Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Arts & Entertainment

  • Best Jukebox

    Hemlock Tavern

    Yeah, yeah, a great jukebox is eclectic, something for everyone, blah blah blah. But trying to choose the "best" jukebox in a city as full of great bars and amateur music critics like San Francisco is just inviting some hard-drinking know-it-all to say you're full of it. Fortunately, something happened this year that rendered the selection a no-brainer: The owners of the Hemlock Tavern made their charmingly eclectic jukebox entirely free. The music machine at Hemlock's sister bar, Casanova, has... More >>

  • Best House Concerts

    Paul Schreiber's Apartment

    Today, live music usually means cramming into the back room of a bar, or getting jostled by unruly crowds, and crying over spilled beer. Not so at Paul Schreiber's totally average modern apartment in Potrero Hill. For the past five years, the music lover has converted his modest living room into a live-music venue, showcasing local and visiting artists at least once a month. The stage: a spot of hardwood floor in front of a fireplace. Meanwhile, two leather couches... More >>

  • Best Way to Stay on Top of Local Music Shows

    If you want to talk about old school, let's talk about someone who's still willing to conduct his vitally important business via snail mail. All private underground-rock-loving citizens are still welcome to send the mysterious Mr. Stephen Koepke an SASE (that stands for "self-addressed stamped envelope," kids) in order to stay on top of the vast majority of interesting shows in the Bay Area and beyond. But luckily for those of us who pick our nightlife selections off the Internet,... More >>

  • Best Weekly Live Show


    Representatives from the massive Jazz Mafia outfit perform every Tuesday night at Bruno's in the Mission with different incarnations of the collective rotating weekly shifts. There can be 20 heads crowding the tiny stage in the cozy nightclub, depending on who's playing. If it's the Realistic Orchestra, you're looking at an 18-piece jazz, funk, and hip-hop ensemble. The Shotgun Wedding Quintet, who fuse electronic sampling with live instrumentation, require even more space. Other lineups, most of which are headed by... More >>

  • Best Cover Band

    Zoo Station

    Dublin may be home to U2, but we've got the next best thing: Zoo Station. Composed of four U2 lookalikes, this tribute band almost perfectly mimics the hard-rockin', ethereal noise of the Irish supergroup itself. On the dinky stages of San Francisco's Guinness-soaked pubs, Zoo Station manages to rival U2's live-concert charisma. Singer Bonalmost easily hits the legendary high notes of U2's The Joshua Tree days. By his side at stage right stands the stoic Sledge, who works the ax... More >>

  • Best Mixed-Media Musicians

    Official Tourist

    Using blue screens, found video footage, homemade masks, and electronic music that picks up hitchhiking beats and rhythms from around the planet, Official Tourist are our local guides to the international audio-visual mashup. Traveling in both space and sound, these artistic gypsies jumble frantic, bite-sized song samples while sequestered in the back rooms of the galleries in which they perform, projecting acid-trip images on televisions while their worldly dancefloor jams keep the party stoked. The collective includes creative refugees from... More >>

  • Best Rapper


    One of few Bay Area artists to have been recognized by picky East Coast hip-hop magazine The Source in its section for new talent ("Unsigned Hype"), Skyballa has been steadily building his name nationally for the last few years since receiving that street-respected honor. The former pimp and drug dealer from the Fillmore District of San Francisco has proved himself to be an excellent networker, forging relationships with national rap stars like the Game, Young Jeezy, Juelz Santana, and Fabolous,... More >>

  • Best Hip-Hop Producer

    Dan The Automator

    San Francisco's Dan "The Automator" Nakamura has had platinum-selling success in the music industry, but still manages to fly under the radar of being a household name, even at home. It's rather ridiculous that he's not more well known, considering he's engineered the sound for animated cartoon rock stars (Gorillaz) and animated human rappers (Kool Keith's Doctor Octagon alias and his own Handsome Boy Modeling School project with Prince Paul), the type of artists that earn massive hipster followings. Last... More >>

