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Vesuvio Cafe

Dive Bar$$$$
North Beach, San Francisco
117 Tips and reviews
  • jack kerouac
  • upstairs
  • north beach
  • cocktails
  • lively
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  • Adrian P.
    Adrian PhillipsOctober 26, 2016
    If you're in North Beach you should grab a drink at Vesuvio Cafe. The drinks are strong and the Halloween decorations are fantastic. Order from the cocktail waitress when you sit upstairs.
  • Allison A.
    Allison AbbottJune 29, 2015
    Amazing and unique and hums with the beatnik vibe. Loved sitting on the second floor with the windows flung open, people watching (both tourists outside and some rowdy characters inside!)
  • nils j.
    nils jansonNovember 16, 2014
    Really neat place to sit and watch the tourists go by. Table service is something you don't usually see at a dive. Cool decorations, like an authentic version of what TGI Fridays wants to be.
  • Pamela G.
    Pamela GocobachiMay 29, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Grab a Dark&Stormy (rum&ginger beer- quite refreshing!) and grab a seat upstairs by the window for prime people watching on Columbus! Also, this place doesn't serve food but you CAN bring your own in!
  • Dean M.
    Dean MoriartyFebruary 7
    Hip place to get drunk. Interesting bartenders with great stories. A great place to write, talk and live. Poets of all walks drink here. Rock stars, yuppies, beatnik. Cool jukebox
  • SF Weekly
    SF WeeklyMay 31, 2012
    SF Weekly’s Best Of 2012 Winner – Editorial Pick – Best Place to Hang Out with Strippers without Going to a Strip Club. Vesuvio is a great spot to get a drink or three at any hour, and if the... Read more
  • AskMen
    AskMenSeptember 9, 2011
    Vesuvio is just dripping with history, and local characters can often be found holding court at the bar. Read more
  • Daria T.
    Daria TomilovaNovember 19, 2013
    Probably the best place I've been in Frisco. And it feels sooo beat, if you know what I mean :) come here and enjoy ginger beer and dark rum in one cocktail!
  • Cassie P.
    Cassie PJuly 17, 2013
    You can really sense the history walking into the bar. I would recommend sitting upstairs and hang out. Cool view of the entire restaurant.
  • Blaine G.
    Blaine GarrettSeptember 13, 2010
    Great stop on a SF visit from MPLS. Weird mix of crust punks, bohemians, and popped collar kids. If cabbing it, leave a bit before bar close or else have to compete with the strip clubs kitty corner.
  • Megan B.
    Megan BannisterMarch 20, 2013
    Grab an espresso, a classic beat read and people watch from the second floor of one of Jack Kerouac's old haunts.
  • Marta T.
    Marta TapperoDecember 30, 2016
    Vesuvio is a classic. They're friendly, the ambiance is great. Not all cocktails are great, go for the classics, they know.
  • Michelle O.
    Michelle O'RiordanSeptember 14, 2014
    Been here 5+ times
    Atmosphere is always great here. Crowded yet cozy place to get away from the tourist traps of North Beach and enjoy a beer.
  • Jen
    JenMay 5, 2013
    Grab a table upstairs for a nice view of the bar and the streets below and enjoy a yummy Hendrick's Gin and tonic.
  • BeersandBeans
    BeersandBeansMarch 9, 2013
    Try the Jack Keroac - The Jack Keroac special drink. Very tasty and a great vibe at this place! #bar #drinks
  • Bravo
    BravoJanuary 27, 2010
    Bohemian bar next to City Lights Bookstore. Good place to see some of San Francisco's finest characters. -Laurine Wickett, Top Chef
  • Amanda T.
    Amanda ThauFebruary 28, 2013
    Great spot with an awesome beer selection. Second floor is perfect for small groups or date night!
  • Jessica R.
    Jessica RaeSeptember 3, 2013
    Old Beatnick hangout next to City Lights Bookstore in North Beach. Have a drink where Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassidy used to spend their evenings.
  • Elena B.
    Elena BaseottoMarch 24, 2015
    Drinks are nothing special, but the atmosphere is very unique. Great for reading and having a drink solo in the afternoon, before it gets busy.
  • Esquire
    EsquireFebruary 1, 2011
    Congratulations, you've found one of Esquire's Best Bars in America. No matter how many tourists drop in for a pint, it still feels as though it's full of locals. We recommend an Anchor Steam.
  • Lindsay E.
    Lindsay EyinkAugust 14, 2014
    Jack Kerouac's old hangout and right next to City Lights. In the center of the Barbary Coast and SF's. Definitely feels old school and doesn't feel touristy.
  • Seema M.
    Seema MaloniMarch 3, 2013
    Grab a table upstairs. Great views of busy North Beach tourist traffic and pervert men going into nudie bars.
  • Thom B.
    Thom ButlerNovember 21, 2012
    The seat in the upstairs back corner overlooking Columbus is one of the best views in all SF
  • kim m.
    kim milosevichFebruary 16, 2013
    Best bartenders and most interesting crowd (in a good way)
  • SFGate M.
