Although 2013 saw many charmingly dilapidated dive bars get submerged under a wave of craft cocktails (so long, Yong San), San Francisco will always support the kind of drinking establishments that smell like stale beer and discount cleaning products. Here now are our 15 favorites that are still keeping the dream of cheap booze alive.

Pittsburgh's Pub
While SF natives of a certain age still insist on calling this bar "The Reef," it's been Pittsburgh's for long enough that most locals have caught on to the "new" (that is, vintage 90s) name. This bar opens first thing in the morning, which means it caters to a very specific crowd: the crowd that goes to a bar first thing in the morning. At night, especially on the weekends, you'll see a lot of the newer Sunset residents (think artisan something or other creators/consumers). Perhaps most importantly, they have a "real" (not internet) jukebox. That's worth the trip, alone. — Eve Batey
4207Judah St, between 47th and 48th Avenues


Flanahan's Pub
I was thinking, as I started writing my picks, that any dive bar with a website isn't actually a dive bar. But Flanahan's has a website! So maybe they're more a "neighborhood" bar than a dive bar (longform meditation on the distinction TK)? It's a cosy place populated by surfers, old Irish guys, and a sprinkling of the women who love either (or both). Sometimes they have free hot dogs, good luck with those! — Eve Batey
3805 Noriega St, between 45th and 46th Avenues

The Silver Spur: Joshua W./Yelp

The Silver Spur
Fun fact: when I lived at 20th and Lincoln, the Silver Spur was my polling place. That's right, I voted in the 2000 presidential election there, so without disclosing my political biases I'll just say I've always felt that the place was a little bit cursed. The bar's gotten a new owner since then, the umpteenth since it opened in, reportedly, the 40s, but the crowd seems to be the same mix of regulars and folks in the nabe for the day (think Outside Lands, SF State kids first week of classes, etc). Service is fast and friendly, and when you've had your fill of drinking, there's a Taco Bell/KFC a few stumbles away so you can REALLY regret the evening.— Eve Batey
1914 Irving St, between 20th and 21st Avenues

(Photo: Derek Grunewald)

The Hi Dive
There aren't so many places left where locals and tourists intermingle in equal measure whilst drunk that aren't high-priced hotel bars or AT&T Park. The Hi Dive remains one of those spots, easily accessed along the Embarcadero if you're out for a walk on a sunny day and looking to sit down. They've got a down-market patio with million-dollar views (but still on the wrong side of the Bay Bridge and a bit in the shadows), pretty cheap beer, and a full food menu with a passable burger. But really it's all about knowing where to go on a sunny day that's going to remind you how pretty our city while still keeping it real, and dive-y. (Fun non-fact: Rumor has it that this was a place gay men used to go to cruise sailors way back in the day.)— Jay Barmann
Pier 28 on the Embaracadero

(Photo: Mission Mission)

The Blind Cat
Some of you maybe knew this place as Dirty Thieves, but the owner lost a bet a couple years ago and had to change the name to The Blind Cat. The spirit and grunginess of the place is still the same, with a good whiskey and rye selection, a great jukebox, pool, and some booths you probably don't want to touch too much. And as SF Weekly noted when they voted this the Best Place for Whiskey in Peace, the prices aren't bad and it's the kind of place where you hide out and be left alone, should that be your goal for the evening. It's also the kind of place where the bartenders will sneer at you if you try to order anything that resembles a mojito. — Jay Barmann
3050 24th Street at Treat

(Photo: Thomas Hawk)

As we've noted before, gay bars outside the Castro and SoMa are a quickly dying breed, with Marlena's, Esta Noche, and the Kok all closing and becoming straight within the last year, and a half dozen gone in the last decade. All the more reason people need to patronize the last remaining stalwarts like the Cinch up on Polk Street, and good old, reliable Trax in the Haight. They make a good, overly garnished Bloody Mary, just in case you'd like to escape to dim lighting for your liquid brunch, and this is definitely the kind of casual place where no one is posing, no one is putting airs, and everyone is likely to get shit-hammered and attempt to go home with someone at the end of a long Friday or Saturday, because this is where they ended up after all else failed.— Jay Barmann
1437 Haight Street near Masonic

(Photo credit: Areacode)

Oh, Dave's. You keep it real, mighty real, without any of the grimy dive bar affectations. The perfect spot for hitting your bottom on cheap booze, watching a Giants game, or making out at the bar with that cute guy from Chicago staying across the street at the St. Regis. Sometimes all three at once. (The lighting here is heaven.)— Brock Keeling
29 3rd Street (at Market), 415-495-6726M

