The Best Bars For A Night In The Inner Sunset, San Francisco

Natalie Garnett

If you’re ready to escape the overcrowded Mission or Marina, head over to the Inner Sunset and check out these top bars. Whether you’re looking for a casual lager or to play endless rounds of pool, this neighborhood offers up all the possibilities.

Social Kitchen and Brewery I

1. Social Kitchen and Brewery

Bar, American

© Natalie Garnett
With high, beamed ceilings and lights repurposed from glass bottles, the Social Kitchen and Brewery is an industrial space for a modern crowd. Upstairs holds the in-house brewery that, combined with Social’s local brewery partnerships, offers up a menu to satisfy the IPA snobs, the saison-seekers, and everyone in between. The bar itself is a site to behold, with colorful hand painted signs announcing the brews and a floor to ceiling, wood carved frame that encases the liquors. If you are looking for more than beer, they offer a range of handcrafted cocktails, a favorite being the hibiscus margarita, as well as burgers and sandwiches to complement any drink. A collection of pieces by local artists dots the walls, which are available for admiration and purchase.

2. Fireside

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Pub Grub

Yancys Saloon
© Natalie Garnett
Fireside is your no frills local bar for watching the game and kicking back with old friends. With orange and black Fireside apparel for sale and local artwork featuring the Golden Gate Bridge lining the walls, there’s no forgetting that you’re in San Francisco. A jukebox sits at the back of the room, ready for anyone to toss in a few quarters and set the mood, and an ample amount of floor space encourages milling about and impromptu dancing. If you’re looking to relax while you sip, a neon-lit fireplace surrounded by couches offers a space for repose. Fireside is dog friendly, making this the perfect rest stop after a neighborhood stroll with the pooch.

3. Yancy’s Saloon

Bar, Market, Pub Grub

The Little Shamrock
© Natalie Garnett
If passing the hours enjoying a beer and chatting does not quell your need for excitement, check out Yancy’s Saloon. The large room is partitioned into the bar area, several lounging spaces with tables and TVs, and a stretch at the back featuring three large dart boards. Leave your ID with the bartender in exchange for darts, and you can spend the night perfecting your aim. While there are a range of cocktails and brews on tap, there is no food for sale, so many people bring in burritos and pizzas to share while they drink. Old paintings and portraits clutter the walls, hanging plants dangle from above, and a massive Chinese vase sits at the back, giving the feeling that the bar is owned by a flea-market fanatic. If you are a large group looking for a drink and a laugh, head to Yancy’s and post up for the night.

4. The Little Shamrock

Bar, Irish

© Natalie Garnett
It seems as if this bar’s motto is ‘if it can be green, it will be.’ Makes sense, seeing that The Little Shamrock is a hub for people from Ireland, people who wish they were from Ireland, and anyone looking for some good beer and great company. Established in 1863, Shamrock is one of the oldest bars in the United States and is appropriately steeped in culture. The dark green walls are lined floor to ceiling with photos and paraphernalia from the Emerald Isle, and low-slouching couches and chairs that sit beneath Tiffany lamps create a lounger’s haven. With mounted TVs and board games piled high in every corner, there’s little chance you’ll grow tired of this spot.

5. Blackthorn

Bar, Pub Grub

If you’re looking to watch a game — any game — Blackthorn is your bar. TVs line the walls, and booths and stools offer a variety of seating options. On a weekend night, this spot can quickly become crowded and noisy, so get in there early if you have a group. Lights strung overhead give Blackthorn a tavern-esque glow, and signature cocktails are served up in mason jars. Two pool tables sit at the back of the room, and this area along with the patio offer an escape from the more populated front. Dogs are welcome until 7pm, and while the only grub for sale is nuts and chips, you can bring in your own food to eat and share.

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