Innovative and Open-Minded: Inside the San Francisco Club Scene
Get ready to express yourself without judgment on the dance floor in a recognized hotbed for global trends in house, techno, drum and bass, experimental electronics and emerging live music. San Francisco’s premiere nightlife scene offers some of the best sound systems in the U.S. and features top acts in intimate, open venues filled with welcoming, like-minded people. San Francisco’s nightlife scene centers on the quality of the music, the positivity of the crowd and the experience of the performance itself. In fact, top DJs come to San Francisco specifically to play their best original music, after having to play nothing but the top 40 in other cities. So leave your reservations behind and come on out and experience the dynamic club scene in San Francisco. The dance floor is waiting for you.
Asia SF (201 9th St.)
Famous for the show put on by its transgender staff that takes place upstairs in the California fusion restaurant, Asia SF is also home to one of the most unique and exciting dance clubs in San Francisco. Located on Ninth Street in SoMa, this is a one-stop dinner and dancing destination that is open to everyone and is presided over by some of the City by the Bay’s top local DJ talent.
Audio Discotech (316 11th St.)
Home to a 54,000-watt, state-of-the-art Funktion One 3D surround system — the only one of its kind in the world — and some bass-thumping 32-inch subwoofers, Audio is built for music lovers who want to feel the beat pulsing through every cell of their body. Located in SoMa with a 400-person capacity, Audio is already a favorite venue for top international DJs like Mark Knight and Kidnap Kid. Listen to the best in deep house and underground music at this must-experience venue.
City Nights (715 Harrison St.)
With after-hours hip-hop, house and trip-hop parties every Saturday night of the year, City Nights is a San Francisco institution that has been going nonstop since the 1990s. Located on Harrison Street in SoMa, City Nights offers two dance floors, three full-service bars, two separately spinning DJs and an 18-plus entrance policy that tends to draw crowds.
DNA Lounge (375 11th St.)
With two stages, four dance floors, an all-ages entrance policy and late night hours, DNA Lounge has been a San Francisco favorite for decades and consistently wins "best dance club" in locals' choice awards. It's typically the top spot to hear rock and alternative, but DNA Lounge presents all types of performers. Pop outside to grab a slice at DNA Pizza before heading back to the live music, DJ shows, burlesque acts and theater performances that take place here on a regular basis.
Halcyon SF (314 11th St.)
Housed in a historic brick warehouse building in SoMa, Halcyon SF brings top house and electronica artists like Jonas Rathsman and Victor Calderone to San Francisco every weekend from dusk till dawn. The space also hosts a variety of daytime events, including their popular sound healing sessions with yogic-style musicians under the glow of sunlight streaming through their massive skylights.
Love and Propaganda (85 Campton Pl.)
Situated in Union Square (so it's stumbling distance to your hotel), Love and Propaganda is a crossroads where music, fashion, and art all meet. After you've settled into the gorgeous neo-classic inspired design, the sound becomes the focal point. Love and Propaganda prides itself on the attention put forth to recognize the much broader community of widely acclaimed international and underground producers, DJs, and overall talent that you won’t find anywhere else.
Mezzanine (444 Jessie St.)
Hosting everything from local indie rock groups to rap legends like Mystikal, as well as top electronic DJs in a tucked-away location on Jessie Street in downtown San Francisco, Mezzanine has built up a strong reputation for being a place where the party never stops. With two different sound systems and two levels, plus five different full-service bars, this is a top club in the city. Mezzanine often throws retro parties during the week.
Madrone Art Bar (500 Divisadero St.)
The anchor of the nightlife scene along the Divisadero corridor, Madrone Art Bar features rotating art installations share space with a bar, couches & a tiny dance floor where DJs entertain especially on Monday nights. For those visitors who are want to extend their San Francisco trip through to the middle of the week, dance the night away with hosts DJ Gordo Cabeza and Timoteo Gigante and resident DJs spinning originals, exclusive remixes, and close relatives of your favorite Motown songs during M.O.M. Motown on Mondays at Madrone.
Monarch (101 6th St.)
Brought to you by the team behind Monarch, The Great Northern is one of San Francisco's newest venue for DJ's and live music. Weaving an art deco inspired design with high tech sound & lighting, The Great Northern is one of the go-to stops for DJs from around the world. The 80,000-watt custom Void sound system will likely be the most hi-fidelity nightclub sound you've ever experienced. One of the most popular clubs in San Francisco, Monarch is a thriving cultural capsule located on the edge of SOMA intertwines the shared visions of four deeply-rooted industry veterans.The upstairs Monarch Bar is a distinctive lounge, which dramatically mingles elements of Victorian, Steampunk, and Art Nouveau design. From the vintage redwood bar, patrons indulge in generous pours that lack pretentiousness. Off to the side is the Emperors Drawing Room, a secret bar that imparts the feel of high-society. Finally, he Monarch basement club regularly hosts top international talent, such as Maya Jane Coles, Carl Craig, Maceo Plex, Kaskade, Derrick Carter, and M83, along with the best local talent the bay has to offer.
Temple Nightclub (540 Howard St.)
Custom DJ booths pump beats out of a Void sound system onto the dance floor and hovering mezzanine tables in this popular San Francisco nightclub, located in SoMa on Howard Street. From the weekly Next Level Thursday party, which features top San Francisco DJs, to big-name hip-hop, dance and electronic performers on the weekends (everyone from Tommy Trash to Ja Rule), Temple Nightclub has a solid lineup every week and draws locals and visitors alike.
The Endup (401 6th St.)
Opened in 1973, the Endup is the original indoor/outdoor club that became the foundation for today's club scene in San Francisco. People from all walks of life come to party at The Endup to celebrate dance culture like no other venue. With two indoor bars, an outdoor bar and food stand, a lounge with a pool table, a high powered sound system and a dance floor with provocative lighting, The EndUp offers an ideal setting for live DJ music every weekend and even more extended hours for special events & holidays. As locals say, "You always end up at the Endup at the end of the night." Any other way and you're doing it wrong.
The Great Northern (116 Utah)
Brought to you by the team behind Monarch, The Great Northern is one of San Francisco's newest venue for DJ's and live music. Weaving an art deco inspired design with high tech sound & lighting, The Great Northern is one of the go-to stops for DJs from around the world. The 80,000-watt custom Void sound system will likely be the most hi-fidelity nightclub sound you've ever experienced.
Verso (1525 Mission St.)
Known for their weekly club events and knowledgeable bartenders, as well as special events like their massive Pride after-party, Verso is a San Francisco nightclub built with dancers in mind. Clean and minimal, with plenty of room to let loose and shake it off, Verso claims a strong local regular following.
August Hall (Coming Soon)
Completely taking over both levels of an ornate 19th-century Art Nouveau theater right in the Union Square area (where Ruby Skye used to be), August Hall is one of the most highly anticipated entries into the San Francisco club scene. Live bands, comedy shows, and top pop and electronic DJs will keep the massive dance floor jumping while the downstairs restaurant/bowling alley moves at completely different rhythm.