The Best Happy Hours In SF guide image


The Best Happy Hours In SF

It's Happy Hour somewhere, right?

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.


Bar Crudo

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 a place we turn to for deals that satisfy deep yearnings for anything that swims in the sea. They have a great Happy Hour with $2 oysters, $2 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.

When: Monday-Friday, 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 “Chuck’s Egg Bites” with caviar and a soft egg ($6). And because you’ll need some carb-y substance 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 $6-$10. Drinks include $8 house wine, $7 well drinks, and a $10 tequila cocktail of the day. 

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

Everything at Tataki’s Happy Hour is $6 (except for the handrolls, which are $4). 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, also all $6, 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, $8 margaritas and $5 beers, and they also like to keep things simple with food specials: everything is $8, 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 because there’s nothing better than knocking back oysters and sipping something equally briny and salty, martinis are $7. 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: Tuesday-Friday, 4-6pm

Jaranita is a Peruvian spot in the Marina for lively group dinners—there are neon signs everywhere and a huge yunza tree in the back, and the occasional salsa lesson goes down on the sizable parklet out front. For Happy Hour, swing by on weekdays for $8 cocktails, like negronis and white sangria, plus $5 chicken, beef, or vegetarian empanadas. They also have deals on heartier dishes, like chicken sandwiches and cebiches.

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. Coming here for the 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-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, 3-5pm, Happy Hour oysters 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: Monday-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 $5 draft beers, $7 cocktails, and discounts on empanadas, yucca fries, and more during Happy Hour. There’s also a special of the day, including a $20 burger-beer-bourbon deal on Mondays, and 50-cent wings on Wednesdays. But just a heads up, Happy Hour is at the bar only. 

When: Monday-Friday, 4-6pm

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 $6, beers are $4, and margarita 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 Practically Any Occasion—group dinners, brunches, a quick 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 beer and wine, $8 frozen cocktails, plus $1 oysters (six minimum, 24 max).

When: Sunday-Thursday, 3-6pm and 9-10pm

This Italian restaurant in the Castro does Happy Hour before and after prime dinner hour, so round up a group for some late-ish pizza and get here. During Happy Hour, you can get into $7 house wine, discounted cocktails, and their solid wood-fired pizzas, which are $4 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 $7 cocktails, $4 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 $6 glasses of wine. They also have deals on dishes like egg caponata, 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 $7 cocktails, $5 beers, and $7-$9 small plates that include everything from basil pesto fries to calamari to chicken wings.

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photo credit: Erin Ng

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