By Cory Sklar
By Alee Karim
By Christina Li
By Dave Pehling
By Ian S. Port
By SF Weekly
By Ian S. Port
By Ian S. Port
12 Galaxies: One of the few places left in the Mission District to catch live music. Still in its adolescent stages, it's the perfect two-floor outfit to see rock or punk shows. It also showcases innovative cabaret, burlesque, fashion, art, and DJ nights. 2565 Mission (at 22nd St.), 970-9777.
26 Mix: For when you want to lounge and for when you want to dance, 26 Mix has the best of both worlds. Its bar/lounge area thrives as a colorful spot to chill, while the dance floor and back room help release any pent-up energy. 3024 Mission (at 26th St.), 826-7378.
111 Minna Gallery: An art gallery/nightclub/bar, this place shows films, hosts DJs, gets people drunk -- all in a sleek (read: Make sure you dress up) atmosphere where pretty people come to play. 111 Minna (at Second St.), 974-1719.
330 Ritch: The former apex of the early '90s acid-jazz scene is now home to the long-running indie-pop weekly "popscene" as well as salsa and hip hop nights. Delicious food, dancing, and pool make this dark alley hideaway a hip hangout for the city's young and fabulous. 330 Ritch (at Townsend), 541-9574.
715 Harrison: This place seems like the last of its line -- an aging dinosaur left over from the early boom of club life, with enormous crowds, cavernous dance areas, and an unceasing thump. Weekend parties represent mainstream clubgoing tastes, with DJs spinning techno, high energy, and house. 715 Harrison (at Third St.), 339-8686.
848 Community Space: True to its name, this cooperative spot features art shows, group meetings, theater performances, and live music and is also a live-work space with two bedrooms and a kitchen. 848 Divisadero (at Fulton), 922-2385.
850 Cigar Bar: Modeled after a classic Cuban cigar bar, it features tapas, live Latin jazz, fresh Mojitos, and a selection of fine puffs. When the smoke gets too much for you, take your drink and head to the lovely outdoor patio. 850 Montgomery (at Pacific), 291-0850.
1751 Social Club: The former Storyville is new and improved, but it's still home to many popular hip hop and '80s-music weeklies. Chilling in the front, boogieing in the back. 1751 Fulton (at Masonic), 441-1751.
Abbey Tavern: This Irish sports bar in the Inner Richmond features live DJs on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. A mixture of pop, rock, '80s, and dance music caters to a mostly collegiate crowd. 4100 Geary (at Fifth Ave.), 221-7767.
Amber: Its inviting character and unaffected air attract local restaurant/bar workers for unofficial '80s, honky-tonk, and punk rock nights. Enjoy a Sidecar or an Amber Cocktail in the lounge-y barroom. 714 14th St. (at Church), 626-7827.
Amnesia: Red, hypnotic light helps this tiny bar live up to its name, and its tall stage features everything from bluegrass to experimental electronica. Though the music quality varies, the price is always right. 853 Valencia (at 20th St.), 970-8336.
Amoeba Music: Come hear a band you should probably know about amidst thousands of CDs you should probably own at Amoeba's regular in-store concerts. A head-scratching variety of genres offers an awesome cross-section of today's music. Sound quality may suffer, but hey, such is indie rock. 1855 Haight (at Stanyan), 831-1200.
Annie's Cocktail Lounge: Neighborhood locals converge on the comfortable, inviting Annie's for the punk rock/rockabilly music and an upstairs pool table. Come for the martinis, stay for the karaoke -- every Tuesday and Saturday. 15 Boardman (at Bryant), 703-0865.
Anú: Low lighting, lounge seating, and the freshest electronica DJs rank Anû as a bona fide hot spot, despite its somewhat seedy location. Arrive early on Fridays for a massage and a tarot card reading. Just be sure to try the bartenders' favorite cocktail, the Pink Bird. 43 Sixth St. (at Mission), 543-3505.
Arrow: The best place in the occupied nightlife territory of Sixth and Mission streets, period. It's part bar and part cave dance floor (complete with stalactites), packaged with various guest DJs. A young, modish crowd usually dominates; the party doesn't get going until at least 1 a.m. 10 Sixth St. (at Market), 255-7920.
AsiaSF: Although DJs at AsiaSF draw from a booming mix of R&B, house, salsa, and pop while the chefs serve up tasty treats, it's the "gender illusionists" -- the cross-dressing waitstaff -- who rank this inclusive, friendly restaurant as a swanky gay and lesbian hangout. 201 Ninth St. (at Howard), 255-2742.
Atlas Cafe: On Thursday nights live music takes over this neighborhood coffee and herbivore-friendly sandwich shop, filling the place (and the inviting patio area) with a rotating array of the sounds of Americana, from blues to ragtime. 3049 20th St. (at Florida), 648-1047.
Atrium Bar: Financial District professionals and commuters stop in to enjoy the Atrium's spacious room and overlooking windows (which some say are in the Guinness Book of World Records). Definitely not a scene -- dress ranges from business suits to sportswear, and music ranges from popular rock to popular pop -- the Atrium is a relaxing, innocuous stopover. Hyatt Regency, 5 Embarcadero Center (at Fremont & Commercial), 788-1234.
The Attic: The grittiness of your favorite dive bar and the sounds of your favorite DJ combine to create a great Mission District spot that transcends all trends. 3336 24th St. (at Mission), 643-3376.