$5 Lunch: Beef Patty
1. Mars Bar & Restaurant798 Brannan St, San Francisco
2. TRACE San Francisco181 3rd St, San Francisco
3. Lark Creek Steak845 Market Street, San Francisco
4. Tacolicious2250 Chestnut St., San Francisco
5. Comstock Saloon155 Columbus Ave, San Francisco
6. Fast Food Francais39 Caledonia St, Sausalito
SoMa's Mars Bar has it all. The 20-plus-year-old institution is both a bar and a restaurant, complete with a heated outdoor patio, a pool table, and live DJs during happy hour. It's got quintessential sports bar-type happy hours, with half-price wings and $3 bottled beer on Mondays and $5 pizza on Wednesdays. It's the kind of place you can go to watch football one night, and dance to vinyl records another. There's a new crowd every day, so it never gets old.
Located inside the W San Francisco, Trace serves an upscale menu of Bay Area food that's perfect for a power lunch. Expect plenty of vegetables and fish, plus reliable roasted meat dishes. The space is W-sleek with leather booths and modern furniture.
Lark Creek Steak, located in the Westfield San Francisco Centre, offers a view of the Emporium Dome, as well as top-notch steak and desserts.
Two blocks down from the original (and now-closed) Chestnut St location, this outpost of Tacolicious is bigger and brighter than its predecessor. The gourmet taco shop's menu features the original tortilla-wrapped goods you know and love, all of which are made with locally-sourced ingredients. Expect near-authentic tacos filled with house-made chorizo and potatoes, Baja-style Pacific cod, and Guajillo chili-braised brisket. There's also a solid selection of tequila-heavy cocktails and beers from Mexico and California.
From the folks behind Absinthe, Comstock is a classic San Francisco bar in North Beach. The throwback interior is outfitted with antique fans, a 150-year-old absinthe fountain, and the spot's original mahogany bar from 1907. The cocktails are just as classic as the bar, and the tie-and-vest wearing bartenders know how to mix pisco, lemon juice, and pineapple gomme into a standout punch.