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San Francisco sports bars to watch the Giants-Dodgers game

San Francisco sports bars to watch the Giants-Dodgers game

You’re reading this on Thursday, in the hours before Game 5 of the NLDS between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants. You’ve either obtained a ticket to watch at Oracle Park — or, more than likely, you haven’t, because tickets are wildly expensive and in limited supply.

But you might still want to enjoy the biggest Giants game since 2014 amongst other Giants fans, or anyone else, really, seeing as how San Francisco has moved to a proof of vaccination model and delta cases are finally on the decline.

SFGATE is here to help. We’ve collected a list of fun, accessible sports bars, aka the obvious destination to watch this matchup besides Oracle Park itself.


To be clear: We are not in the business of proclaiming which San Francisco sports bars are the absolute best. There are no tiered rankings to be had here. But we do have some favored sports bars, ones we’ve either written about previously and/or frequented ourselves.

Below, we’ve rounded up those sports bars — the ones that are actually open, first and foremost, but also, the ones we like and recommend if you’re looking for a communal experience, good vibes, and reasonably-priced drinks.

Beyond that, we make no promises, including about the outcome of the game.

San Francisco sports bars to watch the Giants-Dodgers game
San Francisco Giants fans Vic Gets (left) and Jeff Markley (center) grab a drink on the packed outdoors patio at MoMo’s, a sports bar and restaurant which sits across the street from Oracle Park in San Francisco, California, on Oct. 8, 2021 before game one of the National League Division Series.

 

Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE

MoMo’s

“During baseball season, MoMo’s is a Bay Area sports fan’s paradise at the foot of heaven’s gates, aka Oracle Park,” SFGATE’s Nico Madrigal-Yankowski recently wrote. “MoMo’s has been a stalwart of the neighborhood since 1998, even before the Giants called 24 Willie Mays Plaza home.”

There are two gathering places at MoMo’s: indoors and the outdoor patio area. “The indoor spot isn’t quiet by any means, but it is a little more traditional, if you’re less interested in the game and just want to snack on a classic array of American cuisine options,” Madrigal-Yankowski wrote. “The bigger, grander party is at the patio out front. Technically, there are two patios: one with high-top tables and stools, the other with four-top tables along a wall of low bushes and umbrellas to provide cover from the rain (plus heat lamps for the cold).”

Read more about the best sports star drop-ins at MoMo’s and how the restaurant began.

MoMo’s is at 760 2nd St., San Francisco.

The interior of the Blackthorn in San Francisco, Calif., on Sept. 27, 2021.
The interior of the Blackthorn in San Francisco, Calif., on Sept. 27, 2021.

 

Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE

Blackthorn Tavern

Sports editor Alex Shultz dug into the history of Blackthorn Tavern, and called out what makes it “San Francisco sports bar royalty”: a backyard patio and parklet out front, a special horseshoe and a “loyal-as-they-come clientele that Zoomed each other when they couldn’t share a drink in person.”

“The [special] horseshoe is a relic from Blackthorn’s past, when it had three TVs instead of its current 19,” Shultz wrote. “It’s a part of the bar that juts out into the middle of the room, which isn’t very practical, in theory. But [owner Chris] LaMotte says he’s never wanted to get rid of it because it facilitates seamless conversations between patrons. The horseshoe — and the chalices you can drink out of — are irreplaceable staples. And even if you’re not a regular, you can absolutely snag a spot at the horseshoe, no questions asked.”

Shultz continued, “Most sports bars pick favorites, but everyone I spoke to insists Blackthorn Tavern is welcoming of all fandoms. Preference is obviously given to the Giants, Warriors and 49ers, but even visiting fans won’t get dirty looks. It helps that the bar is enormous, with plenty of booths and seats and televisions to go around.”

Read more about the history of Blackthorn Tavern and the patrons that make the place special.

Blackthorn Tavern is at 834 Irving St., San Francisco.

Customers sit at the bar at Maggie McGarry's in San Francisco, Calif., on Sept. 28, 2021.
Customers sit at the bar at Maggie McGarry’s in San Francisco, Calif., on Sept. 28, 2021.

 

Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE

Maggie McGarry’s

One of our staff favorite sports bars “isn’t a sports bar,” as Madrigal-Yankowski discovered, but it’s still a fun spot to watch the Giants all the same. “We’re all over the map,” Maggie McGarry’s owner, Mick Graham, told Madrigal-Yankowski. “We’re a chameleon bar. During the day we have football [Editor’s note: soccer] and then on the weekends, it’s the pro sports and college sports. At night, it changes to music. So we have a bit of everything.”

