Top 5 San Francisco Locations For New Year’s Eve
This post written by guest bloggger—Emily Stoffel
San Francisco is a city that’s easy to love. Like most intriguing metropolitan locales, San Francisco offers something for everyone – and more than a handful of someones that are down for everything. If you’re at all like me, this wide span of ever-occurring activity is a huge advantage about, oh, 364 nights of the year. And then there’s New Year’s Eve – the one night where the City’s endless options for social interaction forces me into a coma of overwhelmed indecisiveness. The pressure of choosing that just-right venue for that just-right moment, it’s a stew of anxiety, all onions and carrots and cold sweat. Shudder.
Fortunately, this year I’ve done my research, so those New Year’s Fears can just chill. On Ice. Until 2014…
Without further ado, the Top 5 San Francisco spots (in no particular order) where I’d like to celebrate come December 31.
1. Top Black Tie Bash
San Francisco Symphony Masquerade Ball – If getting dressed to the nines, free-flowing bubbly and room upon room of concert-quality tunes is music to your ears, don your gala attire and head to the architecturally stunning Davies Symphony Hall for an enticingly bourgeois evening of drinking, dancing and top-tier entertainment. On top of a full symphonic concert, enjoy lounge-y jingles tunes in the lobby and dancing on the Davies Symphony Hall stage. Masks provided. Pricing starts at $85.00.
2. Top Foodie Feel Good Fest
Drake’s Bay Oyster Benefit at Comstock Saloon – If you’re as blue as I am about the upcoming closing of Drake’s Bay Oyster Company, belly up to Comstock Saloon for a New Year’s Eve sendoff dinner and oyster specials benefitting the families of Drake’s Bay. Just try saying no a three-course prix fixe menu ($65.00pp) featuring a Hangtown salad with escarole, pork belly and smoked oyster dressing; roast quail with oyster-guanciale stuffing; and a carefully curated trio of farewell sweets. Seatings are available from 6pm-11pm with live gypsy jazz carrying into the New Year. Can’t make dinner? Specially priced oysters, chowder and champs are available from noon to 4pm.
3. Top Landmark Club Scene
New Year’s Eve City Hall – Capitalize on San Francisco’s iconic heritage with this, the party of all club-style parties, at San Francisco’s historic City Hall. Reopened in 1915 after the 1906 earthquake destroyed the first iteration, San Francisco’s City Hall boasts spectacular neo-classical architecture and – here’s some novelty trivia – the fifth largest dome in the world. Three areas of music featuring more than 10 live acts, an early-evening open bar, a midnight balloon drop, champagne toast and more make this party the epitome of a New Year’s Eve extravaganza. Post-presale tickets begin at $120.00.
4. Top Activity-Driven Shindig
Bowl in the New Year @ Mission Bowling Club – So you want your evening to have a bit of a focal point, maybe something a tad more structured than wandancing (that’s wandering while dancing, of course) from room to room of thumping house mixes? Look no further than the aptly named Mission Bowling Club, located in the acceptably hip Mission District. Known for one of the best burgers in the neighborhood (if not the whole city, whoa), Mission Bowling’s First Annual NYE Party will keep you entertained with a mix of “creative entertainment” that includes: open lane bowling all night long; a dance party; raffle prizes; a photo booth; champagne toasts and more. Shoe rentals are included in the ticket price of $85.00. For an extra $50.00pp, the restaurant is also offering a prix fixe dinner menu from 5:30-9:30pm. Might that acclaimed beef-fat-seared-short rib-and-ground-chuck-patty be making an appearance? One can only hope.
5. Top of the Top – Literally! And Budget-Friendly, to Boot
Telegraph Hill & Coit Tower – Part of the magic of New Year’s is celebrating a milestone – or milestones – and the happy prospect of new opportunities with loved ones, right? So who says you need to spend a fortune? Grab some buddies or your special someone, plenty of warm, weatherproof clothing and a few inexpensive picnic items and hoof it to Telegraph Hill, one of the City’s most beckoning vistas.
Granted, it might be foggy or misty. (It is, after all, San Francisco.) But other views can’t compare. On a clear night, you’ll be rewarded with the twinkling lights of downtown, a peek of the bridges and maybe even a firework show or three from around the Bay. (The big one goes down just off the Embarcadero near the Ferry Building.) Bonus points for bringing along sparklers, shatterproof champagne flutes or a thermos of locally crafted drinking chocolate.
Emily Stoffel lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, Chris, and their three bikes. In addition to attempted kitchen wizardry, her passions include renewable fuel marketing, chatting with Mama and planning elaborate vacations that sometimes work out. Follow Emily’s (nearly) daily adventures in food, love and life at www.ThePigandQuill.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/ThePigandQuill and on Twitter: @ThePigandQuill.