Drink & Dance: Where To Go Out In San Francisco

BY FRANCES TAO

Although San Francisco may not have the same appeal as New York – The City That Never Sleeps – you can still have fulfilling and eventful nights if you plan right. Unlike New York, most nightlife activities in San Francisco close at 2 a.m., but just start your night early and you’ll still have the time of your life!

SEE ALSO: The Guys Behind California Crown’s Definitive Guide To San Francisco’s Late-Night Grub

1. Press Club

20 Yerba Buena Lane, San Francisco, CA 94103 (map, website)

Price: USD$15-$35. Hours: Mon-Thu 4-11 p.m.; Fri-Sat 2 p.m.-12 a.m.; Sunday 2-10 p.m.

Call: 415-744-5000

Press Club is a phenomenal wine bar that you must visit. The ambiance of the bar is industrial chic and very modern, and unlike most bars, it is well lit. They have a large selection of wines and craft beers to choose from. They also offer wine flights that ranges from sparkling wines to all types of red wines. If you are a late-90s to early-2000s rhythm and blues music fan then this bar is the place to go! Everyone is friendly and willing to mingle.

press club san francisco

Taste-PressClub-Food 085

Photos: Press Club

2. The View

780 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94103 (map, website)

Price: USD$10-$25. Hours: Mon-Sun 4 p.m.-1 a.m.

Call: 415-896-1600

Looking for that beautiful rooftop bar in the city without freezing your butt off? Then The View is a lounge you need to hit up! If you are a rum lover, try the Skyline Punch; it’s one of the best drinks there. They do such a perfect job with their cocktails and for a moderate price, too. The lounge has a large space, so you won’t have a hard time finding a seat. Also, this lounge has a pretty upscale ambiance, so dress to impress!

The View San Francisco bar

Photo: The View

3. El Techo

2518 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110 (map, website)

Price: USD$10-$25. Hours: Mon-Thu 4-11 p.m., Friday 4 p.m.-1 a.m., Saturday 11-1 a.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Call: 415-550-6970

If you don’t have the outfit to wear to The View and are looking for a more casual rooftop bar, then El Techo is for you. It is an outdoor rooftop bar that has an incredible view of the skyline. Although it is not situated as high up as The View, the surrounding views of the city lights are beautiful. They have heaters surrounding the place and hipster bulb lights around the whole patio. The ambiance here is definitely more casual and friendly. Besides that, they have tacos!

4. Raven

1151 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94103 (map, website)

Price: USD$10-$20. Hours: Monday 5 p.m.-12 a.m., Tuesday 5 p.m.-1 a.m., Wed-Thu 5 p.m.-2 a.m., Friday 4 p.m.-2 a.m., Saturday 6 p.m.-2 a.m., Sunday: closed

Call: 415-431-1151

Raven is a bar during the evening and club late at night. It plays old school, current hip-hop and R&B music. Every time I go there I love how everyone gathers around, dances and sings along with the lyrics. It’s a small club and it can get quite steamy, so don’t over dress. The dress code is very casual, so jeans and a T-shirt will do.

5. Temple

540 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105 (map, website)

Price: USD$20-$40. Hours: Thursday 10 p.m.-3 a.m., Fri-Sat 10 p.m.-4 a.m., Mon-Wed: closed

Call: 415-312-3668

Temple is a large two-level club in the middle of SOMA. The top floor is for the EDM and House fanatics, while the bottom level is for the hip-hop and rap lovers. I recommend dressing appropriately to this club, but also dressing comfortably. Girls, stick to 2-3 inch heels; any higher and there’s a high chance of falling due to the stairs. The club is well constructed, and when you’re dancing multicolored lights constantly surround you. Also, sign up to get on the guest list because the entry fee is quite pricey.

6. Taquerias El Farolito

2779 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110 (map, website)

Price: Under USD$10. Hours: Sun-Thu 10 a.m.-2:30 a.m., Fri-Sat 10 a.m.-3:30 a.m.

Call: 415-824-7877

After a night of dancing or drinking, I always crave something heavy and savory to eat. Taquerias El Farolito is my top late-night Mexican food joint I like to eat at. Although you can go during the day, there is something satisfying about biting into a steak burrito while you are drunk. They have multiple locations in the city and it’s definitely worth your buck!

7. Bourbon & Branch

501 Jones St., San Francisco, CA 94102 (map, website)

Price: USD$15-$25. Hours: Mon-Sun 6 p.m.-2 a.m.

Call: 415-346-1735

Bourbon & Branch is a speakeasy bar. It’s very dark and to enter you need to call in and ask for the password. There are no windows or large signs and it’s easy to miss, but you will notice a large wooden door out of nowhere and that’s the entrance. Phones are not allowed, but if you are daring you can sneak a photo in; just don’t get caught! The cocktail drinks here are divine and the bartenders will take their time to cater to your liking.

Facebook Bourbon and Branch San Francisco bar

Facebook/Bourbon and Branch

8. California Academy of Sciences

55 Music Concourse Dr., San Francisco, CA 94118 (map, website)

Price: USD$15. Hours: Every Thursday 6-10 p.m.

Call: 415-379-8000

Every Thursday night at California Academy of Sciences they host nightlife where you can drink while experiencing everything about the museum. The museum includes a large butterfly dome, aquarium and penguins! They also have a little dancing area inside a large glass case in the middle of a museum. They usually decorate the place based on a theme depending on the week. It’s definitely an experience you cannot miss coming to San Francisco.

9. Fort Point

Marine Dr., San Francisco, CA 94129 (map, website)

Price: Free. Hours: Open all-day

Call: 415-556-1693

After a long night of going out and walking around in heels, there are times where I just want to sit and enjoy a good view. Personally, I believe Fort Point is the best location to enjoy the view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Here, you have a closer view to the top of the bridge and the city, and at night it’s breathtaking!

Facebook Fort Point National Historic Site

Facebook/Fort Point National Historic Site

10. Twin Peaks

501 Twin Peaks Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94114 (map, website)

Price: Free. Hours: Open all-day

Call: 415-831-6331

Along with Fort Point, Twin Peaks is also a top location to have a good view of the city. It has a beautiful view of the cityscape, along with the Bay Bridge and parts of Oakland. It can get very windy up there, so if you are planning to shoot photos bring a tripod. Similar to Fort Point, I recommend going late at night.

Do you want to add to this list? Let us know in the comments.

Frances Tao contributor profile Taipei

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