By Ian S. Port
By Tony Ware
By Emma Silvers
By Gary Moskowitz
By Alee Karim
By Ian S. Port
By Ian S. Port
By Derek Opperman
647 Valencia, 552-7788
Recently emerging as the stronghold for San Francisco's burgeoning jazz scene, this dual-level space features two bars, pool tables, and a stage that has hosted a slew of underground talent.
374 11th St., 431-3337
From bebop to hip hop, from New York to Near East, this classy supper club offers a home for those artists dedicated to presenting original, cutting-edge jazz-influenced music. The restaurant, which is Italian in flavor, features innovative "loft staging."
1805 Geary, 346-6000
Embodying the rich history and spirit of rock music in San Francisco, this is the venue where Bill Graham presented his first show and it has remained in the minds and memories of Bay Area music fans ever since.
Great American Music Hall
859 O'Farrell, 885-0750
San Francisco's oldest and grandest nightclub, this decadent space carries guests back to an earlier, more elegant era of ornate balconies, soaring marble columns, and elaborate ceiling frescoes. The now-concert hall symbolized renewal and optimism when it opened as an upscale brothel in 1907 just after the big earthquake.
1582 Folsom, 626-1985
Since 1972 this burger joint has been drawing a diverse and eclectic crowd to the SOMA district with its equally diverse and eclectic staff. Not to mention the decor.
1821 Haight, 666-0800
Nightbreak has changed hands. Yes, again. Owner Karen Carney (of the Chameleon) is determined to make it a hoppin' rock club again. With the masterful talents of local indie rockers Kevin Arnold (S.F. Noise Pop Festival) and Katie Adler (KUSF-FM) on Carney's team, it won't be long before it is the hot spot.
500 Fourth St., 421-8308
The second-oldest bar in San Francisco, this cozy joint once served the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio. Though many things have changed, the Utah still sports one of the best jukeboxes around and is one of the greatest places to see new talent.
2007 16th St., 626-2626
Located half a mile from the Bottom of the Hill, this club has been recently renovated to include a new outdoor patio, a fully stocked bar, and a restaurant. DJs and live bands vary nightly, but you may hear anything from rock to retro to house to hip hop.
555 Second St., 543-2282
This is a three-star restaurant with a full bar and a loft stage that plays host to an array of acoustic performers.
3160 16th St., 861-2595
Located in the heart of the Mission District, the Kilowatt is fast becoming one of San Francisco's best small nightclubs. Featuring up-and-coming local and national acts, the bar boasts a good sound system and a great elevated stage (which means you can see!).
Last Day Saloon
406 Clement, 387-6343
Usually featuring vibe, groove-oriented rock, this club has been known to work with everything from blues to country. It has broken bands like Big Head Todd and Leftover Salmon in the Bay Area and has occasionally showcased stars like Big Mama Thornton and John Lee Hooker.
Mad Dog in the Fog
530 Haight, 626-7279
One of the Lower Haight's popular nighttime destinations, the Dog is completely English-owned and -operated. This unique pub serves a wide variety of imported brews as well as English grub. Enjoy a game of darts before the music starts.
2513 Van Ness, 928-0404
This Marina bar specializes in funk, ska, reggae, and alternative music and has been featuring live local bands for the last four years.
1501 Folsom, 861-6906
Over the course of eight years the Paradise has gone from a single-stage venue to a multifaceted club featuring three diverse rooms. Whether in the classic lounge area, next to the fireplace upstairs, or in the blue room near the main stage, all genres of local and national talent are featured nightly.
3251 Scott, 922-2456
A small local tavern dating back to World War II, this cozy, fireplace-warmed space features murals by local artists and live jazz, blues, rock, or folk music.
333 11th St., 255-0333
Named more than once as Pollstar's "Nightclub Venue of the Year," Slim's opened its doors in '88 with an adventurous booking policy that continues today, incorporating all musical styles and welcoming both local and national acts.
Star Cleaners is committed to the belief that everyone is a star and he or she just needs a place to shine. With a tea bar and perfect psychedelic ambience, this is the only place in the city to properly experience a rock show, but you have to find it first.
314 11th St., 861-6906
The newest addition to SOMA's 11th Street nightclub corridor, this is part of the Paradise-corner dynasty. The spacious room has three large screens with full video capability, a new dance floor, and a killer sound system.
520 Fourth St., 995-4600
Featuring an intimate lounge area, two full bars, a full kitchen, and a spacious dance floor, the Troc has one of the most advanced light and sound systems in the Bay Area and a strong commitment toward booking entertainment from the furthest cutting edge.
Up & down Club
1151 Folsom, 626-2388
One of the forerunners in San Francisco's new jazz scene, this two-level dinner house features eclectic American cuisine, two full bars, and some of the best jazz artists around. Look for the Up & down Club CD series, which includes its hottest acts.