Industrial catwalks and cyberspace terminals add to the Tim Burton-esque feel of this chic SOMA venue, and there are few better places in the city to see live music or DJs. Sitting on the same strip of 11th Street that includes Slim's and Studio Z, this two-tiered club includes a full bar, large stage, and lounge areas, and often stays open after hours for DJ events -- including hip-hop, house, dancehall, industrial, and breakbeats -- on Fridays and Saturdays.
The saloon offers a little something for everyone, with live jazz, pool, TV, and the requisite selection of beer and mixed drinks.
This Scottish pub in San Franciscos Tenderloin offers cheap imported beers — including Stella on tap — pool tables, and a jukebox with a slim but tasty selection of hipster indie-rock and dance music. The pub has three levels; theres a small stage and dance floor on the top floor where you can often catch rock and folk acts, plus readings by local authors. Weekly events include Monday movie nights, and the brainiac Castle Quiz every Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. Most shows are free or $5 at the most.
This Outer Mission lesbian bar attracts all types to its eclectic mix of DJs, live rock music, film nights, and Salsa Sundays. Its main feature is its sizable outdoor patio, complete with a tree and a picnic bench that makes shows seem more like a friendly backyard barbecue. The patio connects the bar and the room where the bands play, and since shows can get a bit crowded -- sometimes you may be relegated to the hallway by the bathroom to see the stage; the cool San Francisco air under the stars is not a bad place to hang.
This popular Mission District bar and club features music seven nights a week. On Fridays and Saturdays, a diverse mix of twentysomething and thirtysomething weekend warriors line up to get in; some just to squeeze into the packed-tight bar downstairs, others to dance to whatever combination of Latin funk is on the bill upstairs. During the week, the Elbo Room hosts an assortment of rock, DJ, and world music. Expect to pay about $5 for weekday shows, and between $8 and $12 on the weekends. Whether you're new to San Francisco or not, the Elbo Room is usually a guaranteed good time for dancing and meeting people.
The independently owned cafe serves up java from Bay Area-based Barefoot Coffee Roasters, along with a variety of breakfast and lunch items and more.
Espresso Roma is a tree-shaded paradise just perfect for studying, reading or catching up with friends. The airy cafe's brew is as thick and strong as any self respecting Berkeley coffee shop should be, and the food is substantial, but the real star here is the expansive sunlight patio.
The lounge, which is adorned with 1920s-inspired artwork and furnishings, features a large cocktail list and hosts world-famous DJs and vocalists on evenings and weekends.
This tony uptown SF club caters to the corporate crowd: On quieter nights, the dance floor is crowded with people gabbing on cell phones, sending dispatches via Blackberry, and generally acting like they have someplace better to be. Still, most of the events at Fluid have a hip-hop or house edge. With its ice-blue lighting, wraparound bar, and smattering of VIP booths (all cordoned off with four-foot faux champagne tumblers), Fluid combines opulence with spare, hyper-modern decor. Located two blocks from Montgomery BART station, across the street from SFMOMA.