Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

The 12 Best Irish Pubs in the City

Raid your closet for the color green and grab a stool at one of these solid Irish pubs for St. Patrick's Day.


1. The Irish Bank
Tucked away at the end of a dirty alley, this pub is a favorite of the downtown after-work crowd. Indoors or out, you’ll get a little taste of Europe in the heart of SF. 10 Mark Ln. at Grant Ave. (Union Square), 415-788-7152

2. The Plough and the Stars
Fiddlers, flautists and bagpipes, oh my! Known for their stellar lineup of live jigs, The Plough and the Stars has been keeping the Celtic tradition real for more than 30 years. 116 Clement St. between 2nd and 3rd Ave. (Inner Richmond), 415-751-1122

3. The Blarney Stone
UK sports broadcasts and dart challenges are staple good times at this Outer Richmond bar, but we like it because of the proximity to John Campbell's Irish Bakery. Head next door for the quintessential slice of soda bread (then go back in the morning for their legendary Irish bacon breakfast sandwiches). 5625 Geary Blvd. between 20th and 21st Ave. (Outer Richmond), 415-386-9914

4. Buena Vista Café
St. Patrick’s Day may be synonymous with beer, but if you’re not feeling a pint, head to Russian Hill for Buena Vista's signature Irish coffee instead. 2765 Hyde St. at Beach St. (Russian Hill), 415-474-5044

5. Little Shamrock
The second oldest bar in the city, and a great spot to snuggle up to a game of backgammon. Whiskey connoisseurs will appreciate the vast selection of Irish varieties. 807 Lincoln Way at 9th Ave. (Inner Sunset), 415-661-0060

6. The Phoenix
Avoid the financial district’s block party and head to the Mission instead to rub elbows with hipsters over a Harp or Smithwick’s. Get there early to line your stomach with corned beef, cabbage and soda bread. 811 Valencia St. at 19th St. (Mission), 415-695-1811

7. Durty Nelly's
Lost in a sea of Asian restaurants and markets, this Sunset outpost is where the real Irish men hang out. Join the throngs of expats for an authentic Celtic toast. 2328 Irving St. between 24th and 25th St. (Outer Sunset), 415-664-2555

8. Kennedy's
It’s the only place we know of where you can get a side of curry with your Guinness and finish with a game of air hockey. 1040 Columbus Ave. at Taylor St. (North Beach), 415-441-8855

9. The Chieftain
Old world abounds at this Emerald Isle mainstay south of Market. We’re hoping the street grunge on the surrounding blocks will keep the tourists away so you can pound a pint in peace. 198 Fifth St. at Howard St. (SoMa), 415-615-0916

10. The Liberties
The dark mahogany bar and warm wood accents lend an air of sophistication to this neighborhood pub. Do what the locals do and order a BLT made with Irish bacon and soda bread to soak up all the booze. 998 Guerrero St. at 22nd St. (Mission), 415-282-6789

11. Napper Tandy

In the heart of the Mission, this packed Irish pub (with a little Latin flavor) offers all you can eat fish & chips on Mondays, an infamous pub quiz every Wednesday, and a hefty bar menu sporting shepherd's pie, bangers & mash and Irish breakfasts for all you early birds. 3200 24th St. at South Van Ness, 415-550-7510

12. Blackthorn

Sunday BBQ, Monday trivia, Tuesday karaoke and live bands the rest of the week, The Black Thorn is one of the more raucous Irish hangouts in the city where patrons converge to watch plenty of sports. The bar even has its own softball, darts, pool and soccer teams you can get involved with! 834 Irving St. at 9th Ave., 415-564-6626

Where are your favorite Irish pubs? Tell us in the comments!