Start (and Finish) Your Night Early at These San Francisco Spots

It's easy to find entertainment at the beginning and end of the day in San Francisco.

For those late night owls who love to party late and sleep in, San Francisco has a host of big-name night clubs and dance halls that get hot well after sundown.

For those who love the morning, the entire Bay Area is full of year-round outdoor activities for people who like to be out and about when the day starts.

But not many cities know how to cater to those in-between times, like the late afternoon hours after a big hike and well before the late night haunts even open.

That's the crowd for our "Early Entertainment" iist. We've tracked down the best activities for those early birds who want great entertainment but don't want to wait until midnight for it to start.

So whether it's a bar that has an all-day Happy Hour like the Lexington Club, or an eclectic space like the Minna Gallery with a rotating calendar of almost constant events, we'll make sure you don't have to sacrifice sleep to get world-class entertainment. Our list below will make sure the early birds find just as much fun as the night owls in San Francisco.



Great cocktails abound at this area bar, and young professionals pack the place in after-work flocks. Martinis are a house specialty, and sitting amid exotic furnishings and subtle lighting, you'll feel as if you're in another place or era....  Read More

First Crush


A small, intimate jewel with a contemporary setting and a notable wine bar, First Crush specializes in Californian wines. The sleek, elegant establishment offers bottles, half-bottles, and flights, depending on your intent, and it presents...  Read More



A nightlife hotspot in the revamped and recharged Hayes Valley neighborhood, the Absinthe is very popular for lunch and dinner. For those interested in early entertainment, the small plate specials are a great snack before dinnertime. But if...  Read More



Part of locally beloved Lolo restaurant, this mescal inspired, craft cocktail bar has gotten more popular by the minute. Grabbing an evening cocktail at Agave Bar is a great way to start your Mission night off. Some of the cocktails sound...  Read More

Bubble Lounge


This downtown establishment frequently draws business folks intent on relaxing after a day at the office, so the entertainment starts right as the work day ends. Wines and champagnes are prominent; in fact, the menu boasts more than 300 types of...  Read More



If you've just finished a long day of shopping around Union Square, and you have several hours before your late night options start, head to the View Lounge. When all is said and done, the best late afternoon/early evening San Francisco can...  Read More

Photo courtesy of used in book.


A penchant for the dramatic colors this entire enterprise, which is simultaneously a restaurant, bar and (downstairs) dance club. An Asian theme is served by shoji screens, bamboo accents and a recurring dragon motif. And for those who like...  Read More

Boom Boom Room


It's all about blues music at this Fillmore Street club, which also throws in soul, R&B, and gospel for interest and good measure. Regulars often follow-up a spin around the large dance floor with a drink at the bar, indulging in one of the...  Read More

111 Minna Gallery


Looking for a happening spot to decompress after a hard day pushing papers? Head to Minna Gallery, and order a signature, happy hour cocktail. Art in a variety of media adorns the walls, and lively DJs keep tunes and atmosphere at a wide-open...  Read More

Lexington Club


If you're looking to party from the early afternoon into the wee hours of the night, it's hard to beat Lexington's free pool and $1 PBRs all day every Monday. Self-advertised as "your friendly neighborhood dyke bar," the Lex's bartenders live...  Read More


Meet Tom Molanphy

The only thing that Tom Molanphy loves more than the food, art, music, and culture of San Francisco is sharing it with others. San Francisco never gets old for Tom.

Tom has lived in the San...  More About Tom