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A group of bar patrons toast with pints of Guinness in hand. Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

16 Lively Irish Pubs to Grab a Pint in San Francisco

And hearty Irish food to boot

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Irish bars were among the first to feel the sting of San Francisco’s COVID-19 shutdown, which forced the pubs to forgo its annual St. Patrick’s Day gatherings in March 2020. Thankfully, many have made the way back to reopening, reclaiming their spots as favorite, local neighborhood watering holes. With consistent drinks, Irish (or otherwise) food to soak up those drinks, and a lively atmosphere, these Irish pubs are destination-worthy any night of the week. Check in for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, which vary by venue but are largely inevitable and back in action.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Kennedy’s Irish Pub and Curry House

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1040 Columbus Ave, San Francisco
CA 94133, United States
(415) 441-8855

This North Beach hangout is a choose-your-own-adventure mashup featuring both an Irish bar and an Indian restaurant, serving everything from chaat to biryanis and curries (a huge plus: it’s very vegetarian-friendly). At the pub, play pool or foosball, grab a pint of Guinness, and watch the game.

2. Chief Sullivan's

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622 Green St
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 722-9109

Named after San Francisco fire chief Dennis Sullivan, who served during the 1906 earthquake and fires, Chief Sullivan’s (aka Sully’s) is on the newer, handsomer side of the bar spectrum. From the team behind the now-closed Eddie Rickenbacker’s and Marina spot Campus, Chief Sullivan’s is also warm and welcoming, with dark wood and stained glass. The kitchen boasts a menu of Irish food like corned beef and soda bread, and beers on tap range from the requisite Guinness to more local ales.

3. Irish Times

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500 Sacramento St
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 217-5060
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Come for the pints, stay for the Irish nachos (potato wedges sub in for tortilla chips) and the lively bar scene. There’s outdoor seating for when the weather’s nice, or when the St. Patrick’s Day melee spills onto the street.

4. The Irish Bank

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10 Mark Ln
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 788-7152
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The Irish bank is the yearly scene of a particularly rollicking St. Patrick’s Day block party — which returns in 2022 after going on hiatus — but it’s also host to some sort of revelry almost every night. Inside the bar, you’ll find old brick walls laden with authentic Irish decor, and outside is the place to be on warmer evenings: A charming alley lined with seating. To go with your pint, should you require a bite, order from a food menu of bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie, and fish and chips.

5. Johnny Foley's Irish House

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243 O'Farrell St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 954-0777
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If there’s one thing this world needs, it’s more piano bars. Johnny Foley’s is the Irish pub with the answer to that need, offering the standard Jameson-swilling crowd upstairs, and a downstairs bar with live piano. Wednesday through Sunday stop by for dueling pianos late into the night, complete with covers of Lady Gaga, Elton John, and more.

6. The Plough and the Stars

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116 Clement St
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 751-1122
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Since 1975, this laid-back Clement Street staple has been serving perfect pours of Guinness to locals of all backgrounds. Celtic musicians often play here as well, making it a beacon for Irish ex-pats in the neighborhood.

7. The Bitter End

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441 Clement St
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 221-9538

Another Inner Richmond gem, the Bitter End is the scene of many a bar crawl, trivia night, deadly dart game, and beer-soaked gathering with friends. There are two levels on which to hang, and lights strung throughout for ambiance. Don’t miss the sherpherd’s pie here.

8. The Chieftain Irish Pub & Restaurant

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198 5th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 615-0916
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The lively atmosphere and occasional live band are part of the draw this SoMa bar. Lunch and dinner menus include tacos, nachos, and even a plant-based burger, but the best bet is its Irish fare like the classic Irish breakfast of fried eggs, sausage, rashers, black and white pudding, grilled tomato, baked beans, chips, and soda bread.

The Chieftain Irish Pub & Restaurant
The Chieftain Irish Pub & Restaurant

9. Little Shamrock

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807 Lincoln Way
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 661-0060

Built in 1893, this is the oldest bar in the Sunset and one of the oldest in the city. With its collection of board games, darts, backgammon tables, mystery novels, couches, and Tiffany lamps, the Shamrock is a particularly good bar for whiling away a foggy afternoon with friends, and its abundance of TV screens make it a popular spot to watch the game.

10. Blackthorn Tavern

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834 Irving St
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 564-6626
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No food is served at this Inner Sunset bar, but they do have a barrel-aged cocktail program, and a large selection of whiskies. Like any good Irish bar, there’s plenty of entertainment, from trivia to karaoke and DJ nights.

