San Francisco is full of fun things to do on Saint Patrick's Day, including the annual parade, pub crawls, and live performances. The city is also home to more than a dozen Irish bars and restaurants.
This year, the holiday is on Sunday, March 17 and most festivities will take place the weekend before and after.
Read on to find a list of ways you can celebrate, places with the best Irish dishes, top Irish bars, and other activities planned for the official celebration weekend.
Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.
Every year, the United Irish Societies of San Francisco hosts a large Saint Patrick's Day Parade. The 2024 celebration is set for Saturday, March 16.
The Saint Patrick's Day parade begins 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.
This parade is one of my favorites and I try to attend every year. What I love most about this parade is the music, the energy, and the amount of diversity in the parade.
I love to watch the parade from Market Street where it turns onto McAlister toward Civic Center Plaza. This is where I took the picture below. The parade walks straight toward me here and then makes the turn, so it's a unique viewpoint.
This year, they will also have a UniteSF Multicultural Celebration at Civic Center Plaza from 2:30 pm to 6 pm.
Every year, many of the Irish pubs in SF also celebrate the holiday. Here are a few of the top events scheduled this year.
Every year, the Irish Bank celebrates with two fun block parties.
Saturday, 3/16: Saint Patrick's Day Parade Block Party #1
Sunday, 3/17: Saint Patrick's Day Parade Block Party #2
The Irish Bank is located at 10 Mark Lane in the Financial District.
Head over to Schroeder's in downtown SF (240 Front Street) for a St. Patrick's Day Party. All festivities will be on Friday, 3/15. They usually get started around 3 pm in the afternoon and the party usually lasts until around 10 pm.
The party includes green beer, cheers, live music, and fun!
You will find a few pub crawls this year for Saint Patrick's Day in San Francisco.
3/15, 3/16 and 3/17: The LepraCon Pub Crawl
3/17: St. Patrick's Day Pub Crawl Party, starts at 1 pm at the Comet Club, 3111 Fillmore Street
You will find several concerts this holiday in SF. Here are just a few of the top shows on 3/16 & 3/17.
Get in the Irish spirit on Saint Patrick's Day at the Buena Vista Cafe. All day long, they will be serving up corned beef and cabbage, Irish soda bread, and other Buena Vista favorites.
And...of course, make sure to enjoy at least one of their Irish Coffees during your visit!
They are open all day on Sunday, March 17.
I love checking out the local Irish Pubs and Restaurants. In addition to the Buena Visit, here are just a few additional places I love that offer traditional food and drinks for this fun, lively holiday.
Learn More: Top Irish Pubs & Restaurants
During your visit, I highly recommend you check out some of our fun tour and activities to learn more about SF. Here are a few of my favorites.
Tour Length: 60 minutes
Tickets: Find tickets in advance
I love heading out on the water on this 60-minute Bay Cruise. My favorite part of this cruise is when it heads under the Golden Gate Bridge and I get the chance to see this amazing structure from below.
I also love both the commentary and the views as it rides around Alcatraz Island. This fun cruise starts and ends in Fisherman's Wharf.
This one leaves several times a day, so you will have plenty of options to choose from when you arrive.
Tour Length: Standard tour is 2 hours, but the early bird tour sometimes offer an extra hour
Before the celebrations begin, I think you will love cruising around San Francisco on a GoCar Tour.
These tours are in a GoCar which offers just two seats. I love exploring in these as they offer me the chance to cruise around at my own pace. They also include pre-recorded driving directions, so you make sure you visit all the top spots on the tour.
If you are in a group, you can rent two or more cars to fit your entire group.
These open air cars are a fun way to enjoy SF!
These tours also start and end in Fisherman's Wharf.
Tour Length: 90-minutes
Another one of my favorites for Saint Patrick's Day Weekend in San Francisco is the Twilight Cruise on the Bay. This 90-minute cruise offers views of the SF Skyline. It's a fun way to relax and soak in the views on this fun annual holiday.
What I love most about this one is being on the bay at twilight. It also cruises under the Golden Gate Bridge, which I love. This one also has commentary about the history of SF and the places you will ride by including Alcatraz, Sausalito, Fort Point National Historic Site, and many others.
This one leaves at 7 pm every night this weekend. Both indoor and outdoor seating is available.
If you're not into the party scene, or are looking for something to do before heading out to the pubs, here are some additional activities planned for Saint Patrick's Day and the weekend.
You will find a variety of performance on stage this Saint Patrick's Day in San Francisco. They range from Broadway hits to off Broadway and local creations at smaller theaters all around town.
This weekend's biggest show is The 39 Steps at the San Francisco Playhouse. It's a fun take on Alfred Hitchcock's movie of the same name. This one is chaotic and funny, so it's a great way to spend a few hours during your stay in SF. Find tickets for this show.
Head over to Cobb's Comedy Club to see some of the top comedy talent live on stage. You can be sure that St. Patrick's Day in San Francisco is a perfect day to see the best here.
Here are just a few of the ones I recommend.
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.
Both of these neighborhoods offer a variety of public transportation options, so you can easily get to the rest of the city from here. Take a look at these recommendations based on budget, amenities, and location.
You can also look for discounts on TripAdvisor or Booking.com before you book your hotel. They offer several discounts on room rates, parking, wifi, and more. Click the links below for details.
VRBO: In addition to hotels, you'll also find some great places to stay locally through VRBO. Book an apartment or a room and feel more like a local. Find some great places to stay on VRBO here.
St. Patrick's Day always coincides with the NCAA basketball tournament. This year, the NCAA team selection show is on Saint Patrick's Day. Here are some of the places in San Francisco where you can see which teams will make the cut in 2024.
1. Johnny Foley's Irish House: This is a great place 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 either the tables or 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. You'll also get to mingle with locals and sample the pub's amazing "bangers & mash." The bar usually opens around 11:30am and is located in the Haight-Ashbury District just steps from Golden Gate Park at 770 Stanyan Street.
3. Nickie's: If you prefer to focus on the basketball tournament rather than the Irish celebrations, then Nickie's is the place for you. This sports bar in the Lower Haight neighborhood offers pub food all day as well as a great selection of beers. They normally open around noon and you will find them at 466 Haight St.
4. Greens Sports Bar: Another 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 games. Here you'll mainly find locals from the surrounding neighborhood. Greens normally opens around 10am and is at 2239 Polk St.