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SF Athletic Club
Photograph: Courtesy SF Athletic Club

The 13 best sports bars in San Francisco

Catch the Warriors, Giants, Niners or even the Sharks at one of the best sports bars in San Francisco

By Amy Sherman

As the home of the Warriors, 49ers, Sharks, A's, Giants and Earthquakes, there's never a lack of games to watch on TV in the Bay Area. But sometimes you want to watch with other die-hard fans, and that's where the best sports bars in San Francisco come in. Whether you prefer a gritty local dive bar or a modern San Francisco brewery, you can expect HD TVs, beer and rabid fans at these top spots. If you swear allegiance to a team based outside of the Bay Area, we have spots where you can feel at home. If you like to watch golf or tennis or boxing or race car driving, there are bars for that too. So order a craft beer, nosh on some wings and root along with other fans at the best sports bars in San Francisco. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best bars in San Francisco

Best sports bars in San Francisco

SF Athletic Club
Photograph: Courtesy SF Athletic Club

1. SF Athletic Club

Bathtubs filled with beer and the option to reserve a booth make this spot stand out from the pack. Other details of note: A full bar and better-than-average pub food including ballpark dogs, sandwiches, burgers, salads, soups, snacks and brunch on weekends before noon. The 28 HD televisions, bleacher seating and a schedule that varies depending on the games make this a welcome spot for any sports fan.

Golden Gate Tap Room
Photograph: Courtesy Golden Gate Tap Room

2. Golden Gate Tap Room

Bars Sports Bars Union Square

Golden Gate Tap Room has 20 screens for every live sporting event you might want to watch. An entertainment mecca, there are shuffleboard tables, SkeeBall games, foosball tables, new and vintage arcade games, pool tables and two video platforms, to keep you busy if you’re not glued to the game. The tap room has 100 beers, a full brunch menu and taco Tuesday events plus burgers, sandwiches and more pub food on the regular menu. 

The Final Final
Photograph: Courtesy The Final Final

3. The Final Final

Final Final is a Nebraska Cornhuskers alumni bar and pledges allegiance to the Vikings, Broncos and Niners. If you’re down with those teams, head to Final Final to watch the game on one of 12 flat-screen TVs with every sports package imaginable. Choose from 24 beers on tap and more than 200 varieties of liquor. When the game isn’t on, there’s pool, darts and a juke box that’s controlled via an app. Food comes in the form of ballpark-style nachos, hot dogs, pizza and more.

One of San Francisco's best sports bars, Kezar Pub
Photograph: Courtesy Kezar Pub

4. Kezar Pub

Bars Sports Bars Upper Haight

San Francisco’s most well-known sports bar is Kezar Pub, located directly across the street from Kezar Stadium, the original home of the 49ers. Like its sister bar, Mad Dog in the Fog, Kezar shows just about every sporting event imaginable, from European rugby to International tennis matches. There’s a large variety of rotating beers on tap and a menu filled with elevated sports bar fare: homemade potato chips with ranch dressing, world famous spicy Buffalo wings and a chicken club sandwich loaded with Swiss, bacon, avocado and lettuce. 

Photograph: Flickr/ Fuzzy Traveler

5. Hi Tops

Bars Sports Bars The Castro

With the tagline “Cold Pitchers Hot Catchers” Hi Tops might be the city’s only gay sports bar. Tuesday is trivia night and Thursday is “gym class” with whiskey shots handed out by go-go boys starting at 10pm. With surprisingly good food and a modern, spacious interior decorated like a gym locker room, the casual vibe means you’ll have a good time, whether you watch the game or not.

Photograph: Courtesy Buzzworks

6. BuzzWorks

Located in SOMA, this big industrial space features 40 rotating beer taps and 30 televisions with plenty of room to see the game. Downstairs there’s pinball, pool tables, foosball and board games while upstairs serves a dedicated space for those invested in the game. A daily happy hour offers two-for-one sausages, but bartenders also take orders for pizza from the restaurant next door. You can order in or bring in any food you want but be aware that you’ll be charged a $1 per menu item fee.

