Article updated 5/17/23
San Francisco is a savvy city. It knows tech, food, fundraising, retail, and culture. There’s not much San Francisco hasn’t done, dined on, or debuted to the world. So, when it comes to hosting a stand-out product launch, corporate get-together, fundraiser, or special occasion, choosing a rooftop venue in San Francisco immediately separates your event from the rest. San Francisco rooftops vary in size, location, and ambiance, so it's best to know what you're looking for before your start your search!
From the Dogpatch to Union Square, the mild climate of the City by the Bay creates a perfect backdrop for a memorable event.
Now that you’ve landed on hosting an event in San Francisco, it’s time to set your expectations as high as your venue. Whether a daytime corporate event or nighttime soiree, your occasion held on a rooftop will naturally stand out.
Here’s why a rooftop event is a game-changer:
Rooftop events do more than raise the roof. An event that literally lifts your crowd up and away from the hustle and bustle of the steepest streets in San Francisco will make for a noteworthy night.
Rooftop events offer exclusivity. Typically, a rooftop is separated from the venue at large, making the event feel more private, treating your guests like the VIPs they are.
Rooftop events bring in the outdoors. You can feel confident hosting your event in the pleasant climate of Northern California, where the evenings are typically tepid. And keeping health concerns in mind, it’s great to offer an outdoor option for guests to get some air.
Rooftop events tend to me more, well, fun. Food, décor, drinks, and theme can all be more playful on a rooftop, where the sky is genuinely the limit when it comes to creativity.
Consider hosting these types of events when the Bay Area is your glittering backdrop:
There’s always so much to think about when planning for your corporate event, launch, or fundraiser. And it’s likely that the location of said event will be your costliest item. Give this important step on your pre-event checklist the attention it deserves by thinking of all the angles when booking your rooftop in San Francisco.
It’s always recommended that you visit the physical space before locking it down. Here are some items to toss around before you sign your name on the dotted line:
Let’s roll out the standout choices of rooftop venues in San Francisco. Each option highlights a neighborhood, a cuisine, or vibe sure to suit the needs of your next gathering, no matter the crowd size.
Tough to think of a better moniker for this multi-use event space than The Pearl. Just like its namesake, it’s a rare find and a real one-of-a-kind. The Rooftop at the Pearl was voted the #1 rooftop bar in San Francisco by Time Out Magazine for all the right reasons.
The chic, former iron and boiler workshop provides sweeping views of Dogpatch, The Bay, and Oakland Hills. It has space for 220 seated, offering up an ambiance that can’t be outdone. Porcelain tile, bistro lights, lounge seating, and a lush garden set the tone for your special occasion, big or small. Accessibility is simple, and there’s even a good-sized catering prep area, allowing a spot for all the magic to happen without guests knowing a thing. And as a bonus, rest-easy element, The Rooftop can be tented with heaters, so your event will pop off, rain or shine. The Pearl is truly a gem, nestled deep in the heart of San Francisco’s most culturally rich neighborhoods.
Neighborhood: Lower Nob Hill
The term “urban oasis” suits 620 Jones just right. Blocks away from Union Square, right in the heart of the Tenderloin, guests slip through the wrought iron homage to the Spanish Colonial revival style of the restaurant to get to the stunning Rooftop.
The lush, 8,000-square foot Rooftop feels almost secretive, making it an ideal place to hold a private affair. Your anniversary party or corporate gathering on the 620 Jones Rooftop could be for 200 seated, or 300 standing. They have an extremely experienced staff to guide you through the planning process. And the food? Chef Erik Hopfinger has opened 30 restaurants, has been on Top Chef, and guides guests through culinary delights of classic American bar-fare to fresh spins on contemporary favorit
Neighborhood: Rincon Hill
If unreal views of the Bay Bridge are on your event’s short list, look no further than Waterbar. Complementary only to the views is the cuisine, which many consider some of the finest seafood in town. Executive Chef and owner Parke Ulrich changes the menu daily, keeping his promise to deliver sustainably-sourced seafood and fresh, local organically grown produce to his discerning clientele.
When it comes to rooftop options, The Bridge Tower Room is Waterbar’s indoor/outdoor space, and sits virtually under the bridge on the San Francisco Bay. Host a sit-down event here for 60 (or a 75-person cocktail reception) where wall-to-wall windows in the room and patio bring liveliness of the Embarcadero indoors. The Looking Glass is an additional indoor/outdoor space, that begs to be used for celebratory sit-down birthday dinner for 24 guests, or for an after-work cocktail reception for 50.
