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Places that let you bring your own food (in SF only)

Every so often, I like to make baked goods and share them with my friends, but instead of having them come to my place, I'll meet them at Shotwell's Bar in the Mission since they don't have a problem with people bringing their own food. I will tell people to buy drinks there since they're letting us hang out.

My question is: Are there other places like this in SF? I'm ideally looking for a place that serves drinks (alcoholic or non-alcoholic), but will let me bring my desserts to share with friends.

I've been going to Shotwell's and they've never had a problem with it, but would like to know about other places around SF. Mission/SoMa would be great, but other neighbourhoods not a problem.

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  1. Pop's on 24th would probably let you, I bring in tortas from La Torta Gorda (across the street) and eat them there all the time.

    La Torta Gorda
    2833 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

    1 Reply
    1. re: Kristine

      Oh good to know. I'll have to check out Pop's next time.

    2. Terroir. People bring in food from Spencer's To Go and Chairman Bao all the time.

      Terroir Natural Wine Merchant & Bar
      1116 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

      4 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Wow, I had no idea! Thanks for the tip Robert.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          They're idiosyncratic. I got no guff for my Spencer on the Go food, but on another visit he joked about using his baseball bat on me for the food I brought in, I think partly because they were trying to introduce more food options at Terroir. Best to ask in advance and be polite, as in most situations.

          1. re: SteveG

            I don't think they've added any food options, still just cheese and cold cuts.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              I still wouldn't bring food into any place that serves their own food, even if it is just cheese and cold cuts. I think one is welcome to bring food into just about any of the divier bars in the city that don't serve food. Bourbon and Branch? Maybe not, since they're so into rules, but the majority of bars/taverns, no problem.

        2. Elixir, on 16th and Guerrero. People bring in stuff all the time. I suspect that most, if not all, neighborhood bars that don't serve their own food would allow this.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Joan Kureczka

            Ya, I figured that most places that don't serve their own food would be okay with people who brought their own, but figured I'd ask to see if people knew specific places that were cool with it.

          2. I had a birthday potluck at Edinburgh Castle once.

            Edinburgh Castle
            950 Geary St, San Francisco, CA

            1. Does Haight St. Toronado Pub frown on stuff from other than next store Rosamunde?

              5 Replies
              1. re: wolfe

                Do they ever smile? There was a takeout curry chowdown years ago that ended up at Toronado for the eating phase. I would bet that what you can do on a quiet Tuesday night is pretty different than what you can get away with on a crowded Friday night.

                1. re: wolfe

                  definitely not - especially given that rosamunde's closes at 11, i've taken in many a slice from next door mythic pizza

                  1. re: vulber

                    I bring Memphis Minnie's fare to Toronado often and have carried in food from home a few times.
                    However, don't ask for napkins.

                    1. re: vulber

                      The Molotov lets you bring in Mythic too.

                  2. At Yancy's Saloon in the Sunset Dist, there are always parties who bring in an entire pizza from nearby Pasquale's. I even see people leave the pizza box there as if the bar staff is expected to bus after them.

                    Yancy's Saloon
                    734 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Keesey

                      I've never been to Yancy's. Does it get busy in the middle of the day on Sundays with sports fans?

                      And re: the pizza boxes, that's pretty rude of people to leave their trash after if they bring in outside food.

                      1. re: staple

                        I've never been there for NFL Sunday's, but the bar is pretty spacious with numerous TV screens and plenty of seating. Cant imagine it being crazy packed in the midday. Definitely fills up on Fri & Sat nights.

                    2. in general, just about any [dive] bar that doesn't serve food has no problem with you bringing in outside food - i can't imagine this necessarily working at higher-end cocktail places.

                      the only bar that serves food that will let you bring in outside food is zeitgeist

                      "you can have your burger the way we make it, or you can go across the street and bring in some pizza!"

                      (for the record, pizza zone across the street from zeitgeist is actually quite good and affordable)

                      1. Lucky 13 also definitely allows outside food. I've seen many a birthday celebrations here with homemade/bought goodies. Tamale lady also makes appearances.

                        Thieves Tavern is another.

                        Lucky 13
                        2140 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114

                        1. Argus Lounge has always been cool with outside food.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: scarmoza

                            Argus has closed up shop. It is sad.

                            1. re: Atomica

                              Not the Arugus on Mission at Valencia. They've had a recent change in ownership/management but I hear that it's all for the better. They've closed the back room for remodeling (the pool table has been removed and they're putting in a fireplace!)

                              1. re: scarmoza

                                I take back what I wrote re new ownership and improvements. My favorite bartender who also supported the new changes in ownership/management has been fired in the attempt to change the vibe at the Argus. : (

                                1. re: scarmoza

                                  Aw, that's a drag. Thanks for pointing out that it had not been closed permanently, though. A lot of people in Bernal got misinformation about that.

                          2. I've actually never had a problem at any bar that doesn't serve food.
                            I can't imagine the guys at The Uptown (17th and Capp) having problems. I love the atmosphere there.
                            One I'm sure about is The Attic on 24th between Val and Mission.
                            I've occasionally gotten nachos at El Faralito and picked over them in The Attic over a refreshing beverage. My favorite drink at The Attic is a Pepper Lemon Drop. The Attic has Absolute Pepper, which for some reason is better in that drink than the Stoli Pertskova. Give it a try.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: bbulkow

                              Ah, The Uptown is even closer to my house than Shotwells so maybe I'll try there next. I usually scope the scene ahead of time and ask the bartender when the place isn't busy, and I just haven't gotten a chance to check out The Uptown yet.

                              Absolut Pepper? Man, I've never heard of that! Will have to try it out.

                              1. re: staple

                                Yes, give The Uptown a try. Friendly folks.

                            2. Dovre Club on Valencia & 26th.
                              Mission Bar on Mission and 23rd.

                              Dovre Club
                              1498 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                              1. The bar at the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchants.

                                Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant
                                1 Ferry Bldg # 23, San Francisco, CA

                                11 Replies
                                1. re: steve h.

                                  Still? When FPWM they opened they didn't have food, but they do now:


                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                    Yes, still. It's true they have a modest menu of items culled from their neighbors at the Ferry Plaza but you are welcome to bring your own. I was last there in December. It's a pleasant place to sip a glass or two of wine and nibble on something. The people watching is pretty good.

                                    1. re: steve h.

                                      Yup. They let me sit at the bar and eat my slice of Shaker Lemon Pie from Mission Pies, but only after joking that the price of pie-age was a bite for each bartender. So if you can fend off the curious and hungry masses, you can bring your own food. They even suggested a nice sparkling wine to go with.

                                      Mission Pie
                                      2901 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                    2. re: Robert Lauriston

                                      The website does that that it's okay to grab a baguette from Acme or some cheese from Cowgirl and bring it there to eat, which is pretty nice of them considering they serve Cowgirl cheese too.

                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                          Modest note: FPWM now offers flights of Champagnes with caviar, partially offsetting the loss of Tsar Nicoulai from the plaza.

                                          1. re: steve h.

                                            Q. Do many people really like to eat deserts when they are drinking in a bar?

                                            1. re: Mission

                                              The Rite-spot occasionally has, or had, homemade pie behind the bar in a nice little pie-keeper thing. Doesn't work with beer too well, but a late night snack of a glass of wine and a slice of pie sounds quite nice to me.

                                              1. re: Mission

                                                some beers match up quite well with desserts. Try Young's Chocolate stout with chocolate cake, for example, or sour beer with red velvet cake

                                                1. re: chuckl

                                                  Yes, I agree that beers can go well with desserts, but it can be a bit of a mental hurdle.