The Best Happy Hours in Your San Francisco Neighborhood
Any hour during which you’re holding a drink is a happy hour. Which is a good thing since happy hours in San Francisco are a little scarce right now. That totally makes sense after a brutal year and a half for SF’s bars and restaurants. So many are still struggling to get back on their feet or even just break even. Still, there are a few spots offering up some good deals, many of which we have listed here, organized by neighborhood. Cheers to drinking in bars again!
When: Tuesday–Friday from 4–6 pm
The deal: Enjoy “Golden Hour” at this tropical escape on Union Street known for its Caribbean food and boozy slushies. Snacks like grilled short ribs, poke tostada, and smashed avocado with chips are $6 each, “leisurely drinks” like a chipotle mango margarita and the Old Cuban are $7 each (as is the “Bartender’s Choice”), draft beers are $1 off, and bottles of wine are half off. The dangerously delicious Palm House Slushy (white rum, spiced rum, and fresh lime) is not discounted, but after you have a couple, you won’t care.
When: Tuesday–Friday from 4–6 pm
The deal: This stylish and fairly pricey bi-level modern raw bar is usually packed during happy hour with patrons eager to make the most of $2 oysters from Tomales Bay, $2 herb- and jalapeno-marinated mussels, $9 seafood chowder, and $10 rock cod tacos (two in each order). They all go down very well when accompanied by $5 beer and glasses of red and white for $7 each.
When: Monday–Friday from 12–6 pm
The deal: Sometimes you’re in the mood for oysters and sometimes you’re in the mood for pizza. We’re throwing in one more option for this neighborhood for those who prefer the latter. You can get a 10” personal pizza—margherita, shroom, blanco, and meat lovers are just a few options—for 10 bucks, plus $10 off of pints (there are 18 beers on draft including a couple of ciders), $6 house wine, and $4 sangria. The notorious sake bombs are not discounted but are still worth considering.
Mission Rock Resort
When: Tuesday–Friday from 3–7 pm
The deal: Views of the Bay get even better when accompanied by four hours of 99-cent oysters. Get yours at the Rock Cafe, Mission Rock’s more casual bar (but still on the water, don’t worry), or upstairs in the restaurant. Not sure how to choose? Maybe this will help. You’ll get $7 well drinks, draft beer, and house wine at both, but the $7 frozen cocktails are only available at the bar. Also, it is worth mentioning that the oyster deal includes an order of at least six (no problem) and no more than 24 (possibly disappointing, but also probably for the best.)
When: Monday–Friday from 3–5 pm
The deal: This gorgeous and palatial Peruvian restaurant with water views is not for those on a budget. Unless, of course, those on a budget are going for happy hour when select cocktails, like the prickly pear margarita, are $7, red and white house wines are $6, select beers are $4, and savory empanadas are $5 each. The cebiche clásico is also seriously discounted ($14 instead of $21.50), and it’s always so fresh and bright, so you should probably order that as well, even though it will absolutely “ruin” your dinner later.
When: Tuesday–Friday from 4 pm–5:30 pm
The deal: The Financial District is not what it was a year and a half ago, but this Michael Mina restaurant, known for its modern take on Japanese izakaya and creative cocktails, is still the place where deals get done and expense accounts are taken advantage of. Luckily, even if you don’t have an expense account to bill to, that won’t be a problem (at least not for an hour and a half). During that time you can get a whiskey highball for $8.88, a rotating daily cocktail for $6.88, draft sake for $5.88, a 22-ounce can of Sapporo for $6.88, select beer for $4.88, and select wine for $5.88. All of that drinking is going to make you hungry, so fill up on pork steam buns ($3.88), hand rolls ($5.88), fried chicken “karaage” ($6.88), and robatayaki ($3.88).
When: Monday–Friday from 4:30–6 pm; Tuesday from 11:30 am to 10 pm
The deal: We could wax poetic about this taqueria/sports bar, especially the taco Nick’s Way (IYKYK, but if you don’t, we highly recommend changing that), but there are so many deals to get to that we’re just diving right in. During happy hour on every weekday except Tuesday, you can get $2 street tacos, $3 Tecates, $5 house margaritas, and $1 off well drinks. Go on Tuesday and you’ll get the $2 street tacos and $3 tacos deal all day long.
