Castro District News

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By Brittany Doohan

We all know the Castro District has some of the best gay bars in the world, but if you look hard enough, you can spot some pretty amazing ones sprinkled throughout the rest of San Francisco as well. So, strap on those assless chaps or tighty whities — and hop on the rainbow train for a tour of the 10 best gay bars outside of the Castro District. ALL ABOARD!


[Photo: Yelp]

1. The Eagle Tavern — 398 12th St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
www.sf-eagle.com

This SOMA bar is a fusion between a gay bar and a rock show venue. If you’re going for a hookup, be sure to wear the right color handkerchief. SF Eagle Hanky Codes: www.sf-eagle.com/docs/GayHankyCodes.html

2. Gangway — 841 Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA 94109

Make way for Gangway! Most people who come to this happening bar in the Tenderloin only expect to stay for a few cheap drinks, but end up staying the whole night. “This is your neighborhood dive bar where you can make anything happen while dancing to Tina Turner, Madonna, or anything your mind fancies. You can sip on a fabulous Passion Fruit Martini made by my favorite bartender Ed (works Sunday afternoons and Tuesday evenings), and converse with any of the interesting people you meet while you are on your journey,” said Yelper Genevieve J., Tacoma Washington.


[Photo: Yelp]

3. Trax — 1437 Haight St.
San Francisco, CA 94117

A quaint dive bar in the Haight, Trax is the ultimate place for a strong, affordable drink (Midori Sours $5, AMFs $7.50, Dirty Shirleys $4) and some good jams. “Love the music! I've heard top 40s, punk, alternative and 80s hits, new wave, dark wave and indie,” said Yelper Lauren L., San Francisco, CA.


[Photo: Yelp]

4. Truck — 1900 Folsom St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
www.trucksf.com

Voted the Best Gay Bar in 2012 by the SF Bay Guardian, Truck is clearly a San Francisco favorite. “The vibe inside Truck is amazing. Cozy (but not cramped), casual, industrial — complete with mudflaps. There's also vintage porn projected onto the wall, but you wouldn't know it unless you squinted and looked closely,” said David G., San Diego, CA. They’ve got great food, too!


[Photo: Yelp]

5. Aunt Charlie’s Lounge — 133 Turk St.
San Francisco, CA 94102

Aunt Charlie’s is a festive gay bar in the Tenderloin full of happy drag queens. “Wound up here on accident, but I'll be damned if it wasn't the happiest accident of my life. It was like stepping into the 1970s — middle-aged gay men everywhere, neon lighting, and a glorious jukebox. Their drinks are strong and their crowd is wonderful. Aunt Charlie's has a really inclusive and casual atmosphere that makes it seem far less grimy than other dive bars. The bartender was super cool, too,” said Yelper Chelsea W., Oakland CA.


[Photo: Yelp]

6. Stray Bar — 309 Cortland Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94110
www.straybarsf.com

Over yonder in beautiful Bernal Heights, you’ll find Stray Bar, the gayest sports bar outside of the Castro. It’s a great place to watch the San Francisco Giants or 49ers game over a cold brew. The best part? They’re dog friendly.


[Photo: Yelp]

7. Lone Star Saloon — 1354 Harrison St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
www.lonestarsf.com

Your favorite SOMA watering hole! “A big thank you to the Lone Star for providing a nice mid-week Bear-riffic welcome to our special group of weirdoes. Your patio is divine, your decor is to die for, your hirsuteness does not disappoint, and your beers and crazy shots are well priced,” said Yelper Gwynnie P., San Francisco, CA.


[Photo: Yelp]

8. The Cinch — 1723 Polk St.
San Francisco, CA 94109

The Cinch is a place where you can enjoy a heavy pour whether you choose to relax on their outdoor patio or get wild during their drag shows. The choice is yours.


[Photo: Yelp]

9. Beatbox — 314 11th St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
beatboxsf.com

Some nights, you’ve just got to f*cking dance. If you’re feeling that itch, head over to Beatbox! “Best light show anywhere in the city. Welcoming crowd, whether you're gay or straight. Amazing skylights during day parties. You will never yawn here!” said Magic S., San Francisco.


[Photo: Yelp]

10. Hole in the Wall Saloon — 1369 Folsom St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
www.holeinthewallsaloon.com

Chains, metal, chaos, and leather — if you’re looking for a bar with character, Hole in the Wall Saloon in SOMA is a great pick. “Great drinks and atmosphere (that might scare some people off, but I loved it). The artwork on the walls was entertaining. They have pinball! Bartenders were very friendly,” said Yelper Sam A., Santa Fe, NM.