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Where to Celebrate (Or Avoid) SantaCon This Weekend

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The loosely-organized yearly celebration of public drunkenness known as SantaCon is back this Saturday, December 9th. Held in multiple cities and observed locally around Union Square as well as in North Beach and the Marina, SantaCon invites attendees to dress in Santa or other holiday costumes, bar hop, and generally behave as if the law were for other people.

SantaCon began in San Francisco in 1994 as a vaguely subversive stunt for the early Burning Man crowd. Since then, it’s grown massively in size, and now attracts Santa-clad twenty-somethings by the thousands. Rumors of its death a few years ago were, in the end, greatly exaggerated. With the added numbers and poorer behavior have come backlash, and plenty of bars ban “Santas” completely. But if you’re planning to get dressed up and attend, congratulations on recently moving to the Bay Area, and here are 13 bars and clubs that are actively inviting SantaCon revelers with drink specials and events. You might also bring, as the event officially but half-heartedly requests, an un-wrapped gift for the SantaCon toy drive, to be collected at Union Square. If, on the other hand, you’re planning to skip SantaCon altogether, here are 13 bars to avoid at all costs on that dreaded day. For more places to go to avoid the annual scourge, see Curbed’s recommendations.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Ho’s Tavern

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2360 Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 872-7773
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Ho’s Bootleg Tavern is on SantaCon’s list this year, and while they haven’t indicated specific drink specials, there is food like fried Oreos and cheese fries to be had here. That might come in handy after whatever fireball shots/gatorade bottles full of mixed drinks between bars people drink at this thing.

Ho's Bootleg Tavern
Ho's Bootleg Tavern
Ho's Bootleg Tavern/Facebook

2. House Rules

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2227 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 722-9109
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House rules promises festive decor, plus “jingle” jello shots for $4 each or 5 for $15. They’ll also have scrooge-a-libre, a renamed take on the classic Cuba Libre cocktail with Sailor Jerry rum for $7 and $8 Bud light and shot combos.

3. Blur

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1121 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 567-1711
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Polk Street bar Blur, whose name embodies its patrons state of mind, has thrown its Santa hat in the ring. They “cannot wait” for SantaCon, though are offering as yet undetermined drink specials.

4. 800 Larkin St

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800 Larkin St
San Francisco, CA 94109

Dance party hosts DuckPond present Holiday DJs galore including Hot Toddy and Big Papa Noel at this event, which is open to the public and SantaCon attendees alike. They’ll also accept those gift donations — no need to wrap them — on behalf of the Sonoma County Fire Department Toys For Tots program. Drink specials promised.

5. Ha-Ra Club

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875 Geary St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 673-3148
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Ha-Ra isn’t saying humbug to SantaCon: Instead, the classic dive bar is offering specials like $3 Bud Light bottles, $6 Jameson, and $15 Budweiser Pitchers.

6. Ace's

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998 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 673-0644
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This Sutter Street sports bar, where locals start pickling themselves at 6 a.m., is a classic in its way. A staple of the SantaCon circuit, it’s offering $3 tall boys of Bud or Bud Light to those in holiday suits, plus regular Bud and Jameson for $9.

7. The Royale

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800 Post St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 441-4099
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The Royale has marked itself down as SantaCon friendly, but hasn't specified drink specials. This more relaxed lounge at Post and Leavenworth has booths and tables for lounging, so might be better for sedentary Santa types.

8. The Holy Cow Nightclub

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1535 Folsom St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 757-7560
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SoMa nigthclub Holy Cow is hosting a Santacon afterparty from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. dubbed the Ugly Sweater Party. DJ Gio (Young California) & J-Trip will perform.

9. DNA Lounge

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375 11th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 626-1409
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Reputable drunk dancing destination DNA Lounge hosts Santa or holiday clad guests for free before 11 p.m at the classic late night dance party Bootie SF, provided they’re fully-dressed and not fully-wasted, the chances of which diminish by the hour.

10. Chief Sullivan's

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622 Green St
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 722-9109
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A classic Irish pub in North beach, Chief Sullivan’s gets bonus holiday points for its cozy fireplace. To warm Santas up inside, they’ll also serve jello shots.

11. Love And Propaganda

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85 Campton Pl
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 205-5045
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This nightclub hosts a day-to-night “Bad Santa” SantaCon party with music by TRAVISWILD, DJ Dials and Masajay. Free entry with RSVP before 2pm.

