7 San Francisco Bars to Impress Your Out of Town Guests

Trip length

One week

Metropolitan area

SF Bay Area Trip Highlights


One of the best (or worst) things about living in a gorgeous city like San Francisco is that more often than not there is a constant stream of friends, family members or acquaintances from high school that are dying to visit and take advantage of your couch. In a town where it seems like a new gastropub, brewery or cocktail bar pops up every weekend, it can be overwhelming at first to decide where to take your visitors for a night out on the town.

Want a few surefire spots that'll make your visitors jealous they don't live in this marvelous city?

Here are 7 perfect San Francisco bars to impress your out of town guests.

1. Comstock Saloon

Reason: A saloon themed bar that looks straight out of Bioshock Infinite. Lovely live Music. Ambiance for days.

A departure from the prevalent speakeasy themed bars that pop up in SF, Comstock Saloon is a turn of the century Old Western themed watering hole nestled in North Beach. Named after the Comstock Lode, a discovery of silver that brought miners to the west, this bar is brought to life by the bartenders behind Absinthe Brasserie. Settle into the parlor to munch on saloon themed bar bites and gaze up at the steam punk-esque bar fans that vaguely resemble ship rudders. Best of all enjoy the free live music that wafts down from the mezzanine, graciously provided by live jazz singers, piano players and acapella quartets.

2. Trick Dog
Reason: Cocktails to die for. The ability to claim hipness. Ridiculously cool printed menus.

Nestled on a block between an art gallery, an independent coffee shop and New American fare restaurant Salumeria, Trick Dog is the cocktail bar that'll give you street cred for being both hip and keen on quality. The latest from mixologists Bon Vivants, this bar is so cool its drink menu is a piece of art. February's drinks were displayed on a pinwheel of the zodiac signs. Pick your drink according to your horoscope.

3. Zeitgeist
Reason: Outdoor beer garden. Doesn't give a shit décor. Spacious back yard. Tons of beer.

Recently named one of the 25 douchiest bars in San Francisco by a website that needs ad revenue from angry San Franciscans who disagree, Zeitgeist remains a staple for outdoor beer drinking in the Mission. Sit outside on a relatively warm San Franciscan night and enjoy one of their 40 beers on tap.

4. Bourbon and Branch
Reason: Speakeasy themed. Secret bar hidden behind a bookshelf. Cocktails worth the price.

It doesn't take much to convince your guests to go to a speakeasy themed bar. Maybe its the password needed to get in or the bar hidden behind the bookshelf but this San Francisco staple is a consistent hit with residents and visitors alike. Relish the brief excitement of venturing into the Tenderloin to knock on a hidden door and say a password. Once you're in settle down and enjoy libations worthy of the hype.

5. Rye
Reason: Whiskey drinks that even whiskey haters love. Low key yet classy ambiance.

It's worth braving the tenderloin for a whiskey drink that even whiskey haters will love. Rye was recently named one of Zagats top cocktail bars in San Francisco. Sit on their porch and sip on their moscule mule served in a copper mug thats so cute that people have been known to steal them. In fact those mugs have been stolen so much that Rye will ask you for an id when you take your drink. They'll give it back of course. But chances are they'll have it for while since you'll probably ask for a second or third.

6. Suppenkuche
Reason: Beer served in boots. German beer you can't pronounce. German beer you've never tried. Did I say German beer?

A little bit of a stretch here since Suppenkuche is more of a restaurant serving traditional German food than strictly a bar, this Bavarian establishment is a unique take on the traditional Wirsthaus or German Inn. Decorated like an wooden dining hall and lit by candles, patrons can choose from a multitude of imported German beers. Best of all large beers on tap are served in glass boots. Craving bratwurst yet?

7. Smugglers Cove
Reason: Pirate Bar

Your guests will love it when you take them to Smugglers Cove which showcases over 200 rums from all over the world. Just beware of the jealously that may erupt when they realize that your neighborhood bar is a pirate bar. To ensure with complete satisfaction that your hood is cooler than theirs order the volcano bowl which lights up with fire when served.

How to get there and get around

San Francisco is an incredibly walkable city. All of the bars listed are within close distance to public transportation.

Best Restaurants (or places to eat) in the area

Comstock Saloon, Zeitgeist and Suppenkuche all offer delicious bar bites and larger meals.

SF Bay Area Neighborhood Characteristics

Anywhere in SF. It's a beautiful city.

Additional Links

Local hangouts, Shopping spots

Comstock Saloon, Trick Dog, Zeitgeist, Bourbon and Branch, Rye, Suppenkuche, Smugglers Cove


Comstock Saloon, 155 Columbus Avenue


Trick Dog, 3010 20th St.

Pic by @broookeeet

Zeitgeist, 199 Valencia St.

Pic by @missmctavish

Bourbon and Branch, 501 Jones St.




Rye, 688 Geary St.



Pic by @jodonnell216

Suppenkuche, 525 Laguna St.


Smugglers Cove, 650 Gough St.




Not your average beer garden. Patrons enjoying the back patio at Zeitgeist.


Saddle up for a ride to Comstock Saloon.

Pic by @david_gla

Drink your boots worth of beer at Suppenkuche.

Pic by @gogobotsf

Mixologists at work at Rye.


The makings of a volcano bowl at Smugglers Cove. Photo Courtesy Beachbumberry.


Russells Room at Bourbon and Branch. Photo Courtesy Mixellany.


View from the upper deck at Trick Dog. Photo Courtesy Voyage Vixens


Not your average bar. At Comstock Saloon. Photo Courtesy Erin Kunkel