    SFGate ManagerJuly 16, 2012
    Open since 1948, it's where the Beats convened to quench their thirst. The upstairs nook might be the most perfect people-watching in North Beach.
  • Ed A.
    Ed AtenMay 29, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Try the Charlie sheen - shot and two beers (2.5 men) or the Tom Selleck - shot with three beers (3 men and a baby).
  • Andrea R.
    Andrea ReynaFebruary 27, 2015
    Grab a book next door at City Lights and read (and drink) yourself silly.
  • S D.
    S DAugust 13, 2015
    A definite dive bar. I didnt see much of an art, bohemian crowd when I was there but I guess they were there in spirit.
  • Heather T.
    Heather TerrellNovember 18, 2013
    Drink where Kerouac drank. Teetotallers welcome too: decent selection of tea, plus espresso drinks.
  • Rohini J.
    Rohini JalanJanuary 21, 2013
    Must do if you're in SF. Get the "Jack Kerouac" and their Anchor Steam IPA.
  • Aiden W.
    Aiden WylieAugust 14, 2012
    Nothing to do with the beats. Don't be a douche and you'll love it. Use a card for two beers and you'll rightly suffer.
  • Gregory K.
    Gregory Kuebler3 weeks ago
    Nice and cozy arty space. Nice staff.
  • Joseph T.
    Joseph TinnerFebruary 3, 2015
    Joanna is awesone. Loved the Sazerac cocktail!
  • Jenn K.
    Jenn K.November 7, 2012
    Love this place for its cheap Happy Hour pitchers and laid-back vibe.
  • Hotel F.
    Hotel FrankMarch 7, 2011
    A MUST do in SF. So much history and no matter how many tourists pop in it still feels like our favorite local bar. Mmmmm, Anchor Steam.
  • David C.
    David CraigApril 21, 2012
    Try the recession special a small glass of beer ad a shot of whiskey for cheap
  • Amanda M.
    Amanda MacedoSeptember 10, 2011
    Sit in a booth upstairs. Channel your inner beatnik. Actually probably one of my favorite bars in SF.
  • Yelena S.
    Yelena SzatmaryJuly 16, 2013
    Our server was very much in a harry and did not help to chose a cocktail. Look it up in advance.
  • Eric B.
    Eric BellApril 6, 2015
    Great antiquated vintage atmosphere, good drinks.
  • Keegan Y.
    Keegan Y-VNovember 2, 2010
    Been here 10+ times
    Great low-key bar! Cheap and good drinks, good music, and eclectic atmosphere and ambiance
  • Fai V.
    Fai VisuthichoFebruary 26, 2015
    Bring a book and some lunch and sit upstairs to people watch.
  • Alyssa B.
    Alyssa BereznakSeptember 19, 2014
    Cool vibe and history here, pretty reasonable drinks too
  • Jesse L.
    Jesse LaneFebruary 1, 2014
    Great atmosphere, good music and at a good price
  • Natalie M.
    Natalie MJune 1, 2015
    It's like stepping back in time every time I come here. Love this place!
  • Jess M.
    Jess MullenApril 21, 2013
    Best gimlet I have ever had.
  • Robin S.
    Robin SayerOctober 18, 2011
    Best bar to take visitors in San Francisco. Real atmosphere.
  • Chris S.
    Chris SAugust 7, 2015
    This place is rad, and the penultimate dive bar. Protip: sit upstairs
  • Karina v.
    Karina van SchaardenburgOctober 19, 2015
    Do the beat poetry detour and start here to immerse yourself in that literary era.
  • elizabeth S.
    elizabeth ScottMarch 10, 2010
    Fun two-story bar with cheap drinks and a great throwback vibe. Nice people watching spot in North Beach.
  • Bobby K.
    Bobby KennedyFebruary 15, 2016
    Great atmosphere, great drinks. Doesn't at all feel touristy.
  • Dan D.
    Dan DiiulioJanuary 28, 2012
    The $8 Dark & Stormy is better than most $10-$12 drinks North Beach.
  • Brian L.
    Brian LongtinNovember 22, 2014
    Cozy balcony for drinks and conversation with friends.
  • Patrick v.
    Patrick van der SteenJanuary 30, 2016
    Great beer and atmosphere!
  • Michael O.
    Michael Ottavi-BrannonAugust 17, 2014
    Grab yourself a Kerouac. Just make sure your pants are on tight. It's a strong one.
  • Brad L.
    Brad LeegeNovember 14, 2016
    Authentic old school dive bar atmosphere.
  • Raven D.
    Raven DorantesMay 11, 2012
    Try to grab a seat upstairs in the area for "Lady Psychiatrists" and watch the scene..
  • ✰ David M.
    Go to the second floor, get a window seat and people watch
  • Massine A.
    Massine AmriSeptember 7, 2012
    This bar lacks of topless girls! One of the best bars in the area!
  • Tammy H.