One of San Francisco's best sports bars, Public House
Photograph: Frankie Frankeny

7. Public House

Bars Sports Bars South Beach

The closest watering hole to Oracle Park (it's actually connected to the stadium) is Public House. A high-end sports bar from chef Traci Des Jardins, Public House has 26 TVs and 21 beers on tap, most of which are local brews like Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA, Almanac Blueberry Jack, and Faction Alternative Facts Session IPA. The food is upscale pub grub including the signature Public House wings, spicy pulled pork sliders with cabbage onion slaw, and potato chips with crusted fried pickles. If you've got tickets to a game, grab a plastic cup of your favorite draft beer before using Public House’s secret entrance to get into the stadium.

The Double Play Bar & Grill
Photograph: Flickr/Wally Gobetz

8. Double Play Bar & Grill

It’s tough to find cheaper beer specials than the happy hour at Double Play (from 4pm to close). The unofficial headquarters for fans of local teams including the Giants, Sharks and Niner’s, Double Play offers eight HD televisions including a 61-inch big screen. The bar also serves breakfast and lunch with burgers, sandwiches, pastas and a highly praised breakfast burrito.

Blackthorn Tavern
Photograph: Roi Brooks

9. Blackthorn Tavern

Bars Sports Bars Inner Sunset

A neighborhood Irish bar serving barrel-aged cocktails, Blackthorn Tavern has 19 large HD televisions and prides itself on showing all major boxing events and UFS PPV events in addition to NFL, MLB, MLS and NBA games. While primarily a sports bar, there’s also live music on Thursday nights, trivia on Mondays and karaoke on Tuesdays. Food is limited to jars of almonds, potato chips and beef jerky. Play pool for free during happy hour.

10. Yancy's Saloon

Bars Sports Bars Inner Sunset

Located in the Inner Sunset, Yancy’s Saloon is that large-and-in-charge, far-from-fancy sports bar decorated with hanging plants. It’s the kind of place that doesn’t have a website or craft cocktails, but everyone knows it and everyone goes there. The drinks are strong and cheap, the bartenders fast and friendly and the crowd young and ready to have a good time. Not only does Yancy’s show sporting events, but you can also play plenty of games there (Darts, anyone?). There's no kitchen, but bar-goers are invited to bring in food from nearby establishments and eat while sipping one of Yancy’s beers or beverages.

Greens sports bar
Photograph: Flickr/Willis Lam

11. Greens

Restaurants American Fort Mason

Every inch of this bar is covered with sports memorabilia including baseball hats and autographed photos of athletes. Yup, it’s a quintessential dive sports bar. There’s no food and nothing to distract you from the game but there are plenty of places down the street where you can grab a pizza or tacos to bring in if you want. Drinks are reasonably priced. When you’re looking for a crowd that is totally focused on the game, Greens is the go-to on Polk Street.

One of San Francisco's best sports bars, Mad Dog in the Fog
Photograph: Courtesy Mad Dog in the Fog

12. Mad Dog in the Fog

Bars Sports Bars Lower Haight

Lower Haight is dotted with unpretentious sports bars, but one that stands above the rest is Mad Dog in the Fog. Quite possibly the best place to watch European soccer and rugby, Mad Dog is known for drawing expat crowds at 5am on a weekday—if it’s a Manchester United versus Liverpool game. It's a good spot for large groups, as there are several big booths, including one that has its own self-serve beer tap. The bar is stocked with an evolving selection of over 150 different beers from across the world, while the food is straightforward with dishes like classic buffalo wings, bangers and mash and our personal favorite: hearty nachos layered with jack cheddar cheese, black beans, jalapeños, sour cream and fresh salsa. 

Bus Stop bar
Photograph: Flickr/Willis Lam

13. Bus Stop

Bars Sports Bars Cow Hollow

Though it might have some of the worst restrooms in all of the city (especially for ladies), we’ve spent many a happy evening watching the Giants at Bus Stop. The bar, which has been around since 1901 is located just behind the bus stop. It’s a no-frills sort of place that has buckets of beers, shot specials, pool in back and plenty of televisions. Frequent customers are warmly welcomed by friendly bartenders, and the atmosphere is one of camaraderie. Come here often enough and Bus Stop will begin to feel like Cheers. Seriously.

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