The Best Happy Hours in Your San Francisco Neighborhood
Any hour in which you’re holding a drink can be considered a happy hour. However, when that drink costs significantly less than it usually would, the hour becomes considerably happier. Even more so if there are discounted bites involved. So here are a bunch of our favorite happy hours in SF, organized by neighborhood, most of which last longer than an hour, and all of which are definitely worth telling your boss you have to leave early for a doctor’s appointment.
Wednesday-Sunday from 4:30pm to 6pm and 10pm to “late”
The deal: This Hamptons-inspired (but not in an intolerable way) bistro serves up a lot of dishes that once you try, you’ll end up craving. You’ve been warned. Happy hour is the best way to get a little bit of everything, including the grilled cheese (one of the best in SF) -- four pieces for $9, $1.50 oysters, shrimp cocktail for $14 (ask for extra horseradish), deviled eggs for $2 each, and the healthy, but delicious lemon “chips” and avocado dip for $13. There are also a few drink specials, including a $5 draft beer, wine by the glass for $8, a glass of bubbles for $10, a paloma or John Daly for $10, or a carafe of either of those for $30.
The Brixton on Union
Tuesday-Sunday from 3pm to 7pm
The deal: You get four hours of specials (four!) at this Union Street gastropub, including $5 beer, $7 mixed drinks, $8 wine, $10 cocktails, and a bunch of deals on food, like $3 fries, a $7 giant meatball, $7 spinach artichoke dip, $7 pretzel knots, $7 demoned eggs, $9 tacos of the day, $9 barbecue pulled pork sandwich, and a $9 flatbread pizza.
Tuesday-Sunday from 5pm to 6:30pm
The deal: This bi-level modern raw bar is usually packed during happy hour with patrons eager to make the most of the $1.50 oysters from Tomales Bay, $1.50 herb and jalapeno marinated mussels, $8 seafood chowder, and $10 rock cod tacos (two in each order), as well as $5 beers and glasses of red and white for $7 each.
Monday-Friday from 5pm to 6:30pm
The deal: Grab a seat in the bar or lounge of this Spanish tapas restaurant for $7 drinks, including a fantastic (and sizeable) gin and tonic, and $1 pintxos (small snacks), like a ham and bechamel croquette, lamb and pork meatball, jamon serrano sandwich, and deviled eggs.
Monday-Friday from 3:30pm to 6:30pm
The deal: When the sun is shining, this outdoor waterfront restaurant is one of the best places to be in all of SF. It’s made even better when you’re taking advantage of the happy hour specials, including $2 off all small plates, like chips and guacamole, carnitas nachos, fried calamari, as well as draft beers for $6. Go on Monday or Thursday and you can also get $1 oysters.
Monday-Friday from 5pm to 8pm
The deal: Blackbird is one of the city’s best cocktail bars, so if you’re hitting it up for happy hour, we recommend ordering one of ;em, like the whiskey sour, Early Bird (vodka, lemon, elderflower), or a margarita for $9, old fashioned for $8, and an Aperol spritz for $10 (but if you want wine or beer they have that too)l. Get $1 off draft beer, a Bud or PBR for $3, and a house white or red for $9.
Every day from 3pm to 6pm
The deal: We love a weekend happy hour and this gorgeous Peruvian restaurant with water views does it right. Select cocktails are $7 or $8, a glass of red or white wine is $6, select beers are $4, and a bunch of the classic dishes are discounted, including cebiche for $14 and empanadas for $5 each.
Monday-Friday from 3pm to 6pm
The deal: You’ll probably see some actual deals being made at this Michael Mina hotspot known for its modern take on Japanese izakaya and creative cocktails, but those people have expense accounts, and if you’re seeking out happy hours there’s a good chance you don’t. Luckily, that won’t be a problem. During the three-hour happy hour 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 oysters for $1.88 each, a pork steam bun for $3.88, a hand roll for $5.88, fried chicken “karaage” for $6.88, and robatayaki for $3.88.
Monday-Friday from 12pm to 7pm
The deal: Tell your boss you’re working from home whilst making yourself at home at Blackthorn Tavern, where you can check email (they have free Wi-Fi) in between free games of pool. You’ll also get $1 off draft beers and mixed drinks, as well as $3.50 PBR bottles and discounted pitchers. They don’t have food, but you can bring your own in or get it delivered. (San Tung and its famous chicken wings are right across the street, so we vote for that.)
Monday-Friday from 5:30pm to 6:30pm and 10:30pm to 11:30pm
The deal: Maven has one of our favorite (and most unique) burgers in the city (the secret is the dashes of Angostura bitters used to season the meat) and when you order it during happy hour, it comes with a FREE old fashioned. A kickass burger and a free old fashioned? It might seem like you’re dreaming, but we promise it’s real.
Lower Pac Heights
Daily from 3pm to 6pm
The deal: This charming wine bar is one of our favorites thanks to an excellent wine selection and service that is friendly and knowledgeable. 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.
Monday-Friday from 3pm to 6pm
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 6pm. Drinks include a bunch of rosés, several refreshing cocktails, and all beers on tap. Small plates include a broccolini bruschetta, crispy artichoke hearts, calamari, and a pizzetta margherita.
