Devour the sauceless pizza d'Asti (shaved asparagus, fontina val d'aosta, thyme), a classic Margherita, or a Siciliana (fabulous Berkshire pork fennel sausage, fire roasted peppers, and smoked mozzarella). It's no trouble drinking cocktails when they're as playful as rosemary "sweet tea" (bourbon, muddled rosemary, lemon, and a splash of Moscato d'Asti), or a rhubarb margarita with lime and a salt rim.
Mon-Fri, 47pm. 640 Sacramento, SF.415-395-9800. www.paliodasti.com
Sometimes, even the booze is on the house
By Amy Monroe
If you're curious and thirsty on a Friday, head to Spuntino's free wine tasting from 4 to 6 p.m. Let the friendly staff pour and explain a flight of wines organized around a different theme each week. Drink free and get educated imagine that.
1957 Union, 931-0122, www.spuntinosf.com
Cash-strapped social butterflies need only round up a group of friends and bring them to Tropisueno any night of the week to earn free drinks, and lots of them. The host imbibes gratis all evening provided she brings five friends with her to the bar.
75 Yerba Buena Ln., 243-0299, www.tropisueno.com
If you happen to be walking by one of the city's many Kimpton hotels between 5 and 6 p.m. on a weekday, you might want to wander in and mingle with the guests in the lobby. If you look the part (and nobody asks you to show your room key), you can partake in the hotel chain's free wine hour. Bonus: many locations pour free Anchor, too.
Nine locations in San Francisco, www.kimptonhotels.com
Like beer, music, and crowds? Then head to tiny Laszlo on the first Friday of the month for GroundSound Happy Hour. Hosts Upper Playground and SonicLiving buy you beer and good beer at that, Trumer Pils and Shiner Commemorator from 6 to 7 p.m. while DJs spin for your listening pleasure.
2526 Mission, 401-0810, www.laszlobar.com
JOHNNY FUNCHEAP'S FAVORITE WAYS TO ENJOY THE CITY, FREE
By Johnny Funcheap
When you're broke in San Francisco, sometimes even "cheap" can seem like a four-letter word. So thank God for free. Here are a few ways you can still enjoy the fun of living in San Francisco without cracking open your wallet even once.
GET LECTURED ABOUT YOUR DRINKING
The Mission District bar Elixir hosts a free Thursday night "Cocktail Club" with tastings (whiskeys, vodkas, tequilas ... even absinthe) and a guest expert to help guide you through the process of finding new ways to appreciate staying off the wagon. For beer and wine drinkers, most BevMo! locations in the Bay Area have regular free tasting parties with themes like summertime ales and Mexican beers.
Elixir, 3200 16th St. http://www.elixirsf.com
ART GALLERY RECEPTIONS AND WALKS
To help lure in and lubricate casual art fans into being art-buyers, most galleries have regular receptions with free-flowing wine and a tasty platter of things to nibble on while you research art you can't yet afford.