When: Weekdays from 3–6 pm
This friendly neighborhood spot is the place to go in the Lower Haight when you want to eat legit good food while you watch a game (standard pub fare, but also homestyle Mexican you won’t find at any other sports bars in SF). But it’s also the place to go when you’re in the mood for a couple of drinks, a laid back atmosphere, and friendly staff. Go in the afternoon Monday through Friday and you can also bask in the joy that is three hours of $1 off all beers, $5 well drinks, $3 Miller High Life, $6 Miller High Life plus a shot, and (launching very soon) happy hour bar bites. And though it’s not quite a happy hour, it’s worth mentioning that Nickie’s also has a bottomless mimosa brunch on the weekends from 11 am to 2 pm (earlier during football season). Also worth mentioning: Nickie’s has the best parklet in the Lower Haight, hands down. Perfect for enjoying that discounted afternoon drink.
Lower Pac Heights
When: Every day from 3–6 pm
The deal: This charming wine bar is one of our favorites thanks to an excellent wine selection and friendly and knowledgeable service. Plus, during happy hour, you can get half-price oysters ($1.25 each) and 20% off of your beer or wine from the by-the-glass list. If you want 24 oysters for the table, you’ll also need to buy a bottle of wine; if you only want six, a glass of wine will suffice.
When: Monday-Friday from 4–6pm
The deal: Not in the mood for oysters? Head to Harry’s, a Fillmore Street stalwart, for $2 off well drinks, draft beer, and house wine, as well as daily specials, like a $9 margarita (classic, watermelon, strawberry, or jalapeno) on Wednesdays, and a beer and a shot for 10 bucks on Thursdays.
When: Monday–Friday from 3–6 pm
The deal: This casual Roman-style pizza spot is known for serving pizza “late” (for SF anyway), but the best deals are to be had in the afternoon when the “six until six” menu is in effect: $6 drinks and small plates until 6 pm. Drinks include a house rose, white, and red wine, Aperol spritz, and an Italian margarita, plus a beer of the day that’s available for $4. The snacks are a burrata bruschetta with hazelnut and honey and crispy cauliflower with capers and lemon aioli.
When: Monday–Friday from 4–6 pm
The deal: El Techo has been thriving due to its rooftop location, and its happy hour is still bringing margarita and sunshine-induced smiles to drinkers who manage to snag a table. If you don’t want a $7 margarita, there are also beers for $5, and pitchers of sangria for $18. As far as food, guac and chips, empanadas, and fried plantains are all $7, and yuca fries are $5.
When: Daily from 5–6 pm
The deal: You’re in luck. Almost everything on this rustic wine and whiskey bar’s happy hour menu is $7, so grab a seat on one of the cozy couches (or an outdoor table) and settle in for an hour of $7 well drinks, $7 wine and beer, and $7 bites, like deviled eggs, crispy spiced chicken wings, and fontina and spinach arancini. The only thing that’s not lucky number seven? The two-for-one oysters on the half shell, which still feels pretty lucky to us.
When: Daily from 5–7 pm
The deal: Cafe by day. Cafe that’s also kind of a bar by night. Nook has a two-hour happy hour every single day, which includes house red or white wine for $7.50, sangria for $5.95 (glass) and $18 (carafe), and four kinds of pita pizzas (chicken, pesto, tomato, and mozzarella is just one of them) for $6.95.
Black Hammer Brewing
When: Weekdays from 4–6 pm and weekends from 12–1 pm.
The deal: Show up for “Hoppy Hour” at this boutique brewery and you’ll get half-off liters of any of their nine beers on tap. With IPAs, Belgian blondes, lagers, stouts, and sours, there’s truly something for every beer drinker.
E&O Kitchen and Bar
When: Tuesday-Saturday from 3–6 pm
The deal: This sprawling modern Asian restaurant is usually popular with tourists and convention-goers, but even the most jaded San Franciscan would be a fool not to take advantage of its stellar happy hour when many of the best dishes are heavily discounted. Especially since there aren’t nearly as many tourists or convention-goers these days. Happy hour bites include dumplings for $1.50, a half-dozen oysters for $9, corn fritter bites for $5, and steamed pork buns for $2.50. You can also get glasses of wine for $6, a selection of cocktails for $7, and a couple of draft beers ranging from $3.50 to $5.
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