Mini guide: Nightlife in San Francisco

13 Apr 2021Updated: 4 hours ago | 52 people are reading

Mini guide: Nightlife in San Francisco

© Lonely Planet Mini Guide: Nightlife in San Francisco

Go ahead, go crazy: other cities might surprise you, but in San Francisco you surprise yourself. All kinds of parties and social revolutions start here, from possessed gold fevers to delightful hippie happenings.


Bourbon & Branch

"Don't you dare order a cosmo" it says in the house rules of this former illegal pub from the time of the reclamation. For prize-winning cocktails in this drink library you must whisper the password ("books") at the O'Farrell entrance. You must reserve for the front room and Wilson & Wilson Detective Agency, the noir-themed pub-in-the-bar (you will receive the password when booking).

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A plane crashed on an uninhabited island and this fantastic tikibar was created from the wreck. Enter through the airplane door and discover a secret jungle world, where tattoo artists and software designers drink rum drinks together at cabin trunk tables. From the fern-covered walls, a huge skull challenges you to take a second Zombie Killer.

Li Po

Retire to the seats in red vinyl where Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac debated the meaning of life. Enter through the fake cave from 1937 and dodge red lanterns to order: Tsingtao beer or a sweet, unexpectedly strong Chinese Mai Tai made with baijiu (rice liqueur). Norse bartenders, cash only - a world class pub.



Listen in total darkness to a unique musical instrument: an auditorium that was built in 1962 as a living sound image. Meditative tones build up into sci-fi sound effects and then turn into weirdly touching Moog synthesizer squeaks. A typical San Franciscan experience that will take you to other states.

Beach Blanket Babylon

Snow White is looking for her prince in San Francisco: what can go wrong? This musical comedy show and parody at Disney has been running since 1974, but the piece is full of coarse, up-to-date jokes (spectators must be at least 21 years old, except for Sunday morning shows) - and the wigs as large as floats are breathtaking.

Bottom of the Hill

The foot of Potrero Hill is at the top of the rock list with punk legends like the Avengers , Pansy Division and Nerf Herder, alongside newcomers who are worth their name alone (Playboy Manbaby, The Regrettes, Sorority Noise). The courtyard is full of posters and is ruled by a cat who prefers music to people - completely punk rock.



Yotel San Francisco

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New to the old Grant Building, this chic hotel is a first on the west coast for Yotel, a chain that stands for compact and new technology. Time and space are saved everywhere, from the counters where you check in yourself to adaptable “smart beds” (which can also become sofas) and playful “sky cabins” (cozy bedrooms with mezzanine, long mattresses and flat-screen TVs).


Chateau Tivoli

This gilded villa with towers has been around since 1892 the source of neighborhood rumors and received Isadora Duncan, Mark Twain and (allegedly) the spirit of a Victorian opera diva The nine antiques-filled rooms and suites are very romantic, most have claw-footed bathtubs, but two share a bathroom. elevator and TVs.


Orchard Garden Hotel

The San Francisco's first LEED-certified, environmentally conscious hotel uses sustainably grown wood and recycled fabrics in its relaxing rooms, and you don't have to sacrifice comfort for your conscience : the rooms have unexpectedly luxurious details, such as excellent down pillows and Egyptian cotton sheets. Spend a toast at sunset with a cocktail on the roof terrace.

You can read the full mini-guide in the October issue of Lonely Planet magazine, which you can order here.

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