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Where to See
A Concert in San Francisco

Music City San Francisco, home of the Music City Hotel and SF Music Hall of Fame, creates a “guide of all guides” of local music venues in SF.

Music City San Francisco, home of the Music City Hotel and San Francisco Music Hall of Fame has compiled and curated the “guide of all guides” of local music venues in San Francisco.

This quick, easy-to-read list describes the best small-to-medium-sized local music venues that San Francisco has to offer. From the leather-jacket dank, dark, and punk to the swanky and sultry jazz clubs, from the bassy and vibrant electronic music scene to the iconic, culture-defining rock 'n' roll concert halls and venues, Music City San Francisco's list covers the quintessential music spots in San Francisco.

The historic landmark venues and their familiar faces, like The Grateful Dead and The Fillmore, are all well and good (and obviously worth checking out, no question about it), but if you haven’t experienced the venues that incubated and gave rise to bands like Green Day, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and The Donnas – can you even say you’ve truly lived?

Check out the San Francisco local music venue list below and embark on a journey of musical discovery.


Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell St.

Located in between Civic Center and Hayes Valley, this funky semi-grunge space focuses on Indie bands and late-night DJs. Rickshaw Stop is the longtime home of Popscene, a local institution known as SF’s premier indie music party and one of the longest-running weekly parties in the country. Popscene and the Rickshaw Stop are synonymous with introducing San Francisco to the “next big thing.” They also offer food and have lounge areas.

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Cafe Du Nord

2174 Market St.

A former speakeasy space built in 1907, this historic music venue and Swedish-American meeting place was designed by Stockholm architect August Nordin. Located in the Castro District, it provides a unique local music experience and New American eats and drinks.

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The Independent

628 Divisadero St.

One of the larger local venues listed, The Independent provides an intimate, no-frills music space with a full bar that features Rock/Indie and local emerging artists. Only the best of the best local bands play here! 


Neck of the Woods

406 Clement St.

A two-story late-night club/venue in the heart of the Inner Richmond neighborhood, this venue offers cocktails, local live music, and a spacious dance floor in a part of the city where music is sometimes hard to find. 


Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St.

This historic building from 1911 had multiple identities, including a speakeasy and a family restaurant, before it became a music venue in 1991. Bottom of the Hill has been a venue for emerging bands since the ’90s, including bands like Green Day, Foo Fighters, Reel Big Fish, Incubus, The Donnas, and many more.



988 Valencia St.

A newer venue in San Francisco, Amado’shas been known by different names. Located on Valencia St, a busy strip in the Misson District, filled with restaurants and shops, this is a neighborhood bar vibe with a basement music venue with local music most nights of the week.

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Milk Bar

1840 Haight St.

Located in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood where Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, and many other amazing ‘60s bands got their start. Milk Bar offers a loud, local venue experience with a full bar and friendly local neighborhood characters to people-watch while enjoying your new, favorite local band perform. 

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1015 Folsom

1015 Folsom St.

Famous DJs spin into the wee hours of the morning to packed crowds at this Friday and Saturday night dance club. The place can become a labyrinth of activity across five different rooms: multiple full bars, a huge 400-square-foot water-wall of visuals on display, and the kind of calm only an advanced and powerful lighting + sound system can produce–which is to say, not calm at all but a riot full of youthful, excitatory expression and dancing. 

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The Midway

900 Marin St.

Located in SF’s Bayview neighborhood, The Midway is a dynamic and interactive 40,000-square-foot urban canvas of innovation and music, the premiere underground EDM, and house music venue in San Francisco. Wandering through the various indoor and outdoor stages, noshing on food and drink becomes an experience with the amount of sonic talent and lights bouncing around. Come prepared to melt your face off - most of the time.

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101 6th St.

Monarch features an Art Nouveau bar lounge with delicious craft cocktails, aerial circus, and lavish victorian seating upstairs. Downstairs the club has a state-of-the-art sparkly gold Void Acoustics sound system with custom LED lighting and hosts some of the world's top DJs and live acts.

