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Every stop on this pub crawl has a bar game, from bocce, to NES, to… GIANT JENGA!!!

Joe Starkey Published On 08/09/2013 Published On 08/09/2013
Shuffleboard bar game

As Thomas Jefferson once said, "In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock. In matters of bar games, I have no idea. You'd have to ask the Thrillist dudes." Saving you the trouble of asking, we've gone ahead and put together the greatest bar games bar crawl ever invented. So get your buddies together, strap on your pinball pants, and get ready to game (and drink... mostly that one). Stop #1: Golden Gate Tap Room 449 Powell St; Union Square; 415.677.9999 Start off your game-venture here in the GGTR, where they have over 100 beers to choose from, plus a regulation-length shuffleboard table. And billiards. And Simpsons pinball. Basically, there are a lot of games and a lot of beers to choose from.

Stop #2: The Hidden Vine
408 Merchant St; Financial District; 415.674.3567
Walk on over to The Hidden Vine in the FiDi to grab a glass of wine, play bocce, and... do other things old Italian men love (talk with wild hand gestures?).

Stop #3: The Wreck Room
1390 California St; Nob Hill; 415.932.6715
Once you're done with bocce and debating the assets of Monica Bellucci vs Sophia Loren, head on up to The Wreck Room to totally wreck your friends (get it?!?!) in some one-on-one Pop-a-Shot. Loser buys shots.

Stop #4: Soda Popinski's
1548 California St; Nob Hill; 415.857.1548
It's just a short walk down the road to everyone's favorite Punch-Out!!-themed bar for a few rounds of old-school Nintendo where you can totally pwn your friend who grew up with a Sega. Also: they have a game called Bible Adventures. Boom.

Stop #5: S&R Lounge
55 5th St; SOMA; 415.321.6000
Grab a cab to just below Market to this lounge for some delicious cocktails and burgers before heading upstairs to take part in the ultimate tournament of soccer-ball Plinko, giant Jenga, and Wii U racing.

Stop #6: Bloodhound
1145 Folsom St; SOMA; 415.863.2840
Now that you are pleasantly fuzzy, make your way down to Bloodhound, where you and your friends can mercilessly kill (virtual) animals (in HD!!) thanks to one of the best Big Buck Hunter setups in the city.

Stop #7: The Willows
1582 Folsom St; SOMA; 415.529.2039
Head just up the way to The Sycamore's big sis. Grab a craft beer from one side of the place, then settle down for an epic Cards Against Humanity game... or just play some more Big Buck Hunter (HD again!!).

Sam Schmidt's Flickr

Stop #8: Rickshaw Stop
155 Fell St; Hayes Valley; 415.861.2011
Your final destination: skee-ball heaven, wherein you'll decide who the ultimate winner of your epic bar/game crawl is. Or, ya know, who buys the next round.

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1. The Wreck Room 1390 California St., San Francisco, CA 94109 (Nob Hill)

This low-key sports bar located mid-California Hill is reliably busy on (important) game days, but if there's no competitive action on the TV you at least have darts, shuffleboard, and pool at your disposal to get your fix. As far as food goes, they don't have any! But they do let you bring it in from the outside, so hit the nearby Trader Joe's on the way in or order yourself some delivery so as not to interrupt your shuffleboard game.

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2. Golden Gate Tap Room 449 Powell St, San Francisco, CA 94102 (Union Square)

A bar with games like skee-ball, shuffleboard (regulation-length!), and Simpsons pinball, plus pub fare like potato chip nachos (!), plus ONE HUNDRED BEERS.

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3. The Hidden Vine 408 Merchant St, San Francisco, CA 94111 (Financial District)

Because nothing complements bocce like 800+ bottles of wine, hit the FiDi's brick-laden wine tavern tucked away in a somewhat hidden alley (get it?) for wine flights, the type of sustenance you'd expect to pair with wine flights (cheese, charcuterie, flatbreads, etc.), and, oh yeah, bocce! Take note: there's a $100 minimum for an hour of bocce time, so arrive hungry and thirsty.

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4. Soda Popinski 1548 California St, San Francisco, CA 94109 (Nob Hill)

This Russian-themed bar off of Polk Street is great for a gang of friends who are into dive bars, red-lighting, and pickle back shots. Soda Popinski has old-school Mario games to play and a “Russian Roulette"-- which, for the price of a nice cocktail, you can spin to win drink deals or a glass boot filled with a Moscow Mule. The bar also offers guest bartending for fundraising events, where all tips go to your charity of choice.

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5. S&R Lounge 55 5th St, San Francisco, CA 94103 (Soma)

With a kickass cocktail list and food designed by Park Tavern/Marlowe chef Jennifer Puccio, S&R's a SOMA loungy bar in Hotel Zetta with an entire "Playroom" dedicated to childhood games made adult-size, like an enormous Plinko board that uses soccer balls (!).

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6. Bloodhound 1145 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94103 (Soma)

Bloodhound, located right in SoMa, is a hip, rustic take on San Francisco’s ever-evolving dive bar scene. Beneath a ceiling painted with feathered fauna is a bar complete with reclaimed wood, decorative antlers, and talented drink slingers who are just as willing to toss you a Tecate as they are a signature craft cocktail. Play some pool, gnaw on some jerky, and throw back a few Mason jars full of delicious drinks.

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7. The Willows 1582 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA (Soma)

Offering regional and rare beers, The Willows is a favorite for locals and San Francisco transplants alike. Throw in some lamb sliders, maple bourbon-glazed pork belly donuts, and a bottomless mimosa brunch deal, and it's a surprise this space is able to maintain its relaxed atmosphere. Complete with a craft beer room and tucked-away booths, The Willows is a perfect place for a date or a chill night with friends.

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8. Rickshaw Stop 155 Fell St, San Francisco, CA 94102 (Hayes Valley)

Richshaw Stop is a a concert venue hosted in a TV studio, featuring original rickshas (three-wheeled hooded bikes), skee-ball, high ceilings, and red curtains. RS has been hosting both local and national indie bands and DJs since 2004, and the intimate venue certainly knows how to rock a show.

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