(credit: Phil Walter/Getty Images)
The San Francisco Bay Area is one of the best spots in the world for gay bars. With no shortage of options, the LGBT community can choose to hang out in environments that range from an outdoor tiki patio to all the bells-and-whistles drag shows. Here are 5 of the best gay bars around the bay. For some San Francisco-centric spots, see here.
501 W. Taylor St.
San Jose, CA 95110
Renegades Bar is the south bay gay bar at which to chill out and enjoy a relaxing time with friends. Unlike many clubs in the city, Renegades is not a nightclub, and many night patrons can be found kicking back and enjoying drinks without the pressure to dance. Staff and patrons are friendly to all, and there is a monthly drag show, as well as a men’s-only underwear show. For those post-drinking munchies, locals rave about the Tacomania truck just across the street from Renegades.
43 6th St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
Club OMG! is a hopping joint located on the outskirts of the SoMa district. In addition to drinking and dancing, there is always something going on, ranging from karaoke and open mic comedy nights to Bollywood dance and drag shows. A rare occurrence these days, patrons will find free chips and salsa at the bar. Happy hour runs Tuesday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Come to OMG! for the fantastic cocktails and stay to dance the night away on the domed dancefloor.
298 11th St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
Smack dab in the center of the SoMa district, Oasis is a hybrid dance club, cabaret, and theater. Special events include everything from Beyonce to Siouxsie Sioux tributes. Locals and out-of-towners alike will be welcomed into Oasis’s friendly crowd. The bar serves up generously sized, affordable drinks and is open Wednesday through Sunday.
22519 Main St.
Hayward, CA 94541
The Turf Club is a relaxed straight-friendly gay bar located in Hayward. The diverse clientele enjoy kicking back on the large tiki-themed outdoor patio while listening to live local bands. Drink prices are exceedingly affordable for the Bay Area, and on most nights there is a live DJ. Plenty of parking is available and there are many post-party eateries in the vicinity.
3988 18th St.
San Francisco, CA 94114
Nestled in the heart of the Castro, Last Call Bar offers a welcome respite from other wilder neighborhood spots. With an Irish pub-like atmosphere, Last Call has the longest happy hour in town, running from noon to 7 p.m., seven days a week. The pretention-free clientele partake in affordable drinks, good conversation, and a variety of music on the jukebox. Make sure to swing by on Tuesday nights when pints are only $3 until closing.