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El Rio

Dive Bar and Music Venue$$$$
Bernal Heights, San Francisco
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9.2/10
759
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119 Tips and reviews
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  • outdoor seating
  • hard french
  • lively
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  • good for a late night
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  • Courtney L.
    Courtney LucasFebruary 7, 2013
    Been here 100+ times
    Some of the nicest and down-to-earth folks (staff & patrons) in the City! Stop by, enjoy a libation and possibly strike up a conversation with someone awesome! The Bloody Mary bar/buffet rocks as well
    Upvoted Jul 23
  • SFist
    SFistJuly 22, 2016
    The grand, homey patio at El Rio is home to one of the biggest monthly dance parties in town. Their Margaritas and Palomas are good and strong, they sell $2 Tecates, and the bartenders are cool. Read more
  • SFist
    SFistAugust 3, 2014
    DJ Carnita and DJ Brown Amy's Hard French, a daytime soul music party that sets out to "modernize, takeover, revamp, trick out, revive, and do up the outdoor afternoon dance party experience." Read more
  • Savoteur
    SavoteurJuly 26, 2016
    Drinks are cheap and usually generously poured. The outdoor space includes so much greenery you'll think you’ve absconded to the countryside. Plus the calendar is full of live music. Read more
  • Party Earth
    Party EarthJuly 18, 2012
    If you want to get in on the free oysters on Fridays, get there by 5:30pm. The oysters are brought in fresh from Tomales Bay and they go FAST! Read more
  • Vic A.
    Vic AveryDecember 10, 2015
    This is lush! Great public ) Cool bar staff, generally nice crowd. The terrace is a gem in SF to be outside with a drink & smokes. It's rare. & the crowd is really cool & friendly )
  • AFAR Media
    AFAR MediaJune 26, 2015
    Their backyard is one of the best outdoors spaces to drink in town and home to many of the most frequented gay parties in San Francisco, including Mango for the ladies and Hard French for the guys. Read more
  • MetroWize
    MetroWizeFebruary 28, 2012
    El Rio is the self proclaimed "neighborhood bar with a heck of a lot to offer." Their specials are unbeatable - $1 PBRs and $2 wells on Mondays and a Tuesday - Friday Happy Hour with $3 wells. Read more
  • MetroWize
    MetroWizeMarch 1, 2012
    Partake in their "Really Fabulous Happy Hours" ($5 Bloody Mary pints, $3 wells/beer) or swing by on Monday nights for "Dollar Day All Day." $1 PBR. $2 wells. 'Nuff said. Read more
  • SFist
    SFistMay 5, 2015
    Their Margaritas and Palomas are good and strong, they sell $2 Tecates, and the bartenders are all pretty friendly and cool. Get there early to avoid a line. Read more
  • Staff Picks
    Staff PicksMay 18, 2016
    The famously raucous Bay to Breakers party is hitting SF. Head to El Rio to keep the party going. With a great outdoor space and an even better Bloody Mary, you can continue the Bay area buzz. Read more
  • Donald
    DonaldJanuary 26, 2012
    Get a bacon wrapped hot dog outside at the end of the night if you can. They also have a outdoor area if if gets too warm inside (2 of 4 petals via Fondu) Read more
  • Alexander P.
    Alexander PatouchasAugust 2, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    Amazingly awesome atmosphere. Love it! The live music. The pool table. The bar. Oh man.
  • Brendan C.
    Brendan CurranAugust 7, 2014
    Been here 25+ times
    The wait time for drinks is shockingly short--maybe the shortest in SF. Great outdoor space and roomy, even though it gets a ton of traffic.
  • Mo S.
    Mo SiboDecember 22, 2016
    A good place to drink early. Later, it gets packed. There are music shows in the back room. They have barbecue some days. Lose to my dad at pool here.
  • Annie 🌺 J.
    It's nice to grab a drink and hang out in the patio out back. They've got some heaters too in case it's cooler 👌🏽
  • Q T.
    Q TipJuly 18, 2013
    Great place to just chill and chat. Great drink specials and hella pet friendly.
  • Jamie
    JamieMarch 4, 2012
    live music, shuffleboard + @rockysfrybread! ...not enough? ok, then just head over on a sunny day (post-dolo) & enjoy a $2 pbr on the back porch... you earned it.
  • Zachary R.
    On a warm night, their back patio is an amazing place for a drink. Cheap, no frills, but warm with plenty of seating.
  • Courtney L.
    Courtney LucasNovember 21, 2012
    Been here 100+ times
    Stop buy and try the Bloody Mary Bar. Various flavor-infused vodkas with tons and tons of fixings to enhance your libation experience!
