San Francisco Karaoke Bars
San Francisco karaoke bars abound. There are a number of great spots in San Francisco for talented and downright horrible (but passionate) vocalists to get in touch with their inner-Frank Sinatra or Patsy Cline. Check out our guide below to San Francisco karaoke bars and restaurants where you can get your karaoke groove on.
853 Valencia Street (between 19th and 20th Streets) (415) 970-0012 Official Website: Amnesia
Chill little hole in the wall Mission District bar got a makeover a few years back and looks better than ever now-the interior is minimalist and classic, and the entire place is constantly bathed in warm red light. There's an incredible selection of imported beer and a great wine list, but no hard alcohol or cocktails. Tuesday night is one of the best nights the joint offers-ROCK OUT Karaoke with your host Glenny Kravitz. I'm telling you, this is without a doubt the most spirited, raucous karaoke night I've ever been to-people get sloppy drunk, and people BELT IT OUT. If you come, fall in love, and decide to make it a weekly ritual, expect to see a lot of the same karaoke jockeys there each week.
1581 Webster St., Suite 210 (2nd floor of the Kinokuniya Building in Japan Center) Main Telephone: (415) 567-5866. Reservations: (415) 971-9648. Official Website: Festa Lounge
As Japan is the culture that brought us karaoke (kara oke means "empty/air orchestra"), it follows logically that you would find karaoke in SF Japantown. As you walk into Festa Lounge, which is located on the second floor of the Kinokuniya Building in Japan Center, you might feel yourself being transported to Ginza or Shinjuku. The ambiently dark and stylish interior is anchored by a decoratively lit skyline which frames the stage. Masae, the proprietor and your hostess, is on hand almost every night of the week to welcome you and your party. For small groups and individuals, hole up at the bar with the regulars. If you've come with a group, grab one of the tables or the corner booth. Festa has Japanese songs and non-Japanese songs as well, so whether you want to belt out some SMAP, Maroon 5, or Frank Sinatra, you should be able to find something. Drinks from the full bar are well made for the most part, and they serve from an extensive wine list. Festa is a great place for birthday parties, and can be booked for private events as well. If you are a lone wolf karaoke crooner or just there to observe, you can sit at the bar and chitchat with the extremely friendly (and mostly all-Japanese) staff as you wait for your song, which you will be able to sing on a wireless microphone (others must sing from the stage). Highly recommended stop for your Japantown crawl.
1942 Market Street (between Laguna and Buchanan Streets) (415) 626-4726 Official Website: The Mint
The granddaddy of all karaoke bars in San Francisco, the Mint is dedicated solely to this relatively new art form-you can do or hear karaoke every single night of the year here! There are giant, hulking books filled with thousands of songs to choose from, and no matter how bad or good you do singing, you're always guaranteed thunderous, backslapping applause from the spirited audience. Be aware that many who come to do karaoke at the Mint complain about favoritism towards regulars on the MC's side-when you sign up to perform, make sure you take note of where you are on the list, and ask how long you can expect to wait for your performance. The Mint's space is rather narrow-there' s a long bar as soon as you walk in, and the karaoke lounge and stage are up a few stairs to the right. Strangely enough, even when the place is packed to the gills, you never feel uncomfortably crammed in.
1994 Lombard Street (at Webster Street) (415) 922-1977
This Marina haunt lies on the non-crooked side of the crookedest street in all of San Francisco, and has the distinction of serving-without a doubt-the finest food of karaoke nights and bars in town (you can eat Dungeness crab cakes while waiting for your turn to sing Pat Benetar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot"). While many of the city's karaoke spots usually attract a casually dressed crowd, you can expect denizens at Silver Clouds to be a little more spiffed up in the wardrobe department (this is after all the Marina). There's a lovely patio garden to catch some fresh air on after you belt out your tune, too.