No eating in bars?

According to local bartender Rachel, the author of Mission Drinking Rules, a recent feature from Night Fog Reader, one should never eat in bars:

Why are you bringing your burrito/BBQ/whatever stinky food you got and think its OK to scarf that down in a bar? I’ve seen this for years and it will never stop. You stink up the bar, you smell like what you just ate, and you are thatperson. I would never ever ever ever eat at a bar, and I work at one! I would rather go eat outside than sit at a bar and look like a dumpy eating a burrito by myself.

I mean, I wouldn’t try to eat a burrito at Beauty Bar on a Saturday night, but, “never ever ever ever” seems like a bit much. For instance, sometimes you need a nice cool veggie sandwich to compete with the intense heat of, say, a chilaquile bloody mary (which is my plan for about 20 minutes from now), and sometimes it’s fun getting a pizza delivered at 1:45 so you have something in your belly to soak up all that whiskey and pickle juice you ordered at last call. And I love eating outside too, but sometimes the weather in San Francisco is not so good for something like that. Right? Maybe not.

[Photo by Tara Hunt]

126 Responses to “No eating in bars?”

  1. Andy says:


  2. Nick P says:

    There are also bars that specifically encourage it, like Madrone and everyone’s favorite worst-bar-in-the-world, Toronado.

    • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

      Hrmm. I can’t think of anything at all that would qualify as “worst” about Toronado. Maybe the fact that it is far away from me? But definitely the best beer bar in the city.

  3. Manny says:

    Bullshit, Unless the bar serves food it’s perfectly OK to bring food into a bar. Rachel need to pull the stick out of her ass. I wish I knew what bar she worked at so I could make a point of bringing a burrito in with me.

  4. Matthew says:

    I can’t think of a bar in the mission that doesn’t already smell worse than any burrito out there. The only reason I wouldn’t eat in one of these bars is because I don’t want it tasting like urine and BO.

  5. Quin 2013 says:

    I wouldn’t buy her stupid book.

    If she talks like that, what makes her an expert?!?!

    Rachel, If I see you eating at a bar, even a chewing, I will slap you with your own book.

  6. Manny says:

    Now that I’ve read the rest of her article I’d like to ammend my above comment. Rachel sounds like a real asshole and now I’d like to know where she works so I can make a special point of avoiding her completely

    • jordan says:

      Agreed. I’m too old to put up with primadonna bartenders. You’re slinging drinks, not dancing the lead in Swan Lake, lady.

  7. GG says:

    It’s totally fine, unless the bar sells its own food, and you’re not leaving a mess for someone else to clean up. Why is anyone taking a bartender’s advice on etiquette, anyway?

  8. Matthew says:

    Addendum: I just read the “Mission Drinking Rules” and this just sounds like an angry, miserable person who hates her job. CCSF isn’t too expensive, and you work nights, try finding a new line of work, sour puss.

  9. sc says:

    “I have worked as a bartender in the Mission for almost 5 years and boy, have I seen some magic!” Five years is newbie years in my book.

    • T-Bone says:

      My thoughts exactly. Five years, and now you’re the authority on mission bar etiquette?!

      Although, she is probably leaving out her three years bartending at Chili’s back when she lived in Ohio (before moving to the big city)

  10. Pedro Navaja says:

    The accompanying photo of the fatties, Jason & Jolene Jowl sharing the slice is excellent!
    I betting that Jolene went into an alligator-spin to score the bigger piece.

  11. LOL. This is the most retarded thing I have ever HEARD. Like, yeah I see so many things wrong with bringing a full on mexican dinner to the Knockout when there is a show worth going to or to a packed bar but uhm HELLO…ever heard of Benders or the new miracle that is Dr. Teeth? If eating bar food is wrong…I don’t ever EVER EVER EVER EVER want to be right. What is better than getting drunk and eating food? Nothing I tell you. NOTHING.

    • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

      Does conjuring a boatload of Marina Douchebags into existence in the Mission now qualify as a “miracle” ?

      • Your Face says:

        No shit… Doctor Teeth sucks balls. It’s not a real bar, it’s a restaurant pretending to be a bar.

