1. Travel

The Best Irish Bars in San Francisco.

Finish off a day of sightseeing with a creamy Irish stout and live Celtic music.


Drawn to the Barbary Coast in the gold rush years, Irish immigrants soon fell in love with the city by the bay, and established several tightly-knit neighborhoods. Although most arrived empty-handed, the Irish immediately began constructing their legendary social gathering centers, otherwise known as the neighborhood pub. Today, traditional Irish pubs and bars still dot the old Irish enclaves of the Richmond and Sunset neighborhoods, and several downtown establishments have become important historical landmarks and must-see entertainment venues.

1. The Plough and the Stars

Image courtesy of Jesse Garcia
Located on bustling Clement Street, the Plough and the Stars offers visitors the chance to step right out of the city altogether and into the Irish countryside. The rural-style Irish pub features communal seating along wooden benches, perfectly poured Guinness draft and live Celtic and bluegrass music six nights a week. Crowds and cover charges are the downsides on the weekend, but the Bay Area’s best live traditional Irish music makes it more than worth the trouble.
116 Clement Street, Inner Richmond District(415) 751-1122 www.theploughandstars.com

2. The Irish Bank

Image Courtesy of the Irish Bank
One of the most popular Union Square area after-work (or after shopping) gathering spots on warm afternoons, the Irish Bank is located down its own dead-end alley lined with outdoor tables and chairs. Inside the cottage-like bar, the walls are covered with historical photographs and memorabilia, and the several private rooms are often filled with office celebrations. A full lunch and dinner menu is served and authentic brews on tap from Ireland, Scotland and England line the bar.
10 Mark Street, Union Square area (415) 788-7152 www.theirishbank.com

3. The Phoenix

Image Courtesy of The Phoenix
An Irish pub that caters to the Mission District's locals, especially sports fans, the Phoenix is a friendly place to get some authentic Irish fare and quickly meet some new pals. One of the area's more popular happy hour destinations, the Phoenix makes a perfect stop after a day exploring nearby Dolores Park.
811 Valencia Street, Mission District (415)695-1811 www.phoenixirishbar.com

4. Durty Nelly's

Those looking to sip a proper pint with locals and real Irish ex-pats should head to the Outer Sunset neighborhood and this down and dirty Irish bar. During soccer matches, the place can get absolutely insane, and weekends pack the house and often feature live music. The roaring fireplace and house made shepard´s pies, however, are unbeatable consolations for even the foggiest San Francisco days.
2328 Irving Street, Outer Sunset District (415) 664-2565 Facebook

5. Johnny Foley's

Image Courtesy of Jesse Garcia
Don’t let the elegant woodwork and stunning architecture of this classic Irish bar fool you; Foley’s is one of the Union Square area’s best party bars, and it rages seven nights a week. The hardwood dance floor is usually packed and live music is played on the weekends.
243 O’Farrell Street, Union Square area (415) 954-0777 www.johnnyfoleys.com

6. The Blarney Stone

A great place to grab a bite and a pint after visiting Baker Beach, the Legion of Honor or the museums of Golden Gate Park, the Blarney Stone is a very local watering hole with a nice back patio, several flat screen televisions tuned to sports and barbecues on the weekend. A small Irish bakery next door caters to the Irish community that still lives in the area and provides tasty bar snacks for patrons.
5625 Geary Boulevard, Outer Richmond District (415) 386-9914

7. O' Reilly's

An authentic Irish bar in the middle of traditionally Italian North Beach, O’Reilly’s draws a very international crowd that includes European tourists as well as local residents. Sidewalk seating makes for great people watching on weekend nights, while cozy hardwood tables inside allow for intimate conversations.
622 Green Street, North Beach (415) 989-6222 www.sforeillys.com

8. Ireland's 32

With live DJs and local bands on the weekends, football parties on Mondays and karaoke and open mic during the week, Ireland's 32 is a favorite local hangout in the Inner Richmond neighborhood. Tourists will be warmly welcomed however, and the local crowd itself is often quite international, if rowdy at times.
3920 Geary Boulevard, Inner Richmond District (415) 386-6173 www.irelands32.com

9. Fiddler's Green

Even during the slowest stretch of the tourist off-season, this rambunctious Irish bar is often the most happening joint in the entire Fisherman's Wharf area. Part of this is due to the fact that live Irish music is played downstairs in the pub seven nights a week and a variety of local bands and dance parties heat up the upper level disco Wednesday through Saturday nights.
1333 Columbus Ave, Fisherman's Wharf (415) 441-9758 www.fiddlersgreenpub.com
  1. About.com
  2. Travel
  3. San Francisco Travel
  4. Nightlife
  5. Best Irish Bars in San Francisco - San Francisco Travel by About.com

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.