Happy Hour in San Francisco
There's nothing like a Monday through Friday happy hour at your favorite Mexican restaurant. Mamacita, a local bar, offers San Francisco patrons $2.50 tacos, and if that isn't enticing enough, half price house cocktails and $4 margaritas, mojitos, and sangria will surely lure you in. Don't think they left out the $4 premium tequila shots, either, or the $2 cans of Tecate. These satisfying San Francisco happy hour specials begin at 5:30 and end an hour later – literally one of the happiest hours of dining and drinking. The menu also includes chilaquiles and ceviche for $6 each and queso fundido for $5.50.
Mamacita, 2317 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94123; 415-346-8494; Mon-Thu 5:30PM-12AM, Fri-Sun 5PM-12AM
Your next stop for happy hour in San Francisco is Gaylord, a gem of an Indian restaurant located in the Waterfront District. A detour from the usual greasy pub food and beer, Gaylord offers San Francisco patrons superior happy hour specials that last three hours – from 4PM to 7PM. Wines are offered at $5.50, cocktails for $6 and beer for $4. There is also a special happy hour menu that includes vegetable pakoras, samosas, tandoori chicken wings and assorted naan, all priced at $4.
Gaylord, 1 Embarcadero Ctr, San Francisco, CA 94111; 415-397-7775; Lunch Mon-Sat 11:30AM-2:45PM, Dinner Mon-Sun 5PM-10PM
In addition to $5 wine and house cocktails at Zaré at Fly Trap, this local favorite features $4-$8 bar bites, ensuring everyone a delightful happy hour indeed. Foodies in San Francisco find saffron balls, baba ghanoush and French fries with saffron aioli (all properly paired with the appropriate beverage, of course), mini Mediterranean feasts for the tongue. Although happy hour is Monday through Saturday from 4PM-6PM, you'll want to be sure to stop by for Monday Meatball night. Each week the chef concocts a giant meatball from various ingredients of his choice. And I can assure you that this weekly, changing "mystery" meatball bears no negative connotation.
Zaré at Fly Trap, 606 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94107; 415-243-0580; Kitchen: Mon-Thu 4PM-10PM, Fri-Sat 4PM-11PM; Happy Hour 4PM-6PM; Bar: Mon-Sat until 1AM
A cross between a diner and a posh retro lounge, a la Quentin Tarantino movie, Blowfish Sushi doesn't hold back on San Francisco diners. Its fierce happy hour specials (Monday through Friday, 5PM-7PM) include $3 pistachio tempura, crispy chicken potstickers and various hand-rolled sushi. Sake is a steal at $3 as are draft beers and house cocktails.
Blowfish Sushi, 2170 Bryant St (Mission District), San Francisco, CA 94110; 415-285-3848; Mon-Fri 11:30AM-2:30PM, Mon-Tues, Sun 5:30PM-10PM, Wed-Thu 5:30PM-10:30PM, Fri-Sat 5:30PM-11PM
McCormick & Kuleto's Seafood Restaurant
Perhaps the cheapest happy hour in San Francisco, or any place in California for that matter, McCormick & Kuleto's (of the McCormick and Schmick's lineage) offers a tiered menu that will start you off at $1.95 for fried chicken and biscuit sliders. Feeling like a big spender? Move on up to $2.95 for a half-pound cheeseburger and fries (take that, McDonald's) or $3.95 for pork wontons. Their drink menu consists of fancy martini drinks discounted to $7 during happy hour (Monday through Friday from 3PM-6PM).
McCormick & Kuleto's, 900 North Point St, San Francisco, CA 94109; 415-929-1730, 888-226-6212; Mon-Thu 11:30AM-10PM, Fri & Sat 11:30AM-11PM, Sun 11:30AM-10PM
Palio d'Asti is a highly acclaimed Italian restaurant offering one of the city's most popular happy hours. Local bar flies choose this San Francisco eatery for its $1 pizza (Monday through Friday 4PM-7PM) and whimsical cocktails. Priced at a cool $7 each, these specialty concoctions include colorful names like "36 Crayons" and "Gangs of New York." The "Veruca Pucker" (reminiscent of the Willy Wonka character) is made of Stoli Blueberi, fresh blueberries with sugar and lemon.
Palio d'Asti, 640 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94111; 415-395-9800; Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30AM-2:30PM, Dinner Mon-Sat 5:30PM-9PM, Bar Menu Mon-Fri 2:30PM-5:30PM, Happy Hour Mon-Fri 4PM-7PM
- Overview:San Francisco Travel Guide