizza station. Make sure to grab a Pimm's Cup. And after that, a bourbon and basil.
Joe Starkey
The Stop: Haight & Gough
The Spot: Zuni Cafe ()
Yes, this is a little classier than most of the places in this guide, and yes again, there aren't exactly stools at the copper-topped bar, but there are Balsamic Bloody Marys... and that's really all that matters, isn't it?
The Stop: Van Ness
The Spot: Ma-velous ()
If you can get past the name, this place is actually a pretty well-hidden gem. It's technically more of a coffee bar than it is a wine bar (even though they bill it as both), but the interior is super cozy (sit in the makeshift living room), there are 50+ wines available, and (best part alert!) they've got a pet turtle!
Sam's Diner
The Stop: 9th & Larkin
The Spot: Sam's Diner ()
Two important things you need to know about Sam's: 1) their tagline is "The Flavors of the City" (?), and 2) they have $3 bar drinks (including 21st Amendment beers and Bloody Marys) from 3-6pm, Mon-Fri.
The Stop: 6th & Taylor
The Spot: Showdogs ()
All of the press for this Mid-Market spot revolves around its house-made sausages (and deservedly so, they're awesome), but its bar actually deserves way more ink than it gets, thanks to a super-legit tap list that includes stuff like 21st Amendment's Hell or High Watermelon, Iron Maiden's Trooper, and Lagunitas' Little Sumpin' Sumpin'.
Joe Starkey
The Stop: 5th & Powell
The Spot: Mikkeller Bar ()
By far one of the best beer bars in the city (if not nation), this American iteration of a Dutch brewery even boasts an underground room devoted entirely to sour beers, and a draft system that pumps in brews at three separate temperatures so that they're always at the ideal temp.
David Phelps for Dirty Habit
The Stop: 4th & Stockton
The Spot: Dirty Habit ()
Come for the giant cocktail list, stay for the amazing patio... leave with the "Adult Lunchbox" full of bar nuts, beers, and a hot toddy in a thermos?
Joe Starkey
The Stop: 3rd & Kearny
The Spot: Local Edition ()
Because every streetcar bar crawl should have a spot from the guys behind Bourbon & Branch on it.
Joe Starkey
The Stop: 2nd & Montgomery
The Spot: Sutter Station Tavern ()
We're not sure how this place exists in Downtown SF, but this dive bar (nicknamed "Sutter Gutter") is without question the real thing, complete with Christmas lights in May, cheap beer, four pool tables, and slurring old people who may or may not have just stepped on your feet while getting to their table.
83 Proof
The Stop: 1st & Battery
The Spot: 83 Proof ()
A longtime Thrillist fave, this relatively hidden bar boasts a truly impressive whiskey collection, a mezzanine level, a FRAMED WES WELKER PATS JERSEY!!!, and a piano we're pretty sure doesn't work.
Joe Starkey
The Stop: Main & Drumm
The Spot: Terminus ()
Sure, it's kinda cookie-cutter for a new SF bar (Edison bulbs, large metal lamps, exposed wood), but it's also kinda awesome-cutter -- the dude behind The House Of Shields is also behind this spot, and it's got proper Moscow Mule copper mugs.
Joe Starkey
The Stop: Steuart
The Spot: Perry's ()
$5 wine on a heated patio with a view of the Bay Bridge? I mean, if you're gonna twist our arm...
Joe Starkey
The Stop: Ferry Terminal
The Spot: Just anywhere in the Ferry Building
Literally, anywhere.
Hard Water
The Stop: Washington
The Spot: Hard Water ()
Charles Phan's Embarcadero restaurant is an ode to oysters and whiskey, with a huge raw bar and an always-crowded bar. Pro tip: try the fried alligator. Pro-er tip: get a flight of bourbon -- they've got one of the largest collections of brown stuff in the city, and the flight'll give you a chance to explore a lot of it.
Joe Starkey
The Stop: Broadway
The Spot: Coqueta ()
Spanish for "flirt", this Michael Chiarello-helmed restaurant has its own side bar/sangria-eria (sp?) that has a perfect view of the Bay/SO MUCH SANGRIA!!!.
The Spot: Green
The Spot: Exploratorium ()
Enjoy a hands-on children's science museum just the way God intended: buzzed on drinks from the attached SEAGLASS Restaurant.
Joe Starkey
The Stop: Greenwich
The Spot: Pier 23 ()
With an outdoor patio so good it made our Top Patios list, this is the perfect spot to end (or restart?) your streetcar bar adventure.

