Nightlife by neighbourhood
There's no doubt that there's so much to see and do in San Francisco that visitors and residents alike could spend weeks exploring and still not see...
There's no doubt that there's so much to see and do in San Francisco that visitors and residents alike could spend weeks exploring and still not see or do it all. But what about activities when the sun goes down? San Francisco has the nightlife to match its variety of daytime attractions. If you're looking to explore the City by the Bay after hours, head to one or all these San Francisco neighbourhoods.
Union Square is the neighbourhood for those amazing, delicious cocktails made by "experts" and look no further than Hawthorn, which offers a full craft cocktail menu as well as signature favourites, lovingly prepared by some of the city's finest mixologists to kick off your night.
You're bound to rub elbows with locals at these unpretentious dive bars in the Mission neighbourhood. The 500 beckons with a vintage neon sign, keeps you with cheap drinks and a jukebox and comes by dive bar status naturally with graffiti-laden bathroom walls. Likely the home of one of the few phone booths left in the city, this dive bar boasts cheap beer—both bottled and on tap—and a well-worn pool table.
SoMa has so many dance clubs, you'll want to hit them all. Start at DNA Lounge, where the music's a mix of DJ beats and live bands, ranging from punk to rockabilly to pop and more. Cat Club's got two dance floors and a go-go cage, and a versatile menu of '80s music including goth, new wave, pop and electro.
Civic Centre/Hayes Valley
Most of San Francisco's performance halls are in this neighbourhood. Go to Davies Symphony Hall to hear the San Francisco Symphony, as well as guest orchestras and a classic film series accompanied by music. If you like arias with your instruments, try the San Francisco Opera, located in the historic War Memorial Opera House, and entertaining visitors since 1923.
San Francisco has its fair share of bars serving microbrews, and the Richmond/Presidio neighbourhood—home of the Fort Point Brewing Company—features two of the best. Sessions at the Presidio is a great place for some early nightlife since its latest closing is 10 pm from Thursday through Saturday.
If you prefer to sip your nightlife slowly, this neighbourhood has some distinctive places to enjoy regional wines. The Barrel Room offers more than 50 wines by the glass and flight, with a speakeasy lounge open late. The wines at The Hidden Vine span the globe and encompass a 22-page menu—enjoy them in a comfortable, exposed-brick setting or consider booking the outside bocce court if you prefer some activity with your vino.