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San Francisco at Night | © Nan Palmero/Flickr
San Francisco at Night | © Nan Palmero/Flickr

10 Best Bars With Live Music In San Francisco  

Picture of Emily Boleware
Updated: 12 April 2017
For all of your blues, brass, jazz, rock, folk, punk and pop cravings, these 10 bars will not disappoint. Prepare for some old-fashioned live music in one of these tried-and-true Bay Area locations.
Golden Gate Bridge at Night
Golden Gate Bridge at Night| © (matt)/Flickr

Bottom of the Hill

Bottom of the Hill hosts live music by a medley of local and international artists seven nights a week. Named ‘the best place to hear live music in San Francisco’ by Rolling Stone magazine (RS 813) and ‘Best Rock Club’ by the SF Bay Guardian, Bottom of the Hill is known for featuring lesser-known bands that eventually made it big, including The Strokes, Flogging Molly, and The White Stripes. Its location in Potrero Hill makes it a little difficult to get to by public transportation, but the distance is worth it to enjoy the intimate setting, good food, and great tunes.

Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th Street, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 626 4455

GOGO13 performing a show at Bottom of the Hill
GOGO13 performing a show at Bottom of the Hill| © Miles Gehm/WikiCommons

PianoFight

This unique entertainment venue features two intimate theaters, a cabaret stage, showcases by local visual artists and a full restaurant and bar. Catch live band performances before and after the myriad of shows hosted here, including film screenings, comedy shows, dance, choose-your-own-ending plays and audience-judged theatre competitions. If you’re looking for something particularly rowdy, remember that PianoFight has hosted Throw Rotten Veggies at the Actors Nights, and check out their calendar for a schedule of their exceptional events.

PianoFight, 144 Taylor Street, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 816 3691

Bender’s Bar

Go on a bender, helped along by daily drink specials and weekday happy hours, at Bender’s Bar & Grill. The amazing food and cheap drinks at this grungy dive bar are supplemented by funky performances and fun events. Events range from live music performances of many different genres to karaoke nights to monthly meetings of The Stinky Cheese Club.

Bender’s Bar & Grill, 806 S Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 824 1800

Beef Tacos are on the menu
Beef Tacos are on the menu| © Kham Tran/WikiCommons

Sheba’s Piano Lounge

For tasty Ethiopian food, exotic cocktails and live jazz music seven nights a week, try Sheba’s Piano Lounge on Fillmore. The relaxed setting and warm fireplace create a comforting atmosphere for you and a date to enjoy your dinner and the soothing music. It can be a little pricey and sometimes can be crowded, but it’s worth it if you value excellent jazz and good food.

Sheba’s Piano Lounge, 1419 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 440 7414

The Saloon

The Saloon is San Francisco’s oldest bar, offering dancing and live music since 1861. This intimate blues saloon in North Beach features local talented musicians and encourages dancing on the main floor, cultivating a lively, pleasant atmosphere. Local lore claims that drunken patrons in the 1800s were occasionally shanghaied into long, cruel ocean voyages. Strong, cheap drinks and good people make for a great time, no matter what century. Check out their calendar to find out about upcoming artists.

The Saloon, 1232 Grant Avenue, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 989 7666

Revolution Café

Revolution Café features an array of local and non-local jazz, pop, classical and world music musicians seven nights a week. Grab specialty coffee by day and something a little stronger by night at this Mission café to support the local community of Bay Area artists and musicians connected to the establishment. Lounge indoors or out on the patio with a good book or to get some work done. Stay after sundown for funky vibes, dance parties, simple drinks and good people.

Revolution Café, 3248 22nd Street, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 642 0474

Revolution Café features an array of local and non-local jazz, pop, classical and world music musicians
Revolution Café features an array of local and non-local jazz, pop, classical and world music musicians| © Elisabeth D'Orcy/WikiCommons

Club Deluxe

Go vintage at Club Deluxe on Haight. Sip on a delicious cocktail while you enjoy some free live jazz and blues by extremely talented artists. The close quarters and sultry lighting makes Club Deluxe a very sexy place to take a date for an intimate, classy night. Bonuses include the unexpected element of a fantastic pizza menu.

Club Deluxe, 1511 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 552 6949

Amnesia

Every day of the week Amnesia bar in the Mission hosts performances by artists who specialize in bluegrass, jazz, folk, electro, disco and more. For a diverse, energetic crowd that can be counted on to utilize the dance floor, this is the perfect dive bar. Dim lighting, cheap drinks and great music make Amnesia wonderful for a rowdy night out with the crew.

Amnesia, 853 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 970 0012

Cocktails Served at Amnesia
Cocktails Served at Amnesia| © Don LaVange/Flickr

Royale

In addition to providing live music and entertainment, Royale offers local beers and specialty cocktails in an atmosphere aimed at simplicity and realness, a refreshing veer away from all of the recently popularized posh locations that have cropped up in the Bay Area. Royale aims to support local artisans by featuring local artwork and hosting food exhibitions by local culinary teams, namely ‘small kitchens and catering.’ This bar has a nightly schedule of comedy shows, karaoke nights and live music performances (featuring jazz, funk, soul, DJs, and more).

The Royale, 800 Post Street, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 441 4099

Grant & Green

For live bands and comedy in an extremely laid-back environment with a diverse crowd that clearly enjoys dancing and a good time, check out Grant & Green in North Beach. During times when the wide variety of live music shows aren’t performing, patrons can utilize the juke box, pool tables and bar games. This is a great place to go with a group of friends to relax for a few beers or unwind with some funky dancing. Just check the schedule on their website to plan what kind of night you’re looking for.

Grant & Green Saloon, 1371 Grant Avenue, San Francisco, CA, USA

North Beach, San Francisco
North Beach, San Francisco| © Alejandro De La Cruz/WikiCommons