San Francisco, known for its Golden Gate Bridge and a plethora of picturesque hills, is a fantastic place to host any type of event! Thanks to its versatile neighborhoods, trendy locations, cable cars and Victorian homes, everyone will find something for themselves there. Whether you want to rent a quirky bar for a birthday bash, a small venue for an intimate gathering with family or somewhere lavish to celebrate your wedding, you will discover an almost endless range of options.
What to consider before booking the perfect party venue in San Francisco?
- Date. This may seem obvious, but trust us, we’re mentioning this for a reason. Think carefully about when you want to host your party. Do you have a specific date in mind or are you flexible? If you’re about to throw a birthday party, do you want it to happen on the exact day you were born or you’re planning to host it on the weekend before or after the special day? These are important questions you should keep in mind, but either way, we recommend you start searching for a venue as soon as possible. The coolest spots in San Francisco go like hot cakes.
- Budget. Once you’ve chosen the date for your party, it’s time to start thinking about the budget. Establishing how much you can spend on your special occasion will help you figure out all of the other details. Don’t worry if you’re a little bit tight on budget! Even though San Francisco is not one of the cheapest cities in the US, it’s still possible to get great deals and throw the party of your dreams. Go off the beaten track and look for unique, yet affordable spots to host your celebration.
- Location. One of the most important aspects you should consider when choosing the location of your party venue is its accessibility. Check whether there are any major roads nearby or what public transport looks like in the area. For those who’ll be getting to the party by car, ask if there are parking spaces available at the venue. And last but not least, consider what your dream location is: do you want to celebrate somewhere downtown or do you prefer a quieter neighborhood? This will also help you determine where you should start your search.
- The size. Before you set out on your search for your party venue, first make a list of everyone you’d like to come to your event and send out invitations. Once you know the rough number of guests, you will be able to pick the right-sized place. After all, you don’t want to rent a place that is too small or overpay for a space that’s too big.
- The venue type. Once you know what you can afford and you’ve already got your guest list prepared, you can decide what kind of venue will be the best choice for your party in San Francisco. Would you like to rent a bar, restaurant or perhaps a banquet hall would suit your party the best? Another question to ask yourself is whether you want a blank canvas venue where you’ll have power over every detail or a full-service venue. And finally: what about the catering! Do you need in-house catering or will you be ordering food from your trusted caterer? Make a list of all your requirements and wishes, so that you can discuss them with the venue manager to make sure you’ll get what you want and that you’re on the same page.
What are some of the party must-haves?
To ensure your party is a smashing success, have a look at our list of must-haves and incorporate them in your planning!
- A unique space. The venue where you’ll be hosting your party is the first step that will determine whether your party is unforgettable or not. You can either choose a quirky space or somewhere boasting spectacular views of the city. Choosing a non-traditional party venue will wow your guests from the moment they step into the place. To set yourself apart from others, you can push your creativity to extremes and set up a great setting complemented by unique catering.
- A theme. Don’t let your next party be ordinary! Creative event themes are an amazing way to take your celebration to the next level, distinguish it from any other party you’ve ever attended and ensure your guests have an amazing time. The theme that you choose for your event all depends on your preferences. If your motto is “go big or go home”, we recommend you create a carnival-themed party! Use bright colored bunting, prepare large feather masks and boas, and book a steel drum band! But if you’re missing a tropical getaway, prepare pineapple-themed decorations, bring out the Hawaiian shirts, make coconut drinks, tune in mellow music and your luau party is set!
- Delicious food. What’s a huge part of any successful party? Food, of course! This is why you shouldn’t overlook the menu; on the contrary, you should actually be very careful about choosing what will be served throughout your event. If it’s a sit-down dinner, go for a certain cuisine or your favorite meals. But if the buffet-style catering or finger food will suit your party better, go for it. It doesn’t matter which option you’re going for, there is only one golden rule when it comes to good food: ensure it’s all made from fresh, high-quality ingredients.
- Spectacular drinks. Your guests have to stay hydrated! To make the party truly unforgettable, either think about matching the drinks to the food or go a step further and have a professional mixologist create bespoke cocktails for your event. Imagine how fun it could be to try something new that is inspired by you and made specially for your guests! If you’re throwing a casual gathering, you can go for the classics. But if there is a theme, the drinks should fit right in as well. And make sure that cocktails served during your party are as pretty (and unique) as the decor!
- Stand-out decor. It doesn’t matter how good-looking the venue where you’re throwing your party is, under no circumstances should you skip on the decorations! If it’s not a must-have in your eyes, you don’t have to go all out - a few simple yet thoughtful decorations will also work. Basic balloons are nothing special but what if you either fill them with helium and let them hang from the ceiling or create a balloon arch? And if it’s a birthday party, how about ordering decorations that have the birthday person’s initials on them or the age they’re turning? You can also go for the decorations that match the party’s theme. For more sophisticated decorations you can pick floral arrangements.
- Partners in crime. Think carefully about whom you’ll invite and how long you want your guest list to be. Whether you’re thinking of throwing a huge birthday bash or an intimate celebration with your closest friends, one thing is certain: invite only those that you really want to spend the evening with and that you’ll feel comfortable around. Another important thing to take into consideration when making a guest list is inviting just those people you talk to regularly.
