How To Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in San Francisco

San Francisco Travel

We don't have a river to turn green, nor a history of celebrating St. Patrick's Day like some other cities (we're looking at you, Boston), but what we don't need is an excuse to celebrate this Irish holiday. We celebrate everything in this city. Here are 13 things to color your world green in San Francisco for St. Patrick's Day.

Parties and Events

St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival (1 Dr. Carlton B Goodlett Pl.)

The 168th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival at City Hall is happening on Saturday, Mar. 16. The festival lasts from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The parade begins at 11:30 a.m. at Second and Market streets. In light of Women's History Month, this year's parade theme is "Women Breaking Barriers." Mayor London Breed, the first black woman elected as as Mayor of San Francisco, will be leading the parade as Grand Marshal.

Front Street Block Party (between California and Sacramento streets)

On Friday, Mar. 15, the Royal Exchange invites everyone to join the 34th annual Block Party on Front Street, from 3 to 11 p.m., for an evening full of live music and Irish fare.

Green Fest Block Party (1396 La Playa St.)

The United Irish Cultural Center will host a St. Patrick's Day celebration with a "Green Fest" block party on Sunday, Mar. 17 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Java Beach. Enjoy Irish bands, Irish dancing, face painting, and jumping castles.

Rock Your Shamrocks at a Concert (Various Locations)

You've got plenty of options to choose from if you're thinking of seeing a concert St. Patrick's Day weekend. There will be performances at some of San Francisco's most historic music venues, like The MasonicBill Graham Civic Auditiorium and the Great American Music Hall. The English rock banks, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats and Graveyard, will be playing at the Warfield Theater, while Grammy-winning jazz vocalist Jacob Collier will be at August Hall and California native DJ 12th Planet will be at the Regency Ballroom. There will be a show for opera fans, too. Christian Tetzlaff will perform Mozart with the San Francisco Symphony at Davies Symphony Hall.

Dogs Wear Shamrocks, Too (2 Marina Blvd.)

Show off your furry friends' festive St. Patrick's Day costumes at Fort Mason Center's St. Patrick's Day Dog Parade and costume contest on Sunday, Mar. 17 from 1 to 4 p.m. Along with the canine costume contest, you and your pup can participate in fun activities like DoGa (yes, Dog Yoga) and a contest for the longest human tunnel record attempt.

See a Comedy Show (Various Locations)

Looking for a laugh? Look no further than the SF Comedy Showcase at the Punch Line Comedy Club and The Real Irish Comedy Fest St. Patrick's Day show at Cobb's Comedy Club, a blend of Irish comedic talent—with accents included. 

Great Pubs and Irish Eats in the City

Buena Vista Café (2765 Hyde St.)

There's no better time than St. Patrick's Day to try one of the city's iconic beverages: Irish coffee. Hot coffee combined with Irish whisky and topped with cream was first served here at the Buena Vista in San Francisco in the 1950s. See how an Irish Coffee is made and try it for yourself!

The Chieftain (198 Fifth St.)

Named after the first High King of Ireland, Brian Boru, and more recent Chieftain, Michael Collins, The Chieftain's identity is intertwined with the 50 million Americans who claim Irish heritage. The Chieftain offers 20 of the world's finest beers on tap, including an outstanding 20 oz. "perfect pint" of Guinness! Another must-have menu item is their tasty Shepherd's Pie.

Irish Times (500 Sacramento St.)

Enjoy the great taste of Ireland at Irish Times. On Sunday, this place will be wall-to-wall with people downing $1 oysters and drinking green beer. Yes, we said $1 oysters.

Johnny Foley's Irish House (243 O'Farrell St.)

Established in 1998, Johnny Foley's is a replica of many of the pubs you would see in Ireland. Located in Union Square, it is right in the middle of the hustle and bustle. On Sunday, go down to the basement to listen to the dueling pianos.

Kells Irish (530 Jackson St.)

Kells is the Irish pub where you can let loose and dance the night away. Close to North Beach, it's a perfect location to start your St. Patrick's Day off right.

Royal Exchange (301 Sacramento St.)

This casual pub-style eatery and Irish bar has been a local San Francisco favorite since 1972, boasting 70+ taps and more than 20 televisions. Show your green and cheer on your favorite sports team!