San Francisco’s Best Gay Neighborhood is… the Mission?! Nuh Uh, Honey

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By Brittany Doohan

Breaking news: OutTraveler.com ranks San Francisco's Mission second-best gay neighborhood in America (Chicago being the first)… Say what?! Are we going to take this lying down, Castro District?

The Mission District got the prize because apparently it’s "much friendlier for gay tourists." How so, OutTraveler.com? Sure, the Mission has Esta Noche, Lexington Club, Truck and partial custody of Dolores Park (meaning quarter custody of Gay Beach), but I’ve got to defend the Castro District on this one. The Mission may be an up-and-coming hotspot for all travelers, but for anyone who wants to get the ultimate gay San Francisco experience, the Castro District is your sexy suitor. Not only is the Castro teeming with amazing LGBT history, but… I have yet to find a place where you can get a penis-shaped cookie in the Mission!

Maybe some travelers are afraid of the ükinky sex shops with penises displayed in the window or all of the lovely drag queens (and your occasional naked dude) parading the streets — but to get the gay San Francisco experience, you need to visit the Castro.

Where else will you find some of the oldest gay bars in San Francisco? Where else will you find local shops and restaurants with clever names like: Does Your Mother Know?, Hand Job and Sausage Factory? Where else will you find all the rainbow-themed souvenir crap that you obviously must own?

The Castro District has amazing restaurants, shops and bars, but more importantly, it is one amazing community — it’s a community that’s strong, powerful and fearless. The Castro District has so much pride; you feel it as soon as you walk on the corner of 18thand Castro Streets. Sure the Mission has its greatness, but in my eyes, the Castro District will always be number one!

What do you think about OutTraveler.com’s choice? Do you think the Castro District should have won? Tell us in the comments!

[Photos: back2stonewall.com, sfgate.com]