  • Best Drunken Hip-Hop Group

    Strange Face

    Bay Area hip-hop artists are either pill-poppin' purveyors of the hyphy high life, or knit-cap wearing pseudo-intellectuals who spout the obligatory "Fuck Bush!" in order to rouse the slightest bit of crowd response. San Francisco's Strange Face collective is neither. Instead, they spit raw raps, guzzle jugs of Carlo Rossi, and write odes to their muse: booze. Their singlemindedness is best illustrated by albums such as Conceit's "Wasted Talent" and TopR's "Cheap Laughs for Dead Comedians." Strange Face earns respect... More >>

  • Best Kids Band

    The TimeOuts

    Over the last few years, the alterna-parent movement has really taken off. One-time underground rocker Dan Zanes now plays to stadiums full of wee ones, while Ruby Skye's celebrated "Baby Loves Disco" dance parties have spread across the country. Texas scribe Neal Pollack even wrote a book about how to remain cool (i.e. smoke pot) and raise a kid. So it's no surprise that there are several S.F.-based bands for tots. While the Sippy Cups resort to gimmicks (one of... More >>

  • Best Marching Band

    The Gomorran Social Aid & Pleasure Club

    Anyone who's seen the raucous shenanigans of the Extra Action Marching Band shouldn't be surprised that similarly minded acts have sprung up in its wake. But how the Gomorran Social Aid & Pleasure Club came to be is just as bizarre as its precursor's antics. The band started as an idea rather than a reality, when graphic designer Adam Infanticide coined the moniker and put up a Web site devoted to it, listing musicians he said played in the group... More >>

  • Best Local Pop Prince

    hey willpower

    Some day they should erect a statue of Will Schwartz right next to Willie Mays or that giant arrow on the Embarcadero. He's a San Francisco institution, as nutty as the beatniks and as sleek as the trolley cars, only more musical. Having supplied the bass bounce to guitar-heavy altrockers Imperial Teen, Schwartz proved himself a pop Svengali in 2003 with his new outfit, hey willpower. The group, which features Schwartz and keyboard aficionado Tomo Yasuda of Tussle (as well... More >>

  • Best Karaoke Band

    The Amazing Embarrassonics

    It's a little hard to explain why it's so much more fun to sing with a live band than a recording. Wait, no it isn't. Normal karaoke is a good time, but local secret the Amazing Embarrassonics ups the ante as a full rock band that knows 500 songs and will hand you a book with the lyrics. The thing that's hard to explain, really, is why anyone would do such a thing. We have to assume there's a coded... More >>

  • Best Place to Swoon the Night Away

    Harry Denton's Starlight Room

    If '30s elegance and big band, jazz, and upbeat dance music are what you're into, it's hard to beat the Starlight Room, high atop the Sir Francis Drake Hotel above Union Square. Elegance is key here, from the walnut-paneled elevators that whisk you up to the hotel's 21st floor, to the silk-draped chandeliers and burgundy velvet booths. And since the dance floor (which sports an old-fashioned mirror-glass glitter ball in the middle) is windowed on three sides, the city lights... More >>

  • Best Jazz Sanctuary

    Saint John Coltrane Church

    Don't let the black Jesus mural above the altar fool you. While Christian (affiliation: African Orthodox), this one-of-a-kind church, which has about three dozen congregants, is first and foremost about the music of its declared "saint," the late-great jazz saxophonist John Coltrane. Its Sunday services, from 11:45 a.m. to 3 p.m., includes a little sermonizing and a lot of Coltrane music (his Love Supreme album is a permanent part of the liturgy) served up by the church's own house band,... More >>

  • Best Band Photographer

    Jeremy Harris

    Rock band publicity shots are all pretty much the same, including the ever popular "up against a brick wall, no one looking at the camera, and the cute one in the middle" types. Local photographer Jeremy Harris tries to bring bands out of these pedestrian ruts, photographing everyone from Me First and the Gimme Gimmes to Fall Out Boy with an eye toward innovation. "It's not easy," he says, admitting that most bands don't want to mess around with new... More >>

