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11 Essential Happy Hours in San Francisco

Get some food and a drink at 11 of the city’s best restaurants, all for less than 20 bucks

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Deals on food and drinks are hard to come by in San Francisco, for obvious reasons — the same high rents that drive thirsty patrons to seek discounted booze and food are also paid by booze and food venues. Add so the cycle continues. That said, some bars and restaurants are finding ways to knock down the price on certain menu items and drinks, typically in the early hours of the evening, a time also known as “Happy Hour.”

This list of bars and restaurants not only details the best happy hours in neighborhoods across the city, it covers a lot of cuisine ground, with options including Italian, Japanese, Caribbean, and Burmese foods. Every pick we made is also a spot worth eating at for full price, which makes the discounts offered during their happy hours a true steal.

Did we miss your favorite happy hour? Let us know in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Outerlands

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4001 Judah St
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 661-6140
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One of the Sunset’s best kept secrets is Outerlands’ “Sunset menu,” which offers $8 negronis, $9 cocktails like the Jungle Bird (aged rum, campari, pineapple, and lime), and $10 boilermakers. Soak it up with their notorious bread and homemade butter ($6) or tomato soup ($10).

Daily, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Outerlands
Outerlands
Patricia Chang

2. Violet's

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2301 Clement St
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 682-4861
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Violet’s happy hour options include Fort Point for $5, cocktails like the (extremely potent) Happy Daze (bourbon, vodka, and apple whiskey) for $9, and homemade chips and dip for $7. Don’t take a table in the dining room and expect to get the deal, however: Violet’s happy hour is for bar patrons only.

Monday through Friday 5 p.m to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

3. Tataki Sushi and Sake Bar

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2827 California St
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 931-1182
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Everything on the happy hour menu at sustainability-focused sushi bar Tataki is $5, including a seasonally-rotating list of beer, wine, and sake, as well as cocktails like their Matsushima mule. There’s also a respectable list of hand or cut rolls for $4, including their crunchy spicy tuna and their albacore and avocado roll.

Daily, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

4. Bar Crudo

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655 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 409-0679
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Those in the know arrive right at 5 p.m. for a seat at Bar Crudo’s excellent, seafood-focused happy hour. There are $1.50 oysters or herb- and jalapeño-marinated mussels (all sold by the 1⁄2 dozen or dozen), rock cod tacos ($10 for two), and Crudo’s famously creamy seafood chowder ($8), all washed down with $5 beer or $7 wine.

Daily, 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

5. Palm House

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2032 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 400-4355
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During happy hour, Palm House slushies (white rum, spiced rum and fresh lime juice) are only $6, which is enough of a reason to stake out a patio table at this Caribbean-inflected Cow Hollow hang. But food such as guacamole-like smashed avocado with lime and cumin ($6) and spam fried rice musubi ($4) and sweet potato fries ($5) provide a compelling reason to stay.

Tuesday through Friday, 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

6. El Techo de Lolinda

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2518 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 550-6970
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The best happy hour view in town can be found at this rowdy rooftop bar, accompanied by $4 cervezas, $7 margaritas, $18 sangria pitchers, and $5 bar bites that range from guacamole to empanadas. Get to El Techo by 4 p.m. if you want a shot at a good table; it can get quite crowded, especially on a sunny afternoon.

Monday through Friday, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

7. The Pawn Shop

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993 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 874-8041
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The Pawn Shop, a tapas restaurant hidden behind a faux resale shop’s facade, marks down its goods during a daily happy hour. The limited menu includes savory bites like marinated chicken skewers, crispy cauliflower, or shishito peppers, and its drink specials include the house red, white, and sparkling, as well as sangria.

Daily, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

8. Burma Club

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8 Mint Plaza
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 764-4965
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Mint Plaza spot Burma Club is the newest venture from the folks behind Burma Superstar (and its numerous off-shoots), and it offers the newer happy hour to appear on this list. For $7 you can score two vegetarian samusas, and $9 gets you a multi-layered bread called platha and dip. Draft beer is $5, wine’s offered by the glass at $8, and a selection of cocktails is $9.

Monday through Friday, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Burma Club’s happy hour options Burma Club

9. Gaspar Brasserie

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185 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94104
(415) 576-8800
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Inside FiDi French restaurant Gaspar Brasserie’s jewel box of an upstairs bar, one can score $8 champagne cocktails, pommes frites, and oysters that’ll run you $9 for a half-dozen.

Monday through Friday, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

10. PABU

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101 California St
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 668-7228
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Day drinkers, take note: The happy hour at Pabu, chef Michael Mina’s Embarcadero sushi restaurant, starts at 3 p.m. Look for booze specials like draft sake ($5.88), Sapporo tallboys ($6.88; $12.88 with a can of sake), and bartenders choice cocktails ($6.88), along with bites like hand rolls ($6.88), chicken karaage ($6.88), and a daily rotating skewer ($2.88).

