Best Bars With Free Snacks In San Francisco

December 5, 2013 4:00 AM

(credit: Carlos de Andres/Getty Images)

89456711 Best Bars With Free Snacks In San Francisco(credit: Carlos de Andres/Getty Images)

Where can you go when your stomach tank is on empty, along with your bank account? Want to check out the nearest bars that serve good drinks and free food? Passing out plain, boring, same-old-same-old snacks is so passe at these fine places. Come to any of these bars and you’ll find they are quite creative and somewhat generous when doling out freebies and munchies.

29 3rd St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 495-6726

Dave’s is the perfect happy hour bar. This fine dive is a place to plop down with your buds to watch a game, drink strong drinks at cheap prices and nosh on the free food. The free food consists of cheese, olives, crackers, chips and salsa, cheap franks and/or meatballs. In essence, your free food isn’t just a bowl of pretzels or peanuts. And Dave’s is not a cash-only bar, like most in the region. Added bonuses are that the music is great, the décor is tacky and fun and the wait staff is super friendly. You can’t go wrong with Dave’s.

St. Regis Hotel Lobby Bar
125 3rd St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 284-4000

This swanky but relaxed bar dishes out an array of fancy tidbits like wasabi peas, roasted almonds and gourmet cheese crackers. Decked out in chic décor and draped with loads of romantic ambience, this is a go-to place for all different sorts and crowds. Sofas and tables line the walls of this hotel lobby bar, where patrons can have a tasty cocktail made from top-shelf products. The drink menu is definitely made to impress, with some fancy cocktails that’ll complement those scrumptious snacks that only The St. Regis Hotel doles out.

El Rio
3158 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 282-3325

Besides that fact that you can bring your own food to this friendly bar, El Rio is fancied for its fabulous snacks to freeload on. The typical chips and Cheetos fare is standard at this place, but come on any given Friday, and the competition doesn’t even compare in the bar snack category. El Rio sidesteps the usual free snack predictability by offering ‘Free Oysters on the Half Shell Fridays.’ Come and get ‘em at 5:30 p.m. – and not a minute late, since they tend to go fast. After you’ve sucked down your shucked oysters, and your free snacks, mosey over to play shuffleboard or pool.

Lone Palm
3394 22nd St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 648-0109

Affordable drinks help lighten the mood within this dark, retro bar. But – to go one step further – adding free snacks on top of cheap drinks is a virtual mood-boosting shot in the arm to a night that might otherwise be dull. Goldfish, mixed nuts, chips and crackers served in a bottomless fashion are what you’ll find here. The drinks are also as divine as the dished-out wafers. This lounge possesses a feel-good vibe, and this dimly lit bar cleans up nicely.

Bender’s Bar and Grill
806 S. Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 824-1800

For a dark, hip, loud and lively bar that serves its beer ice cold and cheap, plays a hard game of pool and offers its patrons a backyard smoking pit and pinball, the Free BBQ Sundays is just a huge bonus. On these fine Sundays, the burgers are usually handed out with all of the fixings. There is plenty of space to hang and play pool. The culture is laid back and pet friendly. Bring Sparky the dog to partake in the Sunday noshing – he might even go for the scraps of charbroil that get dropped by the BBQ crowd.

Owl Tree
601 Post St.
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 359-1600

Venture off the beaten path and you’ll find this chilled-out place where complimentary snacks flow freely. Order during happy hour, and receive a free cheese and salami plate with crackers. This is a casual corner bar with a nice draft beer selection and strong cocktails. This is a simple bar where you can usually find a table to relax and throw back a dark and stormy, pineapple martini, mango mojito or a blood orange margarita. It’s well worth a trip – at least for the free cheese and crackers.

Kelly Gullo is a freelance writer in San Francisco, CA. Kellys topics are about music and nightlife. Kelly has also written a variety of articles on health and dieting and topics related to the environment. Kelly has a degree in journalism and public relations from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI. Her work can be found at

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