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Bringing you the best cultural, culinary, and creative offerings in the seven by seven. Explore the city with us on Facebook and Twitter @TimeOut_SF.
If you’re looking further ahead, we always have plenty of recommendations for the best things to do in San Francisco. If you’re organizing a night out on the town, you’ll want to check out the best bars in San Francisco, and take a look at the best brunch in San Francisco in preparation for the Sunday hangover. Just make sure to have some fun before it’s Monday morning (again). RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in San Francisco
Most major cities have a district of sex shops. But San Francisco is the only one that also boasts a Moorish revival-style castle devoted to BDSM pornos. (Flags mounted atop the imposing structure symbolize leather pride and gay pride.) In this sexually liberated city, local zine Sex & Design hosts regular events, and lube can be purchased by the gallon Costco-style, so it’s not surprising that the sex shops are more inviting than illicit. SF chain Good Vibrations has locations in four San Francisco neighborhoods—including Downtown and the Mission—all featuring toys and fetish gear against a modernist backdrop of white walls and blond wood. The erotic emporiums interspersed with Castro Street’s gay bars cater to gay men, and their open-door policies and close proximity make for easy comparison-shopping. Whether your preferred degree of kink is whips and chains or Dita Von Teese-style bullet bras, there's something for every fetish in San Francisco.
We’re discerning when it comes to post-work drinks—a bucket of PBR does not a happy hour make. So we’ve compiled 10 of the best deals in the city for every persuasion: delicious meals at a steep discount, specialty cocktails that aren’t swill and an assortment of beers that will satisfy any hophead. Nothing tops $10. Looking for even more affordable ideas? Check out these cheap date suggestions and free attractions. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best bars in San Francisco
Thanks to its close proximity to Napa Valley wineries and Sonoma wineries to the north, San Francisco is awash in exceptional wine. Whether you’re a casual sipper or a serious sniff-and-swirler, there’s a wine bar nearby to satisfy your whims. The city’s top spots span SoMa to the Richmond, from funky, record-spinning neighborhood bars to master-somm-staffed troves wine libraries. These are the best bars in San Francisco for rare bottles, approachable by-the-glass lists, and palette-pushing flights. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best bars in San Francisco
While we have our fair share of favorite beer bars and wine spots, sometimes only a stiff drink will do. Whether you're a cocktail connoisseur or a novice sipper, these whiskey bars are the best spots for sampling rare brown spirits from Kentucky to Japan. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best bars in San Francisco
Graffiti-covered walls, dated decor and dingy bathrooms send some running to their nearest mixologist. For others, it’s the mark of an authentic bar. From a taxidermy-decked honky-tonk to a Chinatown joint that time forgot, here are the best pretension-free dive bars in the city. Order quickly and bring cash. It’s what a real San Franciscan would do. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best bars in San Francisco
We pick the best of bars and restaurants, uncover secret parties and exclusive events, and send them right to your inbox. Consider it your guide to getting out and enjoying the weekend. Sign up for our free newsletter now and let the fun begin!
