The San Francisco nightclub scene is as diverse and vibrant as the city itself, and the success of an epic night out really depends on where you choose to spend it. Here we’ve rounded up some of the most popular clubs in San Francisco whether you’re looking for a big dance floor or a small underground DJ set. Read on for our favorites and start planning your next weekend out.
At each of these clubs the cover charge and dress code varies, but be sure to check their individual websites for the latest info about upcoming events. It’s worth buying tickets in advance across the board, especially for big-name performers.
1. DNA Lounge
DNA Lounge is an all-ages nightclub dating back to 1985 with 2 stages, 4 floors, and 7 bars. They host a rotating lineup of exciting events including themed DJ sets, concerts, drag shows, and 18+ dance parties. You can get your late night food fix at DNA Pizza, their attached restaurant and cafe serving NY-style pizza by the slice among other things. The cover usually starts at $15-20 and there’s no dress code.
375 11th St, SoMa
2. Temple SF
On the street level of this iconic SoMa nightclub, you’ll find a big dance floor outfitted with elaborate floor-to-ceiling eco-friendly LED lights. This is the main room where hundreds gather every weekend for pumping EDM music by big-name DJs touring through the US. You can also head down to LVL 55, a smaller lower level for those who want a more intimate underground party. The dress code is “upscale fashionable attire” and the cover can range from $20-40.
540 Howard St, Blockchain Center SF, South Beach
3. Public Works
Public Works is a popular multi-level Mission District club promising to “give the people what they want.” This means that guests can enjoy an array of diverse performers ranging from internationally-known DJs to rising local stars. Public Works often partners with local nonprofits in order to best cater to the community’s taste, and are known to host eclectic events such as yoga nights and themed parties. There’s no dress code and the cover is cash-only, ranging from $15-40.
161 Erie St, Mission District
This vintage-style nightclub is the place to be if you like techno and deep house. Guest can migrate between 3 different spaces including a big basement club where all the dancing happens, and an upstairs steampunk bar with a photo booth. Look for the secret Emperor’s Drawing Room for a chance to watch aerial performers in action. They have a somewhat loosely-enforced business casual dress code, and cover fees are between $10-25 although the upstairs bar is free to enter.
101 6th St, SoMa
5. 1015 Folsom
1015 Folsom is a massively popular SF nightclub that has drawn huge crowds for over 3 decades. It opened in the ’90s as one of the first clubs outside of NYC and Chicago to feature electronic music, and continues to push the envelope with a diverse array of entertainers which have included LCD Soundsystem and Dave Chappelle. The club covers 20,000 square feet with 5 rooms across 3 levels and has a casual dress code.
1015 Folsom St, SoMa
Audio is a popular ’70s-style club in SoMa that recently upgraded its lighting and sound system in 2017, allowing for a cutting-edge immersive clubbing experience. It’s the only club in the world (outside of NYC’s Output) to use a 32-inch subwoofer, creating a uniquely fast and dynamic sound system pumping techno, underground, and EDM music. The cover typically ranges between $20-30 and there’s an upscale dress code here — men especially should wear collared shirts, nice pants or jeans, and dress shoes.
316 11th St, SoMa
7. The Great Northern
This art deco-inspired club features two bars and a massive dance floor with 30-foot-high ceilings. Dance to a mix of electronic, deep house, and techno music while enjoying aerial acrobatic performances, or keep an eye out for the high-energy LGBTQ+ friendly dance parties with more fun and funky themes. They have a casual dress code and the cover is generally between $20-30.
119 Utah St, Potrero Hill
8. Cat Club
SoMa’s Cat Club boasts two dance floors, a smoking alley, and a go-go cage among other things. It’s a go-to destination for epic themed nights every single week including ’70s disco, ’90s hip hop, goth/industrial, ’80s hits, new wave, and many others. There’s generally no dress code and the cover charge is about $10 with early bird discounts.
1190 Folsom St, SoMa
9. Raven Bar
Raven defines itself as a throwback nightclub where you can rock out to nostalgic hip hop, pop, and R&B music videos amped up with beaming lasers and ambient lighting. Party it up across 2 separate dance floors and sip on craft cocktails from one of 3 bars. On Fridays and Saturdays the cover charge is $15 after 10pm; and the dress code is “clean casual,” meaning no sports attire, shorts, or white t-shirts.
1151 Folsom St, SoMa
10. Madrone Art Bar
This unique event space in Alamo Square defines itself as a “site-specific installation art environment” where you’ll find rotating art exhibits interspersed amongst the weekly dance parties. The space itself is always changing depending on the featured artists’ work, and its musical lineup is just as eclectic with a range of jam sessions, DJs, and live music.
500 Divisadero St, Alamo Square