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Best Food at (Non Fancy) Bars in San Francisco

pane | May 21, 2012 11:58 AM

One positive outcome of the pop-up and food truck craze has been that it's been easier to access decent food in bars that are not also restaurants. There are also an increasing number of symbiotic relationships between bars and nearby cafes that offer delivery or pick-up arrangements. I'm always on the lookout for a place that has good food, decent drinks and is an easy spot for my friends to grab an affordable bite while we hang out and chat.

These are the best places I've found lately:

Dear Mom/rotating pop-up (calendar: http://dearmomsf.tumblr.com/popups) [16th and Folsom, Mission District]
This bar has a built-in kitchen and a rotating series of pop-ups, including Chez Spencer. We visited on a Sunday afternoon and split a decent steak sandwich and an excellent small farm-sourced salad from a new pop-up (not Spencer, can't remember the name). They also have a sushi pop-up.

500 Club/Clare's Deli and Late Night Kitchen [500 Guerrero, Mission District]
Clare's is on the same block (maybe next door) to 500 Club and delivers there at night; there are menus on the bar tables. I got a daily special: a Greek chicken wrap that impressed me in its attention to detail. Nice feta and pickles, thinly sliced English cucumbers, lots of peppers and a spinach wrap. Healthier options than usual carb- and meat-heavy bar food.

City Beer Store/Citizen's Band [Folsom Street between 7th and 8th, SOMA]
Not a pop-up or truck, but Citizen's Band now has a pick-up arrangement with City Beer Store. You order from a menu of sausages at City Beer, the bartender calls it in, then you go to Citizen's Band to fetch it about 10 minutes later. Some sausages (like molasses sage and kielbasa) are house-made at Citizen's Band, others are purchased. I liked the kielbasa; I didn't think the molasses sage was very balanced. Buns from Pinkies Bakery on the same block.

Terroir/whatever is outside [Folsom St between 7th and 8th, SOMA]
Not quite a dive bar, though there are some affordable glasses of idiosyncratic wines. I've had a pizza grilled on the sidewalk outside and the Spencer truck used to park here (but it sounds like doesn't anymore).

Any other good ones I'm missing?

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