      • GG says:

        Man, that’s the shittiest superpower EVER.

      • I am aware of the douches that crowd dr. teeth on weekends (as well as EVERY OTHER BAR ON MISSION STREET..duh we all know this by now), but there is like NO ONE there on weekdays…also who gives a fuck about what kind of crowd is at a bar? P sure if a bar has a full bar it’s a bar…don’t know what else a bar needs besides that… If I am there with everyone I want to be with I have no care in the world if some orange whore and some marina bro are sitting next to me eating the same basket of truffle fries as I am. The bartenders are nice, they have Jameson on tap, the music is bad but who cares, they have $2 sliders, and enough seating.

        • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

          Wait, really? Are there actually people who DON’T care what people are at a bar? I know that I sure as fuck down want to be hanging with a boatload of Marina douchebags and betties. They’re easy to avoid in the Mission, thankfully.

          Aside from that, though, as people have mentioned else where: What is the fascination with Jameson “on tap”? I don’t want my whiskey on tap, I want sloppy overpours by half-tanked bartenders!

  12. Jason Carlin says:

    Who ever wrote this is a humorless jerk. Eating in bars is one of life’s greatest pleasures. If you don’t believe it, come visit me in Los Angeles and we’ll bring a bag of potato tacos from El Atacor #11 (ten for $12) into Footie’s and wash them down with a Chimay.

  13. Joshua says:

    there’s this magical bar in the sunset where you can get cheap scotch & if it’s a friday night STEAK, BEANS & POTATOES. Yeah, i’m totally eating in that bar.

  14. Also might I add that the only people who are afraid to eat at bars when it is appropriate are probably just fucking weird girls who order salads on first dates or have eating disorders or don’t eat in public…or are just bitter and wont get down with the good stuff.

  15. hezcatt says:

    hey, that’s The Ryan King in that photo.

  16. yulebesorry says:

    Bartenders should want your business regardless of what type of food you smell like, ie gettin all vertical with a burrito or frekin out squares with bbq rib lipstick. The more tips we make the more happiness we can buy during the daylight hours when everyone else is at work. Besides, the more full your bellies are, the more you can drink. Just be gracious enough to dispose of your waste in a non Mr. Bungle fashion please. Lighten up Rachael. Your giving us totally awesome bartenders a bad name.

  17. spikeykahuna says:

    Wow, what a load of pompous gas-baggery. Seriously? is she bartending at the Top of the Mark? No, probably not, because THEY SERVE FUCKING FOOD THERE.

    I’m really sorry the art career didn’t take off, but don’t take it out on my slice of Arinel, fer chrissakes.

  18. Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

    What? That’s crazy talk. Assuming the bartender is OK with it (But *ASK*, don’t assume), it is always A-OK to bring food into a bar that doesn’t serve its own.

    • YAR! says:

      Yea, this Rachel girl doesn’t sound like the kind of person who wants to hear your questions though…

  19. Ben says:

    Mission drinking rule #1: don’t patronize weekend bridge and tunnel hotspots, especially on weekends.

  20. gothlord says:

    where can you get pickelbacks in sf?

  21. sjbrown says:

    First they came for the glory hole drillers, but I said nothing because I don’t glory hole.

    Then they came for the smokers, but I said nothing because I do not smoke.

    Today they come for the eaters.

  22. sfnola says:

    Ok, I think we’ve safely established that Rachel is a total bitch who doesn’t know what she’s talking about. This little tidbit about food would be enough, but the rest of her “Rules” make me want to vomit straight across whatever “bridge and tunnel hot spot” she works in (my money is on Blondies).

    • EH says:

      is that what blondies is? i thought it was simply a tweeker recovery room like zanzibar used to be.

  23. Late to the fart party, but please allow me to add mine: this might have made some sort of weird sense back when we could still smoke in bars, but now…?

  24. siesta says:

    I don’t get it, if she doesn’t like bartending, why do it? This is just like my friend who worked at a head shop and hated all the hippies that came in.

  25. Jess says:

    Maybe she prefers cleaning up vomit?

  26. carlos. says:

    wtf so am i millin’ about smellin’ like hot cheetos?

