Tucked snugly in a Bernal Heights Victorian, Wild Side West is a second home to many city locals. Although it is primarily a gay/lesbian bar, everyone is welcome to enjoy a drink here. The knick-knacks, hanging art, and cozy atmosphere are pleasant and familiar. The blood-red pool table, on the other hand like the bar itself, is one of a kind. Settle back with your favorite drinks and enjoy the mellow ambiance and friendly clientele.
A gay bar of the classic variety, it caters to bikers, daddies, leather-clad folk and pretty much all and sundry. There is a lot going on here during the week with events such as lesbian night, charity benefits, contests, open mic nights, live performances and pot luck dinners. Theme nights are pretty interesting too, giving bikes, beards, and tattoos their special time in the spotlight. Although primarily a gay bar with a touch of leather and bondage, all are welcomed here with equal enthusiasm. Service is friendly and the drinks are great, so come on by for a taste of the vibrant SF nightlife.
Tucked into the Mission, El Rio is a beloved neighborhood institution. Locals enjoy a margarita or a pint at the bar or on the spacious patio out back. El Rio features entertainment every weeknight, from DJs, and live bands to salsa dancing and movie nights. See website for detailed calendar. Adding to the bar's allure are "Dollar Day" Mondays, a lengthy happy hour, and free oysters on Fridays.
Hi Tops is not only a gay bar but also a sports bar. Nestled in the Castro neighborhood, this casual hangout welcomes all into its lively ambiance. Television screens, displaying various sports, dot the walls, around which like-minded fans cheer for their favorite players while drinking cocktails and beers. The menu features a delicious array of finger foods. On offer are sandwiches, corn dog, pretzels, chili and burger, but the most popular of all is their Buffalo Wings.
The cigar-store Native American is your first clue that heading in here is like heading back to the Old West. Hitch yourself to the bar and enjoy a beer. Or mosey to the back, past the two pool tables, to a roofed patio complete with every cowpoke's favorites such as a wood burning fire and a right fine BBQ. The Cinch is a great place to laze away an afternoon or evening while making new friends or hanging out with old ones.
This popular biker bar is not the scene some biker bars can be. At the Long Star Saloon, you will find neither fashion police nor attitudes, just serious drinking and leather wearing. Check out the Sunday beer bust where you can drink all you want for a few dollars. It is a great place to hang out the rest of the week, too, with a vibrant leather scene on which to feast your eyes and bartenders.
The Martuni's is a post-theater nightcap hot spot whose charms are many. The sophisticated, candlelit interior includes both a main bar as well as a piano bar with live performances. Patrons are generally well-dressed and well-to-do, which contributes to the elegant ambiance. Wednesday is singles night for gay men (although it happens on just about any other night, too).
Welcome to the land of gender illusionists. It is essential to start off your experience at Asia SF with one of their signature alcoholic drinks named after the ladies of Asia SF. And while the food here is not initially the main attraction, the menu offers great dishes that surprise with their creativity and balance. Start with an Asia-dilla—jack cheese, smoked duck and sun dried cherries in a grilled tortilla. Then for an impressive main course dish, try the Miso Glazed King Salmon on a bed of black rice and a tomato-edamame salad; this dish is delectable and surprisingly cohesive. And during it all, you'll be treated to great bar-top performances by the ladies of AsiaSF. After you eat, continue your night in the club, where DJs spin R&B/funk, house, as well as salsa.
Oasis can safely be dubbed as the House of Drag Shows, what with the stunning line-up of drag artists putting together shows imbued with ultimate entertainment. A jewel of San Francisco's scintillating nightlife, this gay-friendly nightclub features exquisite performances by artists, local and guest drag stars and amazing DJs. Having garnered laurels like the Best Gay Nightclub by the Bay Guardian and Best New Nightclub of 2015 by S.F. Weekly, Oasis has been increasingly emerging as a storehouse of spirits, quality music and extremely admired drag talent. With an offering of a dazzling space blended with a thriving performing scene, this place is truly an oasis of art, entertainment, culture and a dashing range of cocktails.
Powerhouse is a gay leather nightclub that's the perfect spot for dancing and enjoying a drink. This gay club is known for its great theme nights, such as uniform night, 2-for-1 drinks, Rock and Roll, and adult-themed events. With DJs on select night and unique events, it's no wonder this club has a loyal fan base.
There is often a line and a cover, but that usually means you're in for a great party. A varying crowd dances the night away on the huge floor with a second-level terrace looking down on the action, as well as a smaller upstairs dance floor. Tunes range from 1970s disco and 1980s funfare to 1990s hip-hop and Goth, depending on the theme of the night. All are welcome at DNA Lounge. Behind the bar, quiet rooms allow for a smaller party feel. Once a month they throw 'Bootie': a night of mash-ups and booze.