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San Francisco Gay Bars Guide - Best San Francisco Gay Nightlife

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Delfina and Pizzeria Delfina - restaurant

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photo by Andrew Collins
Delfina (3621 18th St., 415-552-4055) and neighboring Pizzeria Delfina (3611 18th St., 415-437-6800)

 

Divas

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photo by Andrew Collins

Arguably San Francisco's - and one of the country's - favorite transgender nightclubs and show bars, Divas (1801 Post St., 415-474-3482) is another of the few LGBT hangouts still along the Polk Street strip (it's a half-block east of Polk, right near another gay neighborhood bar on Polk, Mark's Bar (see below). This spacious, attractive space with a friendly staff draws both queer and straight patrons to watch the highly entertaining, well-produced shows, from the "Naughty Schoolgirls" sets on Wednesday nights to karaoke on Sundays. There's dancing on Friday and Saturday, capped off by a famously fun midnight show, and amateurs can win $50 during the Talent Tuesday competitions.

DNA Lounge

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photo by Andrew Collins
DNA Lounge (375 11th St., 415-626-1409)

 

The Edge

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photo by Andrew Collins
The Edge (4149 18th St., 415-863-4027)

El Rio

El Rio (3158 Mission St., 415-282-3325)

The Endup - gay bar

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photo by Andrew Collins

A legendary spot that began as a bathhouse and has been going strong - give or take a few booms and busts - since it opened in 1973, the Endup (401 6th St., 415-896-1075) played a supporting role in Armistead Maupin's Tales of The City serial novels. And it's no less relevant as a gay nightclub today, presenting an ever-impressive slew of parties. Fag Fridays are a must for many young scenesters, and many devotees swear by the Sunday "Church" T-Dances, which commence at 6 a.m. and pulse into evening, before the club is overtaken by a high-energy party called Super Soul Sundayz. If you love to dance, do not miss this one.

Esta Noche - gay bar/comedy club

photo by Andrew Collins

The Mission may be the city's eclectic, if self-consciously hip neighborhood, but for many years it was San Francisco's prime Latino neighborhood. It was during these years that Esta Noche (3079 16th St., 415-861-5757) opened, and it has remained the Bay Area's favorite gay Latino dance club ever since - a place where the bumping and grinding can get mighty intense on certain evenings. The drag shows on Friday and Saturday nights are among the dishiest in the city, and on Thursday night it's a great place to watch queer comedy performances.

Eureka Restaurant & Lounge - mixed restaurant/bar

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photo by Andrew Collins
Eureka (4063 18th St., 415-431-6000)

 

440 Castro - gay bar

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photo by Andrew Collins

Known for many years as Daddy's, 440 Castro (440 Castro St., 415-621-8732)  has for years been a stalwart among gay neighborhood bars in the Castro. Back in the day, it drew a predominantly leather-and-Levi's crowd, and it's still definitely a go-to if this is your scene. But 440 has steadily broadened its reach in recent years, and on any given night you're liable to find all kinds here, from buffed gym dudes to rugged bears. One thing you can count on is a cruisy vibe, especially on Monday Underwear Nights and Thursday's CDXL Outlaw Parties (great music, hot go-go boys).

Gangway

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photo by Andrew Collins
Gangway (841 Larkin St., 415-776-6828)

 

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