  • Best Indie Filmmaker

    Kevin Epps

    There are no special effects in what the documentarian best known for Straight Outta Hunters Point does, yet his talent for digging deep and representing the under-represented is worth more to the community dialogue than any Computer Generated Imagery animation. As is Epps' presence at various local forums — he's a reliable fixture at events from the streets of Bayview to the hoitier climes of the Commonwealth Club. His dedication to social justice ranges wide. This is reflected in works... More >>

  • Best Punk Rock Cinema

    Other Cinema

    The sound always cuts out at some point. The theater is cramped, often cold, and let's face it: In winter, there are bugs. That's why curator Craig Baldwin's Other Cinema series may not be for everyone. But the every-Saturday-night-at-8:30 p.m. series presents small, beautiful films with enough soul and grit to keep you buoyed up and pissed-off for at least a week. That's why we're slapping it with the overused and outdated "punk rock" label: It's an angry, stylish, do-it-yourself... More >>

  • Best Film Festival for the Bloodthirsty

    Another Hole in the Head

    As a city with a film festival for pretty much every race, religion, ideology, film technology, sexual orientation, and geographic location (seriously — we've even got the Ocean Film Festival), it's uniquely satisfying that we have one dedicated to horror. After all, the slasher market primarily consists of low-budget movies that'll never see on a screen bigger than your television, and it's only proper that a few of them get their names on a marquee, at least for a few... More >>

  • Best Indie Movie Theater

    Red Vic Movie House

    It's got those funky couches. It sells tasty snacks ranging from hot, buttery popcorn to organic treats. It's worker-owned and -operated. And for God sakes, it's just all bright red outside and lovable inside — kind of like the Clifford the Big Red Dog of theaters. The Red Vic actually shows good movies, too, screening everything from documentaries (with directors or producers present, when possible) to foreign films (think Pedro Almodóvar at his best). And the Red Vic doesn't take... More >>

  • Best Local Public Radio Show

    Philosophy Talk

    Ken Taylor and John Perry, both professors of philosophy at Stanford University, are not afraid to tackle heavy questions like: What is art? How do we deal with moral ambiguity? Or the ever-popular: Is free will an illusion? Hell, they not only tackle said questions, they pummel them, throw them around a little, and often toss a cup of water in their faces to wake them up for another round. Taylor and Perry are the hosts of the locally produced... More >>

  • Best Commercial Radio


    KFOG turns 25 in the fall, and, like a reasonably hip adult of that same age, the traditionally freewheelin' rock radio station has eclectic musical tastes that both revel in old creature comforts (Fleetwood Mac) and dabble in new sonic challenges (Gnarls Barkley). Operated by Cumulus Broadcasting, there is a refreshing lack of song recycling compared to Clear Channel stations. There's also a sense of a history and a continuum that simply doesn't exist on many terrestrial radio stations that... More >>

  • Best Non-Commercial Radio


    KUSF is no newbie to the non-commercial airwaves — it celebrates its third decade in operation this spring — but the station is still to be commended for championing the underground. The community outpost broadcasts music from far beneath the "alternative" format's interchangeable skin; DJs spin loose-cannon playlists pulling from the genres of indie, noise, world, hip hop, pop, garage, metal, and beyond, featuring a healthy smattering of locals along with undiscovered international artists. Against am FM landscape where dying... More >>

  • Best Solo Performer

    Dan Hoyle

    Dan Hoyle is a solo theater artist, but his creations aren't like everyday one-man show fare. Based on his own wide-ranging experiences (he's traveled on a Fulbright Scholarship to Nigeria to study oil politics and explored globalization in countries as far-flung as Mexico and Thailand), Hoyle's intensely physical, achingly human, and alarmingly funny productions are roughly autobiographical in scope, but tell other people's stories as much as his own. Owing to his ability to climb under the skin of an... More >>

  • Best Theatrical Auteur

    Mark Jackson

    Mark Jackson is one of the Bay Area theater scene's most promising auteurs. The writer-director first came to prominence as the creator of the experimental Art Street Theatre in the mid 1990s (named "Best Experimental Theater Company" in SF Weekly's 2000 Best Of San Francisco' awards.) The Death of Meyerhold, written and directed by Jackson in 2003 in collaboration with Shotgun Players, sealed his reputation. Having returned to San Francisco following a two-year fellowship in Berlin, Jackson is more in... More >>