11. Durty Nelly's

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2328 Irving St
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 664-2555

Cozy up to Irish stew and a glass of whiskey by the real fireplace while the Sunset District weather — typically cold and foggy — provides the believably Irish atmosphere outdoors. Durty Nelly’s also qualifies as a dive bar/sports bar, with requisite trivia nights and karaoke.

Durty Nelly’s

12. Casements Bar

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2351 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 658-7320
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If you’re looking for a place with a more modern Irish bar vibe, Casements in the Mission is where to find it. Rather than decor that’s dripping in shamrocks, its Ireland-ness comes through in other ways — Casements pours a large selection of Ireland-based whiskeys and gins, for instance, and the cocktail menu mixes both Irish and local (or woman-led) brands into its drinks; the food menu is also not something to pass up, from the Spice Bag, Casements own style of spicy fries, to heartier items like the beef and Guinness stew, made with Niman Ranch beef.

Patricia Chang

13. The Napper Tandy

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3200 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 550-7510
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An excellent place to create a hangover, or cure it the next day with brunch, Napper Tandy has a proper selection of Irish delicacies like corned beef quesadillas, Guinness beef stew, and shepherd’s pie.

Shepherd’s pie at Napper Tandy
Dev C./Yelp

14. The Dubliner

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3838 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 826-2279
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Residents of Noe Valley, a small village within the larger city of San Francisco, have gathered at the Dubliner for more than 25 years, and it shows. Afternoons are for regulars, who all seem to know one another, but bartenders are friendly to all comers.

15. Shannon Arms Irish Pub

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915 Taraval
San Francisco, CA 94116
(415) 665-1223
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A deep dive on Taraval, a stretch that’s retained some of its historically Irish identity, the Shannon Arms is a gathering place for an in-the-know coterie of no-nonsense drinkers. Go if you’re game for “Club S,” but certainly avoid it on College Night unless you are, yourself, in college, and maybe even then.

16. Parkside Tavern

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1940 Taraval
San Francisco, CA 94116
(415) 731-8900
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It’s not straight-up Irish, but Parkside Tavern occupies a historically Irish corner of San Francisco and does it proud with some of the city’s best prepared bangers and mash, cottage pie, and well-poured Guinness. Chef/owner Larry Doyle did write a book on Irish pub cooking, after all: Don’t miss his desserts like banana-soda bread and butter pudding with Bailey’s Irish Cream sauce.

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1. Kennedy’s Irish Pub and Curry House

1040 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133, United States

This North Beach hangout is a choose-your-own-adventure mashup featuring both an Irish bar and an Indian restaurant, serving everything from chaat to biryanis and curries (a huge plus: it’s very vegetarian-friendly). At the pub, play pool or foosball, grab a pint of Guinness, and watch the game.

1040 Columbus Ave, San Francisco
CA 94133, United States

2. Chief Sullivan's

622 Green St, San Francisco, CA 94133

Named after San Francisco fire chief Dennis Sullivan, who served during the 1906 earthquake and fires, Chief Sullivan’s (aka Sully’s) is on the newer, handsomer side of the bar spectrum. From the team behind the now-closed Eddie Rickenbacker’s and Marina spot Campus, Chief Sullivan’s is also warm and welcoming, with dark wood and stained glass. The kitchen boasts a menu of Irish food like corned beef and soda bread, and beers on tap range from the requisite Guinness to more local ales.

622 Green St
San Francisco, CA 94133

3. Irish Times

500 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94111

Come for the pints, stay for the Irish nachos (potato wedges sub in for tortilla chips) and the lively bar scene. There’s outdoor seating for when the weather’s nice, or when the St. Patrick’s Day melee spills onto the street.

500 Sacramento St
San Francisco, CA 94111

4. The Irish Bank

10 Mark Ln, San Francisco, CA 94108

The Irish bank is the yearly scene of a particularly rollicking St. Patrick’s Day block party — which returns in 2022 after going on hiatus — but it’s also host to some sort of revelry almost every night. Inside the bar, you’ll find old brick walls laden with authentic Irish decor, and outside is the place to be on warmer evenings: A charming alley lined with seating. To go with your pint, should you require a bite, order from a food menu of bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie, and fish and chips.

10 Mark Ln
San Francisco, CA 94108

5. Johnny Foley's Irish House

243 O'Farrell St, San Francisco, CA 94102

If there’s one thing this world needs, it’s more piano bars. Johnny Foley’s is the Irish pub with the answer to that need, offering the standard Jameson-swilling crowd upstairs, and a downstairs bar with live piano. Wednesday through Sunday stop by for dueling pianos late into the night, complete with covers of Lady Gaga, Elton John, and more.