  27. LibertyHiller says:

    To all of you harshing on Rachel:

    If a bar serves food (and chips count), outside food is a violation of the health code. It’s a simple rule, people, deal with it.

  28. johnny says:

    Amongst the official charms of the Mission is eating a burrito at a bar…amiright?

  29. GrizzledMission says:

    I’ve been here only 20 years, but in that time, I’ve eaten (and seen eaten) many burritos in many bars. All without incident. Nonetheless, I apologize for my newly revealed bad manners. I’ll figure out this Mission yet.

  30. scum says:

    Read the whole list, what a fucking cunt.

  31. Pedro says:

    Yo peeps, I pitched this article and it seems to really resonate out there! I hate foot at the bar until I read this, and watched folks eat at bars around me and realized how disgusting it is. Booze, sweat, smells, and food do not equate. Esp in divey Mission bars. Think about it.

    Plus, having to deal with the Mission clientele, yelling, smelling, actin’ like a fool. I think everyone is just pissed bc they got caught at their worst. But really, if you wanna be a jerk, just own it.

  32. Pedro says:

    too early to to type.

  33. Steve says:

    Maybe if you’d had something to eat while you were getting shitfaced last night you wouldn’t be so hung over and could type a vaguely coherent sentence, Pedro.

  34. Heather says:

    Wow, this is just ridiculous. It’s pretty obvious that most people enjoy eating at bars. When I was still bartending, my coworkers and I ALL ate in bars. We ate in our own bar, we ate in other bars. It’s fun to have dinner out with your fellow bar patrons! Obviously we didn’t bring food into bars that serve their own, and we cleaned up all of our food mess.

    Would she rather have people puking because they are drinking on an empty stomach? Thanks to her silly rules, I believe she has just lost a whole crowd of potential tipping customers.

  35. agent37 says:

    Where the hell else are alcoholic Giants fans supposed to have dinner?

    Please reveal which bar you work at. I PROMISE I will NEVER go there, even if it’s currently one of my favorite places to eat and drink.

  36. T-Bone says:

    Holy crap, I read the rest of the list, what a sourpuss. She clearly hates her job. If anyone wants the abridged version of the list here is goes:
    1) don’t talk to me
    2) don’t look at me
    3) don’t order anything more complicated than a shot of whiskey and a beer
    4) don’t expect me to acknowledge your existence or assist you in any way.

  37. Rachel says:

    I just want everyone to know this is not me, I’ve worked in bars waay longer than 5 years(true), and you can eat Clare’s(preferably) or anything else in the bar. I wish she had written this anonymously so no one would hate on a Rachel.

  38. SFNative says:

    If a bar doesn’t serve food, you ask your bartender if they mind you bringing food in, and acquiesce to their rules. End of story.

    It really is that simple.

  39. bar-eater says:

    Rachel, I’m sorry you hate your job. Yeah, drunk people can be obnoxious. I’m wondering if you condone liquid dinners then? You have to remember that you are not doing your patrons any favors, this is your job. If you are too busy/lazy to make me whateverthefuckiwanttoorderat12:45am then you need to move on and find another field. I’m paying you to make me what I want to drink, and if I need to eat some dinner before I slam a couple of whateverthefuckiwanttodrinks then that’s what I am gonna do. The more customers that you piss off and the less people you serve because you find them obnoxious = less tips for you, sweetie.

  40. Dave Franklin says:

    If you work at a bar in the seediest, dirtiest, smelliest part of town, you REALLY shouldn’t be handing out tips to other people on how to be classy!

    Who do you think you are, Martha Stewart?

    I’m sure that even Martha would be quick to point out that ALL the classiest places in town (NOT to be confused with ANY bar in the Mission District) serve hors d’oeuvres. What’s better to nibble on than fresh strawberries, crab cakes, and stuffed mushrooms as you’re sipping on a flute of vintage champagne?

    Now, just because beer and burritos happen to be the preferred local flavor in the Mission district, does NOT make it any more of a breach of etiquette to partake of such simultaneous pleasures in, of all places, a BAR!

    Now climb down off your soapbox, stow that prima donna attitude, and get back to your INTENDED purpose – serving drinks! And while you’re at it, I’ll take an extra large, extra smelly burrito on the side!