  • Best Stage Director

    Jessica Heidt

    Many stage directors get "typecast" according to certain kinds of projects. There are those who do classics, and those who specialize in collaborating with playwrights on new dramas. It's not often easy for directors to cross-over between the two camps. As comfortable staging 18th century French farces as she is contemporary plays by Palestinian-American playwrights, Jessica Heidt is one of the few directors who creates consistently high-quality work regardless of when it was written. As associate artistic director of the... More >>

  • Best Theater Company

    San Francisco Playhouse

    The black-box theater at 533 Sutter used to be a bit of a dump. But ever since SF Playhouse moved in and gave the place a lick of paint, the venue has been transformed both physically and artistically. Directors Bill English and Susi Damilano not only possess a slick aesthetic sense (the sets, which are usually designed by English himself, are among the most ingenious and well-crafted to be found anywhere), but they also know how to pick and cast... More >>

  • Best Drag Show

    The Cinch

    By crowning Charlie Horse as the best drag show, we don't mean to dethrone Trannyshack. That's just not possible. Like Oprah Winfrey, who no longer turns in Emmy-nomination bids after having won bushels of them, Heklina's genius drag revue has no equal and certainly no longer needs our pithy accolades. But if you're looking for something in a similar vein but on a weekend night, check out this night of condensed, sloppy, artistic, and bizarre drags numbers at one of... More >>

  • Best Burlesque Revue

    The Cantankerous Lollies

    Since 1995, the Cantankerous Lollies have been upping the ante on the art of coquetry with their distinctly DIY approach to taking it off. Founded by Harvest Moon, one of the nation's most vaunted showgirls, this troupe of vaudeville hotties spearheaded the West Coast neo-burlesque movement — birthing a panoply of pasty-loving adherents in the process. The great thing about the Lollies is that they're both sexy and riotously funny, replacing gratuitous T&A with entertainment. Whether they're regaling us with... More >>

  • Best Hybrid Performance Venue


    In a city known for the mixing of dance and movement with theater, music, spoken word, and any other performance discipline you can think of, CounterPULSE stands out as a great venue to get a peek at how a variety of local artists are pushing the performance boundaries. While every piece might not float your boat, the constant risk-taking and experimentation creates some of the most original and compelling performances the city has to offer. The range of what CounterPULSE... More >>

  • Best Mid-Week Swing Dancing

    Verdi Club

    If you're looking to get an authentic taste of swing dancing, you can do no better than Tuesday nights at the Verdi Club. The evening starts off with a half-hour intro into the basics of swing dancing, lead by Bay Area swing veteran Hep Jen. Then the Stompy Jones six-piece band takes the stage, pumping out infectious jump blues. Students from the classes offered before the dance fill the space, many decked out in the fashion of the era. A... More >>

  • Best Comedy Troupe

    Killing My Lobster

    Halfway through Killing My Lobster Faces the Music, the sketch comedy troupe unleashed a song that made us want to shut the musical down for being too damn funny. It was an ode to the Mission burrito, with a lyric-writing process consisting of nothing more than paging through the phone book. The actor simply sang the names of a great many taquerias, one after the other, but he did so with a religious, reverential fervor, pouring his aching heart into... More >>

  • Best Comedy Club

    The Purple Onion

    Located in the heart of North Beach, the Purple Onion has one of the most refined pedigrees of any comedy club around. Phyllis Diller, Barbra Streisand, and Woody Allen all once trod the venue's diminutive boards. Robin Williams has even been known to drop in on occasion to try out new material on unsuspecting crowds. Yet the place remains quirky, cozy, and resoundingly unpretentious with its dimly lit nooks, elegant round tables, and old-fashioned bar. These days, when you walk... More >>

