Live the Live Life at the Ten Best San Francisco Music Venues

Tom Molanphy

By , Local Expert, San Francisco
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The power of live music to make folks feel good is on full display at a host of San Francisco night clubs. If listening to bands and vocalists show off their skills is how you like to spend an evening, you'll find that San Francisco does things right. Multiple options let you tap into the venues that 10Best readers favor, like Biscuits and Blues, or you can get a taste of the city's offerings by visiting places like Bottom of the Hill, which is known for its Rock music. While many venues on the local music scene are clustered in the Union Square area, know that terrific places to hear live music can be found throughout San...  Read more »

  • 1

    The Plough and Stars

    The Plough and the Stars is a great option for those who want to stomp their feet to fantastic Irish music.

    Local Expert Tip: "Best place for Irish music in San Francisco."

  • 2

    Pier 23 Cafe

    Pier 23 is one of the smaller venues for live music, so it offers a really intimate experience.

    Local Expert Tip: "Pier 23 is on the Embarcadero, which also offers a beautiful walk along the bay."

  • 3

    Great American Music Hall

    Great American Music Hall has a central location and an eclectic mix of acts to please a broad variety of patrons.

    Local Expert Tip: "A broad variety of music enlivens this elaborate, turn-of-the-century venue."

  • 4

    Boom Boom Room

    Boom Boom Room is a carryover from the great days of jazz and blues of the Fillmore District.

    Local Expert Tip: "Boom Boom Room has one of the better Happy Hours in San Francisco, too."

  • 5

    Harry Denton's Starlight Room

    Harry Denton has top-notch live music, but the view from the top is alone worth the visit.

    Local Expert Tip: "Glamour reigns at this romantic spot where jazz and swing hold court."

  • 6

    Bottom of the Hill

    Bottom of the Hill is one of the few old locales that have survived several tech booms and busts.

    Local Expert Tip: "Nightly shows at this local favorite deliver the best, rock to pop, punk to folk."

  • 7

    Biscuits and Blues

    Although tis relatively new to the San Francisco music scene, Slims has made quite an impression.

    Local Expert Tip: "Sensational blues downstairs and lip-smackin' Southern fare upstairs. "

  • 8


    Slim's is a local legend and a great spot for no excuse, no holds-barred rock and roll.

    Local Expert Tip: "Slim's partners with the Great American Music Hall."

  • 9


    Martuni's is a great choice for those who want to experience old-time San Francisco.

    Local Expert Tip: "Effusive piano bar mixes martinis and music, invites singalongs."

  • 10

    Bimbo's 365 Club

    If you like a well-fashioned cocktail with your music, Bimbo's is the spot for you.

    Local Expert Tip: "One-time speakeasy hosts indie, rock and pop vocalists and bands."



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