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Open Mic | © Ed Schipul/Flickr
Open Mic | © Ed Schipul/Flickr

The Best Open Mic Spots In San Francisco

Picture of Nicole Jenkins
Updated: 25 October 2016
Are you a writer or a musician? Have you been in search of a place in San Francisco where you can show off your talent, or perhaps a chance to watch other artists perform instead? Well then, you have come to the right place.

Bottom of the Hill

Having been selected by Rolling Stone as “the best place to hear live music in San Francisco,” Bottom of the Hill features live nightly performances. With artists from all over the world, the music typically ranges from alternative, rock-a-billy, punk, and hard rock to folk and funk and pop. You can check out the artists that will be performing ahead of time by going to their calendar.

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

Sacred Grounds Cafe

Not only does Sacred Grounds offer their café to musicians, writers and poets, but they are also the longest-standing café in the city for spoken word poetry. Talk about commitment to the literary art. And not only that, but the ‘wall art’ featured in Sacred Grounds was also unique enough to inspire a magazine that comes in the form of a treasure map.

Sacred Grounds Cafe, 2095 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 387 3859


Bazaar Café

If you have been looking for a café that offers open mic for entertainment rather than your own personal performance, then you might want to go check out Bazaar Café. Unlike most places in the city for open mic, this café has artists lined up months in advance, which you can check out on their calendar. Located in the Outer Richmond on California Street, they are an ideal place for entertaining Friday night – and you can even grab a bite to eat there, too.

Bazaar Café, 5927 California St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 831 5620

Brainwash Cafe & Laundromat

Are you in need of a good laugh? Or maybe just a more exciting place to do your laundry? Then Brainwash Cafe is the perfect place for you. Located on Folsom Street in SoMa, this café hosts two stand-up nights a week, and Wednesday night is even called The Ladies Night, which is an all-female open mic night that starts at 8 pm sharp. And even better than that – this café also has a laundromat and an arcade.

Brianwash Cafe & Laundromat, 1122 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 861 3663


Cafe International

Located in the Lower Haight area, Cafe International is a place that offers artists the best of both worlds. Not only do they give artists the chance to perform at their open mic events, but they also have gallery shows every Friday night where they display artists’ work! So if you have been wanting to grab a warm espresso, relax in an outdoor garden setting and see some incredible art, then Cafe International is the place for you.

Cafe International, 508 Haight St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 552 7390

The Hotel Utah Salon

Have you been in search of a place that offers live music all the time? Then come by Hotel Utah Salon around 7 pm, and you will catch a live show. Not to mention that this café is also home to the longest-running place for open mic for musicians in San Francisco. And what is also cool is that the performance order is chosen by a random drawing to make sure that it is a fair experience for all artists performing.

The Hotel Utah Salon, 500 4th St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 546 6300


Portal’s Tavern

If you have been in search of a place in San Francisco where you can get a drink for a low price that also comes with a guaranteed laugh, then Portal’s Tavern is where you need to be. Located on West Portal Avenue, this pub offers stand-up comedy every Monday night with drinks that are priced right. And they also offer an arcade with pinball machines and a dartboard – so in other words, it is guaranteed to be an exciting and entertaining time.

Portals Tavern, 179 W Portal Ave, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 731 1208


Mojo Bicycle Cafe

Between coffee, bicycles and wine, Mojo Bicycle Cafe offers a bit of everything. Located right next to the Panhandle, this café seems to almost have it all – featuring a bike shop, a café that serves food and drinks, and even offers open mic nights for artists to perform. So if you have been in search of a café that has a cool, hip atmosphere with so much to offer that you won’t know what to do with yourself, then come on over to Mojo Bicycle Cafe on an open mic night to see all that the café has to offer.

Mojo Bicycle Cafe, 639-A Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 440 2370