By Christina Li
By Dave Pehling
By Ian S. Port
By SF Weekly
By Ian S. Port
By Ian S. Port
By Ian S. Port
By Ian S. Port
Bistro E Europe: A hotbed of Eastern European deep listening, this quaint, moderately priced bistro hosts live Gypsy-, Hungarian-, and Balkan-flavored performances every weekend. 4901 Mission (between Ocean and Geneva), 469-5637.
Blackthorn Tavern: If your idea of the rainbow's end is tipping back 20 ounces of Guinness and pining for the Irish shores, the Blackthorn Tavern is a dream come true. Its wide selection of treats on tap and an occasional live Celtic folk band make it an emerald gem in the heart of the Sunset. 834 Irving (at Ninth Ave.), 564-6627.
Blind Tiger: It's easy to miss the plain facade of this Chinatown DJ lounge, so just listen for the bumping house music and enter into a stylishly decorated two-story bar where the elite meet to greet and sip fruity drink treats. 787 Broadway (at Powell), 788-4020.
Bliss Bar: Though ripe with possibilities, the clean and cool Bliss Bar seems stuck in a bygone (see: dot-com) era. A bit on the pricey side, it saves itself as one of the only places in Noe Valley featuring live DJs. 4026 24th St. (at Noe), 826-6200.
Blondie's: With tasteful DJ residencies, sidewalk people-watching, enormous martinis, and the occasional live jazz combo, this Mission District hot spot is a must for people making the scene. 540 Valencia (at 17th St.), 864-2419.
Blue Lamp: On the border between the Tenderloin and the theater district, the Blue Lamp is a favorite of local blues hounds, hosting soul-filled weekly residencies from Sunday to Wednesday and special guests all weekend. 561 Geary (at Taylor), 885-1464.
Boom Boom Room: Couches and cocktails complement a blues and funk boogie, which makes shaking it on the checkerboard dance floor an old-fashioned must. Nightly, up-and-coming national acts play sweaty, steamy sets on the venue's small stage -- always a rollicking time. 1601 Fillmore (at Geary), 673-8000.
Bottom of the Hill: A down-and-dirty rock club complete with a pinball machine, sticker-smothered bathrooms, and a smoker's patio. Nightly entertainment ranges from loud-as-hell to what-the-hell-was-that. 1233 17th St. (at Missouri), 621-4455.
Brain Wash: Torn between catching a gig and staying home to do laundry? Pack up the grundies and hit Brain Wash, an enterprising cafe/laundromat/gallery/club. All-ages crowds can catch free shows across the DIY spectrum, chomp on snacks, and wash their whites -- simultaneously. 1122 Folsom (at Seventh St.), 861-3663.
Broadway Studios: When the curtain rises at this historic North Beach venue, you never know what you'll get -- it could be anything from bristling punk to brassy swing. Though the club's reputation comes mostly from Lindy-Hopping holdovers of the swing boom who populate the regular dance classes, there is a little of everything. 435 Broadway (at Columbus), 291-0333.
Bruno's: After feasting on classic Italian fare, Bruno's patrons stay for the cozy after-dinner atmosphere, which features two red-lit lounges, live jazz, and a stream of premium cocktails. 2389 Mission (at 20th St.), 648-7701.
Bubble Lounge: San Francisco's premier champagne house complements its exhaustive menu of bubbly with live music every Wednesday. Though most of the acts tend toward wallpaper jazz, patrons can get giggly to the occasional offering of DJ'd electronica and live Latin grooves. 714 Montgomery (at Jackson), 434-4204.
Butter: Its cheeky trailer park décor has made it a favorite of club-crawling ironists. There's no heehaw on the tables, though, and the see-and-be-seen crowd poses to selections of deep house and techno from some of the area's A-list DJs. After dancing up an appetite, patrons hit the double-wide food stand for inexpensive "trailer treats." 354 11th St. (at Folsom), 863-5964.
Butterfly: Feast on delicious Pan-Asian cuisine and listen to local DJs spin mellow tunes in this gorgeous converted-warehouse restaurant/bar right off Duboce Avenue. 1710 Mission (at Duboce), 864-8999.
The Cafe: "Always a crowd, never a cover" is its accurate motto, to which the bridge-and-tunnel crowd can attest. This gay dance spot -- popular for years -- stands as an out-of-towner mecca, but Sunday nights are reserved for locals only. The DJs, sadly, are lackluster at best. 2367 Market (at 17th St.), 861-3846.
Cafe Claude: Grab a glass of Beaujolais and prepare to enjoy live jazz (on the weekends) and escape into a lively slice of cosmopolitan Parisian life (every day, if only temporary) at this charming, tucked-away bistro. 7 Claude (at Bush), 392-3515.
Cafe Cocomo: Take in salsa dancing lessons, live music that explores a spectrum of Latin American rhythms, and a colorful buffet at the Coconut Groove restaurant (Thursday through Saturday), all within a lively indoor/outdoor setting. Classy attire required. 650 Indiana (at Mariposa), 824-6910.
Cafe Du Nord: With the look and feel of a martini lounge, this modestly priced venue with a just-raised stage features mainly underground music, from weekly DJ nights to local and touring bands. 2170 Market (at Sanchez), 861-5016.
Cafe Franco: Kind of strange to think that a nonalcoholic cafe in a Fort Mason hostel would be a draw for locals. Yet pile in they do, to enjoy evenings of acoustic music and gaze at the Golden Gate Bridge, particularly on the open mike night held on the second Wednesday of the month. Fort Mason, Bldg. 240, Bay & Franklin, 771-3738.
Cafe Mars: Admire -- or laugh, depending on your proclivities -- as patrons attempt to match the outlandishness of the galaxial theme (and general pretty-people vibe) to their SOMA club attire. The music is usually not quite so techno as the décor, with plenty of funk and modern jazz. 798 Brannan (at Seventh St.), 621-6277.