San Francisco might just be the world's most Instagrammable city—and not just because the photo-sharing app was invented here. There are so many unintentionally stunning spots around town, it's hard to narrow down our faves—but we gave it a shot, anyway. These city streets cry out for a quick upload. Don't hate us because we're beautiful. RECOMMENDED: The best San Francisco art galleries Lombard Street A post shared by HernandezPhotography (@_hernandezphotography) on Jun 1, 2017 at 9:51pm PDT Market Street A post shared by Simon OMahony, Banana Republic (@simonjomahony) on May 31, 2017 at 8:41pm PDT California Street A post shared by HYPEBEAST JAPAN (@hypebeastjp) on Jun 1, 2017 at 1:39am PDT Vermont Street A post shared by David Kamada (@david_k747) on Nov 22, 2016 at 6:47pm PST Haight Street A post shared by Grade A Vision (@gradeavision) on May 30, 2017 at 3:42pm PDT Grant Avenue A post shared by Unlieshed (@unlieshed) on May 13, 2017 at 2:25pm PDT Clarion Alley A post shared by Steph (@stephc201) on May 31, 2017 at 5:44pm PDT Jefferson Street A post shared by L.A. warrior princess📽🎬 (@_kimberlyaustin) on Jun 1, 2017 at 8:18pm PDT The Great Highway A post shared by Dr. Sadie Allison (@drsadieallison) on May 28, 2017 at 6:00pm PDT Embarc
We’ve visited every place on the Time Out EAT List in person (in the case of some of them, several times). Some of these places are established icons of SF’s dining scene, some are instant classics, some are future stars. We like to let places settle in, revisit them and explore the menu. For a restaurant, café, gastropub or whatever to get on the EAT List, the food has to be amazing, that’s a given. But we’re after more than that. We’re looking for a combination of cooking, atmosphere and experience that makes a place truly memorable: somewhere you’d tell your friends about. Somewhere you can’t wait to go back to. We won’t include a place just because it’s innovative, or expensive, or hard to book. It always has to deliver on flavor and value. We rate out of five stars: One star: Avoid!Two stars: Not that greatThree stars: GoodFour stars: Really goodFive stars: Unmissable The EAT List is updated regularly, so you can be sure that it is always a picture of the very best of San Francisco’s current food scene.
San Francisco is a world-famous food town, but for those visiting for the first time, it can be hard to know which of our thousands of restaurants to choose. Guide books might lead tourists astray, but when it comes to experiencing the best food in the City by the Bay, trust us to hook you up with the spots you definitely won't want to miss. 1. High rollers, head to Spruce. Gary Danko might be on the tips of every concierge's tongue but Spruce delivers everything this town does great when it comes to classic fine dining. 2. There are so many spectacular Chinese restaurants in San Francisco but we think Z&Y is the best. 3. Avoid the brunch lines at Mama's on Washington Square and wait in the brunch line at Zazieinstead. 4. Seafood fans would do well to believe the hype about Swan Oyster Depot. 5. Some call it a tourist trap but if it's good, who cares? The Ghirardelli Soda Fountain is a hit with visitors and natives alike - although a local would never buy a big bag of chocolate squares from the attached gift shop. 6. Order the Marlowe burger at Marlowe (or Park Tavern). 7. Cotogna might be just south of North Beach but its pizzas and pastas taste like Italy on a plate. (Fun fact: we saw James Spader there once.) 8. Find out what all the fuss is about and get a burrito at La Taqueria. 9. The 98-year-old bar at Tosca might be far more famous but the revamped restaurant in the back is a sure winner. 10. Cutting edge, nationally recognized spots like Atelier Crenn and St
VOTING What does the voting stage involve? An online form will be hosted on the Love San Francisco page from March 6 to April 10 2018 where people can vote for their favourite venue or business in their city/neighbourhood. Not every venue that’s voted for is guaranteed to be counted – we reserve the right of discretion, if we think a vote is inappropriate, or insincere. Once we have counted all of the votes the winners and runners up will be finalised, notified and announced! How do I vote? You’ll need to head to the Love San Francisco page in order to vote. Do I need to create an account to vote? If you are a regular Time Out user, you can use your normal login on timeout.com to vote. If you do not have an account, you’ll need to create one, which takes one minute and is free. I pressed the wrong button, can you reset my vote? You can vote as many venues as you like, but you cannot un-submit votes, so please select carefully. Can I vote via email or phone? No. All votes must come via the Love San Francisco website from a logged-in user. I’m a local venue, can I vote for myself/can my customers vote for me? Absolutely. Voting is open until April 10, 2018. Remember to encourage your customers to vote for you too! Can I vote in multiple categories? Yes, you can vote in all of the available categories. My venue isn’t listed. Can we add it? Yes you can! Go to timeout.com/getlistedsanfrancisco, from there you can submit your details. Some of the details about
From a fancy New Year's Eve dinner to big-name concerts and age-old cultural traditions, there are enough ways to ring in 2018 to please just about every San Francisco reveler. This year's guide to local New Year's Eve events features some of the best things to do in San Francisco on December 31st for locals of all ages.