  • Sam G.
    Sam GrossbergJuly 31, 2014
    Been here 5+ times
    First Saturday (except winter) is Hard French, a queer dance party. Come before 3pm to beat the insane line.
  • Jane H.
    Jane HudsonSeptember 4, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    Hard French party every 1st Saturday of the Month. Every Friday Free Oysters 5:30pm, Free BBQ 7pm. Every Sunday Free BBQ 5pm. Joanna + Gyllian are the hottest bartending team in history! Just Sayin'!
  • Bravo
    BravoJanuary 27, 2010
    Huge back patio. Perfect place to take a large group of people. Great place to hang out on a nice day and sit outside. -Laurine Wickett, Top Chef
  • Millu N.
    Millu NajeraJuly 28, 2014
    Mondays are loved again at this place. Long line to enter, $2 dlls beer, try to arrive before 9 to avoid the line
  • Greater Sirens
    Greater SirensOctober 17, 2013
    Don't miss our upcoming show at El Rio on Wednesday, November 6th, with Portland duo Muscle & Marrow and local punk band Sex Snobs!
  • Taka T.
    Taka TApril 28, 2013
    Been here 10+ times
    Salsa Sundays are quite nice here. Also if you get in before 3 p. m. No cover charge for salsa.
  • Anaheli D.
    Anaheli De los SantosOctober 5, 2010
    Been here 25+ times
    salsa sunday... go to el rio´s facebook page around 10 am and wait for their guest list post to show at any moment, write them an e mail and get there for free plus one and a 2 drinks...
  • Greg S.
    Greg SchechterAugust 19, 2014
    Decent dive bar with outdoor patio. Some cool events happen here, like Berlin style ping pong.
  • joulesm
    joulesmJanuary 29, 2014
    Cool dive bar with a pool table, shuffleboard, and outside patio.
  • Ellen M.
    Ellen McGrodyAugust 23
    It’s hella gay. Also the margarita was $6 and really salty and that’s amazing.
  • Peter C.
    Peter ChiuApril 13, 2016
    Great dive bar with a decent backyard. Go for transvestite karaoke. Fun times
  • Andrew B.
    Andrew BristowSeptember 19, 2016
    This bar gets packed during day time realness. Come early, cash only
  • Loren M.
    Loren MattiaJanuary 18, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Awesome outdoor space. Cheap beers. What else do you want?
  • Robin M.
    Robin MeansJuly 26, 2014
    They let you bring in birthday cupcakes, but they keep your license until you leave.
  • Caterina
    CaterinaOctober 9, 2016
    Best bar in the world. Loved the queer vibes. Left a pice of my heart in this place.
  • Kait G.
    Kait GaissMay 12, 2016
    Outdoor garden oasis with lots of places to sit and oh how could I forget, MARGARITAS.
  • Nancy T.
    Nancy TranJuly 7, 2015
    Spacious bar for dancing. Great outdoor area but it gets crowded.
  • Tim H.
    Tim HarrisonAugust 7, 2014
    Cheep beer, good people! Check out the show calendar for something rad!
  • Tom A.
    Tom AAugust 25, 2014
    Everyday is fun here but I especially enjoy Sunday Salsa! Great crowd and music.
  • Kristina S.
    Kristina SchneiderSeptember 30, 2014
    Been here 10+ times
    Favorite place for cheap beers and margaritas and the best crowd. Patio!
  • A B.
    A BallesterosJanuary 15, 2013
    Checkout the comedy show in the back every other Monday night.
  • Katie A.
    Katie AtwellMay 18, 2015
    HH 1-8. $1 oysters on Fridays . Back patio is great. Monday has tecate for $1
  • Ashley M.
    Cash only, dope well drinks, sassy bartenders. ✊🏻❤️
  • Dustin S.
    Dustin SenosFebruary 8
    This place is always fun. Good crowd, backyard patio if it's nice out.
  • Flora W.
    Flora WiströmNovember 21, 2015
    Great vegetarian nachos, beautiful patio, fun people
  • Ryan L.
    Ryan LeggettAugust 14, 2013
    Come for a love show and be sure to enjoy the back patio.
  • Ali U.
    Great outdoor area in the back. Always a great vibe.
  • Rachel
    RachelApril 18, 2014
    If the killer patio is full, you can always shuffleboard!
  • Elizabeth A.
    Elizabeth AgnewAugust 10, 2014
    Huge outdoor patio and great for live music
  • Mitch A.
    Mitch AidelbaumApril 8, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Awesome outdoor section, have latin bands sometimes!
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