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15 Places to Sip a Great Cocktail For $8 or Less

For when you want to keep it classy, on the cheap.

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Cocktail Week is winding down, and now that we've celebrated the great dives where you can indulge in a drink and a snack for a reasonable price, we turn our attention to fancy cocktail bars. These 15 spots serve some of the best drinks in the city, usually commanding a $10-12 price tag, but if you strategize correctly or have a little flexibility, you can enjoy their tasty mixed drinks for less than $8. If you want to feel fancy even when your wallet is thin, this list is for you.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Third Rail

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628 20th St
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 252-7966
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At this newish Dogpatch bar, all cocktails are $2 off on weekdays from 3-6 pm, knocking the prices down to $8 for awesome cocktails like the Mt. Tam, Fireside Sour, and the signature Third Rail.

2. Bar Agricole

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355 11th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 355-9400
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Bar Agricole's happy hour, which runs 5-6 pm daily and all day long on Sundays, features a rotating $6 cocktail, plus $3 Stiegl $2 sausages if you're peckish. And you can enjoy it all on that lovely patio.

3. 1760

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1760 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 359-1212
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Every day from 5-6 pm, 1760's "Stirring Hour" features a trio of aperitif cocktails not normally on the menu, plus stirred standards like Negronis and Manhattans, for $6-7. They also have $3 beer, $7 wine by the glass, and $6 snacks like Brussels sprouts or shishito peppers.

4. Blackbird Bar

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2124 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 503-0630
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Blackbird's happy hour goes a lot later than other bars' (5-8 pm on weekdays), and with well cocktails and sours for $4-5, you'll be able to take full advantage. Other deals: $2 macrobrews, $1-2 off draft beers, and $5-6 glasses of wine.

5. Holy Water

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309 Cortland Ave
San Francisco, CA 94110
Thanks to its setting in a family-oriented neighborhood, Holy Water has a late-night happy hour: the 11th Hour, which begins at 11 pm. Their bartenders use the time to experiment with new spirits and tinctures, and offer the results at a discount; if you don't like what they come up with, you don't have to pay. Or come in for the standard happy hour (2-7 pm daily), when all drinks are $8.

6. Smuggler's Cove

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650 Gough St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 869-1900
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For the first hour of business (5-6 pm) at the recently-crowned 16th-best bar in the world, all drinks are $2 off. With most clocking in the $8-11 range, that knocks the bill down to as low as $6 in some cases, for some of the best rum and tiki drinks you'll consume anywhere.

7. Comstock Saloon

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155 Columbus Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 617-0073
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Comstock's happy hour features a rotating $6 cocktail (currently a Derby), along with three $6 shot-and-beer combos, like bourbon and Anchor Steam or genever and Trumer Pils. Drop in for a cheap drink on weekdays from 4-7 pm.

8. Bergerac

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316 11th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 255-9440
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Bergerac turns into an '80s cocktail party every weekday from 5-7 pm, when the rotating "black book" cocktail and all the well cocktails are $7, and munchies like pigs in a blanket, fried mac and cheese, and, we kid you not, Shake 'n Bake are $5. Also available: a $30 punch bowl for groups.

9. Churchill

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198 Church St
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 754-0194
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Pop into Churchill before 7 pm, and they'll make you any one of their house classics (Manhattans, Negronis, Sidecars, Margaritas and the like) for $7-8

10. Gaspar Brasserie

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185 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94104
(415) 576-8800
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Park it at Gaspar's bar from 4-6 pm on weekdays, and you can enjoy a $6 Champagne cocktail or Ma Cherie (a vodka-lemon-hibiscus tea concoction). Deviled eggs and oysters are $1 each, and fries are $3.

11. Locanda

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557 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-6800
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Locanda's just-launched "aperitivo hour" offers a rotating trio of three $8 cocktails from 5:30-6:30 pm, Sunday-Thursday. In classic Italian aperitivo fashion, they come with free snacks: marinated olives and cacio e pepe chips.

12. Two Sisters Bar & Books

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579 Hayes St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 863-3655
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A rotating $5 cocktail (and plenty of tomes to keep you company) makes happy hour at this Hayes Valley charmer a great deal. Catch it Tuesday-Friday, 4-6 pm, and Saturday-Sunday, 1-4 pm.

13. PABU

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101 California St
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 668-7228
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With so many offices in the vicinity, a great happy hour is a must, and Pabu delivers with a $6.88 rotating cocktail on weekdays from 3-6 pm. Also available: sake, wine, and a tallboy of Sapporo, all for under $9, and $2-7 snacks like oysters, hand rolls, and chicken karaage.

14. Red Dog Restaurant & Bar

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303 2nd St
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 692-0211
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This SOMA newbie has happy hour daily from 4-6 pm, with $7 rotating cocktails, $5 beer and wine, and snacks under $10.