Once the headquarters of the West’s largest department store, Meier & Frank, The Nines is a soaring hotel “dressed to the nines” with art, fashion and subtle nods to the building’s retail past. From the light-drenched seven story atrium to the 35-foot high chandelier of steel, glass and LED lights that mimic the audio waves of PNW birdsong, The Nines is opulent yet unstuffy. Each room is chic and sumptuous, decorated in Tiffany blue velvet, satin draperies and tufted ivory leather headboards. Original works of art produced by students from the Pacific Northwest College of Art hang from golden damask-papered walls. The hotel also features a rich leather-accented library with a full-service cocktail menu and two eateries including Departure, whose Asian-inspired menu landed the restaurant on Eater’s best of winter list. Plus, rooftop beehives, a mushroom garden and an herb garden are just a few of the green initatives that earned this pet-friendly hotel LEED Silver Certification. Neighborhood: Portland’s ultra-walkable downtown is brimming with restaurants, shops and culture. Bound by the Willamette River and Waterfront Park on the east side,this neighborhood hosts Saturday arts and crafts markets, farmers markets and outdoor concerts in Pioneer Courthouse Square. Historic Old Town Chinatown at downtown’s northern edge is full of quirky nightlife, Asian eateries and the famed Voodoo Doughnut. Nearby: Portland Art Museum: An impressive museum with collections that range f
SOMArts is a contemporary art gallery and exhibition space that supports artists who have been historically marginalized in the contemporary art world. By partnering with diverse artists and curators, they produce multi-disciplinary events and exhibitions—including a monthly queer performance series, which showcases new and emerging LGBTQ performers. Annual events include the Día de los Muertos exhibition, curated by legendary San Francisco artist and activist René Yañez and his son Rio Yañez, and the Night Light: Multimedia Garden Party.
A tiny café just north of the bustle of North Beach, Melt not only serves up tasty pots of fondue, it also plays host to jazz quartets most nights of the week. A low-key option for music fans in search of easy weeknight listening, the café’s handful of board games and totally reasonable wine list is an easy seller.
Priding itself on existing at the opposite side of the spectrum from the high brow, “aristocratic” cocktail bar status quo, The Royale is fun, casual, and the true definition of a neighborhood gem. With a rotating local beers list and one of the most eclectically booked concert calendar in the city, this venue is primed to become the go-to destination for catching free jams in San Francisco.
One of the few venues in San Francisco offering free live music seven days a week, Revolution Cafe touts itself as being a true community art supporter. Booking an eclectic array of acts — upcoming shows feature jazz, folk, Latin, classical and more — this dual cafe and venue is a laid back option for catching free tunes.
Festivals are a keystone of the Chinese calendar, and the Mid-Autumn Festival ranks high on the list. A celebration of the summer’s harvest and a thanksgiving to the moon—a symbol of fertility and bounty—the festival is characterized by bright paper lanterns and mooncakes. For weeks before the festival, local bakeries will start turning out these handheld pastries, filled with a smooth lotus seed paste or a dense red bean paste, and surrounded by a thin pastry "skin." Try a snowskin mooncake (made with a mochi-like glutinous rice flour) with lotus paste and a salted egg yolk in the center. The neighborhood will shut down along Grant Avenue between California and Broadway, giving way to parades, cultural performances, way more food than you probably need to eat, cooking demos and the 2nd annual Dog Talent & Costume Show. The whole thing culminates with the White Crane Dragon Parade, a bucket-list must-see for many.
