The City by the Bay can get quite gusty during the winter, or even the summer for that matter, so where better to go to get in out of the cold than a cozy, traditional Irish pub. We all love them and it is fascinating how different each one of them can be. In San Francisco there are a wide variety of traditional Irish pubs and we decided to compile a list of the best ones, according to Yelp. Irish pubs really do offer up the best craic (fun) and these are no exception.
Located in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District, this delightful Irish pub is a local favorite. The 49er’s may not have had the best year in the NFL, but you can catch all the action from every game at the The Phoenix. They also offer every MLB game. With a wide selection of draft beers, whiskeys and of course some delicious Irish cuisine, which includes their famous rack of lamb, this Irish pub is sure to have something for everyone.
“My neighborhood bar. Stood here and watched the Giants win in 2014. Bar erupted in cheers and then spilled out onto noisy Valencia Street crowd.”
“Fact: days cannot be bad when you order this Bloody Mary. Complete with two thick strips of bacon, you will get your protein and vegetables in one drink.”
Established in 1898, this is one of the long standing Irish pubs in San Francisco. Since 2004 it has been located in the Marina District, its fifth different location. The location may have changed over the years but the family-owned hostelry has remained the same, with the phrase “Meet me at Monaghan’s” being regularly used for over a century. This Irish pub boasts both a selection of regular beers and rotational beers and has plenty of TV’s to watch your favorite sport. You can even try your hand at their virtual golf. Be warned – it is considered a Chicago pub.
“The staff is incredibly friendly and it's a perfect spot to meet other recent Bay Area transplants from Chicago! No food but it's BYOF plus there's free popcorn! Another added bonus? It's dog friendly :)”
“I was in San Francisco for a conference during the NLDS vs the Giants. Lots of research sent me here to watch the game with fellow Cubs fans. Super friendly, cheap beer, I felt like I was back in a Chicago bar. Great place!”
If you are one of those loyal Los Angeles Chargers fans who has stuck by your team, then this could be the Irish pub for you. Since being established in 2006, this pub has become a major sports bar located on San Francisco’s famous Haight Street. This Irish pub offers more than just NFL games. It showcases an array of European soccer fixtures, MLS, MLB, NBA and many more sports. Monday through Wednesday are special nights featuring trivia and comedy nights. So there is plenty of beer to drink and entertainment to be had.
“This place was PACKED with Chargers fans, it was unreal. The bartenders were AMAZING, dealing with huge crowds, drunk fans, and just the madness of a packed bar. The prices were typical for a bar in SF. If you're a Chargers fan place is for YOU!”
“We actually came in due to the fact that we had 30 mins to kill. Once we were in, I felt as if I was in Ireland, sooo many Irish people and so friendly. We ended up getting 2 hot toddies (which we never had), pure deliciousness, Irish whiskey, lemon, hot water and voila.”
Established in 1998, this traditional Irish pub is named after a Waterford native who is said to have gone down in San Francisco folklore. Johnny Foley was a veteran of the newspaper business and a sportsman and is said to have possessed a fantastic tenor voice. This Irish pub keeps the Foley stories alive and, of course, music is a major part of this pub's make-up. The main feature of the pub is the Dueling Pianos in their Cellar Bar which adds to the lively nightly entertainment. They also offer modern spins of classic Irish cuisine to get your tastebuds moving as fast as your feet.
“Johnny Foley's is your quintessential Irish pub. It's named for a long time SF resident known to sing and drink quite a bit and there's quite a storied life out of those two things. You can read about it on their website.”
“This is now my favorite Irish bar in San Francisco. It's always lively, the style of the pub is very typically Irish, and the food is good. There are usually bands that play here nightly, with a variety of different music styles.”
This family owned traditional Irish pub was established in 2004 and is located in another one of San Francisco’s well known districts “The Mission.” They offer all the hearty Irish favorites for those food lovers who miss the 'taste of home.' San Francisco is well known for its fabulous seafood so the 'all you can eat' fish and chips on a Monday night is a must. They have homemade recipes for many of their dishes which adds a little bit of extra flare.
“Who da a thunk, an Irish Breakfast at 6pm? It worked well, everything was great from the bangers to the puddings. It was hearty, filling and priced right.”
“There is nothing about this establishment I would change. Great staff, selection, and ambience, if you'd prefer to converse with good company at an 'inside voice' volume versus screaming at the top of your lungs, only to get a 'What did you say?', head here.”
