The Best Happy Hours In SF

It's Happy Hour somewhere, right?
The Best Happy Hours In SF image

photo credit: Erin Ng

What makes a good Happy Hour? Without getting too philosophical over the concept of "happiness" (is it a state of being? Whatever eudaemonia is?), it usually involves a combination of good drinks, good food, and good deals. But what separates a good Happy Hour from a great one is the quality of those drinks, food, and deals. Here are our favorite Happy Hours in the city.


photo credit: Carly Hackbarth


Pacific Heights

$$$$Perfect For:Drinks & A Light BiteEating At The BarHappy Hour
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When: Monday-Thursday, 3-5pm

Little Shucker is a shellfish wonderland in Pacific Heights. During normal business hours you can (and should) rack up the bill by ordering dozens of oysters, multiple buttery lobster rolls (or crab rolls, depending on the season), and a giant plate of white wine mussels. At Happy Hour, you’ll get the same high-quality oysters from Tomales Bay and Brunswick, Maine, but at bottom-barrel prices: $2 oysters (by the half-dozen or dozen), plus $10 glasses of wine and $7 beers.

When: Daily, Open-6pm

The good news is that Mission tsukemen standby Taishoken offers Happy Hour every day of the week. The bad news is that the flawless tsukemen (and its excellent salty-sweet broth) isn’t part of the Happy Hour deal. But you can get a spicy edamame dip for $5, yukari and kombu fries for $6, and a selection of wine cocktails, beer, and even a sake flight for $6-$12. But when you come here, you'll still want to make sure the tsukemen is on the table (for the perfectly chewy noodles alone).

When: Monday-Saturday, 5-6:30pm

The small, cozy seafood spot on the Divisadero corridor is one we always recommend for intimate date nights. It’s also where to turn for a Happy Hour deal that'll satisfy deep cravings for shellfish. They have a great Happy Hour with $12 half dozen oysters, $24 dozen herb-and-jalapeño-marinated mussels, and $12 seafood chowder. Crispy cod tacos (two for $12) are also here to help you reach seafood utopia, and there are deals on wine and beer as well.

photo credit: Erin Ng



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When: Monday-Thursday, 3-5pm

This castle of seafood in the Marina is decked out with tasteful nautical accents—which is fitting since you’re at Popi's Oysterette to feast on everything that comes from the ocean. Their Happy Hour includes things like steamed clams ($8) and deviled eggs with cured trout ($5 for two). And because you’ll need something carb-y to go with all that shellfish (and soak up the many $7 glasses of rosé you’ll likely consume), round Happy Hour out with an order of $5 cheesy fries.

When: Tuesday-Friday, 4pm-close

This sprawling Chinese restaurant on the Embarcadero with chandeliers and Bay Bridge views is one of our favorite places for a group dim sum meal near the water. It’s also a Happy Hour destination. They do deals on dim sum "bar bites" at the sleek black marble bar upstairs. And once you settle in, you can order baked barbecue pork buns, chicken wings, and siu mai for $9-$10. Drinks include $8 house wine, $8 well drinks, and an $11 margarita.

When: Daily, 4:30-6:30pm

Tataki’s Happy Hour features $6 sushi rolls, $5 nigiri, and $4 handrolls. It runs seven days a week and keeps this casual sushi spot in Lower Pacific Heights packed. You can order a stream of spicy tuna rolls, scallop nigiri, and agedashi tofu which arrive quickly. Keep them coming—this place runs an efficient operation. Cocktails, beer, and white wine, all for $5, are on hand too.

When: Monday-Friday, 3-6pm

Santería, a Mexican cocktail bar and restaurant in the Castro, has a full dinner and brunch menu, but we like casually dropping in to play catch-up with friends over shareable bites and cocktails. There’s a ton of elbow room on the front patio, lots of comfy seating inside, and a great Happy Hour. The drinks are pretty standard, $9 margaritas and $5 beers, and they also like to keep things simple with food specials: everything is $9, from the nachos with carnitas to the flautas and quesadillas.

When: Tuesday-Sunday, 3-5pm

The friendly Marina bistro on the main Chestnut Street drag goes all in on seafood for Happy Hour—oysters are $2 each. And martinis are $7 (and there’s nothing better than knocking back oysters and sipping something equally briny and salty). While you’re here, don’t pass on the opportunity to order their incredible, juicy, smash-style Americana burger (not part of the Happy Hour deals), which is one of the best burgers in town. 

When: Monday-Friday, 4:30-6pm

Roman-style pizzas are the name of the game at the Pacific Heights spot Pinsa Rossa. During Happy Hour, they serve a wide selection of personal-size pinsas (get the spicy salami), small plates like pork and beef meatballs, each for $9. They also have glasses of house white or red wine, also $9.