On Thursday night, it’s hard to imagine Maggie McGarry’s not morphing into a Giants sports bar.

Read more about Maggie McGarry’s and the three sports stars forever banned from the bar.

Maggie McGarry’s is at 1353 Grant Ave., San Francisco.

Customer Richie McAllister helps put a wedge underneath the door of the Kezar Pub on Sept. 3, 2020 in San Francisco, California.
Customer Richie McAllister helps put a wedge underneath the door of the Kezar Pub on Sept. 3, 2020 in San Francisco, California.

 

Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE

The Kezar Pub

This legendary San Francisco sports bar is perfect for watching every type of sport, from soccer to football to Formula One races, and baseball is no exception. “You know, coming to Kezar Pub is almost like going to the game for a lot of people. We are a committed sports bar; we’re a sports bar 100% of the time,” Kezar owner Cyril Hackett told SFGATE last year. There’s a parklet in front of the bar to enjoy the game outdoors, and their menu also features some of the best wings in the city.

Kezar Pub is at 900 Cole St., San Francisco. 

The exterior of San Francisco Athletic Club, one of our favorites in the city to watch the Giants-Dodgers game.
The exterior of San Francisco Athletic Club, one of our favorites in the city to watch the Giants-Dodgers game.

 

Blair Heagerty / SFGate

San Francisco Athletic Club

In addition to being a prime spot for watching “The Bachelor,” the San Francisco Athletic Club and their excellent fried pickles and perfectly acceptable sports bar burgers make for an excellent place to camp out for the most important baseball game of the season. Pre-COVID, this spot had perhaps the most TVs per square footage in the city, and now they’re also boasting one of S.F.’s most expansive parklets, for those who are looking to enjoy the game outdoors. Although there’s tons of seating, early arrival is still recommended. — Dan Gentile

San Francisco Athletic Club is at 1750 Divisadero St., San Francisco.

The patio at Finnegans Wake offers plenty of outdoor space for customers.
The patio at Finnegans Wake offers plenty of outdoor space for customers.

 

Dipesh G. / Yelp

Finnegans Wake

Where in San Francisco can you witness an 80-year-old man, decked out in an “Orange Friday” Giants jersey, an orange Giants snapback cap and orange pants gingerly climb onto a bar stool (with the help of loving bar-goers) and scream “Let’s go Giants!” at the top of his lungs? There’s one answer: Finnegans Wake.

That’s what Tom, a regular, does before every Giants playoff game. This Cole Valley hangout has 10 or so TVs throughout the space, including two outside on their patio. The bar generates quite the crowd for football on Sundays and no doubt the Giants fans will be in full force Thursday night. A range of beers including Guinness and Sierra Nevada are on tap, and feel free to bring in food from the surrounding restaurants along Cole Street. — Nico Madrigal-Yankowski

Finnegans Wake is at 937 Cole St., San Francisco.

Sports bar Final Final offers plenty of TVs to watch the game in San Francisco, Calif.
Sports bar Final Final offers plenty of TVs to watch the game in San Francisco, Calif.

 

Adam S. / Yelp

Final Final

Final Final has always been the type of San Francisco sports bar you just stumble on, completely by accident, and then maybe never stop helping other people stumble into, too. It’s tucked away in the southwestern corner of the Marina, just before the Presidio begins, but on a relatively quiet corner of a residential stretch a block from traffic-crazed Lombard. Inside the nearly half-century-old bar, its a family affair — long-time owner Arnold Prien is likely to be behind the bar with his wife and three sons, surrounded by a gaggle of TVs, memorabilia, cheap drinks, pool tables and free popcorn. — Grant Marek

Final Final is at 2990 Baker St., San Francisco. 

The interior of Phoenix Irish Bar in the Mission, in San Francisco, Calif.
The interior of Phoenix Irish Bar in the Mission, in San Francisco, Calif.

 

Eric M. / Yelp

Phoenix Irish Pub

If you like your sports bar with a less obvious sports bar vibe, The Phoenix in the Mission feels more like a large Irish pub with a lot of TVs that just happens to be playing the game with the sound on. It can get crowded during a big game, but somehow never manages to feel overly packed, and you’ll never doubt you’re in the Mission. Fans gather at one of the large booths or against the long bar to catch a game, indulging in an ample local beer selection and Irish pub food like fish & chips or bangers and mash. Don’t worry, there are also wings and mozzarella sticks too. — Tessa McLean

Phoenix Irish Pub is at 811 Valencia St., San Francisco.

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