Top 10 Events & Nightlife in San Francisco

10. Great American Music Hall

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Speaking of Top 10 lists, this venue was voted #6 in Best Clubs in America by Rolling Stone magazine. The City's oldest and grandest music hall rose phoenix-like in 1907 as Blanco's, a restaurant and bordello during the notorious Barbary Coast Era. The ornate interior with marble columns and ceiling frescos adds a classic to this beloved Top 10 San Francisco concert venue.

9. Grant & Green

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With great bartenders and staff, good drinks, and the top original music, Grant & Green Saloon is one of our picks for dive bars in the city... kinda like your favorite pair of 501s with bourbon stains on them: comfy, if a little damp and worn. The folks at Grant & Green continue to keep it real by actually paying bands to play there even though they don't charge a cover. That makes for a Top 10 San Francisco bar in our book any day.

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8. DNA Lounge

With seven full bars, two stages, four dance floors, free WIFI, free webcasts of every show, and a full service 24-hour pizza restaurant and cafe, it's hard to keep the DNA Lounge off our Top 10 San Francisco nightclubs. This late-night all-ages club features DJ dancing, live music, and burlesque performances, along with the occasional conference, private party, and film premiere.

7. Bimbo's 365 Club

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This storied venue has seen it all. In the 1950s Charo, Louis Prima, Joey Bishop, Sid Caesar, & Rodney Dangerfield. In the 1960s it showcased  Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Marvin Gaye, Neil Diamond, Glen Campbell, and The Fifth Dimension. Today you’ll find  Adele, Laura Marling, The Black Angels, The Flaming Lips, Duncan Sheik, Chris Isaak, Macy Gray, Jewel, The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Robbie Williams, and Roni Size. A fantastic Nexo Alpha sound system makes this venue a Top 10 San Fransisco music venue of artists and audiences alike.

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6. Elbo Room

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The home of San Francisco's Longest Happy Hour (5 to 9 PM), Elbo Room has featured an eclectic mix of live music since 1991. Enjoy the sounds of jazz, funk, soul, Afro-Cuban, hip-hop, rock, indie rock, and alternative tunes in its upstairs lounge. The New York Times exclaims, "Elbo Room is the most intimate and diverse live music venue in the bay area!" So try to elbow your way into this Top 10 San Francisco happy hour.

5. Slim's

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R&B legend Boz Skaggs opened Slim's in 1988, an all ages live music venue in SF's SOMA district. Since then it has gone on to become a Top 10 San Francisco music venue, offering the finest American roots music, blues, R&B, Cajun/Zydeco, jazz, alternative, metal, hip-hop, and pop. Offering a full bar and kitchen with bar menu, limited table service and a nightly Happy Hour that runs for the first hour after doors open. Rock on, Boz... Rock on!

4. Bourbon & Branch

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What's the password? Shhhhhhhh! Based on the speakeasy that operated illegally on the property from 1921 to 1933, Bourbon & Branch offers the ambience of a Roaring 20's, ahem, "cigar store" when the sale and consumption of alcohol were illegal in the US. Of course, customers are sworn to abide by the house rules: no cell phones, no photography, no standing at the bar, and don't even think about ordering a cosmo at this Top 10 San Francisco speakeasy!

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3. Warfield Theater

In the 1920s, The Warfield was a popular location featuring vaudeville performers such as Al Jolson, Louis Armstrong, and Charlie Chaplin. It grew to fame as a rock venue when Bob Dylan made a 14-night stand to kick of his Gospel tour in 1979. As the venue for two of the Grateful Dead's live albums, late guitarist Jerry Garcia made The Warfield his second home, playing a record setting 88 shows with his various side projects at this Top 10 San Francisco concert venue. 

2. Top Of The Mark

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Opening in 1939, the Top of the Mark quickly became the sentimental favorite of US servicemen shipping out of San Francisco during WW II: one last martini and a sunset behind the Golden Gate with their sweetheart. With 360° panoramic views of SF, the Top of the Mark is the perfect place to try a few of their 100 signature martinis yourself. Known far and wide as the perfect spot for wedding proposals and anniversary celebrations, this one is THE Top 10 San Francisco cocktail lounge for romantics world-wide.

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1. The Fillmore

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The seminal San Francisco music venue, The Fillmore, was brought to life in the late 1960s by Bill Graham as the spiritual home of the San Francisco Sound, virtually launching the careers of the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Moby Grape, and many more. Its ambiance, sound, and lighting systems solicited legendary sets from the many performers who have graced its stage over the years. From Chuck Berry and The Byrds to Cypress Hill and Sara Bareilles, many artists have chosen The Fillmore to record their greatest live performances for posterity!

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