Bar and Street Food Pairings
Drink here: One of the city's best-loved wine bars, SOMA's Terroir specializes in unique and interesting organic vintages, served in a warm, rustic setting.
Eat this: For a perfect pairing with that glass of Côtes du Rhone, Chez Spencer's Spencer on the Go! truck offers French food—ranging from frogs legs to vol-au-vents—right across the street from Terroir. It's open Thursday-Saturday, 6 p.m. to close, and you can bring your food into Terroir (provided you're drinking wine).
Drink here: The hip hop-heavy nightclub 330 Ritch has a more sedate feel on Friday afternoons, when a live jazz combo plays and numerous $6 drink specials are on offer.
Eat this: You don't even have to leave the bar for this one: SOMA's beloved Little Skillet serves up its famed chicken and waffles right inside the bar, in addition to chicken wings, pulled-pork sandwiches, and other treats. Place your order at the counter (under the blue-neon skillet), and they'll deliver to your table.
Drink here: A lovable Mission dive, the Knockout specializes in cheap cans, heavy-handed pours, and (if it's Thursday) no-holds-barred bingo.
Eat this: Nothing complements the Knockout's down-home Hamm's and whiskey special like tasty barbecue, and Left Coast Smoke delivers, frequently serving pulled-pork sandwiches right inside the bar. Stay abreast of their next appearance by following their Twitter feed (@leftcoastsmoke).
Drink here: An industrial outpost amidst the tourist traps of Union Square, Swig's red-brick decor, fireplace and fresh cocktails draw post-office crowds from the Financial District.
Eat this: After-work drinks on Friday are always a delight, but Swig ups the ante by featuring the traveling chefs of Ichi Sushi, who whip up rolls for bar-goers at surprisingly reasonable prices. For those craving sushi during the week, they can also be found at Bender's and The Knockout, as well as the SOMA barbershop-cum-bar Mr.
Drink here: A San Francisco institution, Zeitgeist's enormous beer garden is the biggest weekend hangout for bike messengers, hipsters and the bartenders who loathe serving them.
Eat this: Almost as famous as the bar she patronizes, the peripatetic Tamale Lady can be found almost every night at Zeitgeist, dragging a wheeled Igloo filled with her wares. The cheap, filling tamales make an excellent foil for the super-strong Bloody Mary’s and abundant pitchers of beer that Zeitgeist regulars favor.
Drink here: Situated in a quieter corner of the Mission, The Homestead is loaded with early-1900s atmosphere, from nudes on the walls to baskets of peanuts (patrons are welcome to toss the shells on the floor).
Eat this: A few blocks away, at 21st and Florida, Dona Tere serves an equally storied dish: elotes, delicious corn-on-the-cob slathered in mayonnaise, powdered cheese, and hot sauce. (It's also available, sans cob, in a small cup.) This small tent lacks atmosphere, but for cheap, tasty, and filling Mexican food, it can't be beat.
Drink here: One of the few Mission bars that everyone can agree on, the 500 Club is equal parts hipster, yuppie and old-timer, with a wide selection of drinks, heavy sports-game rotation, and a down-to-earth atmosphere.
Eat this: Since it's much harder to agree on what to eat, head to a gathering of the Magic Curry Kart, Créme Brûlée Cart, Amuse Bouche, and Sexy Soup Cart, who can most frequently be found at their home base of 19th and Linda Streets, just a few blocks away. With so many choices, all eaters are sure to be satisfied.
Drink here: One of the premier showcases of SF's punk and blues scene, Skip's Tavern, located in Bernal Heights, is a lively dive that has something to offer for every age and style.
Eat this: As if musical pedigree wasn't enough, Skip's is frequently patronized by a nighttime sausage vendor, who dishes out his wares to hungry bargoers just outside the door.
Drink here: A frequent spot for dance parties, corporate soirees, movie nights, and more, the DNA Lounge's large, all-purpose space plays host to San Franciscans of every stripe.
Eat this: Just up the street, Crepes-A-Go-Go dishes out both sweet and savory delights to the drunk masses—often as late as 4 or 5 a.m.. It may be housed in a taco truck, but it's a beloved taste of France for those who frequent SOMA's many bars and nightclubs.
Drink here: With over 50 microbrews on tap at any given time, the Toronado is paradise for the discerning beer drinker, and a notably convivial spot that manages to stay casual.
Eat this: While Toronado has a partnership with its next-door neighbor, ultra-tasty sausage purveyor Rosamunde, that establishment's early closing hours have thwarted many a starving drunkard. Enter Hot Dog Alley, an upstart operation that features dogs named after SF neighborhoods, bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers and hours that will satisfy those with late-night cravings. Right at the intersection of Haight and Fillmore, it's in an ideal spot for the Lower Haight's drinking crowds.