Explore San Francisco

5 Great Places for Live Music in San Francisco

Where to catch a show with the locals around San Francisco

San Francisco has long been home to a thriving music scene. With diverse musical genres playing at interesting spaces throughout the city, you’ll never be lost for a little live music. Here, you can just as easily get down to an internationally renowned DJ as you can join in on a jazzy jam session over a craft cocktail.

Musicians Mitch Polzak, Hank Maninger and Les James at Club Deluxe
Musicians Mitch Polzak, Hank Maninger and Les James at Club Deluxe (©Brian Castagne)

Club Deluxe

This charming Haight Street destination features golden wood paneling, plentiful seating, including a couple of cushy booths, and refreshing cocktails prepped by friendly bartenders. Early evenings and weekend afternoons feature no-cover early shows, and door fees for late-night concerts are given to the performers, which range from soulful jazz singers Lavay Smith and Allegra Bandy to blues band HowellDevine. The bar’s Wild West mural hints at another crowd favorite: honky-tonk acts fronted by Bay Area rockabilly royalty Mitch Polzak and Hank Maninger.

August Hall
(Courtesy August Hall)

August Hall

The newest live music venue downtown is constantly adding new acts to its daily calendar, showcasing nationally recognized bands and DJ sets. Go early to check out the venue’s subterranean restaurant and bar, Fifth Arrow, which serves hearty burgers, delicious pizzas and inventive craft cocktails. There’s also a three-lane bowling alley and several skeeball machines.

 Pier 23
(Courtesy Pier 23)

Pier 23

This family-owned waterfront spot serves flaky fried fish and fries and books some of the Bay Area’s favorite Americana, ragtime and reggae acts.

(Courtesy Amnesia)


This locals’ favorite Mission bar serves beer and wine on tap and hosts professional acts nightly, from swing stars to bluegrass strummers.

(Courtesy Riptide)

The Riptide

With a cozy fireplace and strong drinks, the Riptide is a seaside destination for relaxed California country shows and open mic nights.