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San Francisco Nightclub Reviews

SOMA - South of Market

san francisco nightclubs


This is the one of the best bar areas to party at-- lots of cool places within walking distance of each other. The better bars have good live bands-- cover charges range from $0-$10. It's lots of fun to party in this area or just to have a drink and people-watch. There are restaurants in this area which can be combined with a nightclub or two...This area is the place for a serious night on the town. The large warehouse dance clubs are in this area and covers average $10. Lines can be long, but hours are as late as 6 a.m. if you're a night owl. If you have a designated driver, parking is not too bad in this area. Not a particularly safe walk from hotels though.

Note that you might want to take a taxi to this area as parking is horrid, especially on weekends. If you decide to drive, parking at the large COSTCO warehouse is $5 or $4 with validation. COSTCO also provides welcome security for your vehicle. Interestingly, neighborhood residents will stand in free public spaces and "assist" you in parking for a small "donation". It is not recommended to upset these neighborhood "parking helpers".

Andy rating scale: "A"=The best party place -to- "F"=Suckorama

Andy Rating=B due to high prices & club sellouts

A $10-$15 cover small live music venue owned by Boz Skaggs.
Great acoustics, great bands, good crowd.
Somewhat "higher class joint" due to cover price. They also serve food.
333 11th @ Folsom 621-3330

DNA Lounge
Andy Rating=B if you like dancing

A medium sized dance nightclub with occasional live music.
Cover of $7-$10.
Fun dancing place in neighborhood with many other choices to utilize.
DNA is known as a visiting place for celebrities and is often mentioned in the music gossip column.
375 11th @ Harrison 626-1409

Thirsty Bear

The Thirsty Bear is a brewpub and restaurant in SOMA. The beer is good and the atmosphere is fun at this warehouse style full bar and restaurant. Food is tapas (small plate) style and pricey at around $7 per plate. The menu is Spanish style and features many regional favorites.

The restaurant section is small and waits are long. The food has some style but isn't great. Service in the restaurant comes with a dose of attitude-- don't get the pronounciation of any dishes incorrect here! This is a great place for beers and fries... But Gordon Biersch on the waterfront has better beers, views, and food. Thirsty Bear has a poolroom upstairs which is often used for private parties. I'd recommend this as a stop-off on the way to other clubs in the area. Andy's rating=B-.

661 Howard Street @ Third

1015 Folsom

Located suprisingly, at 1015 Folsom @ 6th Street, this is considered SF's best club by many clubbers. E.C. writes, "Lotsa curvaceous Asian babes and young, casual revellers... " There's always a long line outside. Many types of music including jungle, trip hop and many more. The different music scenes bring more diversity than most clubs and a more casual atmosphere. Highly recommended. Phone 431-1200 for info.

Sound Factory
Andy Rating=A

One of the largest dance clubs in the city with three major dance floors and you can play pool too. Like something in a movie, but a major "meet market".
Crowd quality is diverse and different rooms have different music (popular or "rave). Special free deals for early arrival. Free valet parking. Unless you hate loud dance music & dancing (not line dancing mind you...), you will have fun here.
525 Harrison @ First 979-8686

Other Nightclub Areas

The Haight Street area was once the home of many 1960's luminaries. Today, this area features some great people watching and cheap drinks. Haight Street is not a particularly safe area, and there is widespread panhandling here. However, there are rarely cover charges. There are two main bar areas about one mile apart-- Upper Haight (near Golden Gate Park) and Lower Haight near Haight & Fillmore Street. Lower Haight is less safe, but more interesting than Upper Haight

Noc-Noc (Lower Haight)
Andy Rating=B

Eccentric out of this world decorations change almost monthly. No cover, and very comfortable / unusual seating areas. A small place with good deals on drinks and beers. Strongly recommended by San Francisco resident, Z.M.-- "I think it epitomizes the SF experience..."
557 Haight near Fillmore 861-5811