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San Francisco Ice Cream Bars and Other Kid at Heart Bars
You work hard all week long, right? (Well, unless you’re a slow-paced graphic designer that works from home or a video game tester … we’ll just assume that you work hard all week long.) And that means that you’re ready to get out and play when the work day is done. San Francisco is probably the best city in the world for playfulness. It’s a place where carefree and silly are ways of life.
San Francisco is a city where people don’t really like to have to grow up. We have a prolonged adolescence here. A glance at the colorful and creative costumes worn at various city events nearly monthly will testify to this. But of course we’re grown ups so a lot of the time when we’re acting playful and childlike we’re doing it at adult spots like the city’s bars.
Perhaps that is why it’s not tough to find San Francisco bars that kind of cater to the kid in us all. One kid-like thing that is fairly easy to find in this city is a bar that serves an alcoholic drink with ice cream added to it. However, there are also other fun kid-style additions to bars such as board games and slides. This is your guide to some of the bar’s best spots to let your inner child out.
Best Alcoholic Ice Cream Drinks in San Francisco
From beer floats to Grasshoppers, here are the SF spots for enjoying ice cream in your drink.
o Trad’r Sam, 6150 Geary Blvd. (@ 25th Ave.) Outer Richmond 415.221.0773. The Grasshopper is one of the best alcoholic ice cream drinks out there. It takes mint chocolate chip ice cream (almost everyone’s favorite, really) and combines it with enough alcohol to give you a heady buzz. Trad’r Sam is known for this one, although they have other drinks on the menu that you can enjoy in their divey atmosphere.
o Rogue Ales Public House, 673 Union St. (@ Columbus St.) North Beach 415.362.7880. Rogue is a San Francisco microbrewery that has two brews perfect for ice cream drinks. Fans of stout can get the stout chocolate float. If stout’s not your thing, the hazelnut brown nectar float may be better. Both come with whipped cream and a cherry on top. What more could a kid-adult want?
o St. Francis Fountain & Candy Store, 2801 24th St. (@ Bryant St.) The Mission 415.826.4200. It’s best to go here when you’re showing off San Francisco to people who are visiting from out of town since it’s a little bit like a historic landmark. The old-fashioned soda counter is straight out of the early 20th century. The candy counter is good for kids of all ages. And you can enjoy their Guinness float.
o Rudy’s Can’t Fail Café, 4081 Hollis St. (@ 40th Ave.) Emeryville 510.594.1221. Of course, if you’re going to go ahead and get a Guinness float, you might as well get the best. For that, you need to head across the bridge to this Emeryville spot where you’ll ask for The Shakin’ Jesse. Your Guinness will be topped off with chocolate ice cream and espresso and you’ll be a happy camper.
Other SF Bars for the Kid At Heart
Maybe ice cream isn’t your thing or it’s just too cold out to go to a bar where you can enjoy an alcoholic ice cream beverage. That’s okay, these other bars are also great spots for indulging your kid at heart.
o Madrone Lounge, 500 Divisadero St. (@ Fell St.) Western Addition 415.241.0202. You remember summer vacation when you were a kid and your parents wouldn’t let you go hang out in the neighborhood? Instead, you stayed at home, playing your Atari and cheating at board games with your siblings. That’s what Madrone Lounge is like during the day, except you’re old enough to do it with a beer now. Sunday is free pizza and Monday is slide shows and video projection.
o Buckshot Bar & Gameroom, 3848 Geary Blvd. (@ 2nd Ave.) Inner Richmond 415.831.8838. What says youthful fun better than SkeeBall? Not much really. But the Big Buck Hunter game, the nachos, and the Candy Apple flavored shots do add to the childlike charm of this dive bar.
o Slide, 430 Mason St. (@ Geary St.) Union Square 415.421.1916 You can’t help but feel like a kid when you first enter this place because you get inside by riding down a slide. It’s called The Prohibition Playground because the slide was put there during the time that this was a secret speakeasy. But don’t be too childish; there is a dress code.
o EZ5, 684 Commercial St. (@ Kearny St.) Financial District 415.362.9321 What form of furniture did you want more than anything else when you were kid? I’m going to hope that you didn’t say inflatable because you’re just not retro enough if you did. Bean bag chairs were the kid furniture du jour back in the day and EZ5 has got them in abundance. And there’s a Ms. Pacman game too. Who doesn’t love that?!
o Double Dutch, 3192 16th St. (@ Valencia St.) The Mission 415.503.1670. Where did you stand in the breakdance circle when you were a kid? Were you horrifying your parents by twirling on your head? Were you on the fringes of the circle, thinking that you might get in there but not quite willing to make the leap? Or were you oh-too-cool-for-that? Go re-live the past; do it better this time.
There are also several bars where you can play the smart kid with trivia nights and once a year there's an annual Snuggie Pub Crawl. Where is your favorite San Francisco bar to satisfy the kid inside your heart?