Photos by Dariel Medina and Sarah Todd
Every Sunday millions of Americans collectively decide to stare at their televisions for 10 or so hours, eat copious amounts of non-vegan food, and Grab Some Buds ‘cause it’s Miller Time and the mountains have turned blue. Since college students typically have fairly light wallets (I currently have $66 in my checking account), we often don’t have the luxury of enjoying the weekly gridiron holiday at home. I’ve compiled a shortlist of the best sports bars in San Francisco to watch the NFL.
Giordano Bros.3108 16th Street, San Francisco, CA, 94103 (415) 437-2767
HD Televisions: 11
Ever since its first location opened nearly a decade ago in North Beach, Giordano’s has been a safehaven for Pittsburgh Steelers fans. The fact that you can reserve a seat for Steelers games should tell you enough, but it shouldn’t stop you from making it your safe haven even if you don’t support the black and yellow. The location on Mission and 16th showcases every NFL game, as well as two impressive taxidermied moose heads.
Those same Steelers fans are also the mad-scientists behind the Pittsburgh style sandwich. This crowning achievement is made “all-in-one,” with french fries and coleslaw superbly placed between two slices of thick italian bread. The pastrami is a religious experience. It’s so good you might actually get distracted from watching large men run into each other.
Danny Coyle’s668 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117 (415) 558-8375
HD Televisions: 9 + 1 projector
Like Giordano’s before it, Danny Coyles is claimed by those from outside the Bay Area. A San Diego Chargers bar that sometimes contains the stale odor of Seahawks fans, Danny Coyles is certainly a place where native San Franciscans will have to keep their guard up. Coyles is significantly less packed than other bars during 49ers games, so if you feel like chilling out watching football on a huge projection screen in the back, you might want to head to lower haight. If that’s not enough, a PBR and shot of Jameson for $6 should sweeten the deal.
Kezar Pub770 Stanyan St, San Francisco, CA 94117 (415) 386-9292
HD Televisions: 18
Just a shout away from the 49ers original home at Kezar Stadium, Kezar Pub carries on football’s legacy in the Haight-Ashbury. Watching a 49er game here is probably the closest you will get to a stadium experience outside of sitting at Candlestick. You will never miss a game if you visit Kezar, as they feature a whopping 18 flat screen televisions! Thankfully, each television is labeled with a number that corresponds to the game on the kezar pub schedule.
Vintage 49ers programs from the 1940s and 50s can be seen on the walls and serve as a reminder of football’s place in this city’s rich history. The raucous atmosphere could probably use some more square footage, but you will be hard pressed to find a bar more dedicated to catering to sports fans all day, every day. Also one of the servers gave me an extra beer as a consolation for a pitcher with too much foam. Can’t argue with that.
The Taco Shop at Underdog’s1824 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122 (415) 566-8700
HD Televisions: 10
A combination sports bar/Mexican restaurant probably isn’t the first thing you’d expect to see on Irving Street west of 19th Ave. But a proper football afternoon awaits those curious enough to enter. There hasn’t been a more effective pairing of Mexican and American culture since Central Valley farm workers invented the modern burrito in the 19th century. The Super Shot basketball game in the back was enough to catch my attention, but the taco’s done “Nick’s way” nearly made me fall out of my chair. A combination crunchy and soft taco that make Taco Bell’s Cheesy Gordita Crunch look like a used diaper. The Taco Shop is often host to a younger crowd due to the plethora of college students living in the Sunset. Underdogs has the standard HD TV lineup, and opens early on Sundays to accommodate the fans who live in the fog. For those needing to shake off the early week rust, the Monday Night Football special features a bucket of Coors Light for $6.