Dive Bars

Food — By Crust on January 27, 2010

Coi is in the stripper district, there are strip clubs lining the streets. In the alleys between the strip clubs you can find some of the best cocktails in the city as well as the funniest old dive bars. I found Jake from www.cherriesandclay.com and we went out for cocktails. Some of our favorite places to drink that we have discovered in San Fran:

1. 15 Romolo

Great cocktails, good music, just a room with tables. When I was there on a Saturday night the place was packed and people were dancing. When I was there on a Sunday night it was not to busy and some guys had set up a poker table on one side and were gambling pretty hard. Lots of industry people hang out here.

2. Bourbon and Branch

Speakeasy where you need a nightly password to enter. No cameras allowed.

3. Specs

Located in a nook that you could easily walk right by if you weren’t carful. Has been open for 42 years and looks like it has been open for 42 years. Dark, full of junk, old man behind the bar, giant wheel of fontina cheese sitting on the bar. “You want some cheese?” the old barman asks.
“Yes please sir.” we reply.
He cuts us off a wedge, and passes us a large stack of saltines to eat it with. Great place to drink Anchor Steam and whiskey.

4. Bamboo Hut

$2 Pabst, florescent lights, good music, tiki decorations.

5. Le po

In China town, lots of red lights and trashed up chinese lanterns. Live punk rock in the basement.


  1. Jake says:

    Great places… I’ll seek out Le Po – it sounds fun. I stumbled upon another dive bar in Chinatown called Red’s Cocktail Bar (I think). Tiny, very 70’s room with patrons gambling at the bar with the bartender, and no one seeming to heed any public anti-smoking laws.

    I’m glad you showed us Specs – a perfect place to escape the rain. I’ve been back since for some Fernet.

    Hope you’re well – I’ll probably run into you next week.

  2. Crust says:

    Fuck Red’s and Le Po could be one in the same. Kyle just told me that he may have made up the name Le Po, fuckin’ idiot. Was there a huge torn red chinese lantern above the bar?

    I’ll talk to you soon.

  3. Jake says:

    He was close… I think it’s Li Po. (http://www.yelp.com/biz/li-po-cocktail-lounge-san-francisco) I remember walking by it now that I’ve seen the photos. Looks awesome.

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