Civic Center / Tenderloin, San Francisco.
Collapse map / See photo gallery

Rumor has it the name “Tenderloin” harkens back to the turn of the century, when local cops who patrolled the area received enough hazard pay to afford a choice steak. The city’s first major brothel opened here in 1899, and the present day finds city officials still bemoaning the unmistakable crowds of streetwalkers, drug dealers, and homeless camps.

Looking past the obvious grunge, however, visitors will discover that the Tenderloin and adjoining Civic Center are also one of the last holdouts in San Francisco’s rapid-fire gentrification.

On the food front, a strong Southeast Asian contingent ensures access to a number of authentic, and very cheap, restaurants for hungry visitors on a budget, while dive lovers enjoy a wealth of dingy dens – one even devoted specifically to transvestites – especially along Geary and Larkin Streets.

Yuppies haven’t been kept entirely at bay, however, as the area has also witnessed a surge of higher-end mixology spots and a smattering of swanky lounges for the hipster and high-society set, while prominent live theaters straddle the neighborhood’s boundary with Downtown.

For those less interested in Broadway-caliber productions at the Geary or Curran, the historic Great American Music Hall is often described by music lovers as the greatest concert venue in the city, and the long-standing Mitchell Brothers Theatre consistently ranks as home to the prettiest female strippers in town.

Walking alone through the Tenderloin is still not recommended, especially at night, but sampling its myriad nightlife options certainly is.

More
Less

Top Upcoming Events in Civic Center / Tenderloin

December 2014

Dec 21 Sun
San Francisco Ballet's The Nutcracker 2014

Ballet / Dance Performance / Holiday Event / Dancers

Add to Calendar
Dec 28 Sun
Laidback Luke

DJ Event / Electro House / House / Moombahton / Trap

Add to Calendar
Dec 30 Tue
Sea Of Dreams New Year's Eve 2015: FrequenSea

Arts Festival / Concert / DJ Event / Holiday Event / Music Festival / Performing Arts / Ambient Electronic / DJ / Downtempo / Dubstep / Electro / Electro House / Electronic / Experimental / Funk / Hip-Hop / House / International / Moombahton / New Year's Eve / R&B / Tech House / Trap

Bill Graham Civic Auditorium Pretty Lights, The Glitch Mob, Break Science, Flying Lotus, Beats Antique , Lettuce, Bit Funk, Fort Knox 5, Worthy, Pumpkin , Motion Potion, Mikey Thunder
Add to Calendar
Dec 30 Tue
The Flaming Lips

Concert / Alternative Rock / Indie / Pop / Psychedelic

8:00pm
Add to Calendar

Where to Go in Civic Center / Tenderloin

Want the inside scoop on all things to do in San Francisco? Sign up for our weekly email and get in the know today!

Book Now and Save at Hotels.com

Are we missing a venue or event?
Find your scene