12. Monroe

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473 Broadway
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 772-9002
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A classy-leaning club, Monroe is nevertheless welcoming a bit of debauchery by granting free admission with a Santa suit on Saturday. Portions of a signature Santa cocktail will go to the SFFD toy program.

13. Hawthorn

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46 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 693-9255
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Hawthorn is advertising itself as the Official SantaCon Day Party, whether or not such a thing exists, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It’s free to attend with an EventBrite RSVP, and full costumes, rather than a perfunctory Santa hat or t-shirt, are requested.

1. Ho’s Tavern

2360 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94109
Ho's Bootleg Tavern
Ho's Bootleg Tavern
Ho's Bootleg Tavern/Facebook

Ho’s Bootleg Tavern is on SantaCon’s list this year, and while they haven’t indicated specific drink specials, there is food like fried Oreos and cheese fries to be had here. That might come in handy after whatever fireball shots/gatorade bottles full of mixed drinks between bars people drink at this thing.

2360 Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94109

2. House Rules

2227 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109

House rules promises festive decor, plus “jingle” jello shots for $4 each or 5 for $15. They’ll also have scrooge-a-libre, a renamed take on the classic Cuba Libre cocktail with Sailor Jerry rum for $7 and $8 Bud light and shot combos.

2227 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

3. Blur

1121 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Polk Street bar Blur, whose name embodies its patrons state of mind, has thrown its Santa hat in the ring. They “cannot wait” for SantaCon, though are offering as yet undetermined drink specials.

1121 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

4. 800 Larkin St

800 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Dance party hosts DuckPond present Holiday DJs galore including Hot Toddy and Big Papa Noel at this event, which is open to the public and SantaCon attendees alike. They’ll also accept those gift donations — no need to wrap them — on behalf of the Sonoma County Fire Department Toys For Tots program. Drink specials promised.

800 Larkin St
San Francisco, CA 94109

5. Ha-Ra Club

875 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Ha-Ra isn’t saying humbug to SantaCon: Instead, the classic dive bar is offering specials like $3 Bud Light bottles, $6 Jameson, and $15 Budweiser Pitchers.

875 Geary St
San Francisco, CA 94109

6. Ace's

998 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109

This Sutter Street sports bar, where locals start pickling themselves at 6 a.m., is a classic in its way. A staple of the SantaCon circuit, it’s offering $3 tall boys of Bud or Bud Light to those in holiday suits, plus regular Bud and Jameson for $9.

998 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94109

7. The Royale

800 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94109

The Royale has marked itself down as SantaCon friendly, but hasn't specified drink specials. This more relaxed lounge at Post and Leavenworth has booths and tables for lounging, so might be better for sedentary Santa types.

800 Post St
San Francisco, CA 94109

8. The Holy Cow Nightclub

1535 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94103

SoMa nigthclub Holy Cow is hosting a Santacon afterparty from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. dubbed the Ugly Sweater Party. DJ Gio (Young California) & J-Trip will perform.

1535 Folsom St
San Francisco, CA 94103

9. DNA Lounge

375 11th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Reputable drunk dancing destination DNA Lounge hosts Santa or holiday clad guests for free before 11 p.m at the classic late night dance party Bootie SF, provided they’re fully-dressed and not fully-wasted, the chances of which diminish by the hour.

375 11th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

10. Chief Sullivan's

622 Green St, San Francisco, CA 94133

A classic Irish pub in North beach, Chief Sullivan’s gets bonus holiday points for its cozy fireplace. To warm Santas up inside, they’ll also serve jello shots.

622 Green St
San Francisco, CA 94133

11. Love And Propaganda

85 Campton Pl, San Francisco, CA 94108

This nightclub hosts a day-to-night “Bad Santa” SantaCon party with music by TRAVISWILD, DJ Dials and Masajay. Free entry with RSVP before 2pm.

85 Campton Pl
San Francisco, CA 94108

12. Monroe

473 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133

A classy-leaning club, Monroe is nevertheless welcoming a bit of debauchery by granting free admission with a Santa suit on Saturday. Portions of a signature Santa cocktail will go to the SFFD toy program.

473 Broadway
San Francisco, CA 94133

13. Hawthorn

46 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

Hawthorn is advertising itself as the Official SantaCon Day Party, whether or not such a thing exists, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It’s free to attend with an EventBrite RSVP, and full costumes, rather than a perfunctory Santa hat or t-shirt, are requested.

46 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA 94108

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