    Oh, and if I detect even the slightest GLIMMER of revulsion coming from you as I’m stuffing my face, it’s coming out of your tip, WENCH!

  41. SFNative says:

    Never underestimate bar patrons sense of entitlement.

    • Pedro says:

      jeeze, seriously.

    • drip says:

      paying customers are supposed to be entitled, that’s what makes them paying customers. this isn’t soviet USSR. but only in SF do you find some waiters and bartenders with a greater sense of entitlement than the customers they are serving.

      fortunately it’s rare, but on a couple of occasions i’ve encountered the ‘i-work-at-a-cool-place-and-i’m-terrible-at-my-job-here’s-what-you-get-be-grateful-you-get-anything-at-all attitude. i hope to never hate a job as much as these folks hate theirs.

  42. Ashley says:

    Dear commenters:

    you guys are idiots. This article is hilarious, ya’ll should read the rest of it.

  43. Blog Friendly says:

    hahaha i love these playful rules…people get way too upset about blogs and opinions..remember its just the internet and not actual rules…yikes

  44. Stu says:

    Bukowski would have been 91 today. Everybody skip dinner tonight.

  45. Jane says:

    You guys. This is San Francisco, Bartenders don’t have to kiss your ass to get tips. Obviously you want what they have (alcohol) more than they want your dollar or two tip, so all this ***sing for your supper, bend over backwards & indulge my douchebaggery for tips, bartender lady*** internet bravado is kind of ridiculous.

    I don’t get why I hear so many complaints about self righteous bartenders, getting short poured / ignored on the second round / etc. No bartender will ever be mean to you if you wait your turn to order, be polite and tip them well (and by well I mean at least $2 on any drink that involves a shaker or more than two ingredients), no matter how much they hate your burrito smells or judge the prissy drink you order. Haven’t any of you worked in the service industry before? Basic courtesy is not that complicated yet so many people seem to think it is. SMH.

    Also, the rest of Rachel’s article was hilarious. Spring Break 1992 drinks… I was dying.

    • Amen says:

      right on

    • “Bartenders don’t have to kiss your ass to get tips.”

      Well, sort of, yes they do. Given the crap wages they make. You overstate your case — and that’s blatant in your second paragraph, where you say, “and tip them well (and by well I mean at least $2 on any drink that involves a shaker or more than two ingredients)”.

      • RayRay says:

        well, crap wages meaning 3 hours of my work = your 9 hr day? And yes…only shit heads order shaken drinks in DIVE BARS…because i mean like, yuppies like to see people “lower” than them “work for it”..yeah totally, dude….we do deserve your yuppie money…ewwww

    • YAR! says:

      if that’s what she had said this friggin’ blog post wouldn’t have garnered 90+ comments from my fellow trolls

    • I beg to differ says:

      “No bartender will ever be mean to you if you wait your turn to order, be polite and tip them well (and by well I mean at least $2 on any drink that involves a shaker or more than two ingredients), no matter how much they hate your burrito smells or judge the prissy drink you order.”

      Sadly, not true. You have either had some seriously good luck, don’t go out much or really need to tell me which bars you’re going to if you truly believe this is the case. I’m always polite and respectful when ordering drinks as I believe in common courtesy (and my mama raised me right). The first (and probably last) time I patronized Churchill I was first summarily ignored by the bartender who was too busy flirting with the dude next to me (who was not ordering a drink) to notice my attempts to order. When he finally deigned to make me a drink he set it down and made change without even glancing over as he was still enthralled in conversation with my neighbor. I still left a respectable tip. The second time I ordered I asked for two vodka sodas (to which the bartender’s “friend” asked “did you REALLY just order a vodka soda?” Oh, I’M SORRY, I didn’t mean to insult the MIXOLOGIST with my criminally mundane drink order… ) and received only one. When after another 5-10 minutes of patient waiting at the bar, cash displayed in hand he failed to produce either another drink or take the money for the first (or look in my direction again) I decided that a bird in the hand would do, shared the drink with my friend and got half of a vodka soda for free.

