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Lowering the Bar: 5 Places to Drink For Cheap (or Free) This Week

Each week, we bring you our top picks for the best places to booze on the cheap in SF.

1. 7x7's Travel Party: Yup, we're not just telling you where to party this week, but hosting a shindig as well. Join the 7x7 staff to celebrate the release of our new Travel Issue at Coda on Friday, where we'll be offering $4 vodka cocktails and $2 beers. We'll also have tasty bites and a DJ, but be sure to pay some attention to your outfit-- cocktail party attire is required. (Friday, May 7, 5:30-7:30 pm, at Coda, 1710 Mission St., Mission.)

2. Marina Pub Crawl: Saturday just got a lot happier thanks to a pub crawl that'll be co-hosted by City Dish and Nirvino. They're pitting four local watering holes against each other to create the Leblon cachaca cocktail that best exemplifies "Marina," and crawlers will serve as the judges (voting by phone, just like American Idol!) Best of all, admission to the crawl is only $5, which goes to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Be sure to RSVP here. (Saturday, May 8, 2-6 pm, at Marina District bars and restaurants: Art's Sushi and Tapas Lounge, Circa, Eastside West, and the Republic.)

3. First Thursday Art Walk: This Thursday, get some culture and attend the First Thursday Art Walk, held in Union Square and SOMA. As you browse the collections, many galleries will be offering free wine, beer, and snacks, in the hopes of saucing you just enough to make that special purchase. (Thursday, May 6, most locations 5:30-7:30 pm; see the full list of participants here.)

4. Andalu's Margarita Wednesdays: The aftermath of Cinco de Mayo may either have you off margaritas for a long time to come, or considering how good they taste and wondering if you should order them more often. If you're in the latter group, head over to Andalu on Wednesdays for $5 margaritas, a perfect jumping-off point for some 16th St. mayhem that you'll regret on Thursday morning. (Wednesdays, all night, at Andalu, 3198 16th St., Mission.)

5. Waterbar Happy Hour: They just got a nice review in the Chronicle, so give Waterbar a spin for happy hour this week. They've got the now-practically-requisite $1 oysters, and $5 wine and $3 beers to help wash them down. Best of all, the dollar oysters are available during the day on the weekend, making for a perfect excuse to slurp down a few on their patio. (Oysters daily, drink specials M-F, both 11:30 am-6 pm, at Waterbar, 399 The Embarcadero, Embarcadero.)