Food & Drink

The Official San Francisco Dollar Menu

Published On 04/15/2015 Published On 04/15/2015
iStock.com/chefbenjamin & LenaTru/Shutterstock.com (Edited)
Flickr/Yuichi Sakuraba
Palio d'Asti
E&O Kitchen & Bar
Flickr/Mission Minis
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1. Jackalope 1092 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94109 (The Tenderloin)

This bar has a Duck Hunt party room, excellent cocktails, and a Plinko board for drink specials -- plus, it's named for one of the sweetest (supposedly) mythical creatures around.

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2. El Rio 3158 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (Bernal Heights)

Since 1978, El Rio has been serving up cheap drinks and hot beats on its expansive back patio. This Mission dive is a staple of the San Francisco gay bar scene with its packed barbecues, killer Sunday parties (like Hard French), live music, pool tables, shuffleboard, and serious dance vibes. Come for the free oysters every Friday at 5:30pm, but bring cash for your drinks.

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3. The Taco Shop at Underdog's 1824 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122 (Outer Sunset)

Tacos and sports -- what’s not to like? Chef Nick Fasanella blends authentic Mexican food with high-quality bar fare using locally-sourced, organic ingredients at this Inner Sunset spot. The result is a modern taqueria-meets-sports bar, complete with 10 plasma TVs and a menu featuring queso, Frank's Red Hot buffalo wings, Mission-style burritos, and street style-tacos.

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4. Palio D'Asti 640 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94111 (Financial District)

This Italian restaurant on the border of Chinatown and the Financial District is famous for its happy hour, where purchasing two alcoholic beverages gets you a quite enjoyable pizza for just $3. Beyond the bargains you'll find a menu deep with updated, seasonal takes on Italian classics, like mint and pea ravioli with braised ramps and lardo. and a thoughtful, heavily Italian wine list.

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5. Gaspar Brasserie 185 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94104 (Financial District)

This Parisian-style brasserie in FiDi is the kind of place you'd bring a date if you wanted that date to go on for hours. For starters, the dark wood interior, red leather banquettes, textured walls, and chandeliers practically ooze sex appeal. The downstairs restaurant serves a menu of classic French food with a Northern California twist, but there are some pure bistro staples like Croque Monsieur and steak frites. Upstairs in the Cognac Room bar, you'll find the largest selection of brandy drinks in San Francisco.

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6. Bob's Donut & Pastry Shop 1621 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109 (Nob Hill)

This 24hr Polk Gulch donut mecca and San Francisco standby has been a staple of early mornings (and late nights) since 1960, firing up amazing apple fritters and old fashioneds before they suddenly became objects of hipster fascination. The also make quite possibly the biggest donut you've ever seen. Try the Bob's Challenge, which requires consuming it in three minutes. Or, you know, just enjoy a bunch of really tasty donuts at your own pace.

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7. BrainWash Cafe & Laundromat 1122 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94103 (Soma)

Get it all done at once -- BrainWash Cafe (despite the slightly ominous name) allows you to get your clothes cleaned, caffeinated yourself, grab a bite to eat, see a show or some comedy, or get your work done with free Wi-Fi, all in the same place.

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8. Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant 374 Bush St, San Francisco, CA 94104 (Financial District)

Sam's Grill started as an open-air oyster market, which turned into one of the city's most popular seafood restaurants by the 1890s. Almost 150 years later, Sam's continues to be a popular spot for San Franciscans who want local, seasonal seafood, and kick-ass martinis. Ask for a booth, which comes complete with heavy curtains for maximum privacy.

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9. E&O Kitchen and Bar 314 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94108 (Union Square)

E&O Kitchen and Bar is a go-to spot to refuel when duty (and shopping) drag you to Union Square. The menu encompasses a myriad of Asian foods, which means you can get pad Thai, Indonesian fried rice, and Malaysian curry all in one sitting. Spanning three floors, this massive place will always have a seat available for you.

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10. Bar Crudo 655 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117 (Alamo Square)

If Nopa made the Divisadero neighborhood what it is today, Bar Crudo solidified its status as a golden dining destination. For over a decade, Bar Crudo has been serving up a seriously good happy hour and dinner that’s ideal for family visits. It’s perpetually packed and one of the city’s most underrated restaurants, with a bumping happy hour that features dollar oysters, fish tacos, and sumptuous seafood chowder. Don’t miss the crudo sampler, uni avocado toast, and lobster burrata salad at this small restaurant that packs a punch.

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11. Hi Tops 2247 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94114 (The Castro)

Finally, a place to drink and relax where your sexuality isn't reduced to a stereotype. Hi Tops is a gay sports bar in The Castro that's decked out in benches made from bleachers, flat-screen televisions (16 of them, so they're always playing the game you came to watch), and Top Chef-level nachos, wings, and corn dogs. The speciality cocktails are a huge draw too, like the house Haterade that's served in a plastic water bottle.

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12. Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem 2323 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

Although inspired by the famed Muppet band, this place is about as devoid of Muppets as you can get. What they do have, however, is cheap wings, liquor on tap and beers served in Mason jars. We think this more than makes up for a little Hensonless-ness.

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13. Nara Sushi 518 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117 (Lower Haight)

This Lower Haight location of a Polk St favorite offers up traditional Japanese fare like miso soup, ramen, and sashimi, but also has some crazier menu items, like a California roll sprinkled with Pop Rocks. There are also sake pairings involved. 40 different types are available, and if you don’t know what you want, no worries -- someone will be there to help you know just what to get with your Maguro Tar Tar roll (sesame oil-seasoned tuna with Korean pear & avocado).

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14. Mission Minis 3168 22nd St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

Mission Minis is in the Mission. It sells mini cupcakes. That's some refreshing honesty. Choose from flavors like Ruby Red Velvet, cinnamon horchata, classic vanilla, and more.

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15. Wing Lee Bakery 503 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118 (Inner Richmond)

Wing Lee Bakery has great dim sum, with large portions at super-reasonable prices -- keep a look out for the pork buns, rice cakes, and beef siu mai.

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16. Monroe 473 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133 (North Beach)

This North Beach lounge brings music, booze, and fun to Broadway. The must-hit night at this place comes on Fridays, when Monroe hosts the Battle of the Decades, wherein the music progresses from the '70s to the '00s, while drink prices progress from $1 to $4, and you progress from happy to happiest.

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17. Claudine 8 Claude Ln, San Francisco, CA 94108 (Financial District)

Apart from its lime green walls, Claudine's noteworthy features include wine on tap, a menu of French cuisine made from local ingredients and an outdoor patio area for dining. The Happy Hour specials and the meat/cheese plates alone should be enough to pique your interest.

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