Under $3 Drinking on Divisadero

Ever since the Beanbag Cafe's buck-fifty beers changed the game, booze prices on Divisadero have plummeted to the point where more than ten bars, restaurants and cafes in a six-block stretch are selling the cold gold for less than the price of a Coca-Cola. From $3 cans of Modelo with salt and lime at Nopalito to $2 microbrews at an underground bike shop/cafe, here's your guide to the single best cheap-drinking destination in the city right now. And, please, don't call it "Nopa"--do like a native and call it "Divis."

Updated: May 27, 2010

$3 or Less

Bean Bag Coffee House

601 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Bean Bag is to the Divisadero cheap-beer scene as Madonna is to blond pop icons: the oldest and the best. They started the area's beer-price race and, at $1.92 (w/tax!), they've still got the cheapest Big Daddy around AND the longest happy hour. Couple that with sun-drenched outdoor seating, and it's probably one of the best places in the city to scope out sexy hipsters while pretending to read "Infinite Jest." All beers on tap. Happy Hour: Daily 3pm-10pm.

Mojo Bicycle Cafe

639-A Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

At this cool subterranean bike/beer shop there's one thing the tattooed bike messengers speaking fixie, neighborhood people waiting for a tire to be patched on their kid's Huffy and writerly types searching for the perfect word all have in common, and that is the fact that they love a two-buck pint. Happy Hour: Daily 5pm-7pm.

Cafe Abir

1300 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA 94117

This is a coffee shop where you go if you: A. only drink beer that is cheaper than bottled water ($2 Heineken, Red Stripe, Corona), B. prefer to sit on an elevated red-velvet banquette or C. want to be gently mocked by a waitstaff that is either charmingly eccentric or just plain crazy, depending on how compatible they feel your astrological sign is with theirs. Happy Hour: Daily 4pm-7pm.

Matching Half

1799 McAllister St, San Francisco, CA 94115

In a setting that looks like it came right out of an "Architectural Digest," the only thing that gives away the fact that the owners are well under 30 are specials like an egg-brioche breakfast sandwich that comes with a PBR and $2 happy-hour beers of the microbrew variety with their alcohol content included on the menu. Happy Hour: Daily 4pm-6pm.

Little Chihuahua Mexican

292 Divisadero St., San Francisco, CA 94117

At Little Chihuahua, hungry families mingle with hungrier hipsters, who look like they could really use a beer and several guacamole-slathered enchiladas. With $3 drafts and $2.50 bottles all day every day and educational artwork that teaches diners how to say ?heart? in Spanish, Little Chihuahua is, like its namesake, the tinier, more adorable version of something you would find in the Mission--and the burritos are quietly some of the best in the city.

The Page

298 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Drinking and hunting don't necessarily mix, which is why you go to The Page to drink--it's not really hunting if the animal heads are already mounted on the wall, or when it's so packed that your prey can't run away from you. The other reasons you go are for the raucous crowd, dark alcoves, many table games and the $2 Tecate.


762 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Fly is a bar for people who want to rebel against their mothers by talking to strangers, but want to do so in a room that's so seductively lit by red lights that it's almost impossible to tell if someone actually is a stranger. Thankfully, after six hours of $3 beers or $4 sake cocktails, anyone you didn't know before you got here is pretty much your best friend now. Happy Hour: Daily 12pm-6pm.

Madrone Art Bar

500 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

If hipsters joined frats and Urban Outfitters decorated their living rooms, Madrone is what it would look like. The feisty drink descriptions, which include at least one reference to being slapped by the bartender, inform customers that this isn't a place where you're gonna get coddled, but the great music and $2 PBRs/$3 well drinks all night long more than make up for the abuse.

Bar 821

821 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

At this dark and sexy, blink-and-you'll-miss-it spot on the north end of the strip, the all-female bar staff serves up $3 champagne cocktails and $3 drafts. The drinks are good (try the Sparkling Ginger--champagne with fresh ginger juice), but the vibe is chill, so if you're looking for cheap shots and a boisterous crowd, you better head to The Page. Happy Hour: Daily 5pm-7pm.


306 Broderick St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Although not technically a bar, this classy nouveau Mexican spot offers $3 Modelos served with the genius addition of a lime wedge covered with sea salt. It's not a place where you would be looked at favorably for just ordering a beer, but the appetizers, while tiny, are delicious and cheap enough to warrant the trade-off.

Acme Burgerhaus

559 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

San Francisco is a city whose motto might as well be, ?Just Infuse It.? While unique ingredients have become almost cliche when it comes to cocktails, Acme Burgerhaus keeps it fresh by bringing infusions to ground beef. If you like $1.95 pints with your custom pine-nut/mint/raisin burger, this little diner is for you. Happy Hour: Daily 3pm-10pm.

Club Waziema

543 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

With its gilt-framed Budweiser logos and vaguely sparkly ceiling, Waziema is like the Scarlett O?Hara, or the original hot mess, of dive bars. The only spot on Divis that boasts a full liquor license, $3 beers and face-meltingly spicy Ethiopian food, Waziema is one of those places people scoff at to strangers and then spend all night at with their friends.