- Background music. Without music, it’s possible that the party will feel like a meeting instead. So don’t be afraid to turn on some tunes! If you’re set on using a playlist, make sure it’ll last long enough to avoid repeating the same songs 5 times during the event. We also suggest that you prepare some mellow music for the dinner part of the celebration and after dessert change it to something lively that will encourage your guests to dance the night away.
- Fun activities. Fun activities that will take place during the party don’t have to be lame at all! But they will definitely entertain your guests and make the party more memorable. How about having a themed dance-off? Just imagine how much fun and laughs it could give you and your guests! Dancing may not be your thing, so we suggest you turn the place into a casino and host a casino night. Everyone could have a try at their gambling skills and simply feel as if they’re in a Bond movie.
Where to party in San Francisco?
We’re not sure if you know it, but San Francisco is built on more than 50 hills! Isn’t that great?! This means you can party in your favorite area with a spectacular view! Some of the most well-known hills are Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Telegraph Hill and Twin Peaks.
On the northeastern side of San Francisco you will find Russian Hill. You might know it mainly for Lombard Street - one of the crookedest streets in the world. But that’s not the only attraction you can find in the neighborhood. How about a picnic-style party in Russian Hill Park? It’s a steep park where you’ll be able to admire some amazing views of the SF Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and Sausalito whilst socializing. The neighborhood is also home to great restaurants and quirky clubs.
Nob Hill is a popular neighborhood in the central part of the city. The area boasts a variety of fantastic spaces for your next party. If you’re after somewhere sophisticated, we suggest you have a look at the luxury hotels and the private spaces they have available for rent. Perhaps you’re thinking of having your party at a bar? Then you’ll be delighted to see the bars with amazing views of the city where you’ll be able to relish delicious drinks and enjoy the scenery from high above the city.
Telegraph Hill, a neighbor to the fantastic Russian Hill, is famous for many things but the most surprising one is a flock of feral parrots that have called this area home for years. Apart from colorful birds, you’ll be able to find a wide selection of bars and restaurants that will suit each style. For more laid-back spots, we suggest you head to where Telegraph Hill overlaps with the North Beach district - enjoy the great places serving food, drinks and memorable experiences that you’ll find in the area.
Many of San Francisco’s popular culture spots are located in SoMa, and the nightlife in the area is among the best in the city. In SoMa, you will be able to find all kinds of trendy restaurants and buzzing nightclubs. If you’re planning a more sophisticated party, investigate the area’s various high-end accommodations with breathtaking views.
If you’re looking for culture and quirk, we suggest you check out Mid-Market! The area’s abundance of new infrastructure and easy access to public transit make it ideal for all kinds of parties, from intimate gatherings to lavish events. In Mid-Market you’ll eat, drink and party well!
It doesn’t matter what you have in mind, any kind of party can be thrown in San Francisco! Don’t hesitate any longer and simply book the perfect party venue for your next celebration in this gorgeous city with Tagvenue!
Party Venues in San Francisco FAQ
What type of party venues can I find in San Francisco?
Exciting San Francisco has a little bit of everything. Dance clubs, cocktail bars and lounges, and restaurants with private dining rooms - however you’ve envisioned your dream party venue, you’ll most likely find it in this city. Even though the weather in San Francisco doesn’t always bode well for picnics, you should still check out the abundance of outdoor venues and party under the stars.
What are some of the best party venues in San Francisco?
Check out some of our top picks for your next party in amazing San Francisco:
- Novela - Want to party in style? Novela will be perfect for that! The nostalgic ambiance, custom cocktails and punch menus are an added plus to your epic party.
- La Mar Cebicheria - Located in the Fisherman's Wharf district, this sophisticated space is perfect for an unforgettable dinner party! Once your stomachs are full, you can sip on some bespoke cocktails in the City Room.
- The Verdi Club - If you’re looking for a unique venue with rich San Francisco roots, look no further! At The Verdi Club you’ll find one-of-a-kind decor, hand-crafted food and cocktails, world-class live sound, as well as professional staff.
How much does it cost to rent a party venue in San Francisco?
San Francisco party venues come in all shapes and sizes, from affordable intimate spots to elaborate places, which is why the costs may vary greatly. One of the most popular pricing structures is a fee for hourly rental. If you’re planning to rent the venue for a few hours, you can expect rates to range from $20 to $500 per hour. Some places offer special packages of which prices start around $1600 and can rise up to $3000 per session. (Based on data from Tagvenue.)
How can I host a party in San Francisco on a budget?
First of all, consider the location of your event. Instead of choosing a popular and therefore expensive area, go somewhere off the beaten track. Have a look at the up and coming neighborhoods, such as Inner Sunset or The Mission, and try your luck there. Depending on the kind of party you are throwing, think of renting a bar or a backyard space as these tend to be more affordable than restaurants. Before booking a venue, ask the venue manager about the place’s policy. If they allow you to bring your own food and drinks, it will help you save a lot of money. And last but not least, consider having a cash bar for your party. It means that your guests will have to pay for the drinks they order from the bar themselves.