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Beer and burger in The Mission district [San Francisco]

surfwmn7 Dec 14, 2013 10:14 AM

Have an 8 hour layover at SFO and am looking to check out the mission district. Any recommendations for a place that has a really good selection of local beer on tap and in bottle and has a good burger?


  1. r
    rick c Dec 17, 2013 07:23 PM

    Personally if I wasn't carrying luggage I'd walk the 5-6 blocks and go to Zuni Cafe for the best burger and fries (IMHO) in that neighborhood. They've got a great bar and I assume a pretty good beer selection altho I don't know what they have on draft.

    Have fun exploring!

    1. m
      mikey_vee Dec 16, 2013 09:59 AM

      Monk's is a solid choice. Downside - given the crowds and prices at Monk's, I would consider this a special outing for locals rather than a hangout. Though you will find "local" brews at Monk's, they are known for Belgian style beers.

      For a true SF beer experience in the Mission, I'd like to second the rec for Southern Pacific. This is the kind of place locals can and do go to several times a week. Beers are brewed on location by Andy French, former head brewer of Speakeasy. Style is clean, dry and hoppy. Number of house brews vary since it is a small operation but as of yesterday, there's 7 on the list. Warm-up with a pale ale (amazing and $3). Finish with the barrel aged strong at 9%. You will not be disappointed.

      Walkable from BART (16th and Mission)

      2 Replies
      1. re: mikey_vee
        mdougherty Dec 16, 2013 10:14 PM

        I've been to Southern Pacific a few times since they opened, and IMHO, the house beers I've tried have all been mediocre, not nearly as good as say Speakeasy. They usually have some decent guest brews, and the food is OK for bar food. It's a nice spot if you've got a large group, but it's not a place I would generally send a visitor.

        1. re: mdougherty
          bbulkow Dec 18, 2013 07:22 PM

          +1 on that --- would not send a visitor, might meet someone for a hang-out on a very warm sunday afternoon. Even for that I have other favorites within a few blocks.

      2. d
        dlobo Dec 14, 2013 08:57 PM

        You can also get tartine bread at bar tartine when they are open. I've found tartine bread fairly easily available at 5:00 pm and there is rarely a line around that time. I've also heard good things about the bread at craftsman and wolves (i've not had it myself)


        1 Reply
        1. re: dlobo
          sugartoof Dec 16, 2013 11:40 PM

          C & W bread is pretty good...doesn't compare to Tartine, or The Mill, and freshness is an issue, but it's good to keep on your radar.

          Mission Local Market has a really good bread that deserves to get mentioned alongside Tartine's.

        2. wineguy7 Dec 14, 2013 12:15 PM

          Southern Pacific Brewing
          620 Treat Ave, San Francisco, CA ‎
          (415) 341-0152 ‎ · southernpacificbrewing.com

          5 Replies
          1. re: wineguy7
            Robert Lauriston Dec 14, 2013 12:26 PM

            I wasn't very impressed by the beer or food at Southern Pacific. Both seemed average by the low standards of brewpubs. The beer selection was limited to five or six house brews. Some more reports:


            1. re: Robert Lauriston
              bbulkow Dec 15, 2013 09:11 AM

              Agreed, and will put on the Mission list a few places:

              SouthPaw BBQ. Although you shouldn't go to SF for BBQ, they do have a single vat of beer brewing (and it's good), the meats are pretty good, and it's very mission scene.

              Hog and Rocks. Upscale mission. Oysters, and lots of them. Nice draft beer list, although not steller, there's always a few things that don't see wide distribution - right now they've got Anchor Christmas on tap, Anderson Valley's Bourbon Barrel stout.

              Monk's Kettle is really beer oriented, and I've never had the food but "pretty good" (not very good) would sum up the consensus here. The beer is very belgian-style oriented. The only two moonlights right now are a Czech Pils and a Gruit, according to the online list. They focus so heavily on belgian styles that they overlook some of my favorite breweries, like Russian River. It is dead in the heart of the mission ("no more than 5 minutes from BART" actually means "it's not RIGHT AT the bart station, but it's so close I can't remember exactly how far - one block? two?).

              You might consider Pi Bar. It's not a board darling, everyone says their pizza is pedestrian at best, and they have a shorter tap list, but the list is more heavily biased toward norcal styles. What's (nearly a year out of date) on their website includes Moonlight's Death and Taxes, a Russian River. They're claiming "the seasonal beers keep coming!". They're claiming to carry some of Magnolia's beers from their new Dogpatch location --- I didn't like Magnolia in the Height on my beer crawl, but hope springs eternal, and you can get to 20th and Potrero by grabbing the 22 bus eastbound from the 16th mission station - fairly frequent service.

