Happy Hour in San Francisco
At The Ambassador, every beer on tap is $2. Say yes to Stella Artois or any other premium draft beer and plunk down $2. If you're hungry, order the $2 savory burger or $2 tater tots. There's a hefty buzz and a full stomach to be had for around $10, for food and beers that would normally run your bar tab to $35 or more. The Ambassador is a red carpet, velvet rope type club and can get pretty crowded. The tables are quickly taken, so prepare to stand. The DJ can get a bit carried away and the music is loud, so having a conversation here could blow out your vocal chords. It's a good place to start your evening, fill your belly, and move on.
The Ambassador, 673 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA 94102, 415-563-8192
Best deal: $2 Tuesdays 6PM - midnight
The Pour House is a wine bar where you don't feel like you have to swirl your wine and put your pinkie in the air to drink it. The vibe is chill and they have a great mix of indie music playing from an IPOD. The happy hour specials include a few of the wines off of their hefty wine list with prices dropped down to $4. After happy hour, the wines at this San Francisco local bar run from $8 - $12, and bottles are significantly higher. There are beers on tap, and if you'd like to go even cheaper, they offer Pabst for $3 all night. Sit on one of the cozy couches in the front, or hop on a bar stool and chat with the friendly staff.
The Pour House, 1327 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109, 415-440-7662
Best deal: $4 wine between 4PM - 7PM
The Argus Lounge is a San Francisco local bar just south of Cesar Chavez in Bernal Heights. It's an upscale dive bar with a separate room for a pool table. The pool table is easy to get on during happy hour, which includes a daily special and $1 off all other drinks. If there's not a Giants game on, they play great films on mute on the large screen television, from Super Fly to Hong Kong action films. The bartender usually has an IPOD on shuffle, and the noise level is low for conversation. After happy hour, dance to the DJ's music if you can find a spot to groove in the crowded room. On some random Tuesday nights, Tecates are $1 each. That's usually when there's a punk rock DJ.
Argus Lounge, 3187 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110, 415-824-1447
Best deal: $2 Tecates 5PM - 7PM
Medjool Sky Terrace where you can relax with one of your favorite cocktails and take in the view. Take the elevator to the top floor, and the doors will open to a spectacular view of the downtown San Francisco skyline. If it's chilly, sit under one of the heat lamps at a table, and get ready for a Mediterranean taste explosion. You won't even hear the bustling Mission District in this little slice of outdoor paradise. There's a hefty Montepulciano from Abruzzo, Italy, a wine that goes perfectly with the spicy meatball dish you'll be devouring with your pita bread.
Medjool Sky Terrace, 2522 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110, 415-550-9055
Best deal: $5 Tapas and wine, 5PM - 7PM
The Hemlock Tavern is a great place to people watch or hang out with your friends at one of the tables. The bar is in the middle of the main room with stools wrapping around for maximum sitting real estate. There's also a smoking patio with tables and stools. There are live bands in a room in the very back and shows usually start around 9PM. Cover charges for the shows range from $5 - $12, but that's only if you want access to the back room.
Hemlock Tavern, 1131 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109, 415-596-7777
Best deal: $5 Jameson shot and 24 oz. Pabst, 4PM - 7PM
Novelist Tony DuShane is a regular contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle and the author of the coming-of-age comedy Confessions of a Teenage Jesus Jerk. Read his blog on Red Room.
- Overview:San Francisco Travel Guide