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.
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.
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.
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).