Best Place for Lesbian Tourists - 2007
The Lexington Club
There's almost literally no place like it in the world, and definitely no place like it that's 10 years old. The Mission District's world-famous Lexington Club is "Your Friendly Neighborhood Dyke Bar," and owner Lila Thirkield and her staff take each word of that phrase seriously. It's a good-natured joint, not fancy, and it's full of swilling lesbians. But this community center of sorts does more than pour strong drinks for pretty ladies: It's often the first stop on international visitors' tours of the area. "Women come in here and say 'Can I hold my girlfriend's hand on the street around here?'" says one bartender. "They come here to find out what it's like, to test the waters. I say, 'You can hold your girlfriend's hand anywhere in the city. It's San Francisco!'" Add a living-room feel, frequent live entertainment (read: "strippers"), and lots of support for art and activism in the form of benefits and exhibits, and it's easy to see why people flock here from around the world.