620 Jones St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
Not all venues are created equal, and this one was lucky enough to have both indoor and outdoor seating, catering to the temperamental San Francisco weather. And by outdoor seating, we a mean rooftop space with the bustling street below you. Grab a signature cocktail for $15; their “smash hit” is a whiskey-lover’s dream. Happy hour includes $5 appetizer plates and various drink specials. Expect the music overhead to supplement your drinks and the three bars to linger at until the wee hours of the morning to hold your attention. This is definitely a converse and kick back kind of hangout, but with a trendy vibe. The best part about this place? The outdoor patio is heated, so take in some fresh air; there’s plenty to go around.
The Red Jack Saloon
131 Bay St.
San Francisco, CA 94133
Always a crowd-pleaser, one can expect to stop into The Red Jack Saloon on any day of the week and receive the royal dive bar treatment. This saloon has a small, but loyal following who may be secretly trying to keep the North Beach bar all to themselves. Known for its East Coast ties, many transplants come here during sporting events to be with their like-minded pals. Try them on for size on Margarita Mondays, when this summertime drink is only $4.25. Related: Best San Francisco Bars To Eavesdrop
545 Irving St.
San Francisco, CA 94122
This not-too-small and not-too-big venue is just right for San Francisco locals. Swing by this gem to experience a piece of the Inner Sunset district. The InnerFog is better suited for the wine and corresponding cheese plate lovers than to the beer crowd. But this is no pretentious young wine bar. The various seating includes couches, bar stools, cocktail tables and high tabletops while your treat your eyes to some fine art along the walls. Best of all, the bartenders’ excellent delivery of knowledge on wine in addition to their pure passion for knowing the customers make this place a must-visit.
225 Church St.
San Francisco, CA
Never one to be out of the mix, this city sits on the forefront of gender equality, so it’s only right that a gay bar be included in this list. Once endangered of becoming extinct and nowhere near considered cool, this bar has seen old and new alike. Now updated and urbanized, Pilsner Inn draws in a crowd once again, gay and straight alike. Games on two TVs, a patio outside with beautiful scenery and flowers and plants throughout the bar make the Pilsner Inn a summer hotspot. Every hour is happy hour here, and there’s plenty of room in a comfortable setting for everyone. Related: Top Sound Systems at These San Francisco Music Venues
650 Gough St.
San Francisco, CA
Smuggler’s Cove will have you at the drink menu. Their’s is one for the books, complete with perfect cocktails, fancy bartenders and a pirate-themed decor. Who can say no to rum concocted 70 different ways, fresh juice squeezed daily to mix it with, and that perfect euphoria that rises inside bar patrons as they leave for the evening? A packed house here means 49 people and space to move. No more are allowed in after this, so get there early lest you be stuck in the perpetual never-ending line to get in. This bar requires a few trips, as no one can try their selection of 200 rums in one night.
Head to CBS San Francisco’s Best Of page for more local tips on family fun, shopping, nightlife, food, culture and more!
Mel Ball is the founder of AskASalon.com, utilizing her background of 10 years in the beauty industry to promote, market, mentor, and build business for small salons and spas across the country. She links up quality salon or spa talented folks with businesses that need them, and supports the growth of all those in the service industry through her virtual knowledge networking site and real-world events. She resides in San Francisco. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.