Best Irish Pubs in San Francisco

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June 20, 2013
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by Zagat Staff

When you want to go where everybody knows your name, head to one of these San Francisco pubs.

The Irish Bank
Irish Pub · Downtown · $$
Food - · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.0

“A tried-and-true spot to quaff a few pints of Guinness after work” , this “comfy” Irish Downtowner is the “rare place to take your drink outside in SF” , thanks to tables lined up in a hidden alley; “getting a seat” can be “tough” , but fans are willing to wait to enjoy “great pub grub” and a “huge selection of whiskeys” delivered by “friendly” servers.
Johnny Foley's Irish House
Irish Pub · Tenderloin · $$
Food - · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.3

“A convivial mix of tourists and locals” heads to this “authentic” Tenderloin “public house” for pints of Guinness and “hearty” portions of “very good” pub grub; the staff oozes “charming hospitality” and the nightly live music “rocks” , from bands on the main floor to the “lively” “dueling pianos” below, so most maintain it “has the magic to keep people coming back.”
The Abbey Tavern
Bar · Inner Richmond
Food - · Decor 3.8 · Service 4.1

Full of “fresh-off-the-boat” Irish expats as well as “drunk college kids” “when USF is in session” , this “great dive of an Irish bar” in the Inner Richmond is a “casual place” for “conversation” as well as sports on several TVs (expect “tons of European soccer games” ); the decor is “nothing too special” , but with “cheap” drinks and “prompt” service, the experience can be “crazy fun” or sometimes “just plain crazy.”
The Plough and the Stars
Bar · Inner Richmond · $

Some call it an “old-school” “dive” , but this “honest-to-goodness Irish bar” in the Inner Richmond is “usually rocking” , thanks to live “Celtic music most nights” , including “free jam sessions” on Tuesdays and Sundays; between sets, it’s a “low-key place” for an “affordable” pint and “great craic” with the “chatty” regulars and “friendly” bartenders.
Little Shamrock
Bar · Inner Sunset · $

A “friendly” “neighborhood hangout” that “hasn’t changed much since it opened its doors” in 1894, this Inner Sunset Irish pub is “cool” in an “old-fashioned way” ; it has “lots of character – and characters” too, who head here to browse the board games and “meet new people” over “cheap” pints.
The Dubliner
Bar · Noe Valley · $

“Fun” , “friendly” places for catching a Giants game, playing pool or “just hanging” out with “cheap drinks” , these “old-time” Irish twins are populated by “great characters” , “from plumbers to judges” ; the “basic” decor is about “what you’d expect to find in a pub” and service can be “kind of slow” , but “the beer selection is on point” , making it an “easy place” for pints.
The Liberties Bar & Grill
Gastropub · Noe Valley · $

“Everybody is a little bit Irish” at this “stylin’ pub” on a mostly residential block of the Mission, a “relaxed place” with “decent service” whether you’re catching the game in the main bar or supping on upscale pub grub in one of the more sedate side rooms; either way, the “awesome atmosphere” , “terrific specials throughout the week” and sidewalk seating (weather permitting) add to its “value.”