This topic can be touchy because patrons of Irish pubs are downright loyal, if not fanatical, about their local watering hole. After many nights of heavy debating and drinking, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best Irish pubs in the city. So pour a pint of Guinness, flip on a soccer match, and get cozy.

1. McTeague’s

 You can walk into McTeague’s and feel right at home. It’s a classic Barbary Coast style pub combined with a great nightlife experience. If you like to drink and dance you’ll like McTeague’s. Plus, they have a whiskey list that could strecth all the way to Ireland.

2. The Chieftain

198 5th St in SoMa

10341894_610829895689510_9069046887238456574_nChieftain Facebook
Super solid pub where you can get Shepherd’s Pie (with ground lamb), corned beef, lamb burgers, and spicy Irish potato bites. On top of that, the environment is cozy and homey, so make yourself comfortable.

3. Durty Nelly’s

2328 Irving Street in the Outer Sunset

IMG_2808Robert Myers with Ron Wallace via Irish Pubs in America
An authentic, Irish-owned bar that is actually full of heavily-accented regulars and home to the nearly perfect Guinness pour. Hungry? Try the Irish Breakfast or their burger—both are delicious. Oh, and you might think it’s weird for a pub to be in the Outer Sunset, but Irish communities actually predate the Asian American demographic of today.

4. The Plough & Stars

116 Clement St in the Inner Richmond

10562473_757765914296702_6853462374065113531_oThe Plough and Stars Facebook
Home of traditional Irish music in the Bay Area and voted “Best Irish Pub” by SF Weekly. With pool tables, dart boards, and plenty of memorabilia, this is definitely an authentic Irish experience. Plus if you get hungry, you’re right next to Burma Superstar, so you can soak in the Irish pub experience while you wait to go in on some Burmese food. San Francisco is awesome.

5. O’Keeffe’s Bar

598 5th Ave in the Inner Richmond

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 1.57.25 PMSan Francisco Days
This place is unpretentious, actually filled with Irish people, and is perhaps the closest you can get to being in Ireland. The owner is Annie and will welcome you with open arms and then pour you the strongest drink ever.

6. The Blarney Stone

5625 Geary Blvd in the Outer Richmond

photoThe Blarney Stone Google+
Popular for watching sports and known for having an awesome Bloody Mary. John Campbell’s Irish Bakery is also right next door for you to grab some authentic baked goods. Plus, it has a patio. Everyone loves a patio.

7. The Little Shamrock

807 Lincoln Way in the Inner Sunset

IMG_2924Robert Meyers with Ron Wallace via Irish Pubs in America
Around since 1863, it’s the second oldest bar in San Francisco (the oldest is the Saloon in North Beach). Get tipsy while playing backgammon or just kick it on some couches—just be sure to hit a bank beforehand because it’s cash-only.

8. The Phoenix

811 Valencia St in the Mission

87_1sign_webThe Phoenix
For those that want a taste of Irish culture with a little less divey-ness, this is the place for you. Fill up on Irish nachos and soda bread before a long night of drinking.

9. Fiddler’s Green

FGanice G./Yelp
Possibly the most famous Irish Bar (now that the future of Lefty’s is up in the air). Great food, excellent tap list, and, especially on St. Paddy’s, a raucous celebratory atmosphere. If you’re looking for excuse to go down to the wharf today, this is it.

10. Blackthorn

834 Irving St in the Inner Sunset


Shoot some pool and drink some beer while the game is playing. What more do you need? And for those who want to have a cigarette, there’s a smoking patio in the back with tables and heat lamps.

11. The Napper Tandy

3200 24th St in the Mission

photoThe Napper Tandy Google+
Food is actually awesome and they do brunch, so it’s perhaps the perfect place to kick off your St. Paddy’s Day. Try out the Fish & Chips, Shepherd’s pie, or the Irish breakfast and wash it down with a Bloody Mary or a beer.

(this post was originally posted March of 2015 and has since been updated)

And after a plethora of comments (mostly mean ones about what I missed), here are some honorable mentions:
Johnny Foley’
Irish Times
Danny Coyle’s
Kate O’Briens
The Bitter End
Maggie McGarry’s
Ireland’s 32

San Francisco has a plethora of Irish bars, so let us know what we missed out on and which ones are your favorite!

[Featured Image: Irish Pubs in America ]

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