The skies might be gloomy, but we don't have to be. 1. Warm up with a trip to Japantown's Kabuki Springs and Spa. This classic San Francisco oasis is a traditional bathhouse that features a 104-degree communal pool. Shy locals can attend on gender-specific days or keep a swimsuit on in this clothing-optional day spa. A day pass costs $25 and includes use of the sauna and steam room. 2. The chicken with explosive chili peppers at Chinatown's Z&Y Restaurant might just be the spiciest dish in town. If cold weather gives you a case of the blues, this hot (HOT) dinner should have the opposite effect. 3. As temperatures continue to drop, there’s no better evening destination than a bar with a fireplace. Warm your tootsies by the fire as the cocktails and craft beer help you thaw from the inside out. 4. Laughter is the best medicine for almost everything. Luckily for us, San Francisco is home to some truly legendary comedy clubs. Whether you're into big name comics or the underground scene, there are laughs to be had every night of the week. Don't forget: SF Sketchfest is serving up some of the country's best comedy right here in the Bay Area through January 17th. 5. Our go-to for any case of the blues has got to be Musee Mecanique. This Fisherman's Wharf gem is the world's best tourist trap. Filled with vintage arcade games from a variety of centuries, all that's needed for a great time at the Musee is a silliness to brave the tourists and handful of quarters. The innocent
Just in time for Valentine's Day festivities, the Hearts in San Francisco art series has brought amazing public art to San Francisco every February for the past 15 years, and this year includes some of the best works yet. Thirty-one Bay Area artists were selected for the 2019 series including Michele Bell, Claudia Blanco, Margerite Bradley, and Taiko Fujimura. "These Heart sculptures have become symbolic to locals and tourists alike," said John Bell, President of the Board of Directors for San Francisco General Hospital Foundation. The hearts will be displayed and auctioned at the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation's Hearts in SF evening event on February 13 at Pier 48 with all proceeds benefiting essential life-enhancing programs and initiatives Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Keep scrolling to see some of this year's best heart-shaped artworks. “California Poppy” by Margerite Bradley Heart by Samanta Tello Heart by Lori Chinn "Meet in the Presidio" by Michele Bell
San Francisco has been the backdrop for loads of legendary (and sometimes forgettable) movies. But something about our fair city—perhaps the heavy fog or ominous hills—seems to lend itself to crime flicks. The following montage was posted to YouTube by “RubyTuesday717” and features 6 minutes and 13 seconds of deliciously deviant scenes shot in and around San Francisco. Did your favorite Bay Area crime movie make the cut?
It's a glorious time for fans of the Bluth family. On May 29, Netflix drops the long-awaited fifth season of Arrested Development, following last week’s release of a re-edited version of season four that's actually pretty damn good. In anticipation of the return of America's second-most catastrophic real estate dynasty, Netflix is throwing a Never Nudes party on Saturday, May 20 at Ocean Beach and Pier 39. The cult celebration honors the legacy of David Cross’ fictional thespian, author, analrapist, Blue Man understudy and anustart, Tobias Fünke, who belongs to an nudity-fearing community of Never Nudes. “Blue yourself” or show up in denim cutoffs for the bizarre meet up, which conveniently takes place at the Bay to Breakers finish line (where day drinking and body paint are always encouraged) from 11am–noon, followed by a second gathering at Fisherman's Wharf from 1:30–2pm.
1. Wise Son's Deli's matzo ball soup with a side of challah bread After a heaping bowl of this classic comfort food, you'll not only feel warm, you'll feel that Jewish mother love. 2. Tadich Grill's cioppino Invented right here in San Francisco, cioppino is a spicy Italian seafood stew made famous (and delicious) by one of the city's oldest and coziest establishments. 3. Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store's "comb" focaccia sandwich It remains a San Francisco mystery why such a foodie town consistently ignores the city's most delicious hot sandwich. This oven-baked beast oozes cheese, meat, mustard and hot steam. 4. Nopalito's pozole rojo When a pork shoulder is cooked so perfectly that it turns into a stew, it becomes pozole rojo, Noaplito's cult-favorite soup that fills up even the hungriest of eaters. Ancho chili adds a wonderful warm kick. 5. Outerlands's grilled cheese This isn't your babysitter's grilled cheese. The Outerlands' version is a massive melding of fresh-baked Tartine bread and overflowing cheeses. Served exclusively in the foggy Sunset District, this sandwich is notorious for warming up a wintery day. 6. Yank Sing's Shanghai-style dumplings Like noodle soup turned inside out, a Shanghai-style dumpling is actually filled with flavorful broth. Devouring these toasty treasures can be a bit of a challenge at first—imagine eating a mini hot water balloon—but the risk is worth the reward. 7. Ramen Yamadaya's tonkatsu ramen The broth in this legendary dish (or bowl,
Spring has officially sprung! Despite the rainy forecast, we're taking a moment to stop and smell the roses (and daisies and dahlias). Here are our favorite thing about our favorite season: 1. We've got two words for you: baseball season. 2. Spring marks the sun-kissed return of TreasureFest (formerly the Treasure Island Flea Market), the last weekend of every month. 3. From the Cherry Blossom Festival (April 14–22) to Carnaval (May 26–27), street festivals are back. 4. Stow Lake is full to the brim and perfect for paddle-boating again. 5. Off the Grid is back at Fort Mason on Friday nights. 6. Celebrities arrive en masse for the San Francisco International Film Festival (April 4–17.) 7. Local chefs get creative with fresh Spring ingredients at all our favorite SF restaurants. 8. There are hardly any tourists in town. Visit your favorite tourist traps and Napa wineries without the lines. 9. Nearby parks are bursting with spring blooms, making spring a perfect time to resume your local hiking adventures. 10. Weekends in Dolores Park return to full, fabulous capacity. 11. Let's be honest. We all just got super excited about Bay to Breakers on May 20.