Joe Starkey is Thrillist's San Francisco Editor, and plans to start riding the F WAY MORE after putting this together. Join him on Twitter @starkey_joe.
Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Twin Peaks Tavern 401 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114

Predominately known throughout the city as SF's first-ever gay bar, Twin Peaks is adorned with beautiful, front-facing windows (for those who were comfortable enough back then to show the world their sexual orientation). Beyond the historical value, the drinks are strong, the company is amazing, and the music is a constant throwback to simpler (or, not-so-simpler) times.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. Super Duper Burger 2304 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114

One of San Francisco's best burger chains, Super Duper ups the ante with draft beer, wine , milkshakes, and their use organic, all natural, and free range ingredients.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. Hi Tops 2247 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94114

Finally a place to visit with your bros that like other bros (and sports), Hi Tops is SF's first gay sports bar. Situated in the former Lime space, HT's got benches made from bleachers, 16 flatscreens constantly showing games, Top Chef contestant-consulted fried chicken sandos and hot wings, plus 10 pitcherable drafts and cocktails including a "Protein" which incorporates chocolate muscle milk.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. Churchill 198 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114

Named after Sir Winston, Churchill's a WWII-inspired drinkery from the dudes behind Bloodhound and Double Dutch, set on quenching your thirst in a space replete with industrial lighting pulled from a factory in Belgium, massive metal pipes that double as pillars, and dozens of shipyard-thick ropes hanging loosely from the ceiling above the bar.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. The Mint Karaoke Lounge 1942 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Once a steakhouse and piano bar, The Mint is now a well-known karaoke lounge featuring cheap drinks and they stream the karaoke performances live to the bar TVs.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. Orbit Room Cafe 1900 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102

This Western Addition bar pours quality drinks (outstanding cocktails such as a Pimm's Cup and bourbon and basil) and a worth-trying pizza station.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
7. Zuni Cafe 1658 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102

A culinary talisman for over thirty years, Zuni Cafe continues to serve New American cuisine with French and Italian influences. With a menu that changes daily, the element of surprise is never lost, and all using the freshest, sustainable ingredients.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
8. MA-velous 1408 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102

A coffee AND wine bar that comes complete with a small library.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
9. Sam's Diner 1220 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Sam's features classic American diner plates and international dishes from around the world, as well as cheap bar drinks and tasty Bloody Marys.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
10. Show Dogs 1020 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Head to this triangular Market street hot doggery (decked out with 200-year-old church pew seating) for the city's best all hot dog menu, oddly brought to you by the Foreign Cinema peeps.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
11. Mikkeller Bar 34 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94102

A Danish spot with 42 beers on tap (including four Mikkellers unique to this location), MB's a European import with a meat-centric menu that includes sausages and thick-cut grilled bacon. A secret bar - Tivoli Sour Room - fills a hidden cellar downstairs.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
12. Dirty Habit 12 4th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Dirty Habit in Union Square is the perfect spot to kick back on a patio (with a casual fire pit and fountain) and take in the city lights, while nomming on spiced wings, spiced nuts, and a thermos full of hot toddy (which comes in an also-casual adult lunch box).

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
13. Local Edition 691 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94105

The decline of newspapers can really be traced back to two things: 1) the advent of nimbler, handsomer online email newsletter publications, and 2) their refusal to put cocktail bars in their basements. Finally addressing the latter, Local Edition, the newest member of the Rickhouse/Bourbon & Branch/Mr. Win Win's Broman Empire, opened in the basement of the Hearst Building and wants to welcome you and your friends with live music and cocktails.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
14. Sutter Station 554 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94104

This dive bar in Downtown SF will meet all your casual drinking needs, complete with Christmas lights in May, cheap beer, and four pool tables.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
15. 83 Proof 83 1st St, San Francisco, CA 94105

This Financial District hot-spot is one of the best whiskey bars in SF, serving up more than 300 different varieties of fire water including some special rare versions.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
16. Cafe Terminus 8 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

With accents like Edison bulbs, large metal lamps, and exposed wood, Terminus offers up cafe-style eats for breakfast and lunch.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
17. Perry's on the Embarcadero 155 Steuart St, San Francisco, CA 94105

This outpost is a mix of raw brick and sweeping Bay views, with seating clustered 'round a big mahogany bar, plus an open-air patio, private room, and two communal tables.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
18. Hard Water Pier 3, San Francisco, CA 94109

Complete with a horseshoe-shaped bar and marble finishings, this Bay-facing Embarcadero bar can't be missed. It's serving up over 150 bottles of whiskey (please don't try them all at once), fresh shellfish, and some killer collard greens as a side.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
19. Coqueta Pier 5 - The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105

Spanish for flirt, Coqueta is the latest from Top Chef Masters vet Michael Chiarello, an Embarcadero gem set in the old Lafitte space with seating for 56 in school chairs that're covered in authentic bullfighting hides complete with branding numbers.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
20. Exploratorium Pier 15, San Francisco, CA 94111

Ditch your loving family and embrace your inner man-child at Exploratorium's brand new complex at Pier 15. Their main restaurant's got a full bar (for the adult in the child in you), and they've got another restaurant that's dishing out goods like chickpea-battered fish fingers. Hit up exhibits on "Human Phenomena" (including a Pac-Man game that explores teamwork -- "See, Dad?? Spending hours on a one-player game can build social skills!") and "Tinkering".

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
21. Pier 23 Cafe Pier 23, San Francisco, CA 94111

When it comes to seafood, you want to be fairly close to the sea so that you know it's fresh. At Pier 23, you couldn't be any closer to the water, so much so that they've got a shoulder-height railing enclosing their patio. Add to that the fact that they've got a famously good Bloody Mary, and you just might be docked here for a while.

Other Stories You Will Like

More From Around the Web

Like what you see?

Grab seconds on our Facebook page.