The Top 10 Happy Hours In San Francisco's Financial District, California

Photo of Brittney Wood
30 November 2016

No matter if you’re down for a kitschy bar with thematic cocktails or want a simple place to throw back a beer, there are few things more satisfying than hitting up a happy hour with co-workers and friends to let loose and recap the day. From simulated thunderstorms to one-dollar oysters, here are 10 fabulous choices for happy hours in and around San Francisco’s Financial District.

Tonga Room | Image Courtesy of Doug Letterman/Flickr

Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar

Bar, Restaurant, Cocktail Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
Tonga Room Bar
Tonga Room Bar | © Krista/Flickr
Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar takes the classic tiki bar to a whole new level by immersing patrons in an atmosphere that looks and feels like the deck of a real ship out in the tropics. Located in the historic The Fairmont San Francisco hotel, this venue has been a legend for decades, once serving the stars of Old Hollywood. Now, patrons are entertained by listening to Top-40 bands playing atop a floating stage in a lagoon in the middle of the room and dancing upon a floor that was made from the remains of a real lumber schooner. In addition to tropical cocktails and a $10 Happy Hour buffet, diners can indulge in Asian fusion small plates and a punch bowl or two. Though you will pay the premium that comes with any hotel bar or restaurant, the main draw is the atmosphere and those tropical thunderstorms, providing a mesmerizing sight for out-of-town guests.

Taverna Aventine

Bar, Bistro, Cocktail Bar, Italian, $$$
Bay Bridge
Bay Bridge | © Caroline Culler/WikiCommons
Voted the Best Happy Hour by San Francisco Magazine in 2010, Taverna Aventine doesn’t disappoint. With a friendly staff, multiple bars, and a two-page Happy Hour drinks menu, it’s hard not to find something to like. Drink specials range from $7 wine and spirits and spirits to $4 beers, plus a $2 up-charge for premium cocktails, such as their killer Manhattan. While the drinks are flowing, Taverna Aventine also offers tasty bar snacks, like burrata and the classic pigs in a blanket. Not to mention, the truffle popcorn is not to be missed!


Bar, Pub Grub, American, $$$
With a funhouse theme that is more chic than cheesy, Topsy’s is the perfect intimate spot to indulge in a handcrafted cocktail or two. Situated in the heart of the Financial District, Topsy’s offers bar stools that resemble giant springs, a see-through ceiling full of antique toys and funhouse souvenirs, and even a giant nutcracker that guards the bathroom. Happy Hour specials get started at an 2pm (and all day on Mondays!) and boast $8 cocktails; though there are no food specials, you can’t really beat a $12 meat plate off the regular menu. Try the strawberry margarita muddled with fresh berries – you won’t regret it!


Bar, Wine Bar, American, $$$
Love wine but don’t want to commit to an entire glass? For the indecisive, head to Claudine, where select wines are only $1 an ounce. Just tell the bartender how many ounces per glass, and cheers! Sample multiple varieties without the guilt. Located in the heart of FiDi on the adorable alley of Claude Lane, Claudine prides itself on being a “chic, urban” wine bar and French eatery that offers “the best of local produce and locally-sourced products,” including their happy hour menu, which offers $3 bacon sliders as well as sweet potato wedges with bacon aioli, not to mention that curry popcorn. Très bien! Happy Hour: Monday-Friday 4-6pm.


Though Novela’s walls are lined with actual books, this place is anything but nerdy. With cocktails named after literary characters, such as Jay Gatsby and Elizabeth Bennet, there’s sure to be something to whet every book lover’s whistle. Though Happy Hour drinks specials are hit or miss, you can’t beat a shared pitcher of scotch or pisco punch with friends. Happy Hour tends to be particularly popular and fills up fast, so make sure you get here well in advance. Their Oyster Happy Hour is held every Monday at 4pm (RSVP required).

Novela, 662 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415-896-6500

E&O Kitchen and Bar

Bar, Restaurant, Asian, $$$
The Bubble Lounge
The Bubble Lounge | Image Courtesy of Eric Castro/Flickr
Chic and sophisticated yet totally approachable, E&O Kitchen and Bar describes itself as a “modern Asian restaurant.” Though perhaps not the most talked about Happy Hour, E&O is a solid choice for a day after rocking a presentation or just wanting to be immersed in a classy atmosphere. Chase discounted bar bites like chicken satay and wood oven naan down with $6 glasses of wine and $5 beers. Additionally, bartenders will mix up specialty cocktails, such as the Blushing Geisha, made with tequila, sake, prickly pear, and lime. Pro tip; try a few butternut squash dumplings – they’re one dollar each!

The Bubble Lounge

Bar, American
For a little more effervescence, head on over to The Bubble Lounge! With over 300 champagnes and sparkling wines, The Bubble Lounge caters to those who love their bubbly but also offers a full bar to serve all palettes. On Thursdays and Fridays (TBL is currently closed on Wednesday to get ready for a renovation), a “Happiest Hour” provides patrons with discounted cocktails and beer as well as champagne and sparkling wine by the glass or bottle. Our pick? The Cashmere & Silk, made with Grey Goose La Poire, St. Germaine, & Chandron Brut. Be careful – it’s as potent as it is delicious! For those with an appetite, try their duo of ceviches or bacon wrapped shrimp. After Happiest Hour, head downstairs to dance the night away in their basement dance space. Happiest Hour: Thursday-Friday 5-9pm.

Cigar Bar & Grill

Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
Roka Bar
Roka Bar | Image Courtesy of Roka Akor
Cigar Bar & Grill is one of San Francisco’s few smoking establishments. Indulge in a cocktail indoors at the bar, or enjoy a cigar in the outdoor lounge while listening to live music. During Happy Hour, enjoy $7 speciality cocktails like a Southern Julep or Sloe Berry Daiquiri. Additionally, the menu offers $1 off all draft beers and $5 glasses of sangria, as well as $2 bar snacks. Love sitting on a patio during summer nights while listening to lively music? Cigar Bar is the answer!

Roka Bar

Bar, Restaurant, Japanese, Steakhouse
Rib Eye Steak, Wafu Dressing
Rib Eye Steak, Wafu Dressing | © Lou Stejskal/Flickr

Pure sophistication, Roka Bar is located in the basement of the restaurant Roka Akor and is enveloped in dark wood and sultry lighting. From Japanese beer to wine and sake, Roka Bar has something for everyone, including sochu, a distilled Japanese liquor. Bring your colleagues or a date here for Happy Hour for $5 pints of Sapporo and $5 glasses of sake, as well as discounted specialty cocktails. Sushi rolls round out the menu for a tasty bite before dinner.

Royal Exchange

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Pub, Gastropub, Pub Grub, American, $$$
Royal Exchange
Royal Exchange | © Brixton Key
Since 1972, Royal Exchange has offered an impressive 32 beers on tap. With dark wood panels, bow-tied bartenders, and plenty of seats at the bar, this sports pub offers a fun atmosphere and claims to “nourish the body, mind, and spirit.” In addition to a local wine list and delicious cocktails, the Happy Hour menu offers $4.50 beer, and wine as well as appetizers, such as savory roasted brussels sprouts in a lemon garlic sauce. With 17 satellite televisions around the bar, sports lovers are sure to find an exciting game to watch while sitting back with an ice-cold Bodington or an Anchor Steam.

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