This is the only guide you’ll ever need for New Year’s Eve in San Francisco. It’s a guide for the party animals, families, couples, gay-friendlies and lone rangers who are ringing in the New Year in one of the finest cities in the world!
Where To Eat[caption id="attachment_18106" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Photo by Joel Bez CC BY[/caption]
There’s nothing like an authentic Mexican fiesta with homemade empanadas and fresh watermelon margaritas to start your party-all-night New Year’s extravaganza. Gracias Madre in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco offers Mexican dishes that are fresh, local, organic and vegan-friendly. Their menu is seasonal and varies based on what’s available on their BE LOVE Farm, where all their delicious cheeses, milks and ice creams (made from nuts) are produced. Try one of their mouth-watering tamales — masa steamed in a corn husk (with freshly grown corn from the farm) and filled with zucchini, onions and garlic. Yum!
- Gracias Madre — The Mission — 2211 Mission St.
After spending the night drinking, dancing and sweating your life away — walk it off and head a mile south to 11th Street in SoMa to hit up the friendliest food truck with the perfect after 2 a.m. snack, Crepes-A-Go-Go. Join the other drunk and happy party people that will be waiting anxiously for a banana and Nutella crepe. The truck is open all night and the crepes are ‘Americanized’ with a thicker dough. Enjoy one (or four) crepes and then head home as the sun comes up.
- Crepes-A-Go-Go — SoMa — 350 11th St.
What To Do[caption id="attachment_35750" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Photo by Geoffrey Ellis, courtesy of the Hemlock Tavern Facebook page. [/caption]
Since you’re looking for a party in the city of hipsters and startups — better stick with the San Franciscan theme and spend the night ringing in the new year at Hemlock Tavern. You’ll be dancing and sweating to the tunes of the Lecherous Gaze (heavy rock and punk), Pins of Light (eerie progressive punk mixed with classic metal details), Ancient Rites and DJ Ballz2DeWall. The party starts at 8:30 p.m. See when tickets go on sale here.
- Hemlock Tavern — Tendernob — 1131 Polk St.
Ready for a party that will both frighten and thrill you? Get sloppy at one of San Francisco’s most infamous dance parties, Bootie. Every Saturday the DNA Lounge in SoMA transforms into an insane mashup featuring four different dance floors with different music styles, everything from burlesque to techno — it’s virtually impossible to not find something that tickles your fancy (unless you’re the most boring person in the world). There are four dance rooms, three ball drops and a midnight champagne toast. The craziness starts at 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and carries on through the night to the wee hours of the morning. Get your tickets now because they will sell out! Bonus: First 500 people to arrive will get a free CD of the best mashups from 2015.
- DNA Lounge — SoMa — 375 11th St.
Where To Sleep[caption id="attachment_35782" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Photo courtesy of Hotel Des Arts.[/caption]
Assuming as the party animal type that you will not be sleeping very much on New Year’s Eve, stay at the edgy Hotel Des Arts in San Francisco’s French Quarter, close to both Union square and the Financial district. Each of the hotel’s 51 guestrooms features completely authentic and unique artwork from both local and international artists. The rooms are bright, modern and provide a gallery-like experience for your New Year’s Day recovery.
Where To Eat[caption id="attachment_18228" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Photo courtesy of Orphan Andy’s G+ page.[/caption]
After a long night of dancing, head over to Orphan Andy’s in the Castro for vanilla shakes, mouth-watering pancakes and burgers. This quirky little diner is open 24 hours a day and offers some of the best comfort food in the city!
- Orphan Andy’s — Castro — 3991 17th St.
For those of you who call yourselves ‘foodies‘ it’s your obligation to stop by Frances in Castro. Frances, named after Chef Melissa Perello’s grandmother, serves the freshest ingredients from local farms in scrumptious dishes like the Applewood Smoked Bacon Beignets with Maple Chive Crème Fraîche (yum!). This is an absolute must-try if you’re looking for quality cooking in San Francisco.
Frances — Castro — 3870 17th St.