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Neighborhood: Civic Center
Thinking you need more of a relaxed and casual feel for your rooftop event? Oakland’s Mad Oak Bar ‘n’ Yard might very well be your ideal spot. It’s truly a laid-back neighborhood place. Their Rooftop Deck is lofted above their patio, and has its own bar and plenty of beautiful iron and woodwork to set the rustic scene.
Perfect for an afterwork event or birthday party, Mad Oak offers 40 beers on draft. One item on your event checklist to plan for should be food – Mad Oak has a rotating kitchen that changes every six months, but they welcome outside vendors or food trucks to feed your guests.
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Neighborhood: Inner Sunset
If you are planning an intimate corporate outing or private event, you’ll rest easy at night knowing your special occasion is at Fiorella Sunset. The rooftop space at this neighborhood Italian eatery is most definitely prepared for all kinds of weather. Fiorella offers built-in heaters, a retractable roof, and even high walls to keep the wind in check without any hinderance of the views of the Inner Sunset neighborhood.
But there’s more: their rooftop venue can easily be divided into two spaces, perfect if you need to customize your night. A full buyout of the deck will accommodate 60 seated or 70 standing, while the semi-private option known as the “Upper Roof Deck” will comfortably serve 28 seated or 35 standing. Fiorella is known for great service. The pleasant staff will serve up woodfire pizzas made with the freshest ingredients on buffet tables, or make the entire event a sit-down dinner.
Now this is California cool. The Proper Hotel is home to Charmaine’s, a Rooftop terrace that showcases unparalleled panoramic bay and city views. No matter if you are hosting a black-tie fundraiser or milestone birthday party, your guests will be buzzing about this spot, which simply nails that indoor/outdoor vibe perfectly. Partial or full buyout options are available.
Every event hosted at Charmaine’s comes with the staff’s special touch – swank details like handpicked glassware or expertly crafted cocktails with bitters and syrups are what this place is known for. With seating for 100 people or standing for 200, your evening should blow away guests, as they mingle against the backdrop of sophisticated décor and roaring firepits. The hotel below is an added bonus, should your out-of-towners need a posh place to crash.
Neighborhood: South Beach
Sitting aloft the 12 stories of Hotel VIA, it’s hard to find a San Francisco landmark that isn’t part of the awesome view of The Rooftop at VIA. Embracing the indoor/outdoor feeling of Northern California, this hotel hotspot is 3,000 square-feet of relaxed elegance.
A standout at The Rooftop at VIA are the cabanas, with fabric that gently flows from breezes off the Bay. Your guests might be able to hear the crack of a bat, as Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, sits right next door. This venue is a great choice for a daytime event, but nighttime brings your party to life as San Francisco glitters below. One major feature this venue has going for it is exclusivity – only private event or hotel guests allowed!
Neighborhood: South of Market
Space is king when hosting a large event. The Terrace of City View at Metreon is an 11,000-square foot rooftop event space overlooking the tranquil Yerba Buena Gardens will certainly fit the bill. The overall event capabilities of the City View at Metreon is definitely something to behold. It boasts over 31,000 square feet of divisible space.
Each of the Twin Peaks, Presidio, and Embarcadero Rooms has floor-to-ceiling windows, and are all connected to the Terrace. If your event requires renting out one or all of the available rooms, your party will have access to the customizable Terrace, allowing you to make it a space all its own. It’s tough to beat the views of this place, and the proximity of City View to culture, public transit, parking, and big hotels makes it a near perfect large event venue.
When booking a rooftop venue for a corporate event, it's important to gather all the necessary information to ensure the venue aligns with your event's goals and requirements. Here are some questions you should ask:
Using The Vendry makes it simple to book your next rooftop corporate gathering, product launch, fashion show, or special dinner in San Francisco. Click on “Plan Your Next Event” and search San Francisco. From here you can either scan the choices yourself, or have The Vendry search for you by filling out a short questionnaire.
A proposal will be sent back to you from a partner venue or vendor. The Vendry offers the most locations and flexible pricing with their partners. Click, Click, and done. So easy.
Rooftop events featuring San Francisco as the backdrop sets the stage for an unforgettable corporate event or private affair. The Vendry makes it easy for your vision to come to life.
Planning an event in San Francisco? Check out our San Francisco Event Planning Guide and browse the top venues, vendors, and much more!