San Francisco

Cherry Bar & Lounge: In addition to hosting some of SOMA's most original dance club nights -- such as "Bootie," one of the first bootleg mash-up nights -- Cherry has also returned to playing live music. Local, reputable bands grace the stage at this charming venue. 917 Folsom (at Fifth St.), 974-1585.

Cityscape: It's worth saving pennies for this upscale bistro atop the Hilton San Francisco: The spectacular panorama from 460 feet above the ground is well worth the pricey fare. DJs spin light Top 40 nightly, but don't expect a bustling dance floor; most people are here for the views. Hilton Hotel, 333 O'Farrell (at Mason), 923-5002.

Cloud 9 Motel: This snazzy retro bar pretties up the otherwise dismal block at Seventh and Market streets. Sip cocktails and enjoy the house-music DJ in the glitzy upstairs bar or head to the basement for some dark and dirty dancing. 34 Seventh St. (at Market), 355-9991.

Club Jazz Nouveau: With nonstop jazz pumping from the stage and setting the mood, this club has spearheaded the genre's revival in San Francisco. The house sizzles nightly for a modest cover. 2801 Leavenworth (at Beach), 921-2100.

Club Malibu: Have your Berlitz phrase book handy at this Mission District hot spot, as neither staff nor patrons speak much English. The place is packed almost every night for DJs who spin south-of-the-border club bangers. When Norteña bands play long sets on the weekends, it's like a can of sardines (or should we say "como sardinas en banasta"?). 3369 Mission (between 29th and 30th Sts.), 821-7395.

Club NV: Its upscale digs are home to a wild Friday night scene. People move through two large dance areas to a mix of Latin house, high-energy romps, and club anthems. If you have the extra cash and a penchant for privacy, NV also offers plenty of VIP hideouts. 525 Howard (at First St.), 339-8686.

Club Rendez-Vous: This destination is a favorite of thirtysomething gay men with a taste for house music and a good pickup scene. The regular drag pageants and male reviews are exceedingly popular, rendering the long, narrow space quite cozy. 1312 Polk (at Bush), 309-CLUB.

Club Six: A fancy-schmancy martini mecca aboveground, Club Six has a cavernous basement with an ample dance floor where some of the world's top DJs come to spin techno and hip hop (among other styles), often into the wee hours of the night. 60 Sixth St. (at Jessie), 863-1221.

Community Music Center: In addition to hosting all kinds of private music instruction, the center's 130-seat auditorium is a regular home to low-price (sometimes free) concerts and recitals. Performances from students, faculty, and visiting artists are a safe bet for quality and run the gamut from Copland to Coltrane. 544 Capp (at 20th St.), 647-6015.

Condor Ultra Lounge: What was once the first topless joint in the United States has revamped itself as one of North Beach's latest dance clubs. In addition to spinning party hits from the '70, '80s, '90s, and beyond, the Condor Ultra Lounge holds onto its risqué roots with burlesque shows on Fridays and Saturdays and an all-male revue for the ladies on Thursdays. 300 Columbus (at Grant), 781-8222.

Cosmopolitan Cafe: Proud of its bid to be known as one of the city's best places to have a power lunch, it's an equally buzzing place for an after-work drink -- particularly its namesake -- or bite and to enjoy and to enjoy live jazz Wednesday through Saturday. Ties are loosened, but only so much. 121 Spear (at Mission), 543-4001.

Dalva: One long hallway of a bar, the low-lit Dalva boasts great sangria and nightly DJs spinning various kinds of hip, cool music. If the tunes get too loud for conversation (which they often do), head to the not-so-secret back room. 3121 16th St. (at Valencia), 252-7740.

Delirium Cocktails: A change of name and management has turned this grubby Mission District haunt into a slightly less grubby Mission District haunt, with nightly DJs playing good ol' rock 'n' roll. Locals flock here for free hot dogs and pool on Sundays. 3139 16th St. (at Albion), 552-5525.

Deluxe: The art deco style of this Haight Street bar brings out the swing-music scenesters and Frank Sinatra devotees. Enjoy live jazz and retro tunes as you sip your award-winning martini. 1509 Haight (at Ashbury), 552-6949.

Detour: Smack in the heart of the Castro, this small, dimly lit hangout pumps thumping electronica from its speakers and covers its walls with suggestive pictures. A gay bar with attitude. 2348 Market (at Noe), 861-6053.

DNA Lounge: The newly remodeled DNA is a longtime fixture on this happening 11th Street block. Regular goth and industrial parties happen alongside the occasional house or hip hop jam. 375 11th St. (at Folsom), 626-1409.

Don Ramon's: Huge portions of Mexican fare, plenty of comfy seating, and frequent appearances by strolling mariachi players are the key ingredients of this SOMA dining hall. 225 11th St. (at Howard), 864-2700.

Dot Restaurant: Those familiar with Nick "Joe Boxer" Graham's through-the-looking-glass venues (the Red Room, Backflip, Sno-drift) know to expect a Dr. Seussian flair. The club's infrequent live music offerings follow the eclectic decorum with DJ sets that run the gamut of electronic, lounge, and vintage rock sounds. Miyako Hotel, 1611 Post (at Laguna), 922-3200.

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