What To Do[caption id="attachment_35754" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Photo courtesy of the Cruisin’ the Castro Facebook Page. [/caption]
Wake up on the morning of New Year’s Eve to one of the most historically gay-friendly cities in the world. Take the 10 a.m. Cruisin’ the Castro Tour of the historic neighborhood which housed the gay liberation movement of the 60 and 70s. Walk the same streets (for two hours) as Harvey Milk and other brave pioneers of the LGBT community. Even San Francisco’s most local of locals has been schooled by this educational and inspirational tour — definitely worth the $30 charge!
- Cruisin’ the Castro Tour — Castro — Corner of Castro & Market Street near 400 Castro Street
It’s all in the name: people have been ‘ending up’ at The Endup since 1973 — it’s the No. 1 after hours dance club in San Francisco. The pounding techno music will last until the wee hours of the morning, will you? Most bars close at 2 a.m., so this place is a gem for people who want to dance the night away in SoMa! This year the Endup will transform into a cosmopolitan wonderland for New Year’s Eve. The event will feature a casino, Vegas-inspired acrobats and illusionists, Champagne toasts and music by Myty Myke and the resident DJs. Book your tickets now!
- The Endup — SoMa — 401 6th St.
Where To sleep[caption id="attachment_35761" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Photo courtesy of the Carriage Inn.[/caption]
Top off the night with a cozy stay at the Carriage Inn in SoMa. This hip little hotel pays homage to notable figures in San Francisco’s history. Each of its 48 guestrooms highlights a famous face, like Mark Twain or Oscar Wilde. Take advantage of the complimentary Wi-Fi and continental breakfast, PLUS Carriage Inn guests are allowed to use the heated pool at the Best Western across the street for free!
Where To Eat[caption id="attachment_18332" align="aligncenter" width="961"] Photo courtesy of Lori’s Diner.[/caption]
Take the fam back to the 50s at Lori’s Diner (three locations in SF). This 24-hour joint serves up fluffy pancakes, sweet french toast and creamy shakes that the kids will love almost as much as they love the shiny red booths, old-time movie star photos and 1950s antique cars that adorn the restaurant.
- Lori’s Diner — Mason St., Sutter St., and Ghirardelli Square
If you’re a bit of a health nut when it comes to what your family eats, check out Chow down on Church St. This place oozes with quality. Chow’s dishes uses the freshest, locally-grown, organic ingredients to create Asian-Italian fusion at it’s best. Order the little ones a Best Friends cocktail from the kid’s bar — this pomegranate, orange and sweet ginger concoction will slap a smile on their faces!
- Chow — Duboce Triangle — 215 Church St. + multiple locations
What To Do[caption id="attachment_35769" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Photo by Joey Gannon CC BY[/caption]
Keep your kids mesmerized by extravagant settings and a seaside fireworks show aboard a three hour cruise. The New Year’s Eve Family-Friendly cruise is the perfect place for mom and dad to dance without judgement and enjoy the open bar (soda bar available for the kiddos). Boarding starts at 9:30 p.m. and comes back to the SF port at 12:30. It’s a NYE your family will never forget so get your tickets now before they sell out.
- The Royal Prince — North Beach — Pier 43 1/2
Glide into the new year at the Embarcadero Holiday Ice Rink, the largest outdoor rink in the city, which also happens to be situated right on the waterfront. You can skate right up until 11:30 pm and then settle in to watch the fireworks at midnight! This family favorite is becoming a holiday tradition after 15 years in the city. Make sure you bring the little ones’ wish list for Christmas because this year Santa will be making a special stop by the ice rink ( one complimentary photo with any Santa photo package).
- Embarcadero Holiday Ice Rink — Financial District — Embarcadero
Where To Sleep[caption id="attachment_35774" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Photo courtesy of the Argonaut Hotel.[/caption]
After a long night, take the whole family (including pets!) to the Argonaut hotel near Fisherman’s Wharf for a good night’s sleep. This nautical-themed hotel’s guestrooms boast navy blue tones, red accent colors, white washed walls and captain-style desks. Fortunately the Argonaut has connecting rooms for families so everyone can enjoy some “me” time. Your kids will love waking up to yacht-like surroundings with seagulls chirping from outside. Bonus: In the morning you can take the family down to nearby Ghirardelli Square for some chocolate treats and seaside views!
