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10 Perfect Summer Friday Bars in San Francisco

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Bluxome Street Winery, home of vino and food trucks. [Photo: Bluxome Street Winery]

Summer Fridays: the jewel of American working life. Not everyone gets them, but for those who do, there is hardly anything sweeter, except spending them eating, drinking, playing games, or some combination of the three. Now that summer has descended, we've chosen 10 great spots (nine near the SOMA/FiDi office nexus and one fun group trip) that cater to every kind of budget and taste, from watching sports in a dive to sipping wine with coworkers over a fancy lunch. Along the way: $2 martinis, urban wineries, and a strip club with some very famous fried chicken, all open by lunchtime and running right through until happy hour (if you make it that long).


Got a favorite dining and drinking spot for summer Fridays? Do share in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Claudine

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For more of a classy, ladies-who-lunch summer Friday, head to Claudine, where you can complement your hangar-steak Cobb salad (for warm days) or meatball, kale and fregola soup (for June gloom) with hefty pours of draft rose and chenin blanc that extend into the $1/ounce happy hour at 4 pm.

The Occidental Cigar Club

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Haul up to Belden Place for hefty pours of Scotch and fancy cigars, best enjoyed with the illusion that you've fallen down the rabbit hole into an episode of Mad Men. The vibe is more drown-your-sorrows than savor-a-sunny-day, but hey, some workweeks are like that, too.

Jillian's

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No one's going to mistake this bar for cool, and you're best off sticking with draft beer and two-ingredient cocktails, but if you want to while away an afternoon playing pool with friends or co-workers, Jillian's has tons of tables, meaning your likelihood of having to wait or trade off turns will go way down. Bonus: prices are far lower before 4, only $9/hour compared to $15 at prime time. Skip the food and opt for the Super Duper Burger around the bend of the Metreon if you're peckish.

One Market Restaurant

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The days of the three-martini lunch are long gone for most normal office drones, but on summer Fridays, anything goes. Order up one of Mark Dommen's entrees on a weekday from 11:30 am-2 pm, and they'll give you your choice of a gin or vodka martini for just $2 (limit two per person). Sister restaurant Lark Creek Steak also offers this deal, but it's in the Westfield mall, nowhere near as charming as One Market's streetcar and Ferry Building views.

Zero Zero

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Whether you're dining alone at the bar or toting along the whole office, Zero Zero is always a reliable spot for a good pizza, bar snacks like arancini, and some tasty Straus soft serve if it's hot outside. A glass of Lambrusco and a barrel-aged Boulevardier (or two) will set you right.

Bluxome Street Winery

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Food-truck parties are a great place to have a bite and get some sun on a summer Friday, but only Bluxome offers the perfect accompaniment: glass after glass of made-in-SF rose and sauvignon blanc. The tasting room opens at noon; head over after lunch and sip until 5, when the trucks show up and the live music gets going.

Gold Club

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Unless you work at Kink.com, a strip club probably isn't an appropriate place to lunch with your boss, but the $5 unlimited Friday lunch buffet, with its famously great fried chicken, might be an OK getaway with a fellow underling or two. Bonus points for bringing some women along to decrease the creep factor.

City Beer Store

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CBS can get rowdy with after-work drinkers, especially on Fridays, but it's a quieter, gentler place in the noon-to-five shift, when the friendly bartenders really shine as they offer up tastes of this and that and geek out over the latest releases. They're happy to let you bring snacks from Citizen's Band or Basil, and will even help you choose a bottle or six-pack to tote home before the happy-hour rush hits.

Speakeasy Tap Room

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It's a bit of a trek from most offices, but if you can round up a couple of cabs and a gaggle of coworkers, the Speakeasy taproom will likely be at your disposal on a Friday when it opens at 1 pm. The beer is cheap ($3/pint), the people are nice, and as the evening wears on, food trucks and live bands often make appearances.

The Tempest

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Want to catch an afternoon Giants game, but can't make it to AT&T Park (or whatever other ballpark they're visiting this week)? This lively dive is sure to have it on, along with plenty of $5 bourbon and cheap beer combos, and sandwiches and snacks from adjacent takeout spot The Box. (Available on Fridays only: the "borracho nachos" special.) Pool and a jukebox complete the scene.

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Claudine

For more of a classy, ladies-who-lunch summer Friday, head to Claudine, where you can complement your hangar-steak Cobb salad (for warm days) or meatball, kale and fregola soup (for June gloom) with hefty pours of draft rose and chenin blanc that extend into the $1/ounce happy hour at 4 pm.

The Occidental Cigar Club

Haul up to Belden Place for hefty pours of Scotch and fancy cigars, best enjoyed with the illusion that you've fallen down the rabbit hole into an episode of Mad Men. The vibe is more drown-your-sorrows than savor-a-sunny-day, but hey, some workweeks are like that, too.

Jillian's

No one's going to mistake this bar for cool, and you're best off sticking with draft beer and two-ingredient cocktails, but if you want to while away an afternoon playing pool with friends or co-workers, Jillian's has tons of tables, meaning your likelihood of having to wait or trade off turns will go way down. Bonus: prices are far lower before 4, only $9/hour compared to $15 at prime time. Skip the food and opt for the Super Duper Burger around the bend of the Metreon if you're peckish.

One Market Restaurant

The days of the three-martini lunch are long gone for most normal office drones, but on summer Fridays, anything goes. Order up one of Mark Dommen's entrees on a weekday from 11:30 am-2 pm, and they'll give you your choice of a gin or vodka martini for just $2 (limit two per person). Sister restaurant Lark Creek Steak also offers this deal, but it's in the Westfield mall, nowhere near as charming as One Market's streetcar and Ferry Building views.

Zero Zero

Whether you're dining alone at the bar or toting along the whole office, Zero Zero is always a reliable spot for a good pizza, bar snacks like arancini, and some tasty Straus soft serve if it's hot outside. A glass of Lambrusco and a barrel-aged Boulevardier (or two) will set you right.

Bluxome Street Winery

Food-truck parties are a great place to have a bite and get some sun on a summer Friday, but only Bluxome offers the perfect accompaniment: glass after glass of made-in-SF rose and sauvignon blanc. The tasting room opens at noon; head over after lunch and sip until 5, when the trucks show up and the live music gets going.

Gold Club

Unless you work at Kink.com, a strip club probably isn't an appropriate place to lunch with your boss, but the $5 unlimited Friday lunch buffet, with its famously great fried chicken, might be an OK getaway with a fellow underling or two. Bonus points for bringing some women along to decrease the creep factor.

City Beer Store

CBS can get rowdy with after-work drinkers, especially on Fridays, but it's a quieter, gentler place in the noon-to-five shift, when the friendly bartenders really shine as they offer up tastes of this and that and geek out over the latest releases. They're happy to let you bring snacks from Citizen's Band or Basil, and will even help you choose a bottle or six-pack to tote home before the happy-hour rush hits.

Speakeasy Tap Room

It's a bit of a trek from most offices, but if you can round up a couple of cabs and a gaggle of coworkers, the Speakeasy taproom will likely be at your disposal on a Friday when it opens at 1 pm. The beer is cheap ($3/pint), the people are nice, and as the evening wears on, food trucks and live bands often make appearances.

The Tempest

Want to catch an afternoon Giants game, but can't make it to AT&T Park (or whatever other ballpark they're visiting this week)? This lively dive is sure to have it on, along with plenty of $5 bourbon and cheap beer combos, and sandwiches and snacks from adjacent takeout spot The Box. (Available on Fridays only: the "borracho nachos" special.) Pool and a jukebox complete the scene.

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