So you’re all dressed up (or totally dressed down) and ready to hit the dance floor somewhere in San Francisco. But what exactly are you in the mood for?
Even when you have a fave spot, sometimes your dancing energy is entirely different. Maybe you’re ready for that warehouse lifestyle. Or maybe you’ve banished EDM from your life and need to shake it to Motown deep cuts till they turn the lights on.
Big dance floors, cozy clubs, and a whole lot of different musical options—we’ve got everything you need to boogie. Go out there and don’t break a leg.
“Meditation is going super well, thanks:” Makeout Room
Dimly lit and decked out like the most spangly stylish high school dance on earth, Makeout Room has that warm glow that’s a combination of divey and glam. This place hosts all kinds of dance nights, but even if there’s a little line, you can usually get in and not have to wait forever. The DJs are fun, and it’s cool without being sceney. Feeling blissed-out and thoroughly mellow, but still want to showcase your slow shimmy? Hit up Slow Jams on Tuesdays at 9:30pm when DJ Primo spins “sweet ’60s soul and stuff.”
When you found a vintage ’70s dress that you need to show off: Cat Club
Picked up a new little number at Wallflower SF and need to take it out on the town? The Funky Town dance party is waiting for you. This ’70s-themed disco night is every fourth Saturday, so jump on that platform and show everyone you know how to get down to old-school funk. Hanging out with more of an ’80s crowd? Send them to the front room for a new wave and ’80s pop party.
When you’re trying to update your moves: Bissap Baobab
Baobab is always fun, whether it’s a themed dance night or a live band, or if you’re just hitting it up for dinner. It’s the only place on this list where we have to insist that you sit down for a minute and at least get some appetizers. (Psst, pro tip: they have a happy hour every night from 5pm to 7pm weeknights and 4pm to 7pm weekends, where you can get a $20 appetizer, entree, and cocktail deal.) Want to learn some new dance steps and maybe meet a new crew? Hit up Baobab at 8pm Wednesday nights for free salsa lessons, then show off your skills at the 10pm timba and salsa dance party.
When your music snob friend is in town and wants to dance: Elbo Room
Got a dancing partner with particular tastes? Take them to Elbo Room every other Saturday for the Saturday Night Soul Party, where the tunes are perfectly curated, adrenaline-pumping vintage jams. Think deep cuts from bygone artists you loved, your new favorite songs, and plenty of dance-floor fillers. This party gets packed, so if you are a huge fan of tons of personal space, it might not be for you.
When you clandestinely can’t stop listening to mashups: DNA Lounge
Bootie SF is an all-mashups dance party that happens every Saturday and braids throwback jams into modern hits to create totally addictive hybrid songs. Big, bold, and always bizarre, this is a place to throw on a wild costume and dance until you’re drenched in sweat.
When you want to get lit in a huge crowd: 1015 Folsom
Fantastic DJs and live bands, plus a dance floor that can accommodate 1,400 people? It’s always a party at 1015 Folsom. If you’re a little burnt out on intimate dance floors, join the throngs of club kids at 1015 Folsom. Take a peek at their calendar to find out which DJ is swinging into town next.
When you’re ready to check off an item on that Bay Area bucket list: The Starlight Room
Everyone has to hit the Starlight Room at least once while they live in SF. Even if the throwback glitz and glam style, or Top 40 music, isn’t for you, you have to see that 21-story view. Your Instagram will thank you.