Food & Drink

The best bar near every single Caltrain stop

Published On 04/23/2014 Published On 04/23/2014
Joe Starkey
Joe Starkey
Joe Starkey
Joe Starkey
Joe Starkey
Joe Starkey
Joe Starkey
Joe Starkey
Joe Starkey
Barrel House
Instagram/Macamillion13
Joe Starkey
Joe Starkey
Joe Starkey
Joe Starkey
Joe Starkey
Joe Starkey
Joe Starkey
Joe Starkey
Joe Starkey
Joe Starkey
Grant Marek
Old Pro
Joe Starkey
Joe Starkey
Joe Starkey
Joe Starkey
Joe Starkey
Joe Starkey
Joe Starkey
Joe Starkey
Joe Starkey
Joe Starkey
Grant Marek
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1. Victory Hall & Parlor 330 Ritch St, San Francisco, CA 94107 (The Mission)

This American, comfort food-lauded joint is doling out delicious trays of things like chicken 'n waffles, chilli cheese fries, and the like.

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2. Dogpatch Saloon 2496 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107 (Dogpatch)

An 100yr-old cocktailery from the dudes behind SOMA's 83 Proof.

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3. The Topper 249 Grand Ave, South San Francisco, CA 94080

Topper is a neighborhood dive bar that can be found in South San Francisco, as well-known for its wall of Frisco sports memorabilia as its Topper Stix, which are breadsticks made with handmade dough topped with cheese and garlic butter. In addition to the Stix varieties available (they come in “cinnamonstix,” “berrystix,” “baconstix,” “pepperonistix,” and “tacostix”), other bar fare includes quesadillas, toasted grinders, wings, and a selection of house pizzas and customizable pizzas. While you’re sipping on one of Topper’s inexpensive cocktails, strike up a conversation with a fellow bar-goer; the place is teeming with regulars.

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4. Fiddler's Green 333 El Camino Real, Millbrae, CA 94030

Just your typical Millbrae Irish pub... with a dance floor?! Yep. The upstairs area gets converted into a club a few nights a week, but don't worry, the place is still bursting with all your classic eats and drinks, like Guinness and shepherds pie.

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5. Celia's 201 El Camino Real, San Bruno, CA 94066

This Mextaurant makes their tortillas fresh each day and serves up family-style eats by the beach. Don't miss the fajita burrito or their just-strong-enough margaritas.

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6. Under Attic 234 S B St, San Mateo, CA 94401

Located under Attic Restaurant (so literal!), Under Attic is a sweet cocktail-and-snack destination that's great for an after-work happy hour. Grab yourself a $5 whiskey cocktail, some Adobo Sriracha Wings, and get ready for a great night.

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7. Bucky's Cocktail Lounge 101 South Blvd, San Mateo, CA 94402

Open at 6am (a perfectly respectable time to start drinking), Bucky's is a classic dive with trappings like an old-school quarter candy machine, a pool room, and just two beers on draft: Miller High Life and Bud.

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8. McGraw’s Bar & Grill 864 El Camino Real, Belmont, CA 94002

McGraw's Bar & Grill's got darts, pool, cheap brew, flatscreen TVs to watch the game, juke music, and shuffleboard. If you need more reasoning than that, you may be insane.

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9. 7-Eleven 525 Oak Grove Ave, Menlo Park, CA 94025

Perfect place to escape the heat in Menlo park while waiting on the Caltrain. All of your typical convenience store wares are stocked - beer included.

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10. The Old Pro 541 Ramona St, Palo Alto, CA 94301

This sports bar is dotted with flat-screens and touts a substantial menu of American comfort food, including a baby kale-romaine Caesar and other salads, and snacks like crispy calamari, nachos, a smoked chicken quesadillas, house pizzas, and burgers with gruyere-grilled mushrooms, pulled pork, and house pimento cheese. The drinks menu encompasses a thoughtful list of local craft beers, seasonal cocktails, and notable California wines. Favorite specialty cocktails include a fruity raspberry-jalapeno margarita with agave and a blackberry and sage old-fashioned.

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11. Antonio's Nut House 321 S California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306

Most people associate Antonio’s Nut House with the sound of peanut shells crunching beneath their feet, the byproduct of a bottomless bucket of free unshelled nuts guarded by a fake gorilla being wielded to patrons while they await their food and drinks. Open-face tacos and enchiladas rule Antonio’s snack roost, while beer pours are cheap and margaritas are served in a pint glass with a slice of lime and a salted rim. And in case you needed reminding, signs plastered on the bar’s walls will inform you that you need to be 21 years of age and be wearing shoes and a top in order to enter.

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12. Fred's Place 2534 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View, CA 94043

This local's dive bar is known for big pitchers and low tabs.

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13. FireHouse Grill & Brewery 111 S Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94086

Reach for the Hops on Rye house brew at this award winning brewery plus grill. There's a seasonal rotation of brews available either on tap or by the bottle, served up by sometimes tartan mini-skirted waitresses.

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14. The Hut 3200 The Alameda, Santa Clara, CA 95050

The ultimate Santa Clara University haunt - the owners say that if the establishment would be a bronco, the SCU mascot, if it was an animal - you'll find dollars pinned to walls from patrons' first paychecks as well as a barbecue grill on the patio that's up for use. Don't be surprised if you find a beer pong competition in full swing at night.

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15. Patty's Inn 102 S Montgomery St, San Jose, CA 95110

Get the full ballgame experience - trough-style urinal included - at this local dive with hotdogs, hamburgers and always $2.50 PBRs.

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16. The American Bull Bar & Grill 1819 El Camino Real, Burlingame, CA 94010

This Burlingame sports bar is the perfect spot to watch any and all of your favorite games (they have NBA League Pass, MLB Extra Innings, NFL Sunday Ticket, just to name a few) on their 19 wide-screen TVs, while downing a cold beer and tasty bar food, of course.

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17. Barrel House 305 California Drive, Burlingame, CA 94104

If you find yourself in Burlingame, you're not gonna wanna miss this boozer, which boasts frequent happy hours and delectable bar snacks that run the gamut from chicken lollipops to pork sliders.

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18. Steamie's 3403 Pacific Blvd, San Mateo, CA 94403

Open since 1951, Steamie's has everything you want in a homey dive -- from the awesome neon sign out front to the pool table and working fireplace inside.

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19. Orchid Room 678 Laurel St, San Carlos, CA 94070 (Peninsula)

This classic dive in San Carlos serves cheap beers on tap and strong cocktails all day, and, because of a loophole in the law, actually allows smoking inside (don't say you and your clothes weren't warned). To get the most bang for your buck, go for a gimlet, which is really just gin with a pinch of lime here, and pick up a game at the old-school shuffleboard table. If it's already occupied by some of the OR's many regulars, you can kick back and relax with the sounds of the jukebox.

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20. Gourmet Haus Staudt 2615 Broadway St, Redwood City, CA 94063

Gourmet Haus Staudt is at once a German specialty store and beer garden in Redwood City. The building’s exterior is modeled after a German haus, with stark white paint, shuttered windows with planter-filled windowsills, and German floral designs adoring the walls. Once you enter, you’ll be surrounded by shelves of German food, spices, over 100 beers, and products from Haribo, Ricola, and Toblerone. The beer garden in the back offers a selection of 10 German beers on tap, three rotating guest taps, and a food menu of traditional open-faced sandwiches, bratwurst, and laberkase, a Bavarian pork dinner loaf, served with sauerkraut, two eggs, and German potato salad.

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