243 O'Farrell St
San Francisco, CA 94102

6. The Plough and the Stars

116 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

Since 1975, this laid-back Clement Street staple has been serving perfect pours of Guinness to locals of all backgrounds. Celtic musicians often play here as well, making it a beacon for Irish ex-pats in the neighborhood.

116 Clement St
San Francisco, CA 94118

7. The Bitter End

441 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

Another Inner Richmond gem, the Bitter End is the scene of many a bar crawl, trivia night, deadly dart game, and beer-soaked gathering with friends. There are two levels on which to hang, and lights strung throughout for ambiance. Don’t miss the sherpherd’s pie here.

441 Clement St
San Francisco, CA 94118

8. The Chieftain Irish Pub & Restaurant

198 5th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
The Chieftain Irish Pub & Restaurant
The Chieftain Irish Pub & Restaurant

The lively atmosphere and occasional live band are part of the draw this SoMa bar. Lunch and dinner menus include tacos, nachos, and even a plant-based burger, but the best bet is its Irish fare like the classic Irish breakfast of fried eggs, sausage, rashers, black and white pudding, grilled tomato, baked beans, chips, and soda bread.

198 5th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

9. Little Shamrock

807 Lincoln Way, San Francisco, CA 94122

Built in 1893, this is the oldest bar in the Sunset and one of the oldest in the city. With its collection of board games, darts, backgammon tables, mystery novels, couches, and Tiffany lamps, the Shamrock is a particularly good bar for whiling away a foggy afternoon with friends, and its abundance of TV screens make it a popular spot to watch the game.

807 Lincoln Way
San Francisco, CA 94122

10. Blackthorn Tavern

834 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

No food is served at this Inner Sunset bar, but they do have a barrel-aged cocktail program, and a large selection of whiskies. Like any good Irish bar, there’s plenty of entertainment, from trivia to karaoke and DJ nights.

834 Irving St
San Francisco, CA 94122

11. Durty Nelly's

2328 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122
Durty Nelly’s

Cozy up to Irish stew and a glass of whiskey by the real fireplace while the Sunset District weather — typically cold and foggy — provides the believably Irish atmosphere outdoors. Durty Nelly’s also qualifies as a dive bar/sports bar, with requisite trivia nights and karaoke.

2328 Irving St
San Francisco, CA 94122

12. Casements Bar

2351 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Patricia Chang

If you’re looking for a place with a more modern Irish bar vibe, Casements in the Mission is where to find it. Rather than decor that’s dripping in shamrocks, its Ireland-ness comes through in other ways — Casements pours a large selection of Ireland-based whiskeys and gins, for instance, and the cocktail menu mixes both Irish and local (or woman-led) brands into its drinks; the food menu is also not something to pass up, from the Spice Bag, Casements own style of spicy fries, to heartier items like the beef and Guinness stew, made with Niman Ranch beef.

2351 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

13. The Napper Tandy

3200 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Shepherd’s pie at Napper Tandy
Dev C./Yelp

An excellent place to create a hangover, or cure it the next day with brunch, Napper Tandy has a proper selection of Irish delicacies like corned beef quesadillas, Guinness beef stew, and shepherd’s pie.

3200 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

14. The Dubliner

3838 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94114

Residents of Noe Valley, a small village within the larger city of San Francisco, have gathered at the Dubliner for more than 25 years, and it shows. Afternoons are for regulars, who all seem to know one another, but bartenders are friendly to all comers.

3838 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94114

15. Shannon Arms Irish Pub

915 Taraval, San Francisco, CA 94116

A deep dive on Taraval, a stretch that’s retained some of its historically Irish identity, the Shannon Arms is a gathering place for an in-the-know coterie of no-nonsense drinkers. Go if you’re game for “Club S,” but certainly avoid it on College Night unless you are, yourself, in college, and maybe even then.

915 Taraval
San Francisco, CA 94116

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16. Parkside Tavern

1940 Taraval, San Francisco, CA 94116

It’s not straight-up Irish, but Parkside Tavern occupies a historically Irish corner of San Francisco and does it proud with some of the city’s best prepared bangers and mash, cottage pie, and well-poured Guinness. Chef/owner Larry Doyle did write a book on Irish pub cooking, after all: Don’t miss his desserts like banana-soda bread and butter pudding with Bailey’s Irish Cream sauce.

1940 Taraval
San Francisco, CA 94116

Related Maps