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El Rio

Dive Bar and Music Venue$$$$
Bernal Heights, San Francisco
118 Tips and reviews
  • outdoor seating
  • hard french
  • lively
  • casual
  • 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 McGrody3 weeks ago
    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.
  • A B.
    A BallesterosJanuary 15, 2013
    Checkout the comedy show in the back every other Monday night.
  • Kristina S.
    Kristina SchneiderSeptember 30, 2014
    Been here 10+ times
    Favorite place for cheap beers and margaritas and the best crowd. Patio!
  • 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!
  • Gabriella S.
    Gabriella SanninoApril 7, 2012
    Best Salsa (dancing) drinks, and patio in the city
  • Team S.
    Team SlobbrAugust 25, 2015
    Dog friendly, dog-friendly outdoor space!
  • Mimi S.
    Mimi SaysApril 21, 2011
    Karaoke on Wednesday nights!!! Native american tacos and a band playing in the backroom tonight
  • Amanda M.
    Amanda MorelandSeptember 12, 2015
    The back outdoor garden is awesome!!!
  • O L.
    O L2 weeks ago
    Shuffleboard + excellent outdoor area. What more could you want
  • The Bold Italic
    The Bold ItalicMay 17, 2012
    On the first Thursday of every month, check out lady-on-lady lube wrestling nights, aka Go Deep! Read more
  • Ed P.
    Ed ParkJuly 26, 2012
    Their taco is AWESOME!! awesome!!!!!!!
  • Cesar P.
    Cesar PriettoApril 1, 2014
    Latino gay bar with a huge lovely patio. Mellow young gay and straight hipster crowd.
  • Shilpi T.
    Shilpi TomarJuly 19, 2013
    Get back to the patio. Best part of the bar!
  • The Bold Italic
    The Bold ItalicMarch 10, 2011
    Great salsa dancing every Sunday afternoon with live bands
  • Brenna G.
    Brenna GJune 19, 2014
    Been here 5+ times
    Summer Science, Neat happy hours! Go and be enlightened!
  • Tanja M.
    Tanja MilutinovicDecember 22, 2013
    Best patio ever and pbr is $2 !!!!!!
  • Kenfe-Mickaël L.
    Kenfe-Mickaël LAVENTUREDecember 23, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    You've gotta try the shuffleboard!
  • Bommy C.
    Bommy ChaJuly 25, 2015
    Not a great beer selection but the outdoor patio is fantastic.
  • Will P.
    Will PetersenSeptember 24, 2013
    Mucho awesomeness to be had, any day, any time.
  • E W.
    E WeeSeptember 28, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    If I drank tequila, I'd get the mango margaritas here...
  • cooper b.
    cooper betheaSeptember 14, 2011
    sweetest owners ever, they totally love pit bulls.
  • Seth B.
    Seth BermanJuly 11, 2012
    Open at 1pm in Sundays, 4pm Fridays, 5pm other days
  • Manny D.
    Manny DJanuary 12, 2013
    I foresee Friday nights will soon going to be POPPING!
  • Brandy B.
    Brandy BonesApril 8, 2016
    Cheap drinks and sweet back patio.
  • Dave H.
    Dave HoltzJuly 2
    Been here 10+ times
    Karaoke on Wednesday nights = 😀😀😀
  • Jon C.
    Jon CrawfordAugust 23, 2015
    Been here 10+ times
    Epic outdoor patio. Karaoke Wed and Sun nights.
  • Katie L.
    Katie LearyNovember 21, 2012
    Red Hots Burlesque- every Wednesday and Friday night
  • Sp C.
    Sp ClarkNovember 17, 2013
    Been here 25+ times
    The freshest tecate in town.
  • Gary B.
    Gary BakerSeptember 20, 2011
    always a good time at this joint. I need to go more often Read more
  • Raquel Q.
    Raquel QuarneriJune 9, 2014
    Great Bar. Live music.
  • Samantha M.
    Samantha McDuffeeJanuary 14, 2012
    It's like a community dive bar. Love it!
  • Erica J.
    Erica JayeApril 26, 2015
    With my baby, it's time to have fun
  • Jussi H.
    Jussi HäyhäJanuary 7, 2016
    Been here 5+ times
    Nice patio on the back.
  • Erik F.
    Erik FormellaJuly 27, 2013
    you can't beat $2 pbr
  • Heather J.
    Heather JohnsonFebruary 2, 2014
    Awesome bloody mary bar.
  • Vivian W.
    Vivian WangAugust 24, 2015
    Great outdoor space
  • Spoon C.
    It’s where the parties at!
  • Mark C.
    Mark CheshireNovember 20, 2014
    Great outdoor live music
  • laurie b.
    laurie brescollApril 10, 2012
    Been here 50+ times
    Monday nite $1 pbr's & $2 well.
  • Ann C.
    Ann ChenApril 19, 2015
    Great outdoor area
  • Alfred M.
    Alfred MegallyMay 2, 2015
    Backyard scene and dance floor. 'Nough said
  • Brian T.
    Brian TJuly 27, 2013
    Great people watching!
  • SFGate
    SFGateJanuary 29, 2010
    Now there's a reason to love Mondays: $1 Pabst and $2 well drinks, all day long. Read more
  • Micha H.
    Micha Hernandez van LeuffenSeptember 20, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    Have a drink in the outdoor area
  • Melon L.
    Melon LJuly 3, 2015
    Free oysters Friday's
  • Jen C.
    Jen CorreiaJanuary 19, 2014
    This is a cash not bar.
  • Tom A.
    Tom ASeptember 6, 2014
    Music, beer and great crowd
  • George H.
    George HayesMarch 3, 2014
    Been here 100+ times
    Dollar Drinks Monday Night!
  • Amy B.
    Amy BJanuary 15, 2013
    Dogs welcome.
  • Brad F.
    Brad FitzpatrickMay 21, 2009
    Been here 10+ times
    Go Monday night for $1 PBR and $2 well drinks! Sit outside, or play shuffleboard inside!
  • George H.
    George HayesSeptember 17, 2010
    Been here 100+ times
    One of the most rocking spots in bernal!
  • David B.
    David BullSeptember 6, 2014
    Outdoor. Plenty of room.
  • Melissa D.
    Melissa DagdaganJanuary 27, 2013
    Enjoy some beers out on the back patio!
  • Adam R.
    Adam ROctober 14, 2015
    Great patio
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