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​10 Things I Love About Clubbing in San Francisco

These are the things that make partying in the bay so wonderfully weird.
April 9, 2015, 4:40pm

There are two sides to every coin, two edges to every Golden Gate LARPer's sword, a yin and a yang on every yoga thot's hip bone tat. For, as WTF as San Francisco club culture is, it's equally as DTF, HYFR and OMW.

The long and short of it is: you gotta hear both sides. Here are the top ten things to love about clubbing in San Francisco:

10. Walkability

Photo credit: The Sweetest Thing

San Francisco is one of the most walkable cities in the country. Wanna Irish goodbye your Tinder date at Tempest and meet your friends at Mezzanine? No problem, it's next door. Want to switch your big room vibe up with some trap? Walk the six blocks from SOMA to the Mission and engage the turn up at Beauty Bar in fifteen minutes flat. Nightlife exists in the flatlands of the SF.

9. Diversity

This city is made up of beautiful mixed­ race babies and humans who have passed through maddeningly interesting places on Earth before landing on this particular patch of Northern California. Whitewashed clubs are boring, so when there's a constant stream of diversity coming through and turning the whole spot into human Tumblr, you get to really appreciate clubbing in a worldly place like San Francisco.

8. Rideshare Apps

Photo credit:

For every car service, there is another trying to undercut it. As ground zero for on-­demand drivers, San Francisco is a battlefield for low­-cost transportation. Lyft unrolls Line; Uber unveils Pool. Uber offers $5 flat rate citywide; Lyft one­ups them with $3 rides all month. Both services are fuccbois on known party nights so Flywheel pulls through with the $10 no exceptions hallelujah. SF is the "if we can make it here, we can make it anywhere" for Prius pedicab apps, and *Jon Lovitz voice,* we're reaping all the benefits.


Let's call this one a transition period for San Francisco. A couple of years ago, I would have said that the city had a leg-up on secret view locales at clubs: Kelly's Mission Rock, Empress of China, but RIP to those spots. You can still catch a grandiose vista at Starlight Room, but I can't imagine why you'd want to. What's the best currently ­standing gazing spot? The outside smoking section at Mezzanine.

6. Jacket Weather

SF clocks in at a cool 65 degrees pretty much year-round and, despite how much its residents like to complain about it, it's the most ideal weather you could ask for. Moderate temps and an easy breeze are the sweet spot for a light jacket, which means you get to do a look. As un­hypebeast­y as it is, San Francisco is the most practical city for layering your alternating length hemlines and getting equal facetime for your outerwear and innerwear. Welcome to the friendly neighborhood conditions protecting you from coming off as try-hard.

5. Costume Parties

San Franciscans are high-key the downest people to turn everything into a costume party. Halloween is, of course, major league alternate reality vibes with the volume of never­before­imagined get-ups brought into this dimension by a people with an inherent ability to make stuff. The other 364 days of the year are just as chock full of occasions where surrealism and silliness are the dresscode norm. Hell, people will even wake up at 5AM to marathon across the city and get drunk dressed as Coit Tower.

4. LGBTQ Scene

San Francisco is, like, super gay. Every night out there is a refreshing reminder that we live in one of the least bigoted, least phobic cities in America and that's cause for celebration in and of itself. It's also a misconception that LGBTQ culture is resigned to the Castro, really it's citywide. From Q Bar in Castro The Stud in SOMA and El Rio in the Mission, there's a spot on every corner to catch a drag show or sign your drunk ass up for a dance off (hope you win!).

3. Taquerias

A hangover is an inevitable, unjust reality that we, as adults, have somehow determined is a worthwhile tax for our ratched behavior. Fine. While the rest of the nation files fiendishly out of the club and into the grips of thrice-­heated dollar slice joints, we skip the morning shits and head to the holy grail of late­ night bites: the taqueria. Quick caveat here: the lines can get a little out of hand, but you can't deny that the wait is a worthy investment.

2. Pot

Personally, I don't smoke weed. I also don't live in a universe where I think my own habits and preferences should be the only points of attention or governing forces so this one's a biggie nonetheless. I think it's pretty cool that, not only can my SF homies source pot that's red­one­hundred­emoji quality from small business dispensaries with speakeasy­-inspired interior architecture, they can toke up at virtually any venue in the city without wondering if they'll get hassled for smoking a CBD joint. It's for my anxiety, officer!

1. San Franciscans

Not as gritty as New York. Not as glamazon as LA. Not (quite) as granola as Portland or Seattle. SF is notoriously nice and it delivers on it's reputation. This 49 square mile no flex zone has served up some of the most down­to­earth, high­spirited club crowds to turn up with. There's nothing like hanging with a mass of people who really just want you to do you, boo.