(Photo: John Strathdee)

The Mai-Tais, blended and served in plastic cups, are a particular favorite here. Anthony Bourdain got bombed on them. You will too. The well whiskey comes from China. Cash only. In Chinatown. Brace. — Brock Keeling
916 Grant (at Washington)

(Photo: Erik Wilson)

Walnut Creek gays who want to take their BFF gal pals to a bar in the city for a night of Cosmos? This isn't the place for you. This still-standing gay bar in the TL is a staple. Come for the cheap beer and shots of Jäger, stay for the bitter queens who rule the bar like the sovereign entities they are. — Brock Keeling
841 Larkin (at Geary)

(Photo: Jeremy Brooks)

Clooney's Pub
Once your humble SFist correspondent heard two piss-drunks Clooney's patrons arguing over whether a whale could swim faster than a tanker ship, which seemed indicative of the clientele that packed the U-shaped bar at 1:30 in the afternoon on a Friday. Despite it's location within spitting distance of a Google bus protest, the bar still welcomes everyone from newly arrived Mission types to the worn-in morning drinkers. Plus, the bar opens at 6 a.m. and opening Clooney's is practically a rite of passage. — Andrew Dalton
1401 Valencia Street (at 25th Street)

(photo: CT Young)

The Hi-Tide Lounge
The Hi-Tide is the sort of place where you go to drink with clientele that will be completely foreign to you. Indecipherable, mealy-mouthed boozebags drink alongside working girls as misdirected tourists wander in from their discount mid-Nob hotels. The unaffected bartender seems like she couldn't care less whether there are any customers or not, but is genuinely happy to serve anyone who walks in the door. There is absolutely nothing special about this bar except for how perfectly run-down it is. A refreshing and dingy change of pace for times when you really don't care to see a familiar face. —Andrew Dalton
600 Geary Street (between Jones & Leavenworth)

The Summer Place
Although it seems the bar has finally snuffed out their indoor smoking policy, Summer Place still keeps it's surly charm with a cozy fireplace and a bartender who will not hesitate to yell at everyone in the bar if she spots a single mark of graffiti in her bathroom. An admirable quality despite the generally downtrodden feel of the place. As ever, Summer Place is always perfect/terrible end to a night of bad decisions. (Also: they have the AC/DC pinball machine.) —Andrew Dalton

The 500 Club (photo: Erik Wilson)

500 Club
A Mission neighborhood classic, the 500 Club remains one of our favorite bars in the city, partly because there is nothing special about it. The vinyl on the booths is ripped, the bartenders aren't that friendly unless you're a regular, and there are usually too many TVs on, drawing your attention away from whomever you're with. But it's a good time, the drinks are cheap, and there's a cozy area in back with a fireplace that doesn't work. As for the sign outside that proclaims that it opens at 6 a.m., that has not been the case in many years. They do open at 10 a.m. on Sundays, and they claim that they'll be opening daily at 9 a.m. "due to popular demand," but we'll have to see it to believe it. —Jay Barmann
500 Guerrero Street (at 17th Street)

(photo: Erik Wilson)

Mr. Bing's
Mr. Bing's made headlines in 2012 after alpha-male Anthony Bourdain filmed an episode of The Layover there, but the Chinatown/North Beach bar (a sliver of a watering hole, really) remains one of the area's best spots for sports and cheap drinks. No gimmicks. No "no-Long Island iced tea" signage shtick. No bullshit. Mr. Bing's is pretty much one large bar, a dingy bathroom, and some of the finest company this city has to offer. And don't mess with the artwork, either. A "street artist" once stole the famous ass-scratching Wayward Woman painting, only to be tracked down by Mr. Bing's daughter-in-law and a private investigator. —Brock Keeling
201 Columbus Avenue (between Jack Kerouac Alley & Pacific Avenue)

(Photo: CT Young)

The Saloon
By most accounts, the Saloon is the oldest bar still standing in San Francisco. In the 1800s, drinkers here ran the risk of blacking out and waking up Shanghai'ed on a steamer heading West across the Pacific. You can't really argue with that sort of pedigree. Or $3.50 highballs for that matter. —Andrew Dalton
1232 Grant Ave (between Broadway and Fresno St)

Previously: 2013's Best Dive Bars

Flanahan's Pub: Hansen L./Yelp