Sometimes you just want to hang out with some friends, take in the ambiance, and actually be able to hear
each other talk. Take one part bar, one part club, mix together with a trip-hop soundtrack, and the lounge is born. San Francisco boasts lounges of all shapes and sizes; here are some of the best.
WISH is a classic lounge occupying a long, narrow space in SOMA. DJ's spin in the back and a tiny square of a dance floor keeps those who choose to groove happy. Plenty of intimate seating lines the walls and the bar, get there early to claim the larger space up front.
Madrone's themed music nights attract the young, hip crowd. Smack in the middle of up-and-coming NOPA, unassuming Madrone feels like your friend's extra-large living room. There's plenty of space to dance, rotating art exhibits, well-worn and mismatched couches, and the bartenders and the overall vibe are unpretentious. Madrone hosts fun events like Motown on Mondays, Boogaloo Tuesdays, the Prince vs. Michael Jackson experience, and I Love Dr. Dre. Great drink specials and occasional chair massage are bonuses.
Eve is a classy newcomer to the lower SOMA district. Slightly hidden away, Eve draws a trendy, low-key crowd who come for hip hop nights and other DJ events. The theme is sultry 1920's and it's easy to get into the mood. Dave Chappelle allegedly drops in when he shows up to town.
If you prefer sipping $20 glasses of champagne with your pinky extended, head over to the Bubble Lounge on the edge of North Beach. Drinks are pricey and the atmosphere reeks of prestige. It's enjoyable though, especially the cavernous downstairs area, where you can sip your potions while nestled in the wine cellar's nooks and crannies.
Red Devil Lounge is the choice for live music. It hosts a wide variety of local bands, smaller national tours, and has-been acts who are trying to make a comeback. The main floor is intimate, while the balcony provides views and comfy seating.
1539 Folsom St
500 Divisadero Street
At Fell Street
Casually hip scene with excellent music... read more
575 Howard Street
138 Minna Street
714 Montgomery St
Between Washington and Jackson sts
1695 Polk Street
(at the corner of Clay Street)
1028 Geary Street
(between Polk Street and Van Ness Avenue)
15 Romolo Pl
Between Broadway and Fresno Street
Upscale North Beach hidden happy hour... read more
620 Jones St.
Rooftop Terrace in the Tenderloin... read more