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One night in Haight Ashbury - Magnolia Pub?

We have one night in San Francisco before heading to Palo Alto for a conference. We have been before and have enjoyed a variety of asian foods significantly better than what we get back east. But this time we only have one night and are meeting up with a friend who lives in the Haight. Our focus will primarily be casual with good beer and good food (in that order) within walking distance. I read some of the reviews here and elsewhere and Magnolia Pub came up as a good option. Our local friend isn't much of a beer geek or foodie and thus no help.

Also - his recommendation was to stay at the Red Vic. After looking at online reviews, I am hesitant. Communal bathrooms don't appeal and the reviews question cleanliness. Is there anywhere else Hounds would recommend that is <$150/night yet clean and also within walking distance? We aren't familiar with the area and don't want to end up in a bad place!

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  1. I would choose Alembic instead--- they're not a brewery, but they have several fantastic beers on tap, great food, and I prefer the more intimate environment.

    Two other options with nice beer selections I'd nix based on their loudness. Magnolia is extremely loud, so you may wind up with a sore throat just before your conference. Toronado bar has one of the best beer selections in town, but again, very loud. If this is not an issue, you can get sausages at Rosamunde next door and bring them in.

    2 Replies
    1. re: hyperbowler

      I would go to Alembic instead, too. They have a very good happy hour menu - if that's of any interest. (don't hesitate to order the bone marrow, it's delicious)

      Mojoeater, have you considered airbnb.com?

      1. re: scarmoza

        Thank you so much for the suggestion, scar. I just can't wrap my head around staying in a stranger's private home or letting a stranger stay in mine. I understand the community aspect, but maybe I'm just too old ;)

    2. Try the Stanyan Park Hotel. Right next door is Kezar's Pub and there's another Kezar's on Cole that has better food.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Nopa

        Better than Magnolia? I don't think so...Kezar's ok, the wings are decent, but it's a garden variety pub, and Magnolia's beer and food selection is better.

        1. re: barndog

          I'm not saying it's better, but an option. If they stay at SPH, both Kezars are much closer than Magnolias and the Cole Kezar has better food than the Stanyan Kezar.

          1. re: Nopa

            definitely the Cole Kezar has better food than Stanyon. i didn't think the two are related.

            1. re: Nopa

              Walking from the Stanyan Park Hotel to Alembic and/or Magnolia is an 'easy' stroll.

        2. Go to Priceline or Hotwire.....I paid $117 for a 4-star room near Union Square last night......

          1. alembic is the only food place in the upper haight worth going to from another neighborhood.

            1 Reply
            1. re: vulber

              +1 For whatever reason the food in the Upper Haight sucks compared to the rest of the City. Must be the old hippie funk.

              For beer you might walk to the other end to the Lower Haight to the Toronado which has great beer. Food you might have to go next door to Rosamunde. More of a hang then a brew pub tho.

              Also, 9th and Irving is about 1 mile away. Many, many options there.

              Personally I'd figure out where you're staying first, then the eats will come easier. The Red Vic is hippie to the nth. +1 on looking on priceline orbitz or hotwire.

            2. Magnolia and Alembic share the same owner. I believe I have had a Magnolia beer at Alembic, the food is a step above Magnolia. I do recall the burger being tasty at Magnolia. I would agree with the others...go to Alembic.

              1 Reply
              1. re: BobSacamano

                I once had a plate of fried pig ears at Magnolia; that was interesting. Might be worth stepping inside for that, why not.