18 Bars in San Francisco Where You Can Dance Like Nobody’s Watching
Sometimes it feels like San Francisco is a city of extremes - bars that look like co-working spaces (wifi with a side of rosé...I ain't mad at that) or clubs that feel more like Las Vegas. Where to go if you want post-work cocktails to turn into carefree bonding on the dance floor? If you actually want to dance instead of cocktail sipping and people watching, the list below is your guide to bars with dance floors and good beats.
Double Dutch is legit the bar of my dreams. A wall full of old boomboxes, sticky floors and ALL the 90's R&B, hip hop, rap (ok, fine, and the occasional Britney Spears jam). BEST MUSIC EVER. If you're looking for a place to get hyphy and throw some no-frills drinks down, you have to go to Double Dutch.
Raven is equal parts speakeasy, lounge and divey dance club. With three bars and two dance floors, Raven doesn't get too stuffy. They've got theme nights during the week and draw in a crowd that always wants to just get down on the dance floor. Check the calendar before you visit to make sure you're feelin' the theme.
Madrone Art Bar
Madrone Art Bar is quintessential San Francisco bar scene. With the nightly themes, expect the crowd to change too throughout the week. They keep it dynamic, which just means they have something for everyone. So, choose wisely...Dirty Rotten Dance Parties or Motown Mondays?
From go-go dancers to 2 for 1 drinks, the dance floor at Beaux is definitely like nothing else in the city. Located on Market Street in the Castro, you can expect stiff drinks and good music. Just make sure you arrive early, because it can get very crowded, especially on weekends.
Maggie's is the first bar I fell in love with in San Francisco. I'm not sure if it's because Grant Street is the most adorable quaint little street that's actually super reminiscent of Italy or if it's because they have incredible cover bands playing here on the regular. While it can get super hot, sweaty and crowded...it's always a good time.
Anywhere that's got music videos playing continuously has me totally won over. In the heart of the Castro, you better believe Toad Hall has 2-for-1 drinks and the best top 40's and pop music evvvver (Castro boys lovvvvve their Britney). Prepare to totally turn up when at Toad Hall - this isn't the place to go for a chill night. Things will (accidentally or intentionally) get sloppy after a round (or 4).
Bootie San Francisco
With multiple levels rooms that have different music, Bootie offers you the chance to listen to everything from top 40s mashups to 90s rap to EDM. Only way out of Bootie is by walking through a pizza parlor. Best idea ever, amirite?! Dance your heart out and grab a slice on the way out? DOWN.
Bay Area rap is my absolute weakness and Mr. Smith's does this right. Bordering the Tenderloin, don't expect to go bar hopping without jumping in an uber to head to your next stop. Ground level has a baroque chandelier and a bar where you can mingle and hang, while downstairs is where the real fun is. Be sure to check in advance if you're expecting to ghost ride the whip, I've come here on country music night and had to turn around immediately.
Blondie's is a local favorite for so many reasons: jazz and blues, fun crowd and a super relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy well-mixed cocktails during happy hour, and make sure to try one of their martinis (a house specialty). The house made blue cheese stuffed olives alone make the drink totally worth every penny.
A Mission staple, the Make-Out Room has something for everyone. Decor is quinceañera chic with most evenings going heavy on the latin music - depending on the night, you can expect to hear reggaeton to 80's throwback tunes. It's hard to have a bad time here. Not in the mood for dancing? People watching here is always superb.
Live 80s cover band? SOLD. Tupelo has multiple screens and goes from sports bar to dance hall as the night progresses...making this the perfect place for your fantasy football meet-ups (may or may not be speaking from experience here).
Kells Irish Restaurant & Bar
Are you wondering how to turn a regular night into a great party? The answer is pretty simple: get dressed and go to Kells. Come expecting to be in super close proximity to a young crowd eager to have one too many drinks. Things escalate quickly downstairs where it gets hyphy real quick. Looking for a slightly more mature crowd? Grab a table upstairs and start ordering rounds for your besties. Favorite day of the year to go to Kells? St. Patrick’s Day...duh.
Mayes Oyster House
Mayes Oyster House is a restaurant by day and dance club by night. The dance floor is spacious and the music is perfect for a long, memorable night. Mayes stays lively through the night and always guarantees a good time.
Not only does El Rio offer all party animals a fantastic back room dance floor, but if you get tired and want to take a break you can always play pool or just relax outside. El Rio has one of the best outdoor spaces in SF. El Rio is well-known among San Francisco’s night owls for it’s great parties. Get ready to clear your calendar for their next silent disco shindig.
The Marina area is known for their great options for dancing, but Comet Club is definitely one of the best bars for all “dancing queens” (and kings, of course). With some pretty great throwback hiphop jams on loop, you'll have no problem gettin' down here. It gets pretty crowded and stays dark, so this is the perfect place for those of you who want to go out and not care what you wear.
Bullit is always gonna be a favorite of mine...and I'm not really sure why. Truth is, I've never had a bad time at Bullit. I credit it to the fact that the dance floor almost feels accidental. It's a pretty small place with a full menu (helllooooo, #wingwednesdays), so even when the dance floor heats up...you kinda feel like you started the dance party. Fun crowd, great drinks, no cover charge and top 40s hits? Who can mess that up?!
I feel like I'm gonna get some shade and side eye from my friends for putting Playland on this list, but when it comes to dancing like everyone's watching...Playland IS the spot. Music videos playing all night long, two floors and a packed house (get it?!) makes Playland a sure hit. You're never gonna have to wonder if the dance floor will be packed because it always is. Favorite day of the year to hit up Playland? Santacon.
Love & Propaganda
When it comes to "clubs," Love & Propaganda is the most Vegas-eque "nightclub" we have in SF. The trendy, multi-level club with visiting DJs and late night scene goes down in a dimly lit, swanky, modern setting. If you're looking to entertain out of town guests who want go all out, this place is always a sure hit.