Dive Bars in Berkeley

Select Local Merchants

The Stork Club is Oakland’s premiere venue for all things music related. The Stork Club offers a state-of-the-art sound system that is sure to please artists and fans alike. All you need is your instruments and a few hundred screaming groupies and you’ve got yourself a party. The Stork Club is an establishment that caters to the 21 and over crowd and supplies the best in indie, rock, and underground music. If it’s not on the radio, you’ll probably find it here at the Stork Club. If you’re a band and you’d like to play the Stork Club round up some of your compatriots, fill the card, and make a great night out of it. If you’re a fan, be sure to check the Stork Club’s website often to see who’s playing and when. The Stork Club is your one-stop-shop for the latest and greatest in the rock music scene.

2330 Telegraph Ave
Oakland,
CA
US

The Alley is a downhome neighborhood bar that keeps locals coming back again and again--especially for karaoke! The bar is open every day of the week for late-night fun, and the bartenders make everyone feel special. A dark and mysterious ambience helps shield non-professional karaoke yodelers from the adoring stare of patrons. Hungry guests will find a selection of delicious bar foods, such as fried chicken, burgers and fries. One unique aspect of The Alley is its business card décor; over the years, patrons have left business cards in and around the bar, and now the walls, counters and more can be found to be “wallpapered” with business cards. It certainly offers good reading material while waiting for dinner and drinks. This is one alley you'd love to take a turn down!

3325 Grand Ave
Oakland,
CA
US

The Ramp Restaurant: A User’s Guide

California-Style Beach Cuisine | Waterside Dining | Weekend Salsa Dancing | Rotating Happy Hour Menu | Established 1950

Sample Meals

  • Lunch: mussels and clams with chorizo, spinach, white wine, and shallots
  • Evening appetizer: tri-tip skewers with mushrooms, bell peppers, and au jus
  • Brunch: ramp corned-beef hash with pasilla peppers and Yukon Gold potatoes
  • Summer barbecue: classic cheeseburger with barbecue beans

A Bit of History: The Ramp wasn’t even serving food when it started in 1950—well, not the human kind anyway. That’s because it was just a bait shop. Eventually, it acquired its first food-related piece of equipment, a hot-dog machine, to service the boatyard next door. Since then, it’s expanded the menu considerably and, due to a large bayside patio, has become a staple of waterside dining in Mission Bay.

Where to Sit: Grab a plastic patio chair at one of the old wooden tables equipped with a shade umbrella.

When to Go: Head in Saturday for brunch followed by salsa dancing with live musicians (May—October). Otherwise, head in for a rotating lineup of specially priced dishes, such as oysters on the half shell, and drinks during happy hour every Monday—Friday from 4:30pm until 7pm.

While You’re Waiting

  • Enjoy views of the Central Basin and Potrero Point.
  • Count the fishing boats on the water or the music notes coming from the band’s horns.

While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Test your sea legs with a cruise under the Bay Bridge and past Alcatraz with Ruby Sailing (855 Terry A Francois Boulevard)

After: Dance into the night with salsa and tango at Cafe Cocomo (650 Indiana Street)

855 Terry Francois St
San Francisco,
CA
US

Featured on Travel Channel's Feed the Beast and hailed as the area's Best White Trash Diner by SF Weekly, Butter reunites patrons with deep-fried and microwaveable specialties reminiscent of afterschool indulgences. The full bar and restaurant pairs its premium well drinks and 16-ounce tall cans with dishes including tater tots, mini corn dogs, and deep-fried pog slammers. Chefs infuse cocktails with grape and strawberry sodas, and pillage a pantry to turn up desserts including twinkies and deep-fried peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches. In the midst of glowing beer signs and traditional bar décor, a Winnebago emerges from the wall guided by neon headlights. Against this backdrop, Butter hosts a regular array of themed parties such as retro Fridays, house music Saturdays, and karaoke Sundays.

354 11th St
San Francisco,
CA
US

Delirium cocktail lounge and bar welcomes revelers under its retro neon sign into darkened interiors for late-night libations and themed music nights. Weekly events see appearances by oft-recurring guest DJs who swaddle guests' ears in throbbing spins of electronic, ska, and punk anthems. Bartenders stir up eclectic vodka and whiskey cocktails at a marble-sided bar, while guests cavort across the tile floor, surrounded by graffiti décor and bathed in soft blue light. Delirium also hosts recurring events such as comedy nights, crock-pot offerings, and a complimentary afternoon barbecue on Saturday, Sunday, and any day when the barbecue stork drops by.

3139 16th St
San Francisco,
CA
US

Toronado: A User’s Guide

Craft Beers | Drafts and Cans | Early-Afternoon Hours | Outside Food Welcome | Nationally Renowned Dive Bar

Sample Drinks

  • Double IPA: Russian River’s Pliny the Elder
  • Barleywine: Anchor’s Old Foghorn
  • Dark lager: Moonlight’s Death & Taxes
  • Soft drink: Lost Coast Draught Root Beer

When to Go: Try planning your visit to coincide with the the annual Barleywine Festival, when bartenders devote all of their taps to this strong, fruity ale.

While You’re Waiting: Scan the menu that hangs above the bar. It’s best to have an order in mind by the time you reach the bartender—the staff can be a touch surly.

By the Numbers

  • More than 50 microbrews
  • About 100 bottled beers

The Vibe: Toronado definitely gives off a divey vibe. Its walls are covered with antique beer signs, and old draft handles look down from the ceiling like the ghosts of pints past.

Inside Tips

  • Toronado lets patrons bring in outside food.
  • Make a beeline for the ATM since this bar only accepts cash.
  • Come earlier in the day to beat the large crowds.

In the Press

  • Anthony Bourdain visited the bar for his show The Layover, saying “daytime drinking is a tradition here, as it is in any great city.
  • Esquire magazine calls Toronado’s drinks “hardcore.”

While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Order a bratwurst at Rosamunde Sausage Grill (545 Haight Street), and bring it with you to the bar.
After: Take a class in night photography or darkroom techniques at Harvey Milk Photo Center (50 Scott Street).

If You Can’t Make It, Try This: Play pinball between beers at Lucky 13 (2140 Market Street).

547 Haight St
San Francisco,
CA
US