Best Nightlife in San Francisco 2022

Take that trip to San Francisco to party in true Cali-style. What does that mean? Whatever you want it to mean. Clubs and bars in San Francisco take on worlds of their own: there are sleek, elegant lounges serving up fine spirits and exclusivity and grungy, eclectic clubs where electrified crowds gather for some good old-fashioned fun. Whether you’re looking for a world-class cocktail and stellar San Fran views or dying to dance the night away to ’80s hip-hop classics or groovy disco beats, these are some of the most talked-about spots to visit when visiting you’re in town.

Monarch

Best over-the-top club

 Monarch is a San Francisco staple, known for its multi-room setup, stellar sound system, and live music. For partygoers, the cavernous basement dance club features some of the best DJs and house music in the area, including a large stage for various live music events. An upstairs lounge elicits an upscale vibe, complete with a towering, glitzy bar with acrobatic aerial dancers performing overhead. Guests also love the bar’s free photo booth and rivalrous drink specials. Depending on whether or not an event is going on, a cover fee might be charged upon entry.

Cat Club

Best club for throwback music

 

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Anyone who wants to have a genuinely fun time on any night of the week will fall in love with Cat Club. They are mostly known for their 70s and 80s-themed nights, which feature hit music from the decades that always have the entire dance floor singing and grooving along to the tunes. With two separate dance floors, there’s a little something for everyone here, including funk-themed nights, pop throwback Saturdays, weekday karaoke, and so much more. Reserve a VIP booth or simply walk in and join the edgy crowd with a small cover fee. Be sure to use Experism to check for events.

DNA Lounge

Best live music club

This massive venue features a versatile array of entertainment options at its four dance floors, seven bars, and full-service restaurant, DNA Pizza. People of all ages can attend various live music shows while mature crowds rave over the club’s pulse-thumping, rowdy burlesque shows. This spot is also loved for hosting private parties or for its VIP bottle service with sweet views of the dance floor crowd. Visit DNA Lounge’s website to see their array of eclectic performers and events or to reserve a room or a booth.

Madrone

Best eclectic club

“Because the highest form of art is drinking with friends.” That’s the Madrone tagline and the answer as to why so many tourists and San Francisco natives flock to the nuanced, funky club. Walking into this club is like immersing yourself in a vibrantly patterned, eccentric art studio slash funhouse, with walls featuring photography, paintings, and other three-dimensional mixed-media artworks that are frequently being updated. Since Madrone’s dance floor is rather small, it’s best to arrive early to enjoy live music events or the DJ’s music.

Raven Bar

Best club for happy hour and VIP service

 

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Everyone loves throwback music, and the owners of Raven Bar know that. This neon-filled dance club features throwback hip hop, R&B, and pop music with music videos projected near the dance floor. Most nights are themed, so be sure to visit their website for info, VIP reservations, dress codes, cover charges, and add yourself to the quickly-filled guest list. Visit before 9 pm for an unbeatable happy hour featuring $6 beers and more.

The EndUp

Best dancing club

Since the 1970s, San Francisco’s tourists and 9-to-5ers have ended up at the Endup to unwind and party. This expansive club sports black snakeskin-covered booths in the lounge, a hip dancefloor, and an outdoor courtyard area that features tables, a bar, and funky murals. The Endup regularly hosts celebrated DJs, so check their website to see what they offer for upcoming parties and events.

The View

Best views

 

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Don’t take this bar’s name lightly. Situated importantly atop the Marriott Marquis hotel, this high-end bar features a massive wall-sized window that features rivalrous, stunning views of San Francisco. The views are spectacular day or night, but so are The View’s handcrafted cocktails, created by expert mixologists. Snack on an elegant small plate or dinner while letting the San Francisco aurora wash over you.

Trick Dog

Best tourist bar

 

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Featuring an eclectic menu that is frequently updated and a sophisticated, top-shelf cocktail menu, Trick Dog is known as a San Francisco must-visit and a local favorite. Everything about this spot is uniquely edgy from the menus to the drinkware and decor. Though there are two floors in this bar, spots fill up quickly, so be sure to arrive early to guarantee your spot.

El Techo

Best rooftop bar

El Techo is one of San Francisco’s most-loved rooftop bars. Besides the incredible views that this sky-high rooftop offers, grub-worthy Latin American street cuisine and Latin-inspired cocktails, a weekday happy hour, and one of the country’s best weekend brunches. Even when there aren’t clear sunny skies and warm temperatures, this patio fills up quickly as guests cozy up to space heaters or under a retractable roof. If you’re looking to enjoy brunch, reservations are recommended, but the spot is walk-in only for the rest of the day.

Cold Drinks Bar

Best hidden bar

Wander up to the second floor of China Live and enter a discreet gold door to find the Cold Drinks bar. This elegant, swanky lounge features refined cocktails, including aged, top-shelf scotch and whiskey. If you’re not a scotch snob, you’ll still find plenty of fancy cocktails that will quench your thirst. Guests enjoy spending time at Cold Drinks due to its sleek, sophisticated vibe and the semi-secrecy of the spot itself that gives it an exclusive feel.