What To Do[caption id="attachment_35777" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Photo courtesy of the San Francisco Symphony.[/caption]
Flying solo this New Year’s Eve? Take yourself to the San Francisco Symphony and enjoy a socializing-free performance by Seth MacFarlane. This exciting concert of Broadway and jazz hits with the San Francisco Symphony is just for New Year’s, so don’t miss it! Opt for the VIP package to get premium seating plus Prosecco and desserts! The show starts at 8 p.m., so you’ll have plenty of time to see the fireworks after. Reserve your spot!
- San Francisco Symphony — Hayes Valley — 201 Van Ness Ave.
Catch the best New Year’s Eve fireworks in the city. Fireworks are set off from barges off of Pier 14. The best viewing is along the Embarcadero between Mission and Howard streets. Fireworks start at midnight, so pick yourself up a bottle of Champagne, or grab a hot chocolate and get yourself a good spot!
- Fireworks — Embarcadero between Mission and Howard streets
Where To Eat[caption id="attachment_35785" align="aligncenter" width="551"] Photo courtesy of Little Delhi.[/caption]
Stay at the hotel and prepare for a date night out with yourself by ordering Little Delhi takeout — one of the best traditional Indian restaurants in the city. Try the spicy Aloo Tikki, potato patties topped with garbanzo curry and served with yogurt chutney.
- Little Delhi — Tenderloin — 83 Eddy St.
Feel like meeting some new friends? Head to Beretta in the Mission, which has communal tables and great pizza (try the pizza Margherita burrata) until late!
- Beretta — Mission — 1199 Valencia St.
Where To Sleep[caption id="attachment_18548" align="aligncenter" width="860"] Photo courtesy of the Hotel Rex Facebook page.[/caption]
The best part of spending New Year’s with yourself is definitely coming back to your cozy hotel (and not having to share the bed or remote with anyone). The boutique Hotel Rex near Union Square is the perfect place to relax after a day exploring the city. The hotel takes you back to the 1930s with themed cocktail hours at the cozy Library Bar and the soft, sophisticated decor of its guestrooms.
What To Do[caption id="attachment_35797" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Baker Beach. Photo by arex CC BY[/caption]
Get into the romance of New Years’s Eve by taking a walk on the beach. Head over to Baker Beach and split a bottle of Champagne with front seat views of the South Bay and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge (if it’s too foggy to see the bridge, you still have Champagne!).
Get cozy together at a Great Gatsby speakeasy at Per Diem, an upscale restaurant in the Financial District. The Gatsby-inspired New Year’s party would make Mr. Fitzgerald proud. There’s an open bar and dancing all night, so get ready for an epic night of love in the Roaring Twenties! Make sure to come dressed in formal 1920s attire. Get tickets now!
- Per Diem — Financial District — 43 Sutter St.
Where To Eat[caption id="attachment_18556" align="aligncenter" width="723"] Photo courtesy of Mario’s Bohemian Cigar Store G+ Page[/caption]
Head to North Beach for a very unpretentious and chill dining experience at Mario’s Bohemian Cigar Store. You’ll feel like you’re the only two people in the room as you split (or don’t) a plate of creamy tiramisu and sip glasses of crisp wine. This is the perfect place for meaningful conversation and people-watching!
- Mario’s Bohemian Cigar Store — North Beach — 566 Columbus Ave.
Why not start the New Year off with a splurge for your loved one? La Folie in Russian Hill offers delicate and tasty French food. If you feel like splurging on a romantic dinner, it’s worth it. Start off the new year with caviar served with Lobster Potato Blinis and Crème Fraiche (yum!) then finish up your romantic night with a Chocolate Panna Cotta topped with Dulce de Leche cream. Make one final toast with Champagne in hand to end 2015 with a bang!
- La Folie — Russian Hill — 2316 Polk St.
Where To Sleep[caption id="attachment_18562" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Photo courtesy of the White Swan Inn’s Facebook page.[/caption]
Let London romance you at the White Swan Inn near Union Square. The Inn emulates a mixture of the coziness of an English cottage with the mod-London style of the 60s. The guestrooms come with in-room fireplaces so you can cuddle up close to the crackle. Bonus: the cozy robes make the whole thing uber romantic!