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Sports & Recreation

  • Best Sports Bar

    Kezar Pub and Restaurant

    People who run sports bars don't have it easy. They could install all the nicest light fixtures and import a huge selection of draught beers to impress patrons, but it would all be for naught if all those patrons were pulling for a loser. And who are we kidding? Sports fans are not a charming bunch. We make lots of noise, and sometimes we knock over furniture, even when we don't mean to. At Kezar Pub, the staff look past... More >>

  • Best New Place to Skateboard

    Potrero del Sol Park

    Since forever, San Francisco has been a magnet for hard-core skating, and hard-core skaters have been magnets for cops. It hasn't been pretty. In 2008, however, the city finally did what nearly every last suburban township has done: It built a skate park in which the locals can skate. Sure, it came decades too late, but it's challenging enough to make or break someone's reputation, heart, or head. S.F. skaters, countless legends among them, seem pleased that they got something... More >>

  • Hottest Yoga Studio

    Bikram Yoga Castro

    Not everyone is a fan of the Bikram approach to yoga. Some call it macho; others call it a cult. But one thing's for sure: When you cram a bunch of mostly naked people into a studio heated to 105 degrees at 40 percent humidity, then guide them through a series of 26 postures over the course of 90 minutes — well, everyone will be a sweaty mess by the end of it. The key is finding an instructor who... More >>

  • Best Unpretentious Yoga Studio

    Bernal Yoga

    It isn't New Agey and it isn't full of intimidating Beautiful People — can it really be a yoga studio? Yes, indeed: Owned by local brother-and-sister team Bill and Savonn Wyland, Bernal Yoga offers classes for just about every level and aesthetic. Love the idea of occasionally hearing Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog" during your Downward-Facing Dog? Sign up for Flow with Megan Windeler. Just need to slough off the tough workday with soothing mantras? Gentle and Restorative Yoga with Britt... More >>

  • Best Gym

    Valencia Street Muscle

    Maybe you like big corporate chain gyms. They have their perks. The anonymity, the way they jerk you around with the prices and contracts and ask, "How much weight do you want to lose?" Oops, getting bitter ... let's focus on the positive. For those of us not into big corporate gyms, there is Valencia Street Muscle, which plays a lot of Sleater-Kinney over the sound system, and every time we go in there, we see the authors of books... More >>

  • Best Tap-Dance Teacher

    ODC Theater

    All the teachers at ODC are good. But someone new has come along who deserves a big holler: tap dancer Tyler Knowlin. This former New Yorker seems to have perfected that handsome scarecrow Savion Glover style: It's all relaxed, swinging arms on top, with deceptively loose ankles and precision shuffles on the ground. Unsurprisingly, he has performed among the giants in New York City, including Glover and the late, great Gregory Hines. In Knowlin's Rhythm Tap classes, loud-footed students thrive... More >>

  • Best Place to Learn to Hunt Online

    Pacific Rod and Gun Club

    For most city dwellers, shooting and gutting your own food is a lost art. There's some reason to believe that's changing: If Berkeley prof and local-food guru Michael Pollan could devote a whole chapter of his landmark food treatise, The Omnivore's Dilemma, to hunting wild pigs, who are we to gainsay him? Ethical considerations aside, the average urbanites are still impeded in their quest for bloodsport by lack of firearms savvy and inexperience in stalking prey. That's where the Pacific... More >>

  • Best Place to Race Your Model Yacht

    Golden Gate Park, Spreckels Lake

    Spreckels Lake was created in 1903 as a place for the town's citizenry to sail their model yachts, a charming notion that has endured through a century of war, strife, and economic deprivation. On any given Sunday, you're likely to see a regatta of scale-model steamboats, clippers, barges, trawlers, runabouts, ferries, and tugs — even submarines — maneuvering around the lake's thousand-foot girth and the big concrete turtle that emerges from its shallow depths. Many of the boats are intricately... More >>

  • Best Bad-Idea Swing

    Billy Goat Hill

    Billy Goat Hill in Noe Valley offers a lush, green field; great views; and quite possibly one of the most treacherous rope swings you should totally not try to swing on. The swing, which is routinely cut down by smarter citizens and then replaced by stupider ones, is strung from a tree that sits solo in the middle of the hill. No tires or wooden seats await those who seek out this plaything. Just tuck your foot in the hole... More >>

  • Best Ping-Pong

    AMDT Table Tennis Club

    For people who are serious about table tennis, we suggest you report immediately to AMD Trading Company. This largely undiscovered table-tennis learning center and store features two tables (which can be reserved for $3 per person per hour) and all the latest equipment, including ball-feeding robots. The newest version of one such robot, the TW2700-08, uses double-spin technology (whatever the heck that is) to feed you serves with topspin, underspin, sidespin, or no spin. AMD is hugely popular with the... More >>

  • Best Urban Sports Mecca

    Mission Playground SF

    In this new age of recession-induced frugality, pricey gym memberships are being jettisoned in favor of annoying necessities like food, rent, and well drinks. But your biceps need not atrophy faster than your 401(k). The Mission Playground is there to pump you up for free. With black-top soccer, two tennis courts, and pickup basketball, there's no shortage of urban sporting endeavors to keep you in peak physical condition. And, for a small fee, there's the Mission Pool. Neurotic overachievers have... More >>

  • Best Place to Punch It Out

    Fight and Fitness

    You may be angry at your boyfriend, your roommate, the boss who just laid you off, or the co-worker you still have. Let's face it: As the economy goes down the crapper while the barons of high finance make off with gilded bonuses, there's no shortage of things to get fighting mad about. And there's no better place to blow off steam than at Fight and Fitness, an unprepossessing SOMA boxing gym down the street from the Hall of Justice.... More >>

  • Best New Outdoor Basketball Courts

    Mission Creek Park

    Tucked under Highway 280, just a Muni stop away from AT&T Park, lies a perfect outdoor basketball court. Desirable for its forgiving rims and indoor-style Plexiglas backboards, this court attracts local, after-work ballers for highly competitive five-on-five games. Because it's sandwiched among the boxy high-rises of Mission Creek, the court is often dominated by the UCSF and luxury condo crowd, but there's also an ethnically diverse mix of kids from the low-income housing across the way and over the train... More >>

  • Best Dance Studio

    ShoeBox Studio

    So you find it impossible to haul ass to the gym or get up at a reasonable hour to go jogging by the shore before work, eh? Then gird your loins and head over to ShoeBox Studio, an inviting SOMA dance space that accommodates harried schedules by offering weekend and evening classes. Whether you have tons of rhythm or two left feet, ShoeBox is just the place to dispense with your inhibitions and get moving. The dance offerings include capoeira,... More >>

  • Best Yoga Deal

    City College of San Francisco

    Most yoga studios charge more than $100 a month of yoga, with a full year ringing in at more than $1,000. Those prices are hard to swallow, even if you are paying for peace of mind and a tight bod. Enter the eminently affordable City College of San Francisco, which offers beginning, intermediate, and intensive classes. There's even a Senior and Restorative class. Main Campus classes take place in a yoga studio with bamboo floors and lots of natural light.... More >>

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