Home to the San Francisco Giants and (as of today) the 49ers, as well as the future home of the Golden State Warriors, we're a city that loves sports as much as it does tech and all things gay. But all of these fans need someplace to drink, right? Right. And by a cheerocratic vote, we give you the best sports bars in San Francisco.
This outer Mission standby is an old-school locals sport bar, with grizzled crowd of die-hard San Francisco fans, plus a great jukebox and friendly service in the Irish tradition (read: the bartender will have a shot with you).
3300 Mission (at 29th Street)
This Inner Sunset spot is a sports bar mecca, with tons of TVs, a heated patio and free pool during happy hour. Order food from around the 'hood and eat in front of your nearest TV (hey, it works for us at home), and bring your dog inside if that's your thing.
834 Irving (at 10th Avenue)
The scene at Hi Tops in the Castro during a Niners game.
We've said it before, and we'll say it again: Hi Tops is awesome. They serve some of the best bar food in town, including a new dinner-tray-sized plate of nachos that could feed a family of five, and a brunch waffle "taco" filled with fried chicken. Their staff is friendly, and when it comes to watching baseball, football, and basketball games with the lesbian and gay set, this is the only place to do it, with 16 flat screens showing games in all corners of the bar.
2247 Market (at 15th Street)
Euro sports action at Mad Dog in the Fog spills outside. (Photo: Phil Dokas)
Mad Dog in the Fog
A sister bar to Kezar pub, this Lower Haight institution has Irish leanings and a soft spot for soccer, as well as a selection of 150 beers from all over the place. (Also, there's a table up front you can reserve that has its own tap.) They keep the sports-watching TV schedule on their website, and they host occasional beer events, like tap takeovers from craft brands, as well as twice weekly pub quizzes on Tuesday and Thursday. Sundays, however, are all about football. The American kind.
530 Haight (at Fillmore)
The mighty kegs at Public House. (Photo: frankenyimages.com)
It's literally inside AT&T Park! And the brainchild of Traci Des Jardins! And where your SFist editor witnessed the Giants win their first World Series! It will always hold a special place in our heart. Yours too, we hope.
24 Willie Mays Plaza at AT&T Park (at Third Street)
Greens, as noted. (Photo: Serge E./Yelp)
Greens Sports Bar
At the epicenter of Polk Street's Sunday Funday-fueled nightlife, Greens boasts enough TVs to prevent any "is my game on?" fears. With 18 beers on tap ranging from "Lite" to "Light" to "Sam Adams," and bottles available by the bucket libations are never in short supply either. Come early to snag a table or you'll find yourself waiting outside with the smokers in their Chargers jerseys.
2239 Polk Street (at Green)
Shanghai Kelly's on Polk Street. (Photo: Michael Patrick)
Shanghai Kelly's and Northstar Cafe
On opposite ends of the Broadway tunnel, Shanghai Kelly's and Northstar Cafe boast dive bar environs with sports bar fandom. Shanghai Kelly's tends to get an intimidating congregation of Steelers fans during the football season, but the tiny space and distance from Heinz Field renders them mostly harmless. Northstar, meanwhile, is a great place to face the rival Seahawks fans head-on.
2064 Polk (at Broadway) and 1560 Powell (at Green)
(Photo: Anna Conti)
The Taco Shop @ Underdog's
Despite its size, the half-sports bar/half-taco joint in the Sunset has everything: margaritas by the pitcher, a cheap meat delivery system, and one of those mini-basketball hoop arcade games. Come early for the dangerously cheap drinks and tacos at happy hour, then settle in for the big game around the picnic table in the back.
1824 Irving Street (at 19th Avenue)
The beauty of Kezar's exterior. (Photo: John G./Yelp)
Kezar is a good place to catch a football or baseball game. Kezar is a great place to catch le futbol. When the World Cup or some sort of critical soccer match airs, this place is packed with Europeans and/or Latin Americans sporting colorful jerseys featuring teams that we've never heard of before.
770 Stanyan (between Beulah & Waller)
(Photo: Erik Wilson)
A tiny place with a massive bar facing a flat screen TV that plays Bay Area sports. This place is an institution. You're welcome. Don't mess it up.
201 Columbus (between Jack Kerouac & Pacific)
Nova Bar: 555 2nd (at Bryant)
Zeke's: 600 3rd Street (at Brannan)
Lefty O'Douls: 333 Geary (at Mason)
Pete's Tavern: 128 King (between Second & Third)
Pilsner Inn: 225 Church (at Market)
Valley Tavern: 4054 24th Street (at Noe)
Blackthorn Tavern sports viewing in action. (Jennifer R./Yelp)
Jay Barmann, Andrew Dalton, Rose Garrett, and Brock Keeling all contributed to this article.