Food & Drink

San Francisco's 8 best trivia nights

Published On 11/06/2014 Published On 11/06/2014
Blackthorn Tavern
Tonic
Mad Dog In The Fog
Yield Wine Bar
Flickr/NSMonkeygirl
The Valley Tavern 24th Street
Flickr/Thomas Hawk
Darren Edwards
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1. Blackthorn Tavern 834 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122 (Inner Sunset)

Live bands, giant pool tables, huge TVs, and a rowdy trivia night all ensure that you'll stay entertained at this sprawling Inner Sunset pub. Head to the back for Blackthorn's tucked-away (and heated, in colder temps) patio: a small oasis that lets you escape from the bar noise if you're looking for a more relaxed night over some domestic or imported draft beers. In addition to brews, there's always a solid lineup of barrel-aged cocktails in rotation here, including the Boulevardier, aged for two months in-house, made with rye, campari, and vermouth, and garnished with an orange peel.

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2. Tonic 2360 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109 (Russian Hill)

Vodka gummy bears, East Coast-style pickle backs, and fish bowls filled with vodka, coconut rum, fruit juice & Swedish Fish all make Tonic one of the most popular places to party in Russian Hill. Beyond the weekend craziness, its weekday trivia is some of the best in the city.

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3. Mad Dog In The Fog 530 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117 (Lower Haight)

Because you seem really trustworthy, Lower Haight's resident English pub lets you pour your own beer courtesy of the TableTender, an eight-stooled table with a built-in two-tap system that pulls from kegs stashed in a cabinet underneath.

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4. Yield Wine Bar 2490 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107 (Dogpatch)

In a classic San Francisco fashion, this Dogpatch wine bar (and sister spot to Pause in Hayes Valley) only serves sustainable and organic wines from family-owned and operated wineries. Since Yield's standards are so high, its wine is excellent and hard to come by anywhere else in the city. The food is also exceptional and not just "for a bar." There are grilled flatbreads (vegan-friendly, of course) and bites like goat cheese-stuffed dates and artichoke, kale, and parmesan dip.

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5. Edinburgh Castle 950 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94109 (The Tenderloin)

The Edinburgh Castle is far less pretentious that the title would make it seem -- cheap drinks, a fun trivia night, a young crowd, and cheap drinks (it's worth saying twice!) make this a great spot to relax and enjoy some cheap drinks (sorry)!

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6. Valley Tavern 4054 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94114 (Noe Valley)

VT's a standard SF sports bar, but with way better tap brew, company, and pool.

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7. The Bitter End 441 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118 (Inner Richmond)

With a pool table, a fireplace, darts, and a sweet trivia night, The Bitter End is like the awesome basement you never had growing up. A great selection of beers and a fortifying bar food menu mean that you can move in forever -- or at least probably make it to last call.

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8. Elixir 3200 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103 (The Mission)

Home to 350+ whiskies, Elixir, which opened in 1858, is the second oldest saloon in the city. The space feels like a combination of a pub, sports bar, and cocktail lounge, which accounts for their amazing diverse drink menu. Come for happy hour and stay until it transforms into a velvety candle-lit party, because why not?