  • Best Club to Dance with a Baller


    An urban club with a sophisticated environment, the Marina's Gravity offers the feel of a neighborhood bar with a big-city vibe. The club's warmth, elegance, and luxury is grown-up without being pretentious, which draws some of the most discerning local club connoisseurs: football and basketball players. The club's intimate dance setting features soul, house, funk, hip hop, and disco. Monday nights, ballers like Vernon Davis, Keith Lewis, Baron Davis, and other 49ers and Warriors show up on the raised dance... More >>

  • Best Place to Get Your Mash On


    Wednesday nights, musician Chris Clause and DJ Solomon create a musical mash-up that makes the scenesters groove. Evenings are started off active as clubgoers shoot down a giant slide right into the bar (unless you're wearing a dress or a skirt, then it's stairs for you!), and an array of DJs keeps the well-groomed crowd shaking it until the wee hours. Gents, here's a tip: There are more chicks here than dudes. Bottle service and an ample dance floor distinguish... More >>

  • Best Serial Party

    Milk Bar

    A veritable Justice League of talented DJs converge at Upper Haight DJ bar Milk once a month for "Superfriends," a club night where rock and dance jams rub up against funk and hip-hop anthems for fun-loving partygoers. Resident DJs Vin Sol and Morse Code are two of San Francisco's leading mixtape jocks, offering collections that range from slow-burning soul and reggae to themed smorgasbords like Morse Code's recent Hard Crack Candy, which is pure confectionery theory set to music. The... More >>

  • Best Salsa Club

    Cafe Cocomo

    There are several great salsa clubs in San Francisco, but what makes Café Cocomo stand out above the rest this year — and makes it a perfect destination for you and your salsa-curious family and friends — is their Monday nights. Once a week, Cocomo opens their doors to those new to salsa, offering two hours of beginning and just-beyond-beginning classes and then an open run of the dance floor. It's a fantastic way to get a taste of what... More >>

  • Best Nightclub Game Show

    The Ask Dr. Hal Show

    Who would win in a fight: Abraham Lincoln or Jerry Garcia? If you have weird questions, like this one, the place to ask them is at the Dr. Hal Show, which appears at various clubs in the city. However, questions of a trivial, personal, or simple-minded type will be viciously ridiculed, and they'll take your money anyway: Dr. Hal has a posse. Among them are soundman KROB, armed with a custom keyboard loaded with fart noises, David Capurro, who furiously... More >>

  • Best Local Author

    Rebecca Solnit

    S.F. is a tough town for a literary genius; there's a long legacy of bombastically talented writers who've passed through, from the Beats to Joan Didion to the McSweeney's kids. Rebecca Solnit doesn't have to scrap for her mantle, though. Like Didion, she's an accessible intellectual powerhouse who shares her astoundingly wide-ranging and unfailingly astute observations without any pretension or clunky prose. She can waltz you gracefully through obscure blues songs, art history, the ideology of urbanism, the narrative of... More >>

  • Best Satirical Book


    Beth Lisick writes, "It's hard to believe anything could be funnier than the SkyMall catalog itself." But not only is local sketch comedy troupe Kasper Hauser's SkyMaul ("Shop till you drop ... from the sky!") funnier than SkyMall, but it also makes SkyMall funnier. You can't look at the advertisement for the weird exercise machine in the real airline mail catalog without thinking of the I Give Up Office Chair and its accompanying photo of a person in a regular... More >>

  • Best Literary Lunchtime

    111 Minna Gallery

    Between all the numbingly stupid memos, spreadsheets, and conference calls that must be executed during a typical workday in a typical office, it can feel like you're speaking a pointless alien language between the hours of 9 and 5. Thankfully S.F.'s tireless champion of translated literature, the Center for the Art of Translation, feels your pain. That's why they offer the consistently delightful Lit'n'Lunch series, featuring weekday lunchtime talks by top translators of world literature, from former U.S. Poet Laureate... More >>

  • Best Reading Series with Cookies

    Main Library, Latino/Hispanic Community Meeting Room

    The library is a somewhat staid environment for the Radar Reading Series. Maybe that's why its curator, Michelle Tea, goes to such lengths to encourage the crowd to talk back. After the readers finish their selections, they ready themselves for a Q&A. One might think feisty San Francisco audiences would fire away without needing an incentive to do so, but Tea offers homemade cookies to anyone who asks a question. Former featured readers have included nonfiction superstar Mary Roach, novelist... More >>