This Irish pub is a bit different from the normal one you might expect. It offers traditional Irish fare but also has an extensive cocktail menu, so it isn’t just about the beer. Established in 1985, this Irish pub is located in the Richmond District of San Francisco. The Blarney Stone offers an outdoor patio so you can relax the day away. They may only serve breakfast, but John Campbell’s Irish Bakery is next door and they are more than happy to deliver food to your lap.
“What can I say? I've been going here for years and it just gets better and better.”
“My friend and I got a spot at the bar where Shannon, our bartender, took such great care of us. The pours are super generous and they use fresh fruit in their cocktails. I saw them bring out a ton of grapefruits which inspired me to order a greyhound (vodka with grapefruit juice). Boy, fresh fruit juice makes a whole lot of a difference in the quality of the drink.”
This well know Irish pub has been delighting customers since it first opened its doors in 1975. This pub plays host to a thriving music scene featuring all sorts of genres, including, of course, traditional Irish music. So you will be sure to find something you like. With this lively atmosphere surrounding you this a great place to let loose.
“Soooo cool. Really great selection of beers. It's just a great, neighborhood Irish bar that reminds me of some places back east.”
“There is something about this bar that makes it real special. It could be the music, it could be the dancing, it could be the free pool during happy hour. I think it's one of those things that you can't describe. A combination of everything.”
This is the second oldest pub in San Francisco, first opening its doors in 1893. It survived the catastrophic 1906 San Francisco earthquake, a fact that is marked by a plaque detailing a wooden clock that fell and reading “No tick since April 18, 1906.” The bar converted to a soft drinks parlor during Prohibition, although alcohol could be had in the backroom.
The Little Shamrock was listed among San Francisco Heritage's 100 Legacy Bars and Restaurants which acknowledges it as one of the city's "iconic establishments that contribute to the culture, character, and lore of San Francisco." More than your average Irish pub for sure.
“This pub is great! The drinks were poured heavily (how I love it) and the place was nice and dark during a hot sunny day. My friend & I played a fun game of backgammon while enjoying drinks.”
“I love this bar! Awesome bartenders, drinks, environment and location. The bartenders always make me feel sexy despite my hideous looks. Thanks guys!”
Ireland’s 32 has become one of San Francisco’s premier sports bars. It first opened its doors over seven years ago and offers live music most nights including an in-house DJ. The atmosphere is sure to be electric even if your favorite sports team isn’t winning. You can also try your hand at karaoke and really get into the swing of things. With a full menu on offer you are sure to find something delicious and Irish. Certainly a pub not for the faint hearted.
“Though my evenings at Ireland's have lead to many-a poor decision, I can't get enough of this place. It's like a very reliable friend who is sometimes crazy fun, but can also be mellow when you just want to relax with a beer and watch some sports.”
“The drinks are stiff and the crowd is friendly – sometimes overly friendly, but harmless.”
This Irish pub opened in the Noe Valley neighborhood in 1987 and has been thriving ever since. The Dubliner offers a wide variety of cold beers and a large selection of liquors for you to choose from. If sport is your pleasure then you are in luck. The Dubliner has all the major sports available so you won’t miss a dunk, down, run or goal. It doesn’t offer much in line of food, but it does offer a down-to-earth, no frills atmosphere that will keep you coming back.
“Super casual bar, good for hanging out with some friends. They don't have food but with a yelp check in I got some free chips!”
“The bar itself has a long history. If you show up from 3 to 6pm, you'll notice that the bar is full of the old-timers. The true people of this neighborhood who have lived in Noe Valley all, or most, of their lives. There is definitely a hierarchy here during those 3 hours. Those regulars, they get the bar.”
The Irish Bank pub is certainly one of the more authentic Irish pubs you will come across, outside of Ireland itself. It wouldn’t look out of place in any of the major Irish cities. It is that charm that makes it one of the more popular Irish pubs in San Francisco. Located in the Financial District, this pub has been charming both locals and tourists for the past 20 years. It has a warm and intimate décor, which gives it that homely feel. With down-to-earth Irish food and beer this is a proper Irish pub.
“A lovely old school pub with all of the Irish artifacts to match. Enjoyed two corners of Jameson with two maintenance workers enjoying their lunch. The food looked great and the menu is my kind of style of pub food.”
“The best thing about this bar is the outside patio. It's great for a group lunch or an evening dinner. It feels like a more typical Irish pub on the inside than many other so called Irish pubs I have frequented in the city. Nice memorabilia on the walls.”
If you have any suggestions on traditional Irish pubs we may have missed, please feel free to add them in the comments below.