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The Knockout

3223 Mission St.

This classic, graffiti-filled, Mission District punk venue provides one of the best local SF music scene experiences – if you can handle it! There’s nothing better than a small, sticky-floor moshpit with beer-splattered walls and authentic music blowing out the speakers! A must-visit if you ask us!

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Thee Parkside

1600 17th St.

A local watering hole with a backyard patio and amazing food, including vegan and veg options. The small stage venue hosts bands from indie, punk, metal, and country

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El Rio

3158 Mission St.

A Mission standard dive bar since 1978, this local LGBTQ+ bar offers stiff drinks, an expansive patio, shuffleboard, a pool table, and local music almost every night of the week. With rotating parties, be sure to check their website for events! To quote a Yelp reviewer: “Definitely gives off backyard barbecue party vibes with a couch area or two where you can have more privacy and intimate conversations.

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The Eagle

398 12th St.

The SF Eagle is a historic LGBTQ+ & Leather Community landmark that hosts everything from drag shows, to theme nights and local music. It also plays a major role in Pride celebrations and the emergence of the Folsom Street Fair and Dore Alley Fair. Drinks are strong, and the “daddies” there are into kink, leather, and excitatory music. If that aligns with your interests, then you will have an exciting time at SF Eagle.

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The Black Cat

400 Eddy St.

Originally opened in 1906, this is a swanky jazz lounge, cocktail bar, and new American bistro that offers two levels of seating and live jazz music. Top established and up-and-coming acts from Jazz hot spots worldwide play nightly from Wednesday through Sunday.

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Mr. Tipple's Recording Studio

39 Fell St.

Mr. Tipple's offers one of the best SF local music experiences in memory. Centrally located in Civic Center, this retro-influenced digs with a blues-club vibe feature live jazz, craft cocktails, dim sum, and live music from local players. Open Wednesday through Saturday.

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The Saloon

1232 Grant Ave.

One of the city’s oldest and top-rated blues bars, The Saloon is in North Beach, one of San Francisco’s most loveable neighborhoods. The Saloon provides a true San Franciscan experience like no other. It’s staffed by native SF bartenders who will undoubtedly give you lip while you order a drink. You can enjoy blues music that begins at 4 PM and extends until 1:30 AM nightly.

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Boom Boom Room

1601 Fillmore St.

This venue is across the street from the famous Fillmore West and was named after the John Lee Hooker song “Boom Boom.” This checkered-floor veteran club hosts live funk, jazz & blues sets by top musicians. 

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Unique Venues

The Lab

2948 16th St.

Experience everything from experimental synthesizer artists, free jazz/world music mashups, noise music + projector visual envelope-pushing to calming ambient music and art indie pop. The Lab is a home and hub for artistic experimentation and devotes funding and space to traditionally underrepresented artists.

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The Riptide

3639 Taraval St.

Just steps from the ocean in the Sunset District, this easygoing bar and lounge offer a full bar, karaoke, and live bands. It looks and feels like a small-town lodge. In addition to rustic brick flooring and high ceilings and the original knotty pine walls, it hosts a raging fireplace that warms you up as soon as you step inside the building.

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Make Out Room

3225 22nd St.

The Make Out Room is a cross between a live music venue and a DJ dance party. This dimly lit, retro setting (complete with an actual disco ball) provides an amazing dance floor for audiences to dance to local bands and DJs who round off the night’s entertainment. Located in the center of the Mission District, The Make Out Room is perfect for a night of bar hopping. 

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Bar Fluxus

18 Harlan Pl.

Located across the street from the entrance of Chinatown, next to The Irish Bank, this lively bar is tucked away down a quaint alley off Bush Street. Entertainment is served alongside beer, wine and cocktails in comfortable, eclectic quarters. The vibe is immaculate.

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