  • Best New Magazine About Meat


    When visual artist and graphic designer Sasha Wizansky decided to eat meat for 24 hours as an art project a couple of years ago, the results were physically sickening but socially enlightening. Everyone, it seemed, had something to say about edible dead animals. "It was an amazing conversational lens," Wizansky says. "We have a real 'fleischgeist' going on in this country right now, a strong surge of curiosity about meat. People are more curious about the meat that they eat,... More >>

  • Best Art Site

    Fecal Face

    During the course of its seven-year adventure on the Web, Fecal Face has gone from covering the local art scene to ruling it. The site has an effortless be-here-now coolness, jammed with unpretentious content, struggling-artist resources, and endless photos of both local art and those impossible Mission art kids. Founder John Trippe and company have a clear love for the lowbrow, urban, graffiti-influenced aesthetic, especially when skateboarders are involved, but anything smart and good gets fair play. It's easy to... More >>

  • Best Double-Wide Gallery

    White Walls Gallery

    White Walls Gallery and the Shooting Gallery have many things in common — dazzling shows by young, edgy artists, to name a biggie — but the best is the gaping, fat hole in the wall that connects the two storefronts. When passing through it, most people don't realize they've crossed into an entirely different business, with its own Web site and shows. The combined 4,000-square-foot space primarily draws an urban, street-art line, with White Walls taking big names like Sam... More >>

  • Best New Monthly Art Show

    111 Minna Gallery

    At regular art openings, artists usually act no different than guests, glancing at the walls, balancing drinks, and figuring out savvy things to say to one another. At Sketch Tuesdays, however, the artists do what they do best — paint, draw, and sometimes sculpt, in full view of all comers. Organized by Sacha Eckes, Sketch Tuesdays is a more informal, less intense version of Southern Exposure's Monster Drawing Rally. Every third Tuesday, a dozen or more artists pile into booths... More >>

  • Best Free Arts Gala

    Red Poppy Art House

    We know you find yourself continually making excuses for not seeing enough arts and performance events: "I don't have enough time," "It's too far away," and the perennial whiny favorite, "It's too expensive" (even though two or three drinks will easily pay for a ticket to some brilliant black-box theatre). Well, we have some news for you: The Mission Arts & Performance Project is in the city's most accessible neighborhood, it happens every two months on a Saturday night, and... More >>

  • Best Indie Arts Space

    Intersection for the Arts

    It's not true that all multidisciplinary arts spaces are dilettantish — but experience has proven the stereotype generally irrefutable. Luckily, the exception is Intersection for the Arts. The city's oldest alternative arts space (42 years, to be exact), Intersection is unsurprisingly the stalwart among its struggling nonprofit brethren. Its sustained reputation for cutting-edge programs with a populist tinge has to do with the fact that there's no real repertory — everything always seems so damn fresh. There's the barebones genius... More >>

  • Best Outdoor Art

    Balmy Alley

    Almost any casual stroll through the Mission District can result in a face full of high-grade graffiti, such as the glorious, blow-you-off-your-feet lettering jewels that recently appeared on a disreputable stretch of Florida Street at 16th. But you don't have to hunt the streets to find good public art. Mural-drenched Balmy and Clarion are two havens of vibrant urban paintings that have been granted a pass as part of the city's "beautification" efforts. The delightfully brick-paved Balmy came of age... More >>

  • Best Spot to Leave Kids Nearly Unattended

    Japanese Tea Garden

    Created specifically for the northwest corner of the de Young Museum's Osher Sculpture Garden, Three Gems, is the first of several "skyspace's" by James Turrell. Though this glorified cement hole in the ground's artistic qualities are debatable, we can't overstate its role as a great place to keep kids distracted with minimal supervision. The sculpture is in essence a simplified walled maze. A main entrance corridor branches out into two pathways that meet in a circle, with an entranceway to... More >>

