Everyone has their favorite watering hole, their favorite ‘Cheers’ if you will…you know the place where everyone knows your name! Here are my 10 favorite bars around the Bay Area! (yes that is me in the photo, and yes i do have mad hops and I like to wear short shorts)
10. Jacks -167 E. Taylor St., San Jose -This small dive bar has some fun/random dj’s, cheap drinks, a chill crowd and the Wienerschnitzle is right next door if you need a snack! The bartenders blast some great music and when there are shows at the Blank Club you’ll see a lot of them over there too!
9. Homestead – 2301 Folsom, San Francisco – This place is awesome, beautiful bar, delicious whiskey, and peanuts! (please dispose of your shells right on the floor!) If its cold out and its open try to sit back in the ‘secret’ room its like a sauna! Some nights (usually weekends) there are food carts outside, hit up the pizza guy if he’s around!
8. Radio – 435 13th St., Oakland – It’s BART friendly, has a good juke box, and stiff cheap drinks… The locals are a lot of fun too, just don’t sit on any East Bay Rats’ bikes…they don’t like it too much!
7. Lucky 13/Blackbird – 2140 Market (Lucky 13)/2124 Market (Blackbird), San Francisco – I lumped these two together because they’re next door to one another and a trip to one means a trip to the other! Lucky 13 is my punk rock dive, love the cheap beers, decor, photo booth, and the vibe of this place! Blackbird serves up some of the best cocktail concoctions ever, a solid choice is an Old Fashioned.
6. O’Flaherty’s – 25 N. San Pedro, San Jose – I spent St. Patricks day at this Irish Pub a couple years back and since then I’ve been going back. It’s one of the most fun bars in SJ, the owner is an awesome guy he’s always there drinking with you…and if you find him in the crowd often times he’ll buy you a Guiness! The back patio is where the fun is, 2 bars out there serving your liquid needs!
5. Gestalt – 3159 16th St., San Francisco – DDDAAAAAASSSSSS BBBOOOOOOOOOOOOTTT!!! Get a boot of Spaten, the rule is once you take a drink from the boot you pass it around your circle and it doesn’t stop until it’s empty…and then you up it to a darker beer. The have some decent George Foreman grilled sausage here too, a killer jukebox, and a pool table, and if you can get a window seat for some quality 16th st. people watching! Watch out for the homeless looking guy with a big beard who picks up glasses, he’ll shark you out of $$$ seen it happen a hundred times!
4. Specs’ Twelve Adler Museum Cafe – 12 Saroyan Pl. (in a tiny alley near Columbus & Broadway), San Francisco – Once you find this place, you’ll spend the rest of the night staring at all the crap on the walls, ceiling, floor, and everywhere else! They’re known for their Irish Coffee’s, Cheese and Cracker basket, and the awesome piano player that knows pretty much every song ever written…tip him well and don’t interrupt him or you’ll never hear your song!
3. Cinebar- 69 E. San Fernando, San Jose – Is that the leg lamp from A Christmas Story? This is my go to spot in SJ, cheap drinks, chill crowd, pool table, and a tv you can watch dvd’s on (dvd’s are behind the bar). Heads up it gets loud during Shark’s games and on the weekends its all about the Hamiltons (ca$h only)
2. Ruby Room – 132 14th St, Oakland – When I lived in Oakland, I would walk to this bar all the time. It’s dark, its smokey, the pool table is crooked, and there are some really good dj’s that come through there. This is the kind of place where you bring a few friends and post up in a booth and dance the night away…again do not, i repeat, DO NOT sit on an East Bay Rats’ bike…they will knock you the eff out!
1. Hi Dive – Pier 28 (Embarcaderro & Harrison), San Francisco – I love this place, its my ‘Cheers’ I know all the bartenders, the owners, and a lot of the regulars…not because I’m that awesome (i’m not) but because they are! The food here is really good, Portobello Sandwich is my go to but they also have some delicious salads. The crowd is intense after a Giants home game, but the back patio will give you a nice breather. If you find yourself here, tell Nick the bartender that I told you about the Hi Dive!