Where to Throw a Party in San Francisco

Everyone loves a good house party, but if you're like most San Franciscans, you're probably a little short on house. Luckily, there are plenty of San Francisco restaurants and bars that offer the key ingredients for a good bash: lots of space and delicious food and drink. We've divided our suggestions into smaller and larger venues, so whether you're planning cocktails for 10 or dinner for 130, you've got options. (Photo: Suppenkuche by Mike Erskine)

Updated: September 13, 2011

Throw a Small Party in San Francisco

Bourbon & Branch

501 Jones St, San Francisco, CA 94102

This gilded Tenderloin speakeasy can get outrageously crowded in the open-to-the-public Library room, but with a little advance planning, you can snag a private table or even a private room, far from the crowd. At $10 to $12 a pop, the libations aren't cheap, but they are inventive and satisfying. Reserve online, or call in the early evening to set everything up.


525 Laguna St, San Francisco, CA 94102

This beloved German beer hall doesn't take reservations for small groups, but if you're packing eight or more friends, they'll pencil you in--just be sure to call at least three weeks in advance. Once you arrive, share a giant three-liter "boot" of beer while you munch on sublime potato pancakes, jagerschnitzel, and spaetzle. Things usually get loud, so be sure to bring friends who are willing to raise their voices against the fray.


2301 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94110

This 1800s-style bar can get packed on weekends, but it's easy to beat the crowds by reserving the private room in the back that seats up to 20. The rental fee is only $25 (the money goes to charity), which means this place is popular--be sure to reserve far in advance. Added bonus: The bar is dog-friendly, so encourage your friends to bring their well-trained pooches--though they may have to keep them away from the peanut shells that patrons enjoy shucking and tossing on the floor.

Hotel Utah Saloon

500 4th St, San Francisco, CA 94107

This live music venue features loads of up-and-coming bands, some of which won't be making the big-time any time soon. But whether you're rocking out or concealing giggles, you'll appreciate the friendly staff and big selection of draft beer options.

Throw a Big Blowout in San Francisco

Elbo Room

647 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

With live DJs spinning every night, this two-story Mission dance club is the perfect place to grab a few drinks on the ground floor before heading to the upper level to groove. You might not get in much conversation, but everyone will have fun dancing--and you can always hit one of the numerous bars in the area for a final drink and a chat before heading home.


3152 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

It may be the diviest of dives, but this outer Mission spot has one thing that its counterparts don't: a karaoke machine. Unlike most of the crooning spots in the area, there's almost never a line for the mic, meaning you and your friends can take the stage all night long--with ultra-cheap drinks to boot.


5800 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121

If you want to party with 50 of your closest friends but still be able to hear each other speak, this upscale Moroccan spot in the Inner Richmond is the place to go. The restaurant can accommodate as few as eight people and as many as 130, with a four-course prix-fixe menu served family-style. With food this delicious (and a high-quality cocktail menu), everyone will leave happy.


1199 Valencia, San Francisco, CA 94110

If you've visited this tiny Mission Italian spot, you're probably scratching your head right about now. But most patrons don't know that itty-bitty Beretta has a private basement room that can seat 44 people, almost as many as the entire upstairs. Your group will be able to feast on the signature cocktails and inventive pizzas, minus the deafening noise upstairs.


1700 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115

The Fillmore location of this popular South Indian spot has something that most Indian restaurants in San Francisco lack: a full liquor license. Sip on mango- and pepper-infused cocktails and pass around family-style fish curry and uttapam, and then head over to a movie at the Sundance Kabuki or a concert at the Fillmore--both are just a block away.