perks for your palate.





On the Blackboard: March 7

By Ashley Goldsmith

There are so many great restaurants in San Francisco that it can be hard to find the time—and money—to eat at them all. Luckily, the stiff competition means that even some of the priciest places across town regularly offer deals to budget-conscious diners. Here are seven of our favorite happy hours, prix fixes, and more to catch at some of the city’s best restaurants right now.

Happy Hour at Aatxe
This Basque restaurant’s happy hour (pictured above right) is under-the-radar but offers true Spanish-style tapas with pintxos (small bites) like chorizo deviled eggs, jamon and squash croquetas, and anchovy toasts for $1. The bar area’s large windows are perfect for people watching and offer flawless lighting for an Instagrammable meal. Wash your pintxos down with $2 beers, or splurge on a gin and tonic, or Spanish wine for $8 a glass.
Neighborhood: Duboce Triangle MAP

Late night happy hour at Café du Nord
The deals at this newly renovated San Francisco institution don’t begin until the clock strikes twelve. If you’re looking for high-quality late night snacks, look no further than the subterranean cocktail lounge between midnight and last call, where bearded bartenders pop open half-priced bottles of Champagne to enjoy alongside the equally discounted raw oysters. Other favorites include jars of house-made pimento cheese ($7) and shrimp cocktail ($14).
Neighborhood: Duboce Triangle MAP

Taco window at Cala
Celebrated Mexican chef Gabriela Cámara’s Cala is one of the most expensive Mexican restaurants in the city. But her backdoor taco window offers an affordable and quick option for those who won’t be splurging inside the restaurant. The tacos alternate regularly with four or five options each day, ranging from chicken in chipotle to braised squid, all served with rice and beans for just $3.50 each.
Neighborhood: Hayes Valley MAP

$28 3-course dinner at Le P’tit Laurent
This corner bistro looks like it was lifted right off of a cobblestoned streetcorner in Paris. Locals frequent this Glen Park favorite on Sunday through Thursday evenings for their $28 three-course neighborhood menu. While the dishes change weekly, past offerings include classic French salads, the rotating sup du jour, and entrées like braised lamb or seared scallops.
Neighborhood: Glen Park MAP

$19 burger at Spruce
This Michelin-starred restaurant has been popular among locals since it opened a decade ago, but their burger has become a favorite of chefs across the city. Grab a seat at the restaurant’s bar and for $19 you can enjoy this top-notch burger on a house-made English muffin (pictured above left). Oh, and it’s only about $35 cheaper than the steak.
Neighborhood: Presidio Heights MAP

Happy Hour at Bar Crudo
This seafood restaurant has one of the city’s best happy hours—with the wine and beer discounts, dollar oysters, and a version of their famous seafood chowder, you can create your very own seafood feast at the steel-topped bar. All of the happy hour menu items are exclusively offered during the first hour and a half of dinner service and can’t be found on their regular dinner menu. Options change frequently, but highlights include the fried fish tacos (two for $10) and the jalepeño marinated mussels ($1 each).
Neighborhood: NoPa MAP

Early Bird menu at Chapeau!
Indulging in escargot, duck confit, and crème brûlée can run up a steep bill at most restaurants in San Francisco, but at this classic French spot the “early bird” menu offers a three-course menu of staple French dishes for $40, every Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday, from 5-6 PM. Other options include mussels in white wine the pomme frites, corn soup with crab and truffle oil, and profiteroles.
Neighborhood: Inner Richmond MAP

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