There are multiple neighborhoods in San Francisco that claim to be the city’s historic center for music and live entertainment. We’ve heard it of both the Tenderloin and the Fillmore District, and Hayes Valley is home to the SFJAZZ Center which is known as the first free-standing building in America built for jazz performance and education.
To summarize, our city is built for jazz — and the restaurateurs, movers and (cocktail) shakers know it! At a few of SF’s best bars, clubs and restaurants, they combine everything from historic decor and time-honored cocktails to mouth-watering foods and free live music. So if you’re on the hunt for jazz, make sure these San Francisco spots are on your itinerary!
North Beach | Facebook
Photo courtesy of The Absinthe Group; Photo credit Natalie Darville
Comstock Saloon comes from the team behind other San Francisco favorites like Bellota and Absinthe so you’re already guaranteed an outstanding cocktail and meal. In addition to upscale dinner items like fresh oysters, Caviar Puffs, Grilled Octopus Corndogs and Housemade Pasta, you also get live music every single night — and there’s never a cover!
Mid-Market | Facebook
Mr. Tipple’s is famously known as the jazz destination in San Francisco. Designed for an ambiance that is at once turn-of-the-century and modern, the old-school jazz club has no windows, high-top tables, a stunning throwback bar, and plenty of opportunities to take in the music. Which makes sense because you’ll find live music at Mr. Tipple’s every night and there’s never a cover.
Lower Nob Hill | Facebook
Photo courtesy of Zingari Ristorante + Jazz Bar
This neighborhood, white tablecloth restaurant pairs some of the city’s best Italian-inspired dishes, wines and cocktails with live jazz every night. Beginning promptly at 8 p.m. you can enjoy the ambiance of elegance and the swagger of the saxophone as you share a meal with loved ones and friends. And Sunday through Thursday, you can catch Happy Hour 9 p.m. to closing!
Financial District | Facebook
Photo courtesy of Bix
The lone neon sign welcoming you to Bix gives no indication of what you’re entering into. As soon as you cross the threshold, you’re immersed in a speakeasy, supper club and elegant saloon all wrapped into one. The two-story dining room is grand, perfect for keeping the atmosphere fun — and the nightly live jazz certainly helps. From New York Strip Steak and Scallops to Lobster Spaghetti and Quail, you’ll find a taste of everything here, so sit back, relax, order a cocktail and enjoy the music!
SoMa | Facebook
Inspired by the newspaper business of the 50s and 60s, this underground bar will immediately transport you into San Francisco’s jazzy past. Decor includes vintage paper presses, typewriters and clippings from newspaper archives alongside the dramatic hues and shapes that defined the era’s signature style. With live jazz at least three nights a week, Local invites you to enjoy the pleasures (and the cocktails) of times past.
Union Square | Facebook
Inside Union Square’s Mystic Hotel, this intimate, film noir-inspired cocktail bar and tavern is a must-visit restaurant any night of the week. Archival photos tell the buildings’ history from the 1880s to the 1950s and time-honored, handcrafted cocktails help elevate every gourmet meal or shareable snack to the next level. Stop by Thursday through Saturday, 7 – 10 p.m. to add live jazz to the mix.
Tenderloin | Facebook
Photo courtesy of Black Cat and Kelly Puleio
In the historic arts and entertainment district once home to great supper clubs and fabled live jazz venues, you’ll find Black Cat: a combination of craveable, shareable dishes, artisan cocktails, grit and glamor. And downstairs at Black Cat is where the turn-of-the-century jazz club atmosphere comes to life with live music every night, Tuesday through Sunday.
The Fillmore | Facebook
Inspired by the old Fillmore clubs of the 1950s, this music venue opened its doors in 1997 with the simple goal of bringing powerhouse music, velvety smooth flavor and real-deal live shows back to the Fillmore District. Inside the sultry, dark-lit space you’re guaranteed Roots Music six nights a week — from boogie and blues to New Orleans groove and soul-jazz.
Nob Hill | Facebook
Literally located at the top of the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel, this upscale restaurant provides a 360-degree panorama along with a dance floor, signature martini menu, and an exciting event lineup that includes live music and performers several nights of the week. Come by for cocktails, tapas and small bites any night of the week and check out the event calendar here.
Haight-Ashbury | Facebook
Club Deluxe brings the life and ambiance of old time, New York City jazz houses to San Francisco. Red lights and sultry sounds drive the atmosphere while the inspired, seasonal cocktails will keep you around through every nightly show, which is certainly saying something because they have two bands every night!
Nob Hill | Facebook
Photo courtesy of Le Colonial
Inside one of the most beautiful restaurants in San Francisco, you can order from a menu showcasing authentic Vietnamese dishes with a touch of French influence while seated in the inner courtyard, which once housed legendary Trader Vic’s. The lounge and bar on the second level offers a slightly more casual setting complete with signature cocktails and live music Monday through Saturday.
The Embarcadero | Facebook
Family owned and operated for over 25 years, Pier 23 Cafe combines everything we love about SF dining: a waterfront patio, fresh seafood, historical character and live music. The dinner menu offers everything from Lobster Mac & Cheese to seasonal Whole Roasted Dungeness Crab. And the music — covering everything from 80s hits to blues and jazz — is scheduled nearly every night.
Bernal Heights | Facebook
At this stylish neighborhood bar, they play only vintage vinyl records on the Lo-Fi sound system. That is, when they’re not hosting live music Wednesday through Sunday featuring a Hammond B3 organ. The cocktail list is long and the music is lively so get ready for a great time every time!
The Mission | Facebook
At Revolution Cafe, they strive to nourish both the body and the soul with a simple lineup of sandwiches, salads and snacks, as well as live music every night. In a casual café setting, local musicians cover everything from classic jazz and Latin jazz to Balkan dance and swing!
The Fillmore | Facebook
Driven by her Ethiopian roots, Sheba Chef Netsanet Alemayehu crafts Ethiopian twists on American fare that result in comforting dishes you’ll want to come back for again and again. Pair your Crab Sambussa with live music seven nights a week and this will soon become your casual go-to locale in the Fillmore District. Genres cover jazz, blues, reggae, Latin breeze and more, so check the music calendar to see who’s playing!
Share your favorites
Whether it’s on our list or not, give your favorite SF jazz club a shoutout in the comments below!