  • Best Purging of Teenage Stupidity

    Make-Out Room

    Somebody else's humiliation never felt so much like catharsis. At this event, which happens more or less monthly at the Make-Out Room, willing subjects climb up on stage with their old diaries, love letters, and teenaged attempts at poetry clutched in their clammy fists. Before an eager, voyeuristic crowd, the readers rewind history and let their younger selves spill their guts — they profess undying love for that curly-haired guy in math class, tell of horribly fumbled sex acts, and... More >>

  • Best Local Alternative to Burning Man


    It started 21 years ago on Baker Beach with 20 people and a flaming figure. Today, hordes of San Franciscans still descend upon Nevada's Black Rock Desert each year to be participants in Burning Man, a week-long gathering which now attracts more than 35,000 annually. The truly dedicated (aka "Burners") spend all year preparing for the big event, whether they're crafting massive art installations or just securing the right RV, and consequently they're not quite ready to let it go... More >>

  • Best Food Network


    Sick and tired of the incessant reruns of Rachael Ray's bleating and Emeril LaGasse's blathering on about tasteless Italian food, or Paula Deen's heart-stopping recipes for an early Southern-fried death? TasteTV is the local elixir, a smart hybrid of the Food Network's essence (food, duh!) and with its dashes of viewer-generated content, Current TV. The specialty is food for foodies, relegating the junk to the Dumpster because heaven knows we've seen far too many programs about state barbecue fairs and... More >>

  • Best Unusual Museum

    Chinese Holocaust Museum

    In a city where unusual is the usual, it's hard to come up with something that would be considered provocative. San Francisco's got plenty of whimsically educational museums, like the hands-on playtime that defines the Exploratorium. But nothing beats an unflinching look at the physical and psychological aspects of sheer brutality. What we are truly short on are museums that also educate on the unpleasant aspects of history that must not be repeated, such as the Museum of Tolerance in... More >>

  • Best Place to Channel Kerouac

    The Beat Museum

    Perfectly situated at the nexus of Grant, Columbus, and Broadway, where Kerouac, Corso, Rexroth, and Ferlinghetti changed American literature 50 years ago, the Beat Museum celebrates those potent days when modern jazz, postwar angst, and the bohemian essence of North Beach nurtured the Beat Era into explosive existence. Books, photographs, manuscripts, and memorabilia from curator Jerry Cimino's extensive collection fill the shelves and display cases of this shrine to beatific hipstertude, including a signed first edition of Ginsberg's Howl, a... More >>

  • Best Place for Lesbian Tourists

    Lexington Club

    There's almost literally no place like it in the world, and definitely no place like it that's 10 years old. The Mission District's world-famous Lexington Club is "Your Friendly Neighborhood Dyke Bar," and owner Lila Thirkield and her staff take each word of that phrase seriously. It's a good-natured joint, not fancy, and it's full of swilling lesbians. But this community center of sorts does more than pour strong drinks for pretty ladies: It's often the first stop on international... More >>

  • Best Pride Weekend Event

    Pink Saturday

    Winning by a nose over "Three-Day Meth Cloud Hanging Over Beck's Motor Lodge," Pink Saturday is a most special time during Pride Weekend for those of us true homosexuals who know that being queer isn't about equal rights, same-sex marriage, or gay adoption, but instead about drinking, drugging, dancing, and pissing on the street corners with your pals. Happening the day before the fascinatingly lame and clearly castrated Pride Parade, and just after the swell Dyke March, Pink Saturday holds... More >>

  • Arts & Entertainment Readers' Poll

    Readers' Poll Winners:

    Best Comedy Act: Uphill Both Ways Best Local Band: Hightower Best Local Hip-Hop Group: Rap 4 Rights Best Cover Band: Smash-Up Derby Best Music Radio Station: KFOG Best Radio DJ: Chuy Gomez Best Place to See Live Music: The Great American Music Hall Best Local Music Label: Om Records Best Movie Theater: The Castro Theatre Best Theater Company: Thrillpeddlers Best Art Gallery: City Art Best Museum: SFMOMA Best Dance Club: Bootie Best New Club: The Ambassador Best Club DJ: DJ... More >>

Search Best Of Awards