The Haunt

What to Do in San Francisco


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Scroll down for a long list of our favorite views, food, bars, arts and entertainment!

Note: please let us know if anything is out of date here — we do our best to keep it current.

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Events Calendars

  • The definitive SF calendar of free/cool/strange events daily: FuncheapSF
  • Live concert/events: DoTheBay

Our Favorite Spots:

“Only in SF” Places

  • Church of 8 Wheels, a classic roller skating rink with disco/funk music. Just like the movies!
  • Glide Church: Every Sunday, a very uplifting non-denominational spiritual musical service for everyone, including many members of San Francisco’s houseless community. They have volunteer opportunities as well.
  • The Center SF is a unique tea house, events, and workshops space, where you can also chill out and enjoy the beautiful interior design.
  • Aunt Charlie’s Lounge: Historic drag show bar in the Tenderloin!
  • The Castro Theatre, with classic films, drag shows, sing-alongs and film festivals, all in the city’s coolest old movie palace.
  • EndGames Improv: free/cheap improv comedy most nights. BYOB, near 16th St. Bart station.
  • Heart of the City Farmer’s Market: organic and local produce at Civic Center every Wednesday and Sunday! Open early morning til around 4pm.
  • Yoga To The People for donation-based yoga classes every day near 16th and Mission Bart.


  • Delancey Street Restaurant: Staffed by former prisoners working to turn their lives around. Great food, great prices, all for a great cause
  • Tommy’s Joynt: Funky old school meat-centric spot and drinks
  • Bi-Rite Creamery: well-loved organic ice cream
  • Burritos and Tacos: La Taqueria, Pancho Villa Taqueria, El Farolito, Taqueria Cancun
  • Shizen: mind-blowing vegan sushi – make a reservation now!
  • Blackjet Baking Company: Bakery better than Tartine (gasp!) with no lines


  • Verve: perfect espresso, and amazing and beautiful food too
  • Sightglass: great vibes and an Instagrammable space
  • Phil’z: Great coffee, great vibes at this old-school cafe (especially the 24th Street shop!)


  • The Saloon: The city’s oldest bar, a true “dive bar” with live blues music nightly, attracting the most diverse and hilarious crowds. (North Beach)
  • Li Po Lounge: Classic Chinatown dive bar that Anthony Bourdain loved for their “Chinese mai tai”
  • The Royal Cuckoo Lounge: Neighborhoody cocktail den with authentic live jazz on weekends, and undeniably cool vibes. (Mission)
  • Zeitgeist: A huge list of craft beer, greasy burgers, a pool table, and a big beer garden that blasts heavy metal. Something for everyone! (Mission)
  • El Rio: Queer-friendly dive bar with patio, live concerts, dance parties, and a cheap fun Monday night special. Also near other awesome bars: Virgil’s and the Knockout.

Live Music

  • Best venues for indie/rock concerts: The Chapel, Rickshaw Stop, The Independent, Great American Music Hall, Slim’s, Bottom of the Hill
  • Madrone Art Bar: funk and soul. Live music (Extra Nappy every week) and DJs
  • Club Deluxe: Excellent local jazz acts. (Haight-Ashbury)
  • The Rite Spot Cafe: Intimate old school bar/restaurant with live music, food and drinks, and no cover. (Mission District)
  • Bazaar Cafe: open mic Thursday evenings that’s been running for over 20 years


  • Motown Mondays at Madrone on Divisadero Street (Cheap drinks and great dancing)
  • Night clubs: Stud, F8, Cat Club
  • Latin Party: Super-Ritmo, weekly at the Make-Out Room.
  • Soul Dance Party: Sweater Funk at the Knockout


  • Corona Heights Park: Skip Twin Peaks! From Castro and Market, hike to the top of this secret hill for an absolutely stunning view of San Francisco, without Twin Peaks tour buses and tourists.
  • Coit Tower: An iconic Deco tower with a 360-degree city view. Note the radical WPA murals inside, too. (North Beach)
  • POPOS: Hidden within the Financial District are rooftop parks, urban forests, atriums and open spaces.


  • Thinking about visiting the California Academy of Sciences? Thursdays are the night. From 6-10 PM it’s called NightLife: open to those 21+ only (no screaming children!), with cocktails, all the exhibits open, DJs, bands, and a different focus weekly. Details
  • Theater: Counterpulse Theater, The Marsh, ACT, Curran Theater
  • Dance performance: ODC (Modern, Jazz and Contemporary Dance)
  • Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) 10 floors of every kind of art you can imagine
  • Oakland Museum: totally unique, lots of alternative subjects, and amazing performances and events
  • De Young Museum – Very immersive, fine arts in the middle of Golden Gate Park. They’ve also got a free entry to their tower with a great view of SF from the top floor-panoramic windows!


Our Favorite Neighborhoods

  • North Beach (Little Italy): Start at City Lights bookstore, grab a drink at Vesuvio bar, then eat a slice of Tony’s Coal Fired Pizza at nearby Washington Square Park.
  • Chinatown: Wander through the shops on Grant Avenue, eat at Good Mong Kok or Sam Wo, drink boba tea from Boba Guys or Steap, then have drinks at Li Po Lounge or karaoke at Bow Bow.
  • Castro (LGBT+ neighborhood): Visit the GLBT History Museum, catch a sing-along movie at the Castro Theater, then have a drink at Twin Peaks or any of the bars near 18th and Castro.
  • Mission (Latinx, art, hipsters): Check out the street art at the Women’s Building and Clarion Alley, visit the old Spanish Mission, then grab a burrito from Pancho Villa or ice cream from Bi-Rite Creamery and eat at Dolores Park!
  • Haight-Ashbury (hippie district): Vintage shop at Held Over and Wasteland, buy records at Amoeba or Rasputin, then relax and wander through Golden Gate Park or the Panhandle.

21+ Nightlife

  • Bars in Mission at Valencia & 16th (Delirium, Double Dutch, Gestalt, Casanova, Blackbird)
  • Bars on Polk Street (Edinburgh Castle, Hemlock Tavern, Vertigo)
  • Clubs in the Soma (1015, F8, Monarch, Temple, Audio, Beatbox, Mezzanine)
  • LGBT nightlife (Oasis, the Stud, Aunt Charlie’s, El Rio)
  • Castro gay bars (The Mix, Beaux, The Edge, Midnight Sun, 440 Castro)

All-Ages Nightlife

  • Popscene: Friday night dance party at Rickshaw Stop
  • Clubs: City Nights, Club X, Ruby Skye
  • Church of 8 Wheels: Roller Disco party!
  • Concerts: Brick and Mortar, Bottom of the Hill, Rickshaw Stop
  • Street Food: Soma Streat Food, Off The Grid
  • Other: The Center SF, Kava Lounge, Cafe International

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