              1. re: bbulkow
                Prabhakar Ragde Dec 15, 2013 10:56 AM

                Past the point where the OP would benefit, but a couple of comments: I did have a Pliny the Elder (Russian River) at Monk's Kettle, and watched the kitchen and the food coming out of it while I sipped my pint, and decided after a bit of observation not to order any food. On the other hand, I have eaten at their sister restaurant Abbot's Cellar (a short distance away), where the food is quite good, the beer list is impressive, and the wine list is pretty good also.

                1. re: Prabhakar Ragde
                  bbulkow Dec 15, 2013 11:21 AM

                  That's a hell of a list, although still very Belgian focused and very few "west coast style". I'd make mine the Defcon III today.

                  1. re: Prabhakar Ragde
                    grayelf Dec 15, 2013 09:02 PM

                    Pretzel at Monk's was excellent.

            2. m
              mdougherty Dec 14, 2013 12:13 PM

              Maybe Monk's Kettle, with the caveat that it can be tough to get a seat at peak times.


              12 Replies
              1. re: mdougherty
                surfwmn7 Dec 14, 2013 02:55 PM

                My flight gets in at around 3:30, so let's say I get to Monk's Kettle at 4:30, 4:45, should that be sufficient for a table for one or a seat at the bar?

                the beer menu looks impressive. Coming from a town where the local ale house has a bible of beer and about 60 beers on tap, I love a place with variety.

                Thanks for the recommend. It looks to be in an area where I will hopefully be able to score some good sourdough bread to bring home to the husband.

                1. re: surfwmn7
                  mdougherty Dec 14, 2013 03:15 PM

                  I would think you would be fine at that time, particularly if you're alone, a single seat at the bar shouldn't be too hard to find.

                  I'll additionally recommend trying anything by Moonlight Brewing, if it's on tap when you're in town. They're probably at the top of my list for local breweries that aren't distributed outside of the bay area.

                  1. re: mdougherty
                    surfwmn7 Dec 14, 2013 03:21 PM

                    Awesome! Exactly what I'm looking for. Thanks!

                    1. re: mdougherty
                      surfwmn7 Dec 14, 2013 03:41 PM

                      By chance do you know the closest BART station?

                      1. re: surfwmn7
                        mdougherty Dec 14, 2013 05:23 PM

                        Monk's Kettle is less than 5 minutes walk from the 16th St/Mission BART station.

                    2. re: surfwmn7
                      Robert Lauriston Dec 14, 2013 06:19 PM

                      Monk's Kettle has a great beer selection, but it's less focused on local beers than some other places. I didn't find the food memorable.

                      The best bread in the world is sold a couple of blocks away at Tartine. You should call at least three days ahead to reserve a loaf in case as they might sell out before you can get there.


                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                        Robert Lauriston Dec 18, 2013 12:42 PM

                        I take back my reservations about Monk's Kettle's food, I think I was out of date:


                      2. re: surfwmn7
                        grayelf Dec 15, 2013 05:09 AM

                        Agree that burg at Monk's Kettles just okay. What is more important to you, food or beer?

                        1. re: grayelf
                          surfwmn7 Dec 15, 2013 05:15 AM

                          I thought the burger was pretty tastey... Went there yesterday afternoon. Next time I come to SanFran and can have more than two beers will be back to Monk's Kettle. I tried getting bread at Tartine and Thorough Bread, both with no luck... I should have just gone to Boudin over by the Pier. Oh well. Next time.

                          1. re: surfwmn7
                            Robert Lauriston Dec 15, 2013 10:37 AM

                            You can get Boudin at the airport.

                            1. re: surfwmn7
                              sugartoof Dec 16, 2013 11:35 PM

                              Bi Rite is up the block from Tartine, with a pretty nice assortment of breads. Sometimes they're tapped out too, but it shouldn't be that hard to get a nice bread.

                        2. re: mdougherty
                          The Dive Dec 18, 2013 05:04 PM

                          I strongly recommend Monk's Kettle for this. Close to bart. Great burger. Wonderful beer selection. How could it be more perfect?!

                        3. Robert Lauriston Dec 14, 2013 11:42 AM

                          Mission Bowling Club


                          1. s
                            surfwmn7 Dec 14, 2013 10:15 AM

                            Oh... And if it's close walk from the BART station that would be helpful. Thanks much.

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