Lefty O'Doul's

Irish Pub / Piano Bar / Restaurant / Sports Bar
Lefty O'Doul's Located a block from the shopping, hotel, and theater district that surrounds Union Square, Lefty O'Doul's is a lively, old-fashioned pub/cafeteria that straddles the line between relaxed watering hole and gaudy tourist... San Francisco United States 37.787227 -122.408743
2.8 9
Lefty O'Doul's - Irish Pub | Piano Bar | Restaurant | Sports Bar in San Francisco.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Located a block from the shopping, hotel, and theater district that surrounds Union Square, Lefty O’Doul’s is a lively, old-fashioned pub/cafeteria that straddles the line between relaxed watering hole and gaudy tourist... ... read full review

  • Metro:

    BART: Powell
    MUNI F Line: 4th Street & Market Street

  • Phone:

    415-982-8900

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    Daily 7am–2am

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Party Earth Lefty O'Doul's Review

The Scene

Located a block from the shopping, hotel, and theater district that surrounds Union Square, Lefty O'Doul's is a lively, old-fashioned pub/cafeteria that straddles the line between relaxed watering hole and gaudy tourist...

Located a block from the shopping, hotel, and theater district that surrounds Union Square, Lefty O’Doul’s is a lively, old-fashioned pub/cafeteria that straddles the line between relaxed watering hole and gaudy tourist bait.

An archway divides the long space into two separate areas, the first of which drips with classic Celtic kitsch and yellowed old-time boxing and baseball photos, including many of the venue’s namesake left-handed pitcher.

Fresh from a cable car ride, out-of-towners from all walks of life grab a tray off the long buffet counter, reminiscing about high school lunchrooms as a thick roast beef sandwich plops onto their plates.

An oak bar runs down the opposite side of the venue, extending back toward the second space, which eschews the midcentury sports décor in favor of a riot of bright neon beer adverts and widescreen TVs tuned to the Giants.

The party vibe really kicks in every night, however, when the feisty piano player settles in to lead patrons through requests and sing-alongs until closing. The crowds keep coming on the weekends, when a mix of working-class locals and budget-conscious students stop in to mingle with the continual crunch of non-natives who’d do well to leave any non-Giants paraphernalia in the car.

Full of people toasting, feasting, and singing, Lefty O’Doul’s is like a latter day mead hall with lots of kitsch, a good dollop of grime, and loads of fun.

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Tip from Emma:

Lefty’s sells its very own Bloody Mary and key lime margarita mix. You can enjoy them there or buy them to take home. Either way, a hefty dose should provide enough liquid courage to hit up the piano player for a singalong, or hold your own Grammy-winning karaoke fest from the safety of your living room.

  • Crowd

    Tourists exploring Union Square, budget-conscious students, blue-collar and casual locals, sports fans, and families. All ages, but mostly 20s to 50s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Barely audible classic/arena rock. Several TVs tuned to local sports. Live piano nightly from 9pm.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    The cafeteria serves classic American meat-and-potatoes comfort food, including carved meat sandwiches, traditional breakfasts, and homestyle dinner plates. Happy Hour daily 2–6pm.

  • Prices

    Breakfast $5.50–$8.25, soups and salads $2.80–$6.50, sandwiches $6.90–$7.50, entrées $10.29, desserts $3.49. Beer $4.75–$6.75/pint or $15.50–$18.50/pitcher, wine $5.50–$9, cocktails and rails $6.75–$9.75.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Anything goes: t-shirts, jerseys, blue jeans, skirts, Giants garb.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Friday nights for the biggest crowd of people, many of whom are looking to get vocal with the piano man.

  • Close By

    For a sports bar to appease both coasts, check out Dave’s (29 3rd Street), where Giants and Red Sox fans drink together in harmony.

Lefty O'Doul's User Reviews

Average rating:
Where your grandfather probably hides out
Teddie H. Mar 22, 2013
Lefty O' Doul's is the real life representation of James Earl Jones's house in the Sandlot. the place is packed to the rafters with baseball memorabilia, and you can almost smell the history of a hundred generations of men who tell great stories that manage to be interesting despite being mostly about how much things used to cost. the food is delicious (traditional Hoff Brau style meat and bread options) and there's plenty of room to grab a table with friends or a quite both by yourself. The bartenders are polite and traditional and often have little to no problem bantering with you, the staff, a wayward homeless man who's come in looking for change, ANYONE! the location is perfect for commuters and tourists alike, directly outside of Union Square in the Financial district, and old Timey feeling of the place cant be beat. perfect for a drinking lunch, watching the game, or just catching up over dinner.
Fun Place to Stop By for an Early Drink
Drew K. Mar 5, 2013
Lefty O'Doul's has a great location right in the heart of Union Square and is a good option to go and grab a drink at after some late afternoon shopping or after dinner before heading out to more lively bars or clubs. It has an enjoyable Irish feel to it and they play some decent live music that can get a smile out of most, although not much dancing. The bar is long and runs pretty far back and there are a lot of tables to eat at behind the dance floor. The service is great, but the food is pretty average. Drinks were pretty fairly priced and I remember there being a good selection of beer, just not that many young people to enjoy the drinks with. The crowd was definitely on the older side, but the atmosphere was very friendly and somewhere that was pretty fun to hang out at for about 30 minutes or so. It would be a good place to grab a round or two of drinks, eat an appetizer, and catch the end of a ball game, almost like a pregame spot for you and your buddies. Lefty O'Doul's is worth it to try out at least once, just don't expect it to be your last destination of the night as it is not the wildest of spots you will ever find.
Neighborhood Bar meets Tourist stop
Marla F. Feb 20, 2013
If you are shopping downtown, you should stop by Lefty O'Doul's for a drink or two. It's a great place to take tourists to. This place is also a fun spot to come after work. They have plenty of seats inside, with music, and good food here. The staff here is pretty friendly, and nice. The food here is set up cafeteria style, so you can pick whatever your heart desires. Fun, chill spot to hang out.
Old Vintage Trinkets
Rachel G. Nov 21, 2012
The inside of the bar with all the memorable decor is more interesting to me than the bar all together! I love to people watch and look at old unique trinkets and photos and this is the perfect place to do both of those. The whole inside of the bar is filled with vintage photos and trinkets and the bar is located in Union Square where almost everyone and their mother is on a regular day! The atmosphere here is awesome, but one down side is the food. Not the best and I sort of expected more from such a cool location and styled bar. Definitely worth trying though!
Cool atmosphere - Not the best food
Nick T. Sep 17, 2012
The location of Lefty O'Doul's is pretty unbeatable in the heart of San Francisco, and the decor on the inside does not disappoint in terms of feeling like a local staple/place you are supposed to go as a tourist. The food leaves much to be desired as the cafeteria style serving format fits the quality pretty well. The drinks / bar areas here are nice and accesible. Solid amount of beers on tap and two separate bar locations with an area for seating in the back leaves little to complain about in that subject. Nothing nuanced or really unique that pops out about this place - but a nice spot to grab a quick drink nonetheless.
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