This beer garden features a large patio, fifteen beers on tap, and a rotating menu of small bites and larger dishes.
Preps and rockabilly scenesters comprise most of the clientele at this small, kitschy Alameda bar. It’s a little divey, but only in the best sense of the word: The drinks are strong, it’s not pretentious, and it’s even dog-friendly. Characterized by lava lamps and a checkerboard floor, Lost Weekend also features a DJ on Thursdays; a jukebox stocked with Eighties, rock, and punk; plus a full bar and pool table. It has an enclosed smoking patio and it’s right next to the 51A bus stop, an area where it’s relatively safe to walk around late at night. Plenty of street parking is available. Cash only.
Perhaps most notable for the fact that it's located inside the Shattuck Cinemas movie theater, this bar/restaurant offers a full bar, a comfortable atmosphere, and surprisingly delicious food.
You won’t find any Budweiser, Coors, or Miller on the menu at this Alameda bar, but don’t let that dissuade you, the beer list is long. There are more than twenty beers on tap, forty choices in bottles, and, of course, cold PBR. For wine lovers, Lucky 13 features local wines by the bottle, and there’s a full bar. The bar also has a pool table, pinball machines, a black-and-white photo booth, beer garden, and a jukebox full of rock, punk, and soul. There’s free popcorn to snack on, and food can be ordered from Scolari's, the restaurant next door.
The laid-back bar and grill, which has been around since 1977, is a go-to place to watch sports, eat Sunday brunch, and have a drink (it's rumored that after a few visits the bartender will have your drink poured before you've even taken a seat at the bar).
This is a great place to watch the game, whether that means standard bar fare like football and baseball or European favorites like soccer (aka football) or rugby. McNally’s attracts young and old, and the appeal goes beyond whatever is on the four TVs. Friendly bartenders serve reasonably priced drinks, there’s a digital jukebox that isn’t too loud to drown out conversation, plus bumper pool, a stone fireplace, and a nice smoking area.
Recent renovations at this Albany cocktail bar have rendered the atmosphere reminiscent of a 1960s-era Las Vegas lounge, but five flat-screen TVs and weekly Wii tournaments give it a modern-day boost. Stop by on Thursday through Saturday for karaoke, and come on Wednesdays for free hot dogs.
Undoubtedly one of the oldest bars in downtown Oakland, this little shack is beside a line of produce warehouses right at the edge of Jack London Square. Merchant’s is a dive bar that combines punk bar decor with a nautical theme, and features an upright piano, a jukebox, and a lofted DJ booth crafted from dilapidated plywood. Play pool or Pac-Man, or use the free wi-fi. Admire the ingenuity of the antique (and no longer used) urinal that wraps all the way around the bar: Serious drinkers didn’t even get up to piss!
The bar and restaurant's weekday happy hour runs from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., with $5 cocktails and $3 beers. And the food, ah the food: pan-Mediterranean cuisine including succulent offerings like house-made gnocchi and wood oven-roasted chicken.
Touting itself as West Berkeley’s longest-running dive bar, The Missouri Lounge never disappoints. Order “The Special,” a whiskey shot and a PBR for $5, or spend the same amount on “El Special,” a tequila and a Tecate. DJs spin everything from honky-tonk to hip-hop, soul, and indie rock. Get there early on Wednesday for open mic. There’s plenty of picnic tables on the back patio, and a small selection of delicious drunk food. Never a cover charge.
Located in Berkeley’s mostly residential Lorin district, Moxy Beer Garden may not be a destination, but it’s a casual place where big groups of twentysomethings and large families can happily congregate over craft beers and burgers on its spacious patio.
Husband-and-wife team Hisuk and Sanju Dong preside over what, on a busy night, feels like the fiercest party in Uptown. The 6,500-square-foot loft sprawls in an L-shape through most of the old Rim and Wheel building, a cavernous former garage. It's part bar, part hang-out zone, and part art studio -- plus a restaurant menu highlighted by fare like skinny fries and fried chicken.
With its old-fashioned furniture, a menu that's long on whiskeys and short on wheel-inventing, and comfortable, cozy, vibe, The Night Light is the kind of place your grandfather would love — that is, until the DJs get there. Upstairs, live bands play several nights a week for a low cover charge.
Pacific Coast Brewing is located in an elegantly restored historic building in Old Oakland that harks back to the Gold Rush era. The microbrewery hosts free blues and jazz acts about once a month, but its known for its large selection of beers -- 25 on tap -- as well as its tasty selection of common bar food, including burgers, pizzas, and other deep-fried snacks. On weekend nights, especially in the summer months, Pacific Coast Brewing can become a crowded, lively place, especially because of its large, heated, outdoor patio.