15. Nihon Whisky Lounge

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1779 Folsom St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 552-4400
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Nihon's entire cocktail menu, much of which extends beyond whisk(e)y, is yours for half-off at happy hour, which runs from 5:30-7. Most drinks are in the $5-7 range, as are a selection of snacks.

1. Third Rail

628 20th St, San Francisco, CA 94107
At this newish Dogpatch bar, all cocktails are $2 off on weekdays from 3-6 pm, knocking the prices down to $8 for awesome cocktails like the Mt. Tam, Fireside Sour, and the signature Third Rail.
628 20th St
San Francisco, CA 94107

2. Bar Agricole

355 11th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Bar Agricole's happy hour, which runs 5-6 pm daily and all day long on Sundays, features a rotating $6 cocktail, plus $3 Stiegl $2 sausages if you're peckish. And you can enjoy it all on that lovely patio.
355 11th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

3. 1760

1760 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Every day from 5-6 pm, 1760's "Stirring Hour" features a trio of aperitif cocktails not normally on the menu, plus stirred standards like Negronis and Manhattans, for $6-7. They also have $3 beer, $7 wine by the glass, and $6 snacks like Brussels sprouts or shishito peppers.
1760 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

4. Blackbird Bar

2124 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114
Blackbird's happy hour goes a lot later than other bars' (5-8 pm on weekdays), and with well cocktails and sours for $4-5, you'll be able to take full advantage. Other deals: $2 macrobrews, $1-2 off draft beers, and $5-6 glasses of wine.
2124 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94114

5. Holy Water

309 Cortland Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110
Thanks to its setting in a family-oriented neighborhood, Holy Water has a late-night happy hour: the 11th Hour, which begins at 11 pm. Their bartenders use the time to experiment with new spirits and tinctures, and offer the results at a discount; if you don't like what they come up with, you don't have to pay. Or come in for the standard happy hour (2-7 pm daily), when all drinks are $8.
309 Cortland Ave
San Francisco, CA 94110

6. Smuggler's Cove

650 Gough St, San Francisco, CA 94102
For the first hour of business (5-6 pm) at the recently-crowned 16th-best bar in the world, all drinks are $2 off. With most clocking in the $8-11 range, that knocks the bill down to as low as $6 in some cases, for some of the best rum and tiki drinks you'll consume anywhere.
650 Gough St
San Francisco, CA 94102

7. Comstock Saloon

155 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133
Comstock's happy hour features a rotating $6 cocktail (currently a Derby), along with three $6 shot-and-beer combos, like bourbon and Anchor Steam or genever and Trumer Pils. Drop in for a cheap drink on weekdays from 4-7 pm.
155 Columbus Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133

8. Bergerac

316 11th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Bergerac turns into an '80s cocktail party every weekday from 5-7 pm, when the rotating "black book" cocktail and all the well cocktails are $7, and munchies like pigs in a blanket, fried mac and cheese, and, we kid you not, Shake 'n Bake are $5. Also available: a $30 punch bowl for groups.
316 11th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

9. Churchill

198 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114
Pop into Churchill before 7 pm, and they'll make you any one of their house classics (Manhattans, Negronis, Sidecars, Margaritas and the like) for $7-8
198 Church St
San Francisco, CA 94114

10. Gaspar Brasserie

185 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94104
Park it at Gaspar's bar from 4-6 pm on weekdays, and you can enjoy a $6 Champagne cocktail or Ma Cherie (a vodka-lemon-hibiscus tea concoction). Deviled eggs and oysters are $1 each, and fries are $3.
185 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94104

11. Locanda

557 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Locanda's just-launched "aperitivo hour" offers a rotating trio of three $8 cocktails from 5:30-6:30 pm, Sunday-Thursday. In classic Italian aperitivo fashion, they come with free snacks: marinated olives and cacio e pepe chips.
557 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110

12. Two Sisters Bar & Books

579 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102
A rotating $5 cocktail (and plenty of tomes to keep you company) makes happy hour at this Hayes Valley charmer a great deal. Catch it Tuesday-Friday, 4-6 pm, and Saturday-Sunday, 1-4 pm.
579 Hayes St
San Francisco, CA 94102

13. PABU

101 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111
With so many offices in the vicinity, a great happy hour is a must, and Pabu delivers with a $6.88 rotating cocktail on weekdays from 3-6 pm. Also available: sake, wine, and a tallboy of Sapporo, all for under $9, and $2-7 snacks like oysters, hand rolls, and chicken karaage.
101 California St
San Francisco, CA 94111

14. Red Dog Restaurant & Bar

303 2nd St, San Francisco, CA 94107
This SOMA newbie has happy hour daily from 4-6 pm, with $7 rotating cocktails, $5 beer and wine, and snacks under $10.
303 2nd St
San Francisco, CA 94107

15. Nihon Whisky Lounge

1779 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Nihon's entire cocktail menu, much of which extends beyond whisk(e)y, is yours for half-off at happy hour, which runs from 5:30-7. Most drinks are in the $5-7 range, as are a selection of snacks.
1779 Folsom St
San Francisco, CA 94103

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