Nightlife & Music

Our 5 Favorite San Francisco Gay Bars

June 1, 2013 3:32 AM

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San Francisco is one of the planet’s gay Meccas, home to the world-famous Castro District. Here are our five favorite spots in the ‘Stro to knock back a cocktail or four, cruise for eye-candy and bust a move.

4121 18th Street
San Francisco, CA

Badlands, located on 18th, half a block up from Castro has everything you’re looking for. The front room is a great spot to mix and mingle with the party crowd. And the back dance area is where you can GET DOWN. Non-stop dance music, a hot, neon dance-floor and any number of dance partners are all at your…fingertips. Two-for-one cocktails every day from 3-8pm, and Sunday Beer Busts mean Badlands is pretty much always hopping.

Midnight Sun
4067 18th Street
San Francisco, CA

Heading out alone? The Midnight Sun is a great place to check out, with huge television screen featuring fabulous music videos and hilarious comedy clips on a non-stop loop. It’s easy to strike up a convo with a stranger when you’re both laughing at the same SNL Cher impression. Head down to watch your favorite shows as well, with weekly screenings of Desperate Housewives, Glee and Modern Family. Happy Hour includes two-for-one drinks. But make sure you swing by Saturday from 8-10 for non-stop comedy clips.

Blackbird Bar
2124 Market Street
San Francisco, CA

Blackbird is the chic, new and sophisticated bar on Market Street. Home to a very mixed crowd, Blackbird is hot right now, especially for the bow-tie set. Think Brad from Rachel Zoe. After the workday, this spot is jumping with gay, straight and lots of hipsters. Might we suggest you order The Dickens, with vodka, cranberry-ginger puree, lemon juice and honey. Served over ice, darling. Served over ice.

The Lookout
3600 16th Street
San Francisco, CA

The Lookout wraps around 16th and Market, with its outdoor balcony literally ‘looking out’ on the Castro. You can sip a Bloody Mary and watch the world go by, or pound a shot and make a new friend. This bar’s a little butch, and especially popular in the early evening, for pizza parties, drag shows and themed nights all week long. But you’ll want to plant yourself on the deck anytime a parade rolls by. This is THE spot to watch the Market Street action, and prime spots go fast. This is San Francisco after all. Location, location, location!

Mix Bar
4086 18th Street
San Francisco, CA

We’re throwing The Mix in the mix because this is the little divey bar that could. The Mix is in close proximity to just about everywhere else you wanna go (Moby Dick and Midnight Sun are just across the street, Castro is a block away, you’re in the heart of it all), but it’s small, mellow and has a great outdoor patio in the back, with funky wooden benches perfect for relaxing and chilling out. The Mix is wonderfully laid back. We’re not sure, but it might have something to do with them opening at 6am. Every day.

View Comments
  • Who Cares

    Why would anybody have a favorite gay bar?

  • Sam Mallory

    what a joke. Just as much as a joke if there was a listing for AWESOME HETEROSEXUAL BARS! Seriously pathetic. Gay or straight it shouldn’t matter. You build up this fake lifestyle and act as if it is normal because all gay people walk around with there shirts of and dress in horrible drag….w/e that is not gay that is just a show off. Not all gays are showboating queens.

    • athenia

      you must be that guy at Dennys that trys to lure Truckers in the mens room?

  • Calforever

    People still cares about where the “favorite gay bars” are because for the most part, the LGBT community still has not reached mainstream acceptance. Otherwise, why is there still a national debate on marriage rights extending to gay couples?

  • Marie

    No wonder California is in such a mess! Disgusting!

    • athenia

      talking about yourself? how is your trailer park in Hicksville?

  • dan

    yuck! Thanks for letting me know where not to go!

    • Ben

      Good. Now we know we will not run into these disgusting people like Dan and Marie who are obviously bigoted

      • athenia

        Ben: Looks like the closeted trailer trash from the Red states KKK looney tunes are in denial thaey lost the civil war! most of them cannot get it up! LOL

  • mark

    When is a meteorite going to do the universe a favor and obliterate that city?

    • athenia

      I think god is working on the Red States, as Mother Nature is a Democrat! karma to haters! JEALOUS?

  • Halaf

    I wish Dearborn Michigan was closer to San Francisco so I could show you all my bag of rocks, and that ain’t baby talk.

  • elias

    Im so surprised that in San Francisco, the gay mecca of USA, there are so many gay haters. Its time you move to hickville where you can be as backward minded as you care to be. WE AREN’T MOVING!!

    • JESIS22

      we dont hate youz its nasty i live in NY can’t smoke but can have ass sex in the park not good.

  • JESIS22

    no more

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