Transport yourself back to old Paris with live music and cigarette filled tables at Amnesia every night of the week. The venue is small and fills up quickly, however once inside, you will be happy you came. The owners like to compare this cozy bar to a ship–not the best looking boat on the dock, “but she’s got stories.” Drinks are cheap and long nights are expected at Amnesia. Open Mic Tuesdays is a popular night with the noise level getting louder and louder as the night progresses. Or stop in for some free jazz on Wednesdays or anything from acoustic folk to electronic dance on any other night. Drinks are cheap–it’ll cost you just $2 for PBR, in this dimly lit bar–and the is are friendly. Amnesia is must-see on your Mission District hangout night, just try to remember the rest of the night.
Opened in 1935 as a celebration of sorts of Prohibition’s end, Elbo Room is of the oldest bars in the Mission District. Having undergone quite a few changes since its inception, today it operates as a full bar with live music and DJ playing into the early mornings. The atmosphere, however, remains reminiscent of the bar’s roots. Expect something different every night, as the entertainment here ranges from political discussions to DJs spinning dub step and roots, to live music. One of the biggest draws to this bar is the happy hour event, which runs everyday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.–possibly one of the longest happy hours in San Francisco. Also be prepared for the ATM charge of $2.50 of you run out of cash.
No dress code, no egos and no rules (with the exception of the 21 and up rule, of course), El Rio is a hipster hotspot in the Bernal Heights neighborhood. Loud, messy and fun are the best ways to describe this bar, and if you are looking for cheap PBRs this is the place to head. While you enjoy your drink, chow down on the free BBQ served up on Friday and Sunday nights. While the inside isn’t much to look at, El Rio’s giant outdoor patio makes up for what its interior lacks. Inside, bar goers will find both live music and even livelier discussions. Play some shuffle board or enjoy a game of pool while the music blares into the early hours at this neighborhood hangout.
The Make-Our Room boasts a great name and an even better hangout spot. This bar is a neighborhood treasure, especially due to its coat check facility, and on most nights you’ll find it filled with locals having a blast. Writers with Drinks is hosted here once a month where literature, stand-up comedy and poetry is mixed together for an unforgettable night of live entertainment. Live music nights at Make-Out Room often fill to capacity, so be prepared to be disappointed if you arrive late. The only down side to the Make-Out bar is the one stall in the ladies room, a recipe for disaster when mixed with the cheap drinks on offer.
A fantastic happy hour plus a pool table makes the Mission Bar a perfect place to hangout after a long day. Have fun in the photo hut located in a dingy corner to create some fun-filled memories. Prices for drinks change depending on the day and even the hour. Don’t let the Mission Bar’s dark and somewhat divey atmosphere fool you–the bartenders here are as nice as they come. Combine that with Mission Bar’s roomy space and fill it with regular locals and its sure to make for an interesting night.
Related: Best Tattoo Parlors in San Francisco