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Nightlife & Music

San Francisco’s Best Music Clubs

March 25, 2011 5:32 PM

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Some of our greatest music memories come from the venues where we have enjoyed a live concert experience featuring our favorite artist or band. In San Francisco we are spoiled to have a treasure trove of great music halls. Here are the favorites of the Eye on the Bay crew.

The Fillmore

1805 Geary Boulevard
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 346-3000

No local venue has played host to more rock legends than the Fillmore. Famed promoter Bill Graham’s signature music venue is also part museum. Known for it’s unique show posters, the place remains a favorite of music fans and the acts themselves.

Slims

333 11th Street
San Francisco, California 94103
(415) 255-0333

Slims attracts some unique acts to the San Francisco including punk, metal and indie bands. Loyalists say the open floor and unique lineup are what set it apart. Many Yelp reviewers say the bar staff can be a little gruff.

Bimbos 365

1025 Columbus Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 474-0365

This mid-sized North Beach venue is a great place for a rock show. Seating is set back quite a bit from the stage, but if you are willing to stand, you can get right up close and personal. Regulars say the acustics are good and give the building high marks for its own style. Yelpers complain that the drinks aren’t stiff enough.

Cafe Du Nord

2174 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 294-1843

This former prohibition speakeasy’s underground stage is perfect for a small act with a lot of energy. For a small club, they get some pretty big names to take the stage. If you see one of your favorites on the calender, it’s worth a drive across the bay.

The Warfield

982 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 345-0900

One of the more stylish concert halls in the Bay Area, the interior of the Warfield stands out from the drab section of Market Street outside. Bob Dylan recently stopped in for a show, so you know it’s still got some pull. Some seats are partially obstructed and cramped. It’s wise to arrive early and stake out a good spot.

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 621-4455

This little club is a favorite of Yelp reviewers who say the bar prices and food menu give it a leg up over the other small San Francisco venues.

The Independent

628 Divisadero Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 771-1421

On the Divisadero near Alamo Square, this divy venue is a common stop for acts on the rise. Early arrivers will likely score a seat, and there are a handful of good dining options nearby.

Great American Music Hall

859 O’Farrell Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 885-0750

More than 100 years worth of music enthusiasts have taken in a show at this landmark. Few floor seats are available, so get to know the rest of the crowd as you push toward the stage en masse. The surrounding neighborhood is a little on the gritty side.

The Parkside

1600 17th St
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 252-1330

Citysearch reviewers rave about the food and tatoo-friendly feel of this Potrero Hill music den. It may not draw the same A-list acts as some of the others on the list, but it’s an excellent choice for a casual night of live music.

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