Ring in 2018 With These Food and Drink Crawl Routes Through San Francisco
In just 49 square miles, the City by the Bay packs a ton of great entertainment. Whether you're looking to sample a range of ethnic cuisine or get a taste of the good life, San Francisco's diverse and vibrant neighborhoods provide something for everyone.
Because it's so compact, San Francisco is totally walkable, making it the perfect location to plan a classic New Year's crawl with friends. Many public transportation options have extended hours and reduced fares on New Year's Eve to make your celebration even more safe and convenient. Taxi fares are often reduced as well, so you have plenty of ways to get around the city swiftly and safely.
With so many bars and restaurants available, it can be hard to know where to begin. Check out these great crawl routes to get inspired (or hungry!).
The Fireworks Route
To enjoy the iconic fireworks display over the northern waterfront, choose a route along the Embarcadero near the Ferry Building. Start early so you can be in place for the fireworks by the last stop.
1. ThirstyBear Brewing Company and Spanish Cuisine (661 Howard St.)
Just a few blocks from the Montgomery BART stop, this hip spot offers a craft brew for every palate. The tapas menu is perfect for sampling and sharing, so you have no reason to go hungry for the rest of the night. www.thirstybear.com
2. Kate O'Brien's Irish Bar (579 Howard St.)
A very short walk down the street brings you to one of San Francisco's classic Irish pubs. The vibe here is laid-back, loud and laughter-filled. Bring change for the jukebox.
3. Temple Nightclub (540 Howard St.)
For an optional dance break, cross the street and try the electronica beats at Temple. Admission varies and attire is upscale casual. If clubbing is your thing, this one's a winner.
4. Local Kitchen and Wine Merchant (330 First St.)
If you're a wine fan, turn right on First Street for the huge selection at Local Kitchen and Wine Merchant. This place has an amazing California wine list along with an Italian-inspired menu. Split a pizza if you're hungry -- it's excellent.
6. Americano (8 Mission St.)
You could choose any place on The Embarcadero to end your night, but this excellent restaurant at the Hotel Vitale is tops. The entire east wall is windows, so you'll have an amazing view of the fireworks. If you can't get a table inside, Americano usually hosts a New Year's party in the outdoor seating area. www.americanorestaurant.com
The Market Street Route
Travel through the heart of San Francisco and experience food and drink from around the world. Staying within walking distance of Market Street offers convenient transportation and something for every taste.
1. Cervezería de MateVeza (3801 18th St.)
A few blocks east of the Castro Street Station near Mission Dolores Park is this incredible Argentine restaurant. Start the night off right with a craft brew spiked with yerba mate.
2. The Residence (718 14th St.)
Walk back toward Market Street along Church Street and you'll reach this cozy English pub. Grab a classic cocktail and enjoy the atmosphere.
3. Espetus Churrascaria Brazilian Steak House (1686 Market St.)
If you're looking for a food break, this unique dining experience offers fine cuts of Brazilian meat and a great wine list.www.espetus.com
4. Dirty Water Restaurant and Bar (1355 Market St.)
For an upscale all-American experience, you won't do better than the craft beers, extensive wine list and posh cocktails here. Don't be surprised if you have trouble choosing. www.dirtywatersf.com
5. The Chieftain Irish Pub and Restaurant (198 Fifth St.)
A few blocks east of Market is this perfect Irish pub where you can enjoy classic pub grub. From here, you can link up to the fireworks route, or head back to Market to catch a ride to the final stop. www.thechieftain.com
6. The Royal Exchange (301 Sacramento St.)
Ride to Embarcadero Station and head west to this comfortable sports bar with great food where you can sit down and rest with your last drink of the year. www.royalexchange.com
The North Beach Route
You can easily jump to this route from The Royal Exchange if you like, or start at the Montgomery Station and head north along Montgomery Street.
1. Irish Times (500 Sacramento St.)
There's nothing like a great Irish pub to start the night off right!
2. Li Po Cocktail Lounge (916 Grant Ave.)
Wind your way through Chinatown along Sacramento and Kearny Streets to reach this outstanding cocktail lounge. Don't leave without trying a Mai-Tai.
3. Bask (42 Columbus Ave.)
Though there's no alcohol here, this is a great spot to pick up tapas if you need a snack.
4. Mr. Bing's (201 Columbus Ave.)
To see where the locals go, grab a beer at low-key Mr. Bing's, a Chinatown staple with no tourists.
5. Vesuvio Cafe (255 Columbus Ave.)
If you love Jack Kerouac, don't miss this famous beatnik hangout. The beat goes on in this hip spot.
6. The Saloon (1232 Grant Ave.)
No bar crawl is complete without a visit to one of San Francisco's oldest bars. Live music makes this spot a winner.
7. Pantarei (431 Columbus Ave.)
A low-key finish for wine and antipasti, Pantarei is also the perfect place to start a pub crawl with a great meal if you do this one backward.
The Mission Route
There's no better way to end 2017 and begin 2018 on high note then to satisfy your tastebuds through San Francisco's most delicious neighborhood.
1. Lazlo (2534 Mission St.)
Start the crawl at Foreign Cinema's sister bar, Lazlo, where cinematic and poetic history encompass the bar. Get here early to snag a seat at the bar and a negroni.
2. Lolinda (2518 Mission St.)
Saddle up to the bar at Lolinda, a new kind of Argentinean steakhouse that combines Latin American flavors with California sensibilities and grab some snacks like the empanadas, croquettas, yucca fries and chiles a la parrilla with your classic Fernet & Coke. www.lolindasf.com
3. The Chapel Bar (777 Valencia St.)
After filling up on Argentine appetizers, head over to the Chapel Bar and mingle with concert-goers at this former morgue turned music venue, bar and restaurant. Offerings include original and classic craft cocktails, carefully selected wines, and a great assortment of beer served on tap and individually. www.thechapelsf.com/the-chapel-bar
4. Tacolicious (741 Valencia St.)
Mix things up at Tacolicious, a cocktail-driven, non-traditional taqueria with 120 different tequilas at your disposal. Sit down to eat the Taco of the Week and share a margarita pitcher with your friends.
5. Locanda (577 Valencia St.)
Locanda is a bustling Roman-inspired osteria and bar from the minds behind the iconic Pizzeria Delfina, Craig and Annie Stroll. You don't want to miss the Jewish-style artichoke or the simplistic yet super yummy tonnarelli "cacio e pepe."
6. The Hideout at Dalva (3121 16th St.)
Right before the clock strikes midnight, order at the secret bar behind Dalva, and then steal away to an almost pitch-black space upstairs to ring in 2018.
With all of these amazing options, you're sure to discover a new favorite place (or two!) in San Francisco on New Year's Eve.