Specs’ Twelve Adler Museum Cafe

specs' museum cafe san francisco
Image: Yelp/Dipesh G.
MONDAY - FRIDAY: 4:30 P.M. - 2 A.M. | SATURDAY - SUNDAY: 5 P.M. - 2 A.M.
415.421.4112 | WEBSITE

The eccentricity of San Francisco—in all its left wing, bawdy glory—is on full display at Specs’, also known as the Adler Museum Cafe. The bar doubles as a pack rat’s dream; walls are covered with photos, paintings and taxidermy with wooden tables and chairs crowded in anywhere they’ll fit. Sitting across the street from City Lights Bookstore and Vesuvio, Specs’ completes a North Beach beat-trifecta, despite being a relatively new kid on the block. Opened in 1968, Specs’ was, and is, a regular hangout for the neighborhood’s writers and musicians, who may well break out into an impromptu poetry slam or jazz piano performance. The bar feels like a well-kept secret that, once discovered, gains you entry into a San Francisco members-only club, bolstered by its blink-and-you’ll-miss-it alleyway location.

Known For
  • historic
  • cheap date
What to drink
An Anchor Steam, Sierra Nevada or something brown, straight up.
North Beach
Take the edge off with a basket of Saltine crackers and Gouda cheese, sliced off a massive wheel by the no-nonsense bartenders.