Try These 13 S.F. Fireside Spots

When the wind picks up and those San Francisco leaves begin to twirl, it’s time to change things up. Denim jackets will be swapped for proper peacoats, sparkling rosé for gut-warming whiskey — and all those al fresco happy hour spots? We'll be switching those out for bars that actually provide some warmth, thank you!
Since there’s nothing more soothing than ducking into a tavern and hearing the beautiful, crackling sounds of burning pine (gas powered is just as nice), we searched high and low for the toastiest spots in town. From a sleek Union Square lounge to a honky-tonk surfer bar in the Outer Sunset, here are the dozen best trailblazing locales. Grab your friends and gather ‘round the burning flame.

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Sugar Cafe
This swanky Union Square lounge is a sound choice for those looking to warm up. Start your morning sipping a Bicycle Coffee soy latte near the roaring fire, or come in at sunset for small bites and a wall-projected movie.
Sugar Cafe, 679 Sutter Street (between Taylor and Mason streets); 415-441-5678.
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St. Regis Hotel Lobby Bar
For a special night out, head to the illustrious St. Regis hotel and sink into one of the lobby bar’s polished, veneer-backed seats. Order your favorite spirit and savor it — drinks are pricey! — and admire the striking, long gas fireplace and polished atmosphere.
St. Regis Hotel Lobby Bar, 125 3rd Street (between Mission and Minna streets); 415-284-4000.
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This dimly lit Union Square standout was remodeled earlier in the year (they added leather couches as well as long, high-top tables) and the cocktail menu is robust — with over 300 bottles of booze. In the back, there’s a gas fireplace that heats up the room. Grab one of the padded stools near the warm flame and do as Swig instructs (meaning, toss some back!).
Swig, 561 Geary Street (between Jones and Shannon streets); 415-931-7292.
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Zeki’s Bar
The self-described “friendliest bar in San Francisco” has an eccentric layout that appeals to many tastes. Expect low-slung leather seats juxtaposed with exposed brick walls and some well-placed taxidermy. So, whether you like sipping in a casual atmosphere or prefer something sleeker, this Nob Hill spot speaks to both.
Zeki's Bar, 1319 California Street (between Hyde and Leavenworth streets); 415-928-0677.
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Lower Haight’s trendy, bi-level bar and restaurant beckons those looking to try current food and cocktail pairings. Let the three-column menu guide you through suggested combinations, or just order your trusted bevvie and take a seat on the modular couches by the fire. Don’t forget to check out the massive living wall behind the bar while you’re there.
Maven, 598 Haight Street (between Steiner and Fillmore streets); 415-829-7982.
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Photo: Courtesy of Twenty Five Lusk
Twenty Five Lusk
Orb-like steel fireplaces are suspended from the ceiling at Twenty Five Lusk's ultra-posh basement den. A former meatpacking plant, the downstairs lounge is open and airy, bringing an earthy vibe to the room. There are plenty of seats — and dangling fires — so you shouldn’t have trouble finding a place to defrost.
Twenty Five Lusk, 25 Lusk Street (between Townsend and Brannan streets); 415-495-5875.
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Photo: Courtesy of Wayfare Tavern
Wayfare Tavern
Much of celebrity chef Tyler Florence’s Wayfare Tavern has a turn-of-the-century feel to it: Old-school hunting trophies on the wall; a fireplace constructed with salvaged bricks from the 1906 S.F. earthquake. Reservations are hard to come by and corner tables by the fire can be even harder to get, but don’t give up.
Wayfare Tavern, 558 Sacramento Street (between Sansome and Montgomery streets); 415-772-9060.
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The Riptide
You’ll feel like you’ve just stumbled into a hillbilly saloon at The Riptide, but that’s part of the charm. Wood-paneled walls and stuffed-animal heads decorate part of the interior, and during the holidays it often decks the mantel with stockings and funky knickknacks. All nights are not created equal at this Outer Sunset mainstay, so try Saturday evening for a game of bingo, or swing by on a Wednesday to catch a surf film.
The Riptide, 3639 Taraval Street (between 46th and 47th avenues); 415-681-8433.
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The Little Shamrock
Hugging the southern edge of Golden Gate Park, this seemingly nondescript Irish pub is one of the oldest bars in the city (it opened in 1863). The inside is exactly what you’d expect from a joint this vintage, with perfectly worn-out furniture, a beautiful wooden Backgammon table that’s seen its fair share of players, and a teetering stack of board games near the fireplace.
The Little Shamrock, 807 Lincoln Way (between 9th and 10th avenues); 415-661-0060.
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Kezar Pub
Whether you root for the 49ers, Oakland A’s, or San Jose Sharks, all fans are welcome at this Cole Valley sports bar. The fireplace is buried in the back, so if you don’t care for the high-fiving energy upfront, order some wings and make a beeline for the rear.
Kezar Pub, 770 Stanyan Street (between Beulah and Waller streets); 415-386-9292.
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The Homestead
It’s not always easy to find a seat on the weekends at this dog-friendly Mission watering hole, but that’s no reason to bypass it. Just order a drink and some peanuts at the bar, hover near the blazingly warm hearth, and check out the decor, which includes a cool gilded ceiling and suggestive (read: half-naked) artwork.
Homestead, 2301 Folsom Street (between 19th and 20th streets); 415-282-4663.
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The Grove
Warm and almost woodsy, this rustic Pac Heights gathering place has a casual menu with classic staples like chicken pot pie, tuna melts, and a supreme, squeezed-to-order O.J. The fireside seating looks like it came right out of a ski lodge, too, with exposed wood beams, brown leather seats, and a stacked stone wall.
The Grove, 2016 Fillmore Street (between California and Pine streets); 415-474-1419.
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Fireside Bar
Inner Sunset denizens and loyal locals hit up Fireside Bar for the unbeatable vibe: It's laid-back and perfectly divey. But, the establishment’s centerpiece — the fireplace — is the main draw. It can be hard to secure real estate on the adjacent couches, so feel free to kill time by playing DJ at the digital jukebox.
Fireside Bar, 603 Irving Street (between 7th and 8th avenues); 415-731-6433.