When: Monday-Friday, 3:30-6pm; Sunday, 3:30-6pm

Starbelly is an American restaurant in the Castro that’s perfect for when you and your large group need to eat immediately and don’t have a reservation (tables are somehow always available), or you’re looking for a solid Happy Hour. Beer and wine are $6, shots and half-lager combos are $8, and cocktails are $8-$9. Accompanying all those drinks are light bites like $5 house fries and $6 thai pork sausage. For a more substantial meal, there’s even a burger, fries, and cocktail deal ($20).

When: Monday-Friday, 4-6pm

We like this fun Mission rooftop bar for the strong margaritas and the, “Wow, I’m so lucky to live here” views of downtown. Hitting this spot up for Happy Hour is also never a bad idea. The deal features everything we love—strong booze at a discounted price, plus $7 guacamole and chips, $5 yuca fries, and $7 beef empanadas.

When: Tuesday-Saturday, 5-6:30pm

Angler on the Embarcadero is an upscale seafood affair serving whole sea bream cooked in coconut and swarnadwipa and an intense radicchio salad—we typically suggest this place when someone else is picking up the bill. But during Happy Hour you can eat without feeling like Mr. Monopoly Man after he declares bankruptcy. There’s wine by the glass ($9-$15), cocktails for $12, and small bites like ember-roasted oysters ($4 each), and hot fried frog legs with cardamom crème fraîche ($18).

When: Tuesday-Friday, 3-5pm

The neighborhood seafood market in Noe Valley doubles as a casual, counter-service restaurant, and one that can fulfill any late afternoon desire for shellfish. Every Tuesday through Friday from 3-5pm, oysters by the half dozen and glasses of cava are half off, which is as good an excuse as any to block off an "appointment" on your calendar and get here for a late-day snack.

When: Tuesday-Friday, 3-6pm

The Columbian-Cuban restaurant in Civic Center is big, bright, and always bumping—so if decompression over loud music is your thing, get here. This place sucks us in with $6 draft beers, $8 cocktails, and discounts on empanadas, yucca fries, and more during Happy Hour. There’s also a special of the day, and 75-cent wings on Wednesdays. But just a heads up, Happy Hour is at the bar only.

When: Monday-Friday, 2-6pm

We can always rely on Delarosa to fill us up so we can keep the day moving, whether we’re planning a date night or casual dinner with our dog (the sidewalk patio is four-legged-friend friendly). That’s the beauty of a spot that has solid pizzas, a lively bar, and a great Happy Hour. Cocktails are $8, beers are $6, and margherita pizzas are $10. Get the crispy cauliflower ($10) and you’ll be set.

When: Tuesday-Friday, 3-6pm

Mission Rock Resort wins the award for Best Waterfront Bar And Grill For Any Occasion—group dinners, brunches, and a cocktail with a view, and, since it’s only one block away from the Chase Center, a fantastic spot for all your Warriors pre-game drinks (the upstairs cafe also has lots of TVs). But come here any time from 3-6pm, Tuesday through Friday, and you’ll get $7 wine, plus $1.50 oysters (six minimum, 24 max).

When:  Daily, 5-6:30pm 

We like this Italian restaurant in the Castro when we’re craving wine and carbs at a moment's notice. And the good news is that during Happy Hour you can get $9 house wine, discounted cocktails, and their solid wood-fired pizzas, which are $5 off. $10 appetizers, including calamari, burrata, or polpette al sugo, are also part of the deal.

When: Monday-Friday, 3-5pm

The Peruvian restaurant on the Embarcadero is always a hit for cocktails and ceviche, and unbeatable views, especially if you choose to sit out on the lovely (and covered) waterside patio. Happy Hour is another big plus to this place, and this one has $10-$11 cocktails, $6 beers, and $5 empanadas.

When: Monday-Thursday, 5-6pm

Beretta is an Italian spot in the Mission with an upbeat energy that’ll keep you awake even though you had to get up at 6am this morning. Their “ora di aperitivo” is the move. During Happy Hour, you can choose from $8 cocktails and glasses of wine. They also have deals on dishes like eggplant caponatina, meatballs in spicy marinara, and a selection of solid pizzettas for $10 each.

When: Daily, 5-7pm

The Happy Hour at this Thai restaurant on the Embarcadero is all about the oysters—$1.50 oysters, from 5-7pm every day, to be exact. If that’s not enough to make you stop doomscrolling on your phone and get here, also consider this: the special menu includes $8-$10 cocktails, $5 beers, and $7-$9 small plates that feature everything from basil pesto fries to calamari to chicken wings.

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