      Another time a friend and I were at Thieves Tavern and she ordered a scotch and soda that tasted suspiciously like gin (and was a suspiciously light color). After conferring with the entirely of our party who all agreed it smelled/tasted like gin she approached the bar and very politely suggested there may have been a mistake and requested revised drink. The bartender picked up the drink, gave it a brief sniff, announced brusquely that it was scotch and left. I then suggested we get the attention of the other bartender and she very graciously replaced the drink in a second.

      These are just two examples off the top of my head. I’m not saying that a lot of bar patrons aren’t obnoxious/entitled idiots/a-holes who maybe don’t deserve good service, but there are also a lot of snobby/rude/a-hole bartenders who treat polite, paying customers like crap. Basic courtesy works both ways. And while yes, I may want my precious glass of boozy goodness more than they want my couple dollars of tip, one of the many wonders of San Francisco is that there is almost always another bar (and another liquor store) right down the street. Hopefully with less pretentious bartenders and next to a taqueria.

  46. bar-eater says:

    I do tip really well. So if I still get bullshit on the second round, they can kiss my ass and my tips good-bye.

  47. Mission Bitchsters? says:

    Fucking A. Another Mission Bitchster trying to establish bullshit rules for all to live by. Fuck off.

    All of my favorite bars in cities all over this country have had a shitty greasy food establishment no more then two doors down. Part of the joy of a regular bar is having it be like a public living room. Crap on TV you don’t care about, and friends who you can joke with, and yes the ability to get a snack and bring it in. No one has told me I couldn’t eat in the living room since I moved out of my parents house. Fuck, my regular bartenders love it when I go get something because I always bring them something as well. Maybe she’s just pissed that no one ever offers to get her anything.

  48. YAR! says:

    I loved that this was playing the whole time i was trolling:

  49. RayRay says:

    I’d just like to say its hilarious this little article caused everyone to get so butt hurt. Its silly to say ignorant comments like above, because if you even knew me or my personality you would have loved this. Its poking fun at things I see…it’s not an article about you, personally. It’s not about ALL bars…I’m not retarded, you guys. Welp, at least 94 people liked and reposted it on Night Fog Reader! Take Care-

  50. GG says:

    I love that the post on those idiots screwing up everybody’s BART commute yesterday — which has generated beaucoup inflamed comments on other blogs I read — garnered a total of THREE comments here on Mission Mission. And what drew NINETY FIVE comments (and counting)? A debate on whether it’s OK to eat a burrito in a bar and whether Rachel the bartender is a bitch.

    Ride on, MM!

    • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

      *shrug* You want the Mission Mission blog to pay attention to something happening on BART, do it at one of the Mission BART stations.

    • Stu says:

      That’s kinda why those other sites are there, right? This one is about farts, burritos, drinking and clothing. Or am I wrong?

  51. Pedro Navaja says:

    Rachel! ¡Muñeca!
    If you’ve had it up to here serving pigs, and the cows who love them; crass hipsters and 40 year old frat boys, it’s time to trade up and work the upscale bars.
    Get a job at a place where people don’t pick their nose and glue the snot to the coaster, or shrieking chicks don’t floss out the remains of tortilla-wrapped mojón they just snarfed while competing to see who can laugh the loudest.
    Go job-hunting and use your skill-set in a better setting.

    • RayRay says:

      your comment just proves my point even more! If anyone really knew me they would know i have an AMAZING day job that i went to school for AND have a passion for!This article IS NOT PERSONAL! Please stop taking this shit LITERALLY!!!! GEEEEZZZEEEEEE

  52. please everyone calm down. it was a tumblr post. who cares.

    this is getting to be quite embarrassing.

  53. dwayne johnson says:

    Man, the cows in this pic is very unappetizing to look at…

  54. one says:

    She jsut might be the Edsel Ford Fong of her generation. I hope she doesn’t quit – she prolly has a following – ‘let’s go to the bar with that super rude bartender!’ You know. Slumming.

    Food in bars? It always polite to ask. People like that. It’s tiresome when these kids are going on/ It’s the big city! In reality, this town is small enough for people to remember assholes – servers AND customers – even when you’re outside of “the hood.” Word gets around.

  55. thuglifecrunk187 says: