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Top 9 Irish Bars in San Francisco

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Irish-dog-St. Patrick's Day Parade

The Irish have a knack for storytelling. And according to my mobster ex-boyfriend, fighting as well. They never give up.  Combined, if they do it right, it’s like a reassuring family.

Someone who will fight for you without giving up plus telling good stories. Security and stimulation. Isn’t that what we all want in a relationship?

Wait. It gets better. Security and stimulation can be judged, and the top 9 can be delivered. These are the top 9 Irish bars in San Francisco (and I might’ve visited all of them right before writing this).

Kennedy’s [North Beach]. Let’s all hold hands and get along. Besides their amazing happy hour (2 for 1 tap beers), Kennedy’s also serves Indian food until 2am. Opens at 10:30am on St. Patrick’s Day.

The Four Deuces [The Sunset].  The first time I visited this bar, it was one of the bartender’s birthdays.  There was free food for all the patrons. There were twelve Irish people in this bar as well.  Complete with accents.

four deuces

one St. Patrick’s Day at the Four Deuces. Image from yelp

The Napper Tandy [The Mission].  Fifteen Irish Whiskies, 2 Irish tap beers, and 1 Irish bartender without the pear tree.

Little Shamrock [The Sunset].  This is the second oldest bar in SF.  Even though Americans aren’t too keen on preserving history, let it be known that you stand alone.  Opens at 3pm on St. Patrick’s Day.  Specials: “Cheap drinks.  We’re the cheapest bar in the goddam neighborhood.”

The Plough and Stars [The Richmond].  I was told that this establishment has the best Guinness on tap in the entire city.  When I asked who agreed, I was told everybody.  So it has to be true.  Opens at 12pm on St. Patrick’s Day.  Irish music and dancing at 8pm.  Also part of the Irish Mile.

The Irish Bank [Union Square].  Amidst all of the compact chaos in Union Square, this pub manages to block off the street to provide an intimate atmosphere for their patrons on St. Paddy’s Day.  Opens at 9am.  There will be 3 bands and a dj starting at 12pm.  Food until 1am.

irish bank

The Irish Bank doesn’t fuck around for St. Paddy’s Day. Image from traveling with sweeney

Maggie McGarry’s [North Beach].  A cozy Irish bar offering live music on weekends.  Janis Joplin has even played here.  Irish owned.  Irish operated.  Accept no imitations.

The Blarney Stone [The Richmond].  Shuffle board, outdoor seating, and air hockey.  10 Irish whiskies.  St. Patrick’s Day specials: corned beef and cabbage sandwiches and cullen salmon served at 12:30pm.

Ireland’s 32 [The Richmond].  Irish Mile bar.  In the ‘90s this was an IRA bar, which makes it cool to this day.  Damn the man.  Drink beer at Ireland’s 32.  Opens at noon. (Hat tip Jeff Cleary of SF Barkast)

St. Patrick’s Day is a bit like a stress-free Christmas.  It’s a family celebration without relatives or the color red.  It’s a time for stories, and alcohol, and a good night’s sleep.

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Badinage- Senior Drug Analyst

Badinage- Senior Drug Analyst

I wanted to be a 'traveling bartender' and live in every major city for 6 months and have a girlfriend and a boyfriend in each city. At the end, I would pick my favorite destination and live there permanently. I've lived in Amsterdam, Boston, Chicago, Denver, and Madison Psychiatric Ward in the corner room on the top bunk that we decided to keep on the floor.