You know that scene in Beauty and the Beast when Belle’s wardrobe turns her from peasant to princess for her big dance number? Or the moment in Cinderella when the fairy godmother transforms her rags into a beautiful ball gown? Well, these high-tech shopping experiences are almost as magical—plus you won’t have to worry about evil stepsisters. Magic Wardrobe at Reformation No need to get dressed again just to grab a new size when trying on clothes at Reformation—simply get the Magic Wardrobe to do it for you. From inside the dressing room, shoppers can request additional sizes, colors or styles from the monitor and then, moments later, open the wardrobe’s doors, so that your new piece is ready to be flaunted. The fitting rooms also have customizable lighting and the option of connecting your device and playing your own music. You may never want to leave. Photograph: Courtesy MemoryMirror MemoryMirror at Neiman Marcus You’ll never need to ask the dressing room attendant for style advice again thanks to Neiman Marcus’s MemoryMirror: a full-length mirror with a 70-inch LCD screen, HD camera and powerful computer. The camera records eight-second videos (long enough for a full 360-degree twirl) that shoppers can play back to see how they look or even to compare outfits side by side. After logging in with an email address and personal ID number, the dedicated clotheshorse can also email the videos, post them on social media or text them to a friend for a second opinion. Seph
Last month we revealed that San Francisco is the most brunch-obsessed city in the world using data from the Time Out City Life Index. This month, we're looking at what we learned about the Bay Area dating scene. — People in San Francisco are most likely to have had a threesome and 28% of San Franciscans have had one. — 65% of us (also the highest in the country) have had a one-night stand. — 14% of San Franciscans think it's ok to send nudes to someone they've never met. (Put it away, kids.) — The average San Franciscan spends $125 when they go out on a date. — 1-in-3 Bay Area residents have ghosted someone. — Exactly one half (50%) of San Franciscans have dated more than one person at a time. —On average, San Franciscans have sex after the third date. — 43% of San Franciscans have had a workplace romance (which makes sense since 58% of us eat lunch at our desk). — A whopping 32% of San Franciscans admitted to having cheated on a partner. — And 58% admitted to Googling their date before going out. For more interesting stats about your peers and other party cities click here: timeout.com/citylifeindex
Finding love in SF can be hard. Take a lesson from these true dating stories. “I was on a first date with a girl from OKCupid. We met up at a show at 1015 Folsom and she was wasted. The girl immediately tries to make out with me by slamming her teeth into mine. When that hell was over, she cut in front of four African American chicks in line at the bar and starts spewing racist garbage. As soon as possible, I slipped away and booked it towards the front door but she caught me. I panicked and yelled out “I’m claustrophobic” then made a bee-line out of the venue. Needless to say, I never saw her again.” — Max B. “Back before Tinder and OKCupid, I made a connection with someone on Craigslist. Only problem was, he lived in New York. After several weeks of chatting, he decided to come out for a visit. It was only supposed to be for a few days and there was a backup plan in case we didn’t like each other, but the guy ended up staying for an entire month. Even though we weren’t getting along, my friends didn’t like him and he refused to eat anywhere but Subway or McDonalds, he wouldn’t leave! I finally only got him out because my roommate, who had been traveling all month, was coming back.” — Jasmine F. “I was on a first date at the Lost and Found in Oakland. We were doing the typical first date convo—talking about where we are from and what we do and stuff. He asked what my favorite holiday was. It was over the summer, so not really close to any holiday and I told him I wasn
