Ahhh, baseball and beer. Are they the two perfect summer companions or what? And if you’re a fan of baseball, beer or both, there are some great places to explore in every major league baseball city. Here’s a closer look at San Francisco…
Baseball In San Francisco
Baseball has been a big part of the city of San Francisco long before the Giants moved here from New York in 1958. San Francisco is the home of legendary baseball great Joe Dimaggio, who played here back in the 1930’s. History aside though, baseball is a big part of the cultural scene here. Games at AT+T Park are very popular, especially given the beautiful waterfront setting of the ballpark.
AT+T Park is located just south of downtown San Francisco, adjacent to a waterfront area known as China Basin. Long home run balls frequently splash into the water beyond the outfield, and traveling by water taxi is a popular way to arrive at the game. Tickets are best secured in advance, especially for popular division rivals.
San Francisco Beer Destinations
California is widely regarded as the genesis of the craft beer movement, and one historic brewery was among the first to carry the torch. The Anchor Brewing Company, about a mile south of downtown, offers daily tours of its late 19th century brewery, with samples served at the end. The tour is a fascinating glimpse into not only how beer is made, but the struggles and subsequent success of Anchor Brewing over the years. Be sure to reserve well in advance because the tours are limited capacity and extremely popular.
The city is dotted with brewpubs, none more nostalgic than the Magnolia Pub and Brewery in the Haight-Ashbury district. The building itself has an interesting history which is described on the menu. Rich, flavorful beer flows from the taps along with fresh inventive creations from the kitchen. This is an ideal stop while exploring this culturally significant district.
Another brewpub we particularly enjoy is the Thirsty Bear, located on Howard Avenue not too far from the ballpark. We recommend stopping by during happy hour, when appetizers and beer is discounted and the vibe is friendly and lively.
Combining Beer And Baseball In San Francisco
Two other restaurant bars combine cold beer, good food, and baseball history in San Francisco. In the midst of the Union Square shopping district, you’ll find Lefty O’Douls, one of the best lunch values in the area. The establishment was named for a well known pitcher from the city who probably become more well known for this friendly restaurant and bar. If you’re looking for a break from some of San Francisco’s high prices, this is a perfect choice. Baseball memorabilia covers the walls, the portions are generous, and the beer tastes great!
Finally, a slightly out of the way spot deserves mention. About a mile from the Anchor Brewery at the intersection of 16th Street and Bryant is the Double Play Cafe, which has been here since 1909. It’s not really a cafe, but more of a breakfast, lunch, and early dinner spot. It is called the Double Play because it sits directly across the street from the former location of Seals Stadium, the first home of the Giants in 1958 and 1959. The stadium is long gone, but there’s a plaque on site and the Double Play has all sorts of historical memorabilia, including part of the old flag pole. Enjoy a great sandwich or burger and revel in all the baseball history.
San Francisco is a world class destination for visitors for many reasons, but none more than baseball and beer. There are various establishments in the city that honor the noble traditions of both.