In case you missed it, living is San Francisco is REALLY F-ING EXPENSIVE. Which makes any story about how to get food and booze for super cheap REALLY F-ING GREAT. So here's one of those, a round-up of 10 spots in San Francisco where you can get a beer and a shot and a bite (aka dinner) on the cheap.
The Marina, The Mission, North Beach, Palo Alto
The deal: Tecate + tequila + any taco; $10
This guy has been a beer-shot-bite standby for years now, and thankfully it's available at all four Tacolicious locations. And while you can technically get any taco with the deal, if you aren't getting the carnitas, you're doing it very, very wrong.
The deal: Pony beer (Pacifica, High Life, or Coronita) + Evan Williams bourbon + Frito pie; $10
One of the best bar openings of 2014, Woodbury is somehow making playing Mario Kart in the back of the bar even more fun with this holy triumvirate that includes an adorable baby beer, bourbon, and a Frito freaking pie, served in a Fritos bag with everyone's favorite curvy corn chips swimming in chili, cheese sauce, and creme fraiche.
The deal: Any draft beer + 90-proof Old Forester Single Barrel bourbon + pretzel knots w/ beer cheese; $15
Brixton has a pretty solid tap beer program so the "any draft beer" thing on its own is great, but throw in some 90-proof bourbon from a barrel set aside just for the bar PLUS house-made pretzel knots with whole grain honey mustard and zingy spicy Fresno chili beer cheddar cheese sauce and you've got yourself something even greater-er.
The deal: Beerlao dark lager + 100-proof Batavia Arrack rice liqueur + spicy fried chicken; $18
First: this chicken is legit spicy -- it's tossed with cilantro root, white pepper, soy sauce, and nam prik pao. Second: if you ask nicely, your beer can come in a ceramic parrot glass, as all beers should.
The deal: Any draft beer + Olmeca Altos tequila + chipotle meatballs; $15
Guys. These chipotle meatballs are pound sign delicious with mint, garlic, and rice, meatball-ized and smothered in Jack cheese, but the really hot part of the dish is the bed of chips underneath them that you can use to clean up everything that didn't make it all the way to your face. Also your pick of any of five beers on tap to go with your tequila shot: not bad.
The deal: PBR or Olympia + Buffalo Trace bourbon + deep dish Old Chicago slice; $13; available 5-6pm every day
We tried to think of a reason we wouldn't have this for dinner seven days a week and we legitimately couldn't come up with one. The Old Chicago slice could probably feed you for two days -- a veritable brick of tomato sauce, mozz, provolone, Chicago Italian sausage, meatball, garlic, ricotta, oregano, and Romano. And Buffalo Trace + an old man beer? Yes, please.
The deal: Pineapple sangrita + mezcal or tequila + Chinatown duck slider; $12
OK, yes, this isn't a beer, it's a sangrita. But also-yes, it's a house-canned pineapple sangrita with chili peppers, Thai lychees, serranos, caramel iced pineapple juice, coffee malts, and Citra hops -- which is why we'll let it slide. And, be honest, you'd pay $12 just for the Chinatown duck slider and a shot on their own anyway.
The deal: Pisco + Old Bus Tavern Lemon Basil Saison + pickled quail eggs; $18
The maybe best opening of the year in SF is already hooking it up with this beer-shot-bite-age that'll include three things you would've ordered already (shot, house-brewed beer, pickled quail eggs), for a couple bucks cheaper than they'd usually run you. Pro tip: put those saved dollars toward the burger. #Trust.
The deal: 8oz draft beer + Four Roses bourbon, Fernet-Branca, or Pueblo Viejo tequila + a half-ounce of house-made jerky; $8
If you're looking for a reason to actually make it all the way down to Dogpatch (and even if you weren't!) Third Rail is it. And the "RailShot" is what you'll wanna get when you arrive: $8 gets you an 8oz draft beer (your choice), a shot of Four Roses bourbon, Fernet-Branca, or Pueblo Viejo tequila (hey now), plus a half-ounce of house-made jerky that tastes a million times better than it looks in that picture. If you make it out of here without buying a bag of jerky to take home, you're a better person than I.
