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Drinks, Dinner & the SF Symphony for under $40

Updated: Jan 23, 2018 09:04
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This article was made possible by the excellent folks at the SF Symphony, simply put, they are wonderful. The Symphony is something we are very lucky to have in our city. Interested in sponsoring a post? Email


A night out at the Symphony with Broke-Ass Stuart

We felt like being fancy, yet affordable. And like good San Franciscans we wanted to do things a little different, so we created a theme and challenged everyone to follow it.  The theme…thrift store chic. Meaning your clothes should be fancy, like tuxedos and gowns…but they also must be second-hand. And the night of, you’re not going to spend more than $40.

The goal was food, drinks and world class entertainment for less than 40 bucks in San Francisco…we kept our fingers crossed

Stop 1

Happy Hour: Emperor Norton’s Boozeland

norton black and white

Photo: Victoria Smith

Stuart found a Oscar de la Renta tuxedo from the 80’s at Community Thrift. Michelle found a blue velvet dress at Held Over in the Haight.  Ashley scored her dress at Buffalo Exchange, Victoria found her flapper at Out of the Closet on Polk, and I inherited a tuxedo from a dead guy. We were set! We were thrift store chic, broke, but feeling fancy on the cheap.

first real pic

Happy Hour Mixed Drink: $4

bar chaos

Photo: Mariya Stangl

Stop 2

Slice of Pizza on Polk Street: $4


Photo: Mariya Stangl

We got a little carried away during drinks and didn’t leave a lot of time to eat, but a quick slice puts fuel in the fire. And on to the show.

Stop 3

The San Francisco Symphony Hall

classic outside

Photo: Victoria Smith

Tickets to the symphony start as low as $15 for select shows

bar group bw

Photo: Mariya Stangl

Bottle of Champagne: $40 (divided 6 ways)

bottle bw

Photo: Victoria Smith

We settled in, our ears perked up for Bizet’s Carmen, the music in the hall is incredible, there is nothing comparable to the sound created by a symphony orchestra. Ashley (ahem) finished the champagne.


Photo: Mariya Stangl

It was around the 2nd Bottle of champagne that we noticed things were coming unraveled…literally.  The shoes Stuart had kept from High School Prom started to fall apart.  Leaving a trail of black rubber in his wake.


Photo: Mariya Stangl

Stuart managed to make looking Broke…lovable.  Instead of being embarrassed he danced off the rest of the excess rubber while his friends could only look on and smile.

friends embrasing

Photo: Victoria Smith

Drinks, food, clothes, tickets…they all cost money, especially in this town.  But it’s still possible to do something out of the ordinary without losing your shirt.  And a memorable night with your friends, hearing music played by some of the finest musicians in the world…is priceless.

finishing symphony

Photo: Victoria Smith

Tickets to the SF Symphony are starting at $15 this Spring, click here to check them out, it’s Mozart and it will be fantastic. If you’d like go much sooner, check out Beethoven Jan 21 – 24.  Tickets start at $38.

Photos captured by the amazing Victoria Smith & the Illustrious Mariya Stangl

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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

I'm the managing editor here at Broke-Ass Stuart. I enjoy covering Bay Area News as well as writing about Arts, Culture & Nightlife.

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