Watering Holes for the Hungry: Our Favorite Bars with Bites
We've spent a lot of time thinking about the dual nature of bars and restaurants in SF. Obviously, restaurants with great cocktail, wine, and beer programs abound in the city, but on a busy night, dedicated drinkers can usually forget about snagging a table to drink first and eat second-- with people waiting, most restaurants won't allow lingering, especially if food isn't a priority. On the flip side, it's easy to darken the door of a beloved bar all night, but when it comes time for some ballast, drinkers are usually sent out in search of that late-night slice or burrito. With that in mind, here's our list of a few places where barflies can both drink to their heart's content, with no restrictions on seating, and snag a bite without having to leave. Have a favorite we missed? Share it in the comments.
Butter: The neo-white trash theme of Butter extends to its food offerings; hungry drinkers order to-go from a trailer parked in the back of the bar. In this era of ultra-sustainability, it can sometimes be a relief to grab a round of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Spaghetti-O's, or tater tots (all $3). Sure, this is food you can heat up for yourself at infinitely lower prices, but do you really want to risk the stove after a night of drinking? (354 11th St., SOMA.)
Bender's: This off-the-beaten-path Mission bar has a lot of things going for it: reasonable prices, tons of room, a killer jukebox. But one of its great assets is the tiny outpost of Mission restaurant Weird Fish in the back, with burgers, fried catfish, and several vegan tempeh options available all night. When you're hungry, nothing beats sharing a gigantic basket of hand-cut fries ($5) with your drinking buddies. (806 South Van Ness Ave., Mission.)
The Phoenix: Irish pubs have long had the drinking-eating ratio down to a science, and the Phoenix is generally regarded as one of the best specimens in the city. Those craving a full dinner can try the chicken pot pie ($13.50) or pot roast ($12.50). And if you're just peckish after a few drinks, the Irish nachos ($9), which substitute potatoes for the tortilla chips, hit the spot. (811 Valencia St., Mission.)
Thee Parkside: This laid-back Potrero Hill outpost is best known for its weekend punk shows, but weekdays are a nice time to quietly enjoy its excellent happy hour (non-Guinness drafts and wells are $3 until 7 p.m.) and pleasant back patio. And with the ordering window smack in the middle of the bar, it's easy to snag a tasty burger without going far. (1600 17th St., Potrero Hill. Food available until 10 p.m.)
The Broken Record: The chefs who made this place famous have moved on to Bruno's in the Mission, but a talented group of cooks continue to turn out tasty, sustainable Southern food in their stead. We love the macaroni and cheese ($5), topped with crumbled cornbread and bits of bacon and left to crisp under the broiler. (1166 Geneva Ave., Excelsior.)