The deal: Old Grand-Dad bourbon + Schlitz + a pizza; $20
This is just like all the other beer-shot-bite deals on this list, except instead of a bite, there's A WHOLE FREAKING PIZZA.
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Grant Marek is Thrillist's Senior Cities Director and he tried all of these -- not on the same day though, don't worry (it was over two days). Follow him to more cheap stuff on Twitter: @grant_marek.
1. Woodbury685 3rd St, San Francisco
2. The Brixton2140 Union St, San Francisco
3. Hawker Fare680 Valencia St, San Francisco
4. Sabrosa3200 Fillmore St, San Francisco
5. Capo's641 Vallejo St, San Francisco
6. Maven598 Haight St, San Francisco
7. Old Bus Tavern3193 Mission St, San Francisco
8. Third Rail628 20th St, San Francisco
9. Cease & Desist2331 Mission St, San Francisco
Right below Alchemist Bar & Lounge is this taxidermy-adorned cocktail bar. It's complete with wood paneling, chandeliers made of antlers, delicious poutine, and a second back bar serving just beer and shots.
This Cow Hollow gastropub is named after a famous rock 'n' roll venue in London so unsurprisingly, the vibe is classy, cool, and raucous. The food menu is filled with solid American eats of the sandwich-taco-pizza-fries variety, and the bar has a solid tap beer program. Add in the weekend brunch factor and The Brixton is your go-to neighborhood spot.
The Mission outpost of this beloved Oakland eatery turns up the heat with spicy Thai-style street food and Tiki cocktails. The Thai-Issan menu features coconut milk curries and grilled meat dishes, as well as spicy salads and sides like chicken fat rice and fermented mustard greens. The family-style portions, picnic tables, and massive space make Hawker Fare an island oasis perfect for a group dinner.
The guys behind The Brixton and The Redford opened this Cow Hollow spot in 2013, serving Mexican-style 'tails at its onyx bar alongside some delicious food. Service starts at brunch with standouts that go further than the typical scrambles, like the huevos divorciados: two fried eggs separated by homemade corn masa tortillas, chorizo, and black beans covered in a red sauce on one side and green on the other. Dishes like chipotle meatballs and spicy ceviche rounds out the PM offerings.
San Francisco pizza legend Tony Gemignani (the same Tony of Tony's Pizza Napoletana) is behind this North Beach pizzeria dedicated to Chicago-style pies. Capo's specializes in four kinds of crust popular in the Windy City: deep-dish, cast iron pan, stuffed, and cracker thin. The restaurant pays tribute to the mobsters of 1930s Chicago and feels like an old-school speakeasy with red vinyl booths. As for drinks, there are more than 100 whiskies on the menu plus whiskey flights, and if you're more of a cocktail person, there's a make-your-own Old Fashioned option.
Maven is a chic bar and restaurant in Lower Haight that pairs all of its dishes with different cocktails. The highlight of the menu is the burger, which begins with beef that's ground with a few dashes of angostura bitters and is paired with the Mr. Wiggles cocktail, made with bourbon, amaro, vermouth, and bitters. The bar's morning cocktails make it a popular brunch spot, as do the duck hash and Bananas Foster French toast. The seating is all communal, and the best seats in the house are either on the second-floor loft or at the chef's counter.
This casual gastropub in Bernal Heights serves game-changing drinks and eats in a cool, friendly atmosphere. For starters, the bar's 14 taps are split between OTB beers brewed in-house and a rotating selection of local craft ones. The food menu, which has a four-course tasting option, is too good to be considered basic pub fare. The desserts are listed simply by flavor ("chocolate" and "vanilla") and are thoughtful, complex, and downright unforgettable. Old Bus Tavern's menu will tempt you to order everything on it.
This great SF cocktail bar serves up delicious libations -- get anything with Mezcal, and cheers to it!
This Mission spot takes their drinks seriously, including four beer + shot pairs, draft, bottle, & can beers, and draft, pitcher, & craft cocktails. Stop in for a salami & pepperoni pizza with a shlitz & old grandad beer + shot, because everything about that is a good plan.