Tuesday-Friday from 4:30pm to 6pm and Saturday and Sunday from 3pm to 6pm
The deal: You can only get Maybeck’s perfectly crispy and juicy fried chicken sandwich ($10) during happy hour, which is pretty much all you need to know, but just in case: the menu also includes $7 cocktails (Aperol spritz, margarita, house negroni, Manhattan), $7 wine by the glass, $5 draft beer, a half-dozen oysters for $10, and smoked trout toast for $7.
Bender’s Bar and Grill
Daily from 2pm to 7pm
The deal: Bender’s has a punk rock vibe with none of the punk rock attitude, which makes it the perfect bar to kick back in and play some pool or pinball while loading up the jukebox (assuming you’re partial to punk and metal, that is) and drinking $4 well drinks or getting $1 off all of your beers on tap.
Monday-Friday from 11:30am to 6pm
The deal: If the sun is shining, blow off work and plan to spend the day drinking in Zeitgeist’s back garden. Don’t worry about blowing through your cash because you’ll get $1 off all pints and quarts and $2 off all pitchers on all of the 64 beers on tap. Looking for something a little stronger? A can of Pabst and a shot of Jameson is $6, and a can of Tecate and shot of Hornitos is $7.
Monday-Friday from 4pm to 6pm and Saturday from 5pm to 7pm
The deal: Everything is $6 on this rustic wine and whiskey bar’s happy hour menu, so grab a seat on one of the cozy couches and settle in for two hours of $6 well drinks, $6 wines and beer, and $6 bites, like stuffed figs, deviled eggs, crispy spiced chicken wings, shrimp and albacore ceviche, and a half-dozen oysters. We’d make a joke about the whole 666 thing, but since clearly this deal is heaven-sent, we’ll refrain.
Monday-Friday from 5pm to 7pm and daily from 10pm to close
The deal: The only thing better than a bar with vintage video game consoles is a bar with a two-for-one beer, wine, and spirits during happy hour. Note: If you go to the late night happy hour, the two-for-one deal is for spirits only, but no one is complaining about that, right?
Capo’s by Tony Gemignani
It’s a little complicated (well not too complicated, but you’ll need to read on to get the info.)
The deal: There’s something for everyone looking for a deal at this Chicago-style pizza spot from the world’s best pizza maker (no, seriously, he’s won the World Pizza Championship 13 times). On Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:30pm to 10pm and Friday and Saturday from 9:30pm to 11pm, you can get two-for-one drinks. Hungry? Then hit Capo’s up any day of the week between 5pm and 6pm to get a slice of deep dish pizza with either a can of PBR or a shot of house whiskey for $9.
Monday-Friday from 4pm to 7pm
The deal: This historic “parlor” has been serving locals and tourists since 1936 and though you can’t get those prices, you can still get some of the best deals in the neighborhood during happy hour, including $7 premium cocktails, like a greyhound with fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, $5 draft beers, and a shot of Tullamore Dew and a PBR for $8.
The Taco Shop @ Underdog’s
Monday-Friday from 4:30pm to 6pm
The deal: Watch whatever game is on TV at this taco shop/sports bar while taking down $2 street tacos, $3 Tecates, and $4 margaritas. Want a mixed drink? Well drinks are all $1 off.
Monday-Friday from 11am to 7pm
The deal: This divey watering hole usually has live music at night, but during its eight-hour happy hour, you’ll get a different drink special depending on what day of the week it is. On Mondays, it’s $3 Anchor Lager cans, Tuesday it’s $3 PBR tallboys, Wednesday: $2 Lone Star bottles, Thursday: $4 Pilsner Urquell tallboys, and Fridays: a shot of El Jimador and a Corona for $8. There’s also a lunch special from 11am to 3pm: a burger or Cuban sandwich and a beer for $12.
Monday-Friday from 5pm to 6pm and Saturday-Sunday from 2pm to 5pm
The deal: We are very into the burger at this cozy Outer Richmond spot and though there are lots of good deals on the happy hour menu, the reason to go is for the burger served with cheddar, bacon, a house spicy sauce, and fries and a cocktail for $21, which yes, in this town is absolutely a steal. You can also get three Korean BBQ oysters for $11, pickle-brined wings for $12, a boozy Happy Daze cocktail for $9, house red and white for $9, and Fort Point Export lager for $5.
Monday-Friday from 4pm to 6pm
The deal: This self-proclaimed sports bar is more than just a sports bar. It also has an outdoor patio, Skee-ball, Super Shot, as well as a great cocktail menu. During happy hour, you can knock two bucks off of all house cocktails and $1 off beer.
E&O Kitchen and Bar
Monday-Saturday from 3pm to 6pm
The deal: This sprawling modern Asian restaurant is 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. Think: dumplings for $1, oysters for $1, corn fritter bites for $3.50, ahi tuna tartare “poppers” for $3, steamed duck buns for $4, chicken satay for $3, or an entire pu pu platter for $24. You can also get glasses of wine for $6, a selection of cocktails for $7, and a couple of draft beers for $5.
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