Monday through Friday, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Noelle Chun

11. Cockscomb

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564 4th St
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 974-0700
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Celebrity chef Chris Cosentino's meat-focused Cockscomb has not one, but two happy hours nearly every day, when dollar oysters are on offer, plus $5 draft beers and draft Negronis.

Monday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. (and 9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.)

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1. Outerlands

4001 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122
Outerlands
Outerlands
Patricia Chang

One of the Sunset’s best kept secrets is Outerlands’ “Sunset menu,” which offers $8 negronis, $9 cocktails like the Jungle Bird (aged rum, campari, pineapple, and lime), and $10 boilermakers. Soak it up with their notorious bread and homemade butter ($6) or tomato soup ($10).

Daily, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

4001 Judah St
San Francisco, CA 94122

2. Violet's

2301 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94121

Violet’s happy hour options include Fort Point for $5, cocktails like the (extremely potent) Happy Daze (bourbon, vodka, and apple whiskey) for $9, and homemade chips and dip for $7. Don’t take a table in the dining room and expect to get the deal, however: Violet’s happy hour is for bar patrons only.

Monday through Friday 5 p.m to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

2301 Clement St
San Francisco, CA 94121

3. Tataki Sushi and Sake Bar

2827 California St, San Francisco, CA 94115

Everything on the happy hour menu at sustainability-focused sushi bar Tataki is $5, including a seasonally-rotating list of beer, wine, and sake, as well as cocktails like their Matsushima mule. There’s also a respectable list of hand or cut rolls for $4, including their crunchy spicy tuna and their albacore and avocado roll.

Daily, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

2827 California St
San Francisco, CA 94115

4. Bar Crudo

655 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Those in the know arrive right at 5 p.m. for a seat at Bar Crudo’s excellent, seafood-focused happy hour. There are $1.50 oysters or herb- and jalapeño-marinated mussels (all sold by the 1⁄2 dozen or dozen), rock cod tacos ($10 for two), and Crudo’s famously creamy seafood chowder ($8), all washed down with $5 beer or $7 wine.

Daily, 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

655 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117

5. Palm House

2032 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94123

During happy hour, Palm House slushies (white rum, spiced rum and fresh lime juice) are only $6, which is enough of a reason to stake out a patio table at this Caribbean-inflected Cow Hollow hang. But food such as guacamole-like smashed avocado with lime and cumin ($6) and spam fried rice musubi ($4) and sweet potato fries ($5) provide a compelling reason to stay.

Tuesday through Friday, 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

2032 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123

6. El Techo de Lolinda

2518 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

The best happy hour view in town can be found at this rowdy rooftop bar, accompanied by $4 cervezas, $7 margaritas, $18 sangria pitchers, and $5 bar bites that range from guacamole to empanadas. Get to El Techo by 4 p.m. if you want a shot at a good table; it can get quite crowded, especially on a sunny afternoon.

Monday through Friday, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

2518 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

7. The Pawn Shop

993 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103

The Pawn Shop, a tapas restaurant hidden behind a faux resale shop’s facade, marks down its goods during a daily happy hour. The limited menu includes savory bites like marinated chicken skewers, crispy cauliflower, or shishito peppers, and its drink specials include the house red, white, and sparkling, as well as sangria.

Daily, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

993 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94103

8. Burma Club

8 Mint Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94103
Burma Club’s happy hour options Burma Club

Mint Plaza spot Burma Club is the newest venture from the folks behind Burma Superstar (and its numerous off-shoots), and it offers the newer happy hour to appear on this list. For $7 you can score two vegetarian samusas, and $9 gets you a multi-layered bread called platha and dip. Draft beer is $5, wine’s offered by the glass at $8, and a selection of cocktails is $9.

Monday through Friday, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

8 Mint Plaza
San Francisco, CA 94103

9. Gaspar Brasserie

185 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94104

Inside FiDi French restaurant Gaspar Brasserie’s jewel box of an upstairs bar, one can score $8 champagne cocktails, pommes frites, and oysters that’ll run you $9 for a half-dozen.

Monday through Friday, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

185 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94104

10. PABU

101 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111
Noelle Chun

Day drinkers, take note: The happy hour at Pabu, chef Michael Mina’s Embarcadero sushi restaurant, starts at 3 p.m. Look for booze specials like draft sake ($5.88), Sapporo tallboys ($6.88; $12.88 with a can of sake), and bartenders choice cocktails ($6.88), along with bites like hand rolls ($6.88), chicken karaage ($6.88), and a daily rotating skewer ($2.88).

Monday through Friday, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

101 California St
San Francisco, CA 94111

11. Cockscomb

564 4th St, San Francisco, CA 94107

Celebrity chef Chris Cosentino's meat-focused Cockscomb has not one, but two happy hours nearly every day, when dollar oysters are on offer, plus $5 draft beers and draft Negronis.

Monday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. (and 9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.)

564 4th St
San Francisco, CA 94107

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