Making a choice on where to celebrate on New Year’s Eve in San Francisco can be challenging, especially if you’re on a budget. Fortunately, there are plenty of places with no cover charge where you can ring in the New Year.
Below is a round-up of places where adults can welcome in 2024 and celebrate NYE; from stand-up comedy shows to live music.
Those looking for an early start can visit the Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye near Fisherman’s Wharf for a free, how-to event to teach the public how to properly open a bottle of champagne. The event runs 2-3:30pm for attendees to enjoy a complimentary glass of bubbly and view a live demo of proper champagne popping technique by a medical doctor who treated patients with these eye injuries first-hand. Champagne corks can fly at 50 mph, making them a dangerous projectile that can cause vision loss if champagne isn’t popped correctly.
Stand-Up Bay Area: Stand Up Comedy Show at Milk Bar
1840 Haight Street
An early evening option is to attend the weekly stand-up comedy show at Haight district’s Milk Bar. The show starts at 7pm and lasts for 70-90 minutes. Comedian lineups are secret, a two-drink minimum is enforced, and seats are first come, first serve. Expect multiple comedians and an intimate audience. Afterwards, the bar hosts karaoke, a sure-fire fun way to cap off the night.
Cocktail Experience at Alchemist
679 3rd Street
Enjoy expertly crafted cocktails at the second-floor steampunk hideaway. All guests are permitted free entry for the evening, which starts at 9pm and goes until 2am. There will be music by DJ TNT, a traditional countdown to 2024, and complimentary midnight champagne toast. There are paid options to make lounge reservations and bottle service
All Vinyl Records Party at Delirium Bar
3139 16th Street
This local watering hole has cheap drinks, a pool table, a jukebox, and fun specials such as the “Flavor of the Week Jell-O Shot.” For NYE, the party starts at 7pm and running until 2am has DJs playing their personal record collections. Manning the turntables will be resident DJ Caveman & The Fossils, along with special guest DJ Disco Mas.
Drag Show and Dance at Wildside West Saloon
424 Cortland Avenue
Originally founded in Oakland in 1962 as the Wild Side after the film, “Walk on the Wild Side,” this lesbian-owned bar with LGBT pride moved to Bernal Heights in 1976 and changed its name to Wildside West. The venue is hosting a no cover dance and drag show for New Years Eve. Visitors can enjoy the art-covered walls, outdoor sculpture garden, pool tables, jukebox, and two outdoor spaces. Operates 2pm and until 2am.
Silent Sundays – Silent Disco at Lost Marbles
823 Clement Street
Those looking for music delivered in a more intimate experience should consider this brewpub’s silent disco, with three DJs playing live simultaneously and attendees using special headphone to switch between the live acts. The party starts at 9pm and goes until 2am, with food served till midnight. Music spans an eclectic mix of genres, from rock and soul to hip-hop and dance.
Champagne Toast at Elixir
3200 16th Street
A straightforward option for celebrating New Year’s Eve is to indulge in a champagne toast at a neighborhood bar, the Elixir Saloon, in the Mission District. It’s the second oldest continually operating saloon in San Francisco. Doors open noon to 2am.
Dancing to Live Jazz with Cocktails Underground at Local Edition
691 Market Street
There’s no cover charge at this unique cocktail lounge that operates more like a speakeasy, located downstairs underneath the downtown Hearst building. It has a dark interior glittered with museum-like decor from newspapers to typewriters as an homage to the fact that the building used to be the space that printed the SF Examiner back in the day. The creative handcrafted cocktail menu also features a selection of local bottled beer. Expect dancing and a live performance from a local jazz band. Doors open at 8pm and reservations are recommended.
Image Credit: Photo by Cedric Letsch, https://unsplash.com/photos/yellow-fireworks-HtYtoA16S7A