Downtown Fun: a San Francisco night out

San Francisco, USA

6 places

Flora Tsapovsky

A science museum, a drag show, a secret speakeasy and late-night Portuguese breakfast in one evening? Why not! Join the San Fran train of crazy and hip

Exploratorium After Dark

The Exploratorium, a popular "with-the-kids" destination, transforms itself every first Thursday, showcasing live performances, provocative films, a cool crowd and of course -the change to play with the exhibits, in sexy darkness. Add the cash bar, and your night's start just got sophisticated.


True to its "speakeasy" reputation, this little spot keeps the buzz alive by placing the entrance at the back of another bar, Bourbon and Branch, calling itself a "detective agency" and requiring a registration and an "appointment". It's all well worth it, due to the exclusive, sensuous atmosphere and the excellent cocktails. Leanr the password, do whatever it takes.

111 Minna

This well-known and beloved art space offers the hybrid San Francisco is famous for: young professionals, art and DJ sets. Every weekend offers unique parties with music ranging from the 90s to a Notorious B.I.G tribute. The informal vibe makes this a good spot to start dancing at, and before you know it it's way past midnight.


The Monarch defies the rumor there's no decent clubs in San Fran - the lineup is always up to date and the bubbly, downtown-on-the-weekend atmosphere provides solid competition for Berlin and its spiritual brothers. Roomy lounges, colorful visitors and the bar all make for a great, if slightly cheesy, night out.

The Stud

You can't go out in SF and not check out at least one LGBT spot. The Stud is a fun and friendly option, one of the oldest gay clubs in town and a blow-out extravaganza for all senses. Cabaret, Karaoke or a drag show, it's all packed into the little space and oozes energy.


Making up for the city's scant selection of 24/7 eateries, the Grubstake proudly shines in the dark, offering more than decent food and a great ending for a boozy night. The twist here is a Portuguese take on late-night food, with the occasional authentic pork stew or potatoes with dries bacalao. Comforting and delicious.


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