If you appreciate a good happy hour, San Francisco is a good place to indulge. The city is a capital of the craft cocktail movement; the prime winegrowing regions of Napa and Sonoma are in its backyard; and its artisan beer scene has been brewing for over a decade. And don’t expect boring bar bites in this epicurean hub. Here's where to head when you’re thirsty, hungry and ready to let loose.
Vibe: Old World Sexy
This glamorous, dimly lit French brasserie near Union Square hosts what it calls Social Time, which entails cocktail and wine specials in the Chandelier Bar and second floor Cognac Room, home to the city’s largest selection of brandy cocktails. Feast on pommes frites with tarragon aioli and croque monsieur croquettes. The Bubbles & Rocks special pairs a split of Moet & Chandon Champagne with a dozen oysters. M-F 4-7 pm. 185 Sutter St., San Francisco.
E&O Kitchen and Bar
Vibe: Downtown Asian Fusion
Let your hair down from 3 pm onwards at this cavernous restaurant in Union Square. Take advantage of drink specials, $1 oysters and dumplings plus the ever-popular corn fritter bites. Groups should go for the pu pu platter. M-Sa 3-6 pm. 314 Sutter St., San Francisco.
Vibe: Polished Japanese
This upscale Japanese restaurant from prolific chef and restaurateur Michael Mina draws a steady corporate crowd with its modern izakaya approach and sushi selections. Insiders come for the generous happy hour menu, offering sake, wine, chuhai and Sapporo to wash down pork steam buns and Tokyo fried chicken karaage. M-F 3-6 pm; Su 5-10 pm. 101 California St., San Francisco.
Vibe: Convivial Classy
Join the locals on Upper Market Street at this popular and inviting bar known for its cocktails, which are discounted at happy hour along with beer and wine. M-F 5-8 pm. 2124 Market St., San Francisco.
Uno Dos Tacos
Vibe: Alfresco Fiesta
Sandwiched between the Financial District and SoMa tech offices and offering plentiful outdoor seating under yellow umbrellas, this playful and modern Bay Area interpretation of a taqueria (with an impressive selection of tequila and mezcal) is a natural happy hour power player. Join the party with discounted margaritas, sangria pitchers and buckets of beer, plus tasty flautas, gorditas and tostaditas. M-F 4-8pm. 595 Market St., San Francisco.
Vibe: South Indian Glam
Expand your happy hour horizons at this grand contemporary spot with original and tasty South Indian snacks like the papadum and chutney sampler and Chennai chicken paired with discounted drinks like the Bengali gimlet. M-Thu 5-7 pm; 9 pm-close. 1700 Fillmore St., San Francisco; 995 Valencia St., San Francisco.
Vibe: Barbary Coast Holdout
The inconspicuous watering hole crafts serious cocktails (such as the Zapotec Sour and the Monk’s Cherry No. 3) but is still a low-key neighborhood bar at heart. Come to watch sports, play darts and save on drafts, well drinks and classic cocktails. M-F 3-7 pm; Su-Tu 11 pm-2 am. 3200 16th St., San Francisco.
Hog & Rocks
Vibe: Epicurean Gastropub
This lively self-described ham and oyster bar with an in-depth selection of whiskeys is a solid happy hour spot. Save on beer, wine, bubbles and select cocktails like the smoked margarita and bourbon buck and fill up on $1 oysters and bar snacks like popcorn and huitlacoche corn dogs. M-F 5-6:30 pm. 3431 19th St., San Francisco.