Top 10 Mission Bars to Stumble Home From

PBR sign inside Bender's Bar, Photo By: Liz Ireland

College is about excess, excessive studying and especially if you’re a journalism student, excessive drinking. I have spent about two years living in the Mission and I’d like to think I’ve learned a think or two about the area. Sure the Mission is known for it’s restaurants, culture, burritos, hipsters and the crowning jewel of Dolores Park. But what would the Mission be to popular culture without its famed dive bars?

Here I present a list of my favorite Mission dive bars. Granted, these are not the best dive bars. (by far, trust me on this) But they are my favorite. (And really, what purpose does a blog serve other than being self serving?) So, without further Ado, here are my top 10 Mission dive bars (In no particular order) that I frequently stumble home from. (And why!)

1. Zeitgeist

Zeitgeist front door, Photo By: Liz Ireland

Sure the service is horrible, but what else would you expect from this biker/bike messenger hang out turned trendiest place of the year? Great day drinking bar, nothing beats sitting out in the sun with a group of friends, a pitcher of cold beer and a badass burger.

2. Kilowatt

Kilowatt Bar, Photo By: Liz Ireland

Probably one of the most chill sports bars ever. You can catch most games on one of the TV’s, watch 3 different tables of competitive pool, observe people fight over darts and there’s always major drama surrounding pinball. One of the only dog friendly bars in the Mission, what’s better than getting tanked and playing with puppies? Also, they mix the best British snakebite.

3. The Elbo Room

Elbo Room, Photo By: Liz Ireland

Home to my favorite photobooth in the Mission! There is no jukebox, but the music they spin is pretty rad, there are often shows upstairs, really long happy hour and delicious cocktails. Also, I believe the owners named this bar “The Elbo Room” because on a busy night there is NO elbo room.

4. Dirty Thieves

Dirty Thieves Bar, Photo by: Liz Ireland

More a neighborhood hangout than anything else. The drinks are cheap and strong, the booths are comfortable and the bathrooms are pretty clean. Sometimes, that’s all you can ask for.

5. Pop’s Bar

Pop's Bar, Photo By: Liz Ireland

One dollar Hamms and frequent punk and/or metal dj nights. Be warned though, Pop’s is teeming with pretention and bike messengers. Don your coolest duds and ride your fixed gear if you want to fit in. Despite this, Pop’s can be a pretty rad bar, cheap drinks and cool tunes are all you need on any given night.

6. Doc’s Clock

Doc's Clock, Photo By: Liz Ireland

Doc’s Clock is home to one of the best jukeboxes in the city. They serve cheap drinks and host some fun shows. Have you ever seen one of your friends jump onto the shuffleboard, then into the crowd and NOT miss a beat? Have you been shoved up into a wall sconce while rocking out to a 77 style hardcore band? I can speak from personal experience that all this and more happens at Doc’s Clock. Did I mention they have a shuffleboard?

7. 500 Club

500 Club, Photo By: Liz Ireland

Drinks are strong and cheap. (Notice a theme here?) The crowd isn’t too bad, there’s a photobooth, jukebox and the bathrooms aren’t disgusting. Go here on an off night and it really isn’t that crowded.

8. Delirium Cocktails

Delirium Cocktails, Photo By: Liz Ireland

When they say “Service for the Sick,” they mean it. If you want a one way ticket on the blackout express, this is your place. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

9. Casanova Lounge

Casanova Lounge, Photo By: Liz Ireland

Looking for a date? Looking for a sleazy date? Casanova feels like a meat market on most nights, but dancing to girl groups of the 50’s and 60’s can more than make up for that.

10. Bender’s

Bender's Bar, Photo By: Liz Ireland

Benders is my home away from home, my Cheer’s so to speak. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing. But I’m sure that their five dollar whiskey Wednesday is a GREAT thing.


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