The Best Bars Near Every BART Stop in SF
Next time someone wants to meet ‘near BART,’ we’ve got you covered
You’re heading out, meeting up, waiting out the rain … next to a BART station. So where to? A bar, obviously.
It pays to know a good bar in any neighborhood you frequent, and if that bar is in spitting distance of the place where you’re most likely to be meeting someone — a stop on the local metro — well, all the better. So we’ve assembled our favorite bars immediately adjacent to all of San Francisco’s BART stations, from Embarcadero to Balboa Park.
Happily, these include some of our favorite bars in the city — including our favorite hotel bar, a 111-year-old legend, and our ultimate #1 dive bar. And one more note: The choices below are curated with an eye toward date spots, because if you’re meeting based on proximity to BART, there’s a good chance that’s your reason for meeting.
You’re going to: Actually it’s a toss-up
Distance: Either 0.3 miles or 0.7 miles
Briefly: The obvious choice is Blanc et Rouge, the chi-chi French wine bar on Front Street — but in our hearts, the only best choice is Hi Dive, the most low-key spot on the waterfront.
Stop: Montgomery St.
You’re going to: The House of Shields
Distance: 0.1 miles
Briefly: A veritable landmark, the House of Shields is 111 years old — and a favorite of President Warren Harding, rumored to have died here (and not at the Palace Hotel across the street.) Bonus: It’s gorgeous.
Stop: Powell St.
You’re going to: Executive Order Bar & Lounge
Distance: 0.3 miles
Briefly: Lots of options here if you like a chic hotel bar (like the Douglas Room at the Tilden, a solid back-up) — but our money’s on Executive Order, the presidentially themed space with tons of natural light, deep leather sofas worthy of the White House, and a top cocktail list.
Stop: Civic Center
You’re going to: Charmaine’s
Distance: 0.1 mile
Briefly: Here, the hotel bar wins out — Charmaine’s is our favorite rooftop in town. (Do yourself a favor and book in for the night at the hotel below, The Proper.) If you’re looking for something more relaxed, grab a beer at Fermentation Lab.
Stop: 16th St.
You’re going to: 500 Club
Distance: 0.4 miles
Briefly: It’s our favorite bar in town, and only a couple minutes’ walk from BART. If you’re looking for something slightly trendier, ABV’s even closer. (For the latest on Over Proof, the spot above ABV, see here.)
Stop: 24th St.
You’re going to: El Techo
Distance: 0.4 miles
Briefly: If it’s nice out, there’s no better choice than El Techo, a superior rooftop bar with equally quality margaritas. If it’s grimy out, take a walk east on 24th Street to Pop’s, with its “13-hour happy hour.” (TL;DR: ends at 7 p.m.).
Stop: Glen Park
You’re going to: Glen Park Station
Distance: 350 feet
Briefly: Your best bet is also the closest: Glen Park Station (yes, that’s right.) Don’t expect $24 cocktails; do expect you’ll be able to catch the game before heading home.
Stop: Balboa Park
You’re going to: The Dark Horse Inn
Distance: 1 mile
Briefly: Options immediately outside the station are few and (literally) far between — but this craft beer spot is worth the 10-minute walk.