    Tammy HanApril 5, 2013
    David is THE bartender you want to befriend :)
  • Heba-I-am
    Heba-I-amSeptember 6
    I don't know, the bartender wasn't friendly and I didn't really think it was all that special. Great beer on draft though
  • Stalk El Guapo
    Stalk El GuapoJanuary 13, 2016
    Been here 50+ times
    Great bartenders and great people watching
  • Official smart USA
    Official smart USAApril 11, 2013
    Stop by a café that helped launch a generation. The beat generation.
  • Tom B.
    Tom BooneOctober 2, 2010
    Jenny is a sweet bartender and knows the city well. Beautiful too.
  • Jake P.
    Jake PfaffDecember 29, 2010
    Been here 10+ times
    try and grab a spot upstairs and watch the tourists hang out front.
  • Pablo S.
    Pablo SolandoAugust 2, 2013
    Grab a table on the 2ND floor by the window
  • Tom B.
    Tom BevilacquaDecember 20, 2009
    Go to Vesuvio Cafe- order a Kerouac (though not too many, they pack a punch) and enjoy the Beat Generation ambiance.
  • Elizabeth K.
    Elizabeth KinsmanMarch 12, 2013
    Aesthetically fantastic
  • Andrew R.
    Andrew RauhAugust 6, 2014
    Very cool place. Came on a busy night and had bad service.
  • 🐍Ssstephanie
    🐍SsstephanieMarch 7, 2014
    Get the special - bourbon with a beer.
  • Joao V.
    Joao Veloso JrJanuary 16
    Everything you would expect it to be
  • Thomas D.
    Thomas DuchampNovember 16, 2014
    Quite cheap pitcher during happy hour
  • Matt B.
    Matt BarackmanJanuary 15, 2010
    Get the vodka sweet tea special if they have it. The cirrosis and diabetes will be worth it.
  • Carla E.
    Carla ElizabethMay 27, 2013
    Sit at the bar - great bartenders.
  • Chris W.
    Chris WrenJanuary 5, 2016
    Bohemian coffee is a beat poet classic
  • Erik H.
    Erik HomMarch 7, 2012
    From the 2004 Film (Twisted) as well as the Beat Poet Club in So I Married an Axe Murderer
  • Laura F.
    Laura FOctober 1, 2011
    Love, love, love this place. Sit upstairs.
  • Alex J.
    Alex JimenezSeptember 9, 2011
    Been here 25+ times
    Always get the recession special! Only $4
  • Tom P.
    Tom PlunkettOctober 25, 2011
    Get a Manhattan. They give you every last drop.
  • Aaron L.
    Aaron LutzeFebruary 10, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    If you come here and don't order a Recession're blowing it!
  • Steven P.
    Steven PetersonApril 10, 2014
    Been here 10+ times
    Try the famous Bohemian Coffee.
  • Gopal H.
    Gopal HassinApril 29, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    Best bar in SF. Perfect for your most pretentious conversations.
  • jami l.
    jami lamaitaJuly 5, 2011
    Jack Kerouac would hang out here and enjoy a cold drink.
  • Lily
    LilyMarch 4, 2015
    Casual bar to hang out
  • Chris P.
    Chris ParkerJune 3, 2016
    Great Manhattans!
  • Farid H.
    Farid HosseiniJuly 31, 2014
    learn more about vesuvio's history through this audio clip
  • Josef R.
    Josef RichterFebruary 10, 2014
    Hmm not convinced. Feels a bit "cheap", drinks below average. Pilsner Urquell on tap though.
  • Steve K.
    Steve KAugust 6, 2014
    Beer and cool tables!
  • Solario
    SolarioJanuary 24, 2015
    Been here 25+ times
    Bring your own lunch.
  • Jay S.
    Jay SublettAugust 8, 2014
    Get the recession special
  • Shannyn D.
    Shannyn De ArmanFebruary 10, 2013
    Dark and stormy from John Deer
  • 💕Linds💕
    💕Linds💕June 26, 2016
    The Jack Kerouac is strong.
  • Dan M.
    Dan MargulisAugust 15, 2010
    There's no better place to wind down after a long hard day at the Lusty Lady.
  • J. I.
    J. I.G.August 31, 2016
    Great dive bar
  • Marcia D.
    Marcia D'OraziJune 7, 2011
    a classic - one of the few left
  • Asia H.
    Asia HarriganMay 21, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Vodka Sweet Tea drink is bomb.
  • Lisa P.
    Lisa PNovember 13, 2011
    Yummy dark and stormies.
  • Burcu K.
    Burcu Korkmaz DemirciJanuary 29, 2016
    All of kokteyl👌
  • Alexander V.
    Alexander VossOctober 23, 2010
    Been here 25+ times
    Check out the gas chandelier. Supposedly the only one left in the city.
  • James B.
    James B.January 15, 2013
    The cocktails suck
  • mayu-chan
    mayu-chanAugust 25, 2011
    Great lattes
  • Fernando P.
    Fernando PalaciosJuly 5, 2015
    Creo que seguir los pasos de la #GeneraciónBeat y #JackKerouac es suficiente tip, pero... Tómate un absinth a mi salud.
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