We set up two strangers on a blind date to try and bring some heat to the ice rink. HER: Tatianna, 27 Cat lady, metal lover, nauseated by the word date HIM: Marc, 30 Music curator, free spirit, lives a minimalist lifestyle Photograph: Clara Rice THE FUN: Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square TATIANNA: “Marc was patient and good-humored as I declared ice-skating ‘terrible.’ I believe my actual quote was, ‘Oh, yeah. This is terrible. This is terrible.’ ” MARC: “Ice-skating while Disney songs blast from the speakers is the perfect ambience! Unfortunately, ice-skating is always better in theory. My ankles were in pain.” Photograph: Courtesy Bluestem THE MEAL: Bluestem Brasserie TATIANNA: “The beets completely stole the evening. I would not have expected beets, wasabi and citrus to pair so beautifully, but it was hands down my favorite part of the meal.” MARC: “The pan-roasted pork chop was so good that I stopped midchew to praise Jesus. And the combination of citrus and fresh wasabi on the marinated beets was unlike anything I’ve ever tasted.” Photograph: Ryan Hughes, Courtesy Bluestem THE DRINKS: Bluestem Brasserie TATIANNA: “Bluestem had a warm, classy atmosphere, and I would go back again for cocktails. The seasonal Hot Austrian Punsch was excellent, as was the Fezziwig.” MARC: “The Aunt Chrystl’s Hot Austrian Punsch was reminiscent of sitting in front of a fireplace, wrapped in a plush blanket, listening to crackling wood and drinking hot cocoa.” Photograph: Clara
While we always suspected it, we now have verifiable proof that San Franciscans are the best brunchers in the world! At least, according to the Time Out City Life Index, which revealed that 36% of us eat brunch on the regular, making us the city with the most brunchers. And while some of the other results won't surprise you (San Franciscans are willing to wait 1.5 hours for a restaurant table), some of them are a little more scandalous (14% of San Franciscans think it's ok to send nudes to someone they've never met). The Time Out City Life Index charts the most exciting cities in the world right now. We ranked 32 cities on criteria including food, drink and culture, local neighborhoods, friendliness, affordability, happiness, and whether people were proud to live in their city. SF scored well for its buzzy restaurant scene and for people feeling free to be themselves, but fared worse when it came to safety and affordability, leading to an overall ranking of 17. Here are some other cool things we found out about San Franciscans: We're hella cultured. In fact, we take in the most culture—bars, galleries, movies, live music—in the U.S. We do at least one of those activities, on average, a week. And sure, we might whine about the (lack of) dating scene in the Bay Area, but it turns out we're not doing too bad when it comes to sex. According to the City Life Index, 28% of San Franciscans have partaken in a threesome—making us the most-sexually free city in the country. On top of t
After 57 years in the Tenderloin, The Gangway, San Francisco's oldest continuously operating gay bar, closed on Sunday night. Originally opened in 1910, the TL watering hole survived Prohibition and began serving a mostly gay clientele in the ’60s. The bar, which was known for its nautical theme, chill patrons and all-day drinking hours, will be sorely missed by regulars in the rapidly changing neighborhood. The tavern's liquor license has been transferred to Sam Young, the proprietor of Kozy Kar, who plans to change the space into Young’s Kung Fu Action Theatre & Laundry LLC, a laundromat where patrons can watch kung-fu movies as they fold their clothes. Meanwhile, some of The Gangway's more famous knick knacks and decor will be donated to the Tenderloin History Museum.