Top 10 Bars In The Excelsior District Of San Francisco, California
(c) Ben Husmann/Flickr
Whether you prefer a divey sports bar or a classy lounge, you’ll find both on a night out in the Excelsior in San Francisco, California. Make your way over to one of our bar selections in this neighborhood.
Bar, Pub Grub, American, $$$
‘Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.’ Stepping through the navy blue door of Rocks Den will make you feel as if your house was swallowed up by a tornado and you crash-landed in a whole new world. What used to be the divey Cotter’s Corner has had the makeover of the decade. It is now a swanky after-work lounge. From the leather couches to the stone embellished fireplace to the ceiling adorned with funky light fixtures, Rocks Den will quickly become you and your crew’s favorite new hangout spot. Live life on the wild side and order a ‘Surfer On Acid’ (Jagermeister, coconut rum and pineapple juice). Gnarly, dudes.
Located at the end of the Excelsior and beginning of Crocker Amazon, Broken Record is a favorite among locals and neighboring areas. Featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Broken Record has gained national recognition for its beer-battered dishes and its extensive collection of whiskeys. There are more than 300 to choose from. Stop by for brunch served ‘all damn day’ or grab a pint and kick back with friends.
Just a couple blocks down from the beloved Broken Record is The Dark Horse Inn, another neighborhood favorite. Like most San Francisco joints, this place is big on sourcing locally, so expect to see a great deal of local craft brews. After you’ve picked a beer, order up a gooey bowl of macaroni and cheese, and feel free to top it with some freshly pulled pork.
Looking for a no-nonsense dive bar where you can kick back after a long day at the office? Pissed Off Pete’scan be your new go-to spot to let off some steam. With more than 18 selections of beer on tap, more than 30 choices of tequila, and upwards of 40 whiskeys to choose from, you might have a hard time picking your poison. Channel your inner rockstar and hop on stage for open mic night starting at 9p. on Tuesdays and karaoke every other Friday.
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Sandwich Shop, American, Fast Food
If you’ve tried The Doctor’s Lounge for brunch, then you know why people rave about this place. Ranked as one of the best spots to eat in the Excelsior, The Doctor’s Lounge’s drinks give the food a run for its money. Indulge in a variety of beers and wines, or order a cocktail from their full bar. Put a grownup twist on Saturday morning cartoons in the back room. Order a big mimosa (sparkling wine and your choice orange, grapefruit or cranberry juice) or an Irish coffee (Jameson, coffee and whipped cream).
Brush up on your Spanish and head over to Lucita’s Place Bar for an experience that will most likely be new for most guests. Don’t expect to find specialty cocktails or local craft beers at this joint — take a seat at the bar and choose from a variety of Mexican beers like Modelo, Tecate, or Victoria. The vibe here is far from your average hipster bar, and it’s better for it. Make sure to come with cash in hand, as they don’t take cards.
Established in 1928 and officially opened in 1940, the Italian-American Social Club is an Excelsior district treasure and gem. Stop by for a drink and admire the well-maintained original architecture that serves as a great conversation piece. Looking to take the party up a notch? Rent out one of the four halls available for your next gathering or party.
If you’re looking for the ‘diviest’ of dive bars, look no further than Coco’s Bar. With a more than sufficient selection of tequila, whiskey and vodka, you’re bound to find something you like. Feeling adventurous? Order a Michelada, a Mexican beer cocktail consisting of teriyaki, soy, Worcestershire, and hot sauce mixed with tomato juice, lime juice, and a nice cold Mexican brewski. You’re welcome.
In a category full of classic dive bars, Bottom’s Up stands out from the bunch as the Excelsior’s only nightclub. The vibe here is happening on Friday and Saturday nights, with happy hour shots and a live DJ spinning club bangers and EDM. Feeling hungry after all that dancing? Chow down on their specialty crispy banh mi tacos.
Looking for classy wine tasting? Look no further than just up the stairs at Bottom’s Up and you will find Sip Wine Bar — yes, these two polar opposites are in fact located in the same building. Leave the high energy nightclub environment and escape to the tranquil, modern world that is Sip Wine Bar. Stop by for their happy hour that lasts until 8pm.