The Super Bowl is around the corner, and with our dear 49ers going head to head against the Ravens, this is not the year to stay inside chowing down on delivery pizza. For this special occasion, I’m rounding up a list of the best chip-and-dip combos to munch on during half time. Or, if you still choose to hole up on the big day (as I probably will, honestly), then keep this list for future reference. Who couldn’t use a good dip during happy hour?
Marengo (Queso pictured above): 1980 Union St., 415-441-2575
It’s hard to find a truly authentic bowl of queso in San Francisco, but the folks at Marengo have it right. Texans rave about their dip, claiming it’s the closest they’ve tasted to home. No wonder, because their chef hails from Austin. But Marengo personalizes their queso by adding fresh jalapeno peppers, onions, garlic, spinach, and tomato. Add optional Molinari chorizo or black beans, saddle up to the whiskey bar, and watch the game on one of their several TVs. And the weather is looking pretty clear for the weekend, so chances are they will open their retractable roof so you can watch the game in the sunshine.
Tacolicious prides itself on supporting local farms and natural meat purveyors, so their made-to-order guacamole, along with their fabulous tacos and fresh squeezed margaritas, is fresh and organic. But, they’re not afraid to eschew their high-brow tendencies when it comes to their sinful chili con queso. Made with melted Velveeta, Tacolicious knows just when to throw in the sustainability towel. And, as a bonus, all locations of Tacolicious will be mounting TVs for Super Bowl Sunday!
The Brixton: 2140 Union St., 415-409-1114
Spinach Artichoke Dip by Yelp user Jenny L.
Feeling adventurous with your dips? The Brixton has not one, but two fabulous dips on their menu. Grab a seat at the bar or a table with a view of the TV, and order their French onion dip. This stuff is not the kind from a packet; it's made with caramelized yellow onions, cream cheese, housemade aioli, cayenne, and Parmesan, served with homemade potato chips. Or try their sinful spinach artichoke dip, which is made with a creamy béchamel base cooked with baby artichokes, spinach, jack, and Parmesan, and served with toasted baguette slices. Both dips are rich, cheesy, and perfect for game day.
Tres: 130 Townsend St., 415-227-0500
Tres prides itself on all products deriving from the agave plant, namely tequila. Their award-winning margaritas have people knocking down the doors, and the food itself rivals the quality of their drinks. The queso fundido, made with an exclusive blend of three cheeses, house-made chorizo, grilled corn, and sautéed peppers, is more than your average Velveeta queso. And located just one block from AT&T Park, you can be sure they will be repping true Niners spirit this weekend.
Phoenix bar: 811 Valencia St., 415-695-1811
Photo of Spinach Artichoke Dip by Yelp user Rho T.
The Phoenix bar has everything you would want from an Irish pub, combined with the crowds and excitement of a sports bar. Cozy ambience, great food, and TVs visible from every inch of the space make it a great place to eat and drink during sporting events. Their traditional Irish fare (Irish soda bread, bangers and mash, and Irish stew) pairs well with typical American bar food, such as their hot spinach artichoke dip, topped with tomatoes, and served with tortilla chips. But get there early on game day, because crowds flock to this Mission pub.
Palomino: 345 Spear St., 415-512-7400
Photo of Crab and Artichoke Dip by Foodspotting user Row
Palomino is not your average sports bar. Located on the Embarcadero with a beautiful view of the Bay, you can enjoy happy hour on the patio or watch a game in the lounge. Their happy hour includes a fabulous crab and artichoke dip with pieces of real crabmeat, chunks of artichoke, and parmesan cheese. This rich dip is served with crispy flatbreads sprinkled with parsley, garlic, and olive oil.
Where are you favorite chip-and-dip combos?