Saint Patricks Day in San Francisco

Best Places to Celebrate St. Patty's Day in SF 2014

Saint Patricks Day in San Francisco is alive and kicking. The city is home to more than a dozen Irish bars and restaurants. Each one opens early this day as they prepare for those looking for a place to celebrate.

This year, Saint Patricks Day is on Monday, March 17, 2014.

Here you will find some of the best things to do on Saint Patricks Day. You'll find a list of the places with the best Irish dishes, some of the top Irish Bars to grab a drink and details on other activities planned for the weekend.

Saint Patricks Day Parade and Celebration

Every year, the United Irish Societies of San Francisco hosts a large Saint Patrick's Day Parade and Festival. The 2014 event is on Saturday, March 15.

The highlight of the event is the Saint Patrick's Day parade which starts at 11:30 AM. The parade route begins at 2nd and Market streets and heads straight down Market Street all the way to Civic Center Plaza near San Francisco City Hall.

You can also join in on the Saint Patrick's Day Irish Festival at the Joe Alioto Performing Arts Plaza (just to the southeast of San Francisco City Hall and the green star on the map). The festival includes Irish music, dancing and a never ending supply of beer. The festival starts at 11 AM and closes down around 5 PM that afternoon.

saint patty's day parade

I love heading over in the early afternoon to grab a drink and enjoy the entertainment. However, it does tend to get a little crazy later on in the afternoon, so be prepared for that if you plan on staying all day.

Learn More: Parade Pictures & What You Can Expect at this Year's Festival


Other Saint Patricks Day & Weekend Activities for 2014

In addition to the Saint Patty's day events, there are also several other activities planned this weekend. Here are just a few other things you can do in San Francisco on Saint Patrick's Day weekend.

Cinderella at the War Memorial Opera House

Head over to the War Memorial Opera House on Saint Patty's Day weekend to watch a performance of the SF Ballet's Cinderella. You can catch a show on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Tickets: Cinderella at the War Memorial Opera House

Learn More: SF Ballet Calendar & Tips to Attend a Show


North Beach Pub Crawl

Are you looking for something a little different? How about a small group pub crawl in North Beach? This popular group tour is led by a local San Franciscan who will walk you through the bars frequented by the Beat Generation. In addition to stopping for a drink or two, you will also get the chance to discover what really went on in these infamous North Beach pubs.

Find Tickets: North Beach Pub Crawl


Twilight Cruise on the SF Bay

Another fun option for Saint Patrick's Day in San Francisco is the Twilight Cruise on the Bay. This two-hour cruise offers views of the SF Skyline along with live entertainment and a hearty appetizer buffet (sandwiches, salads, fruit and desserts). A full bar will also be open on board where you can purchase both hot and cold drinks at a reasonable price during your cruise. Both indoor and outdoor seating is available.

Find Tickets: Book Your Seats Online Today


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Irish Pubs & Restaurant

Are you looking to spend some time in a local Irish Bar on Saint Patricks Day in San Francisco? What about finding some of the best traditional Irish dishes in the area? Here you will find recommendations for the best Irish Pubs in San Francisco.

Learn More: Top Irish Pubs & Restaurants


Top Hotels to Stay In on Saint Patricks Day Weekend

There are several great places in San Francisco to stay on St. Patrick's Day. Since most of the action is in and around the Downtown and Union Square areas, I recommend looking for a hotel near one of these districts.

All of these hotels are also close to a variety of public transportation options,so you can easily get in and around the city from either of these neighborhoods. Here are several recommendations based on budget, amenities and location.


Where to Watch the NCAA Tournament

St. Patrick's Day always coincides with the NCAA basketball tournament. Here are some of the places you can celebrate Saint Patricks Day in San Francisco and also watch the games.

1. Johnny Foley's Irish House: I've mentioned this a couple of times, so just added it to showcase that they also have a number of TVs to watch the games. I recommend heading toward the back of the bar where there are several TVs. From here, you can watch the game from several of the tables and from selected seats right at the bar.

2. Kezar Pub: This small but popular Irish bar is also a great place to watch the basketball tournament. I didn't recommended it above, since the bar mostly focuses on sports. However, it's a great place to mingle with locals and sample their amazing Bangers & Mash. The bar usually opens around 11:30 AM and is located in the Haight-Ashbury District just steps from Golden Gate Park. 770 Stanyan Street.

3. Union Square Sports Bar: The Union Square Sports Bar is an interesting place. It's a great sports bar with a number of TVs. However it's also a little bit of a dive bar and sometimes you'll find a few sketchy characters that hang around outside. The neighborhood is safe, as it's just a few blocks from Union Square, but it seems a little out of place based on the neighborhood. They don't have food, but they have a large selection of beers and a many TVs for the size of the bar. 115 Mason Street

4. Nickie's: If you're in San Francisco on St. Patrick's Day and prefer to focus on the basketball tournament versus the Irish celebrations, then Nickie's is the place for you. This sports bar in the lower Haight neighborhood offers pub food all day and a great selection of beers. They normally open around noon and you will find them at 466 Haight St.

5. Green's Sports Bar: Another great place to watch basketball is Greens Sports Bar in the Russian Hill neighborhood. This place is usually really crowded, so plan on standing for a while until a seat opens up. It's a bar only, no food, but a great place to watch the basketball games. Here you'll mainly find locals from the surrounding neighborhood. Green's normally opens around 10 AM and is at 2239 Polk St.


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