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Place Pigalle

Place Pigalle

This dive gives those in Hayes Valley who'd rather not drop rent on a bar tab a place to go. Locals love the pool table and the foosball table, and after looking around at the well-worn couches, one may wonder, "Wait, am I in a frat house?"
The Final Final

The Final Final

Its walls covered by 49ers and Giants memorabilia, the Final Final is a solid place to kick back and watch sports in the Marina, with a crowd of regulars, sports enthusiasts, and whoever else shows up to enjoy the pool table, dartboard, and free popcorn.
Delirium

Delirium

With nightly DJs playing good ol' rock 'n' roll, Delirium's small, black-walled back room is one of the city's coolest places when the DJs are firing on all cylinders. And with a motto like "service for the sick," we can dig it.

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  • The Peaks

    The Peaks

    1316 Castro San Francisco, CA 94114
    415-826-0100

    Don't be fooled by the gothically arched windows on The Peaks' faux-stone exterior -- there's nothing too stuffy or sanctimonious about this otherwise unfancy little bar. The only things sacred here are the 49ers' Super Bowl victories, while the interior's fake wood paneling, weighty pool table, and American beer paraphernalia guarantee that you can't ever be dressed too casually to drop in for a shot of bourbon and a Bud. The pre-electric cash register behind the bar, however, means you'll need to bring cash, because they don't accept credit cards. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • Pilsner Inn

    Pilsner Inn

    225 Church San Francisco, CA 94114
    415-621-7058

    http://www.pilsnerinn.com At the busy corner of Church and Market in the Castro sits this casual neighborhood sports bar with simple wood tones, a pool table, pinball, and a garden patio. This is more of a straight-friendly gay bar, reminiscent of a small town bar that supports the community pool, softball, and bowling leagues. Trophies and plaques adorn the walls along with a strong, yet random, puffin theme (if you get the chance, you should query the bartender), as well as a few old-school touches such as a hanging surfboard and classic telephone booth. The urinal is a trough situation, and the women's room requires a key (the bar is boycentric). The patio can accommodate large groups with dark wood benches (with built-in ashtrays) lining the garden and a cornered-off porch for more intimate groups. The patio is well-lit with a transparent canopy, and it never gets smoky even when it's crowded on Friday night. The seating is well-designed so everyone has space, yet it all feels very intimate and social at the same time. A strong rosemary smell, babbling fountains, and Christmas lights help keep the mood calm, juxtaposing the lively but poised position inside, where the '80s hair metal streams from the jukebox. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • Q Bar

    Q Bar

    456 Castro San Francisco, CA 94114
    415-864-2877

    http://www.qbarsf.com Q Bar makes sure you start off your week right: Mondays offer $1 well drinks and a veritable sweaty dance party. The fun doesn't stop there - Tuesday is ladies night, and then Juanita More hosts Booty Call Wednesdays. For those who appreciate the classics (that is, if you think '80s music represents the classics), there's Throwback Thursdays. The weekend is devoted to gay themes (this is a Castro bar, after all), which are cleverly named Frigay, Saturgay, and Sungay. The dance floor is crowded and the bathroom is even more crowded, so pace yourself. Also, leave the credit cards at home - the bar is cash only. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • The Residence

    The Residence

    718 14th St. San Francisco, CA 94114
    415-626-7827

    Entering the Residence is like stepping into a sumptuous Victorian parlor. You almost expect to hear a fire crackling in the background. Instead the bar mixes old-timey appeal (like the ample eclectic seating options: fur covered poufs, velvet couches, and a black velvet fainting couch tucked in the back corner) with modern bar amenities (like the flat-screen TV). Small and cozy, the dark wood paneling and dim lighting make everyone look attractive. The crowd is calm and friendly, a healthy mix of neighborhood regulars. There's a standard 5-7 p.m. happy hour with discount well drinks and beers, but the classic cocktails, like potent Hurricanes, still cost full price. Other attractions: On Sunday nights there's a barbecue on the back porch, and on Wednesdays the owner hosts a wine and liquor tasting. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • SF Badlands

    SF Badlands

    4121 18th St. San Francisco, CA 94114
    415-626-9320

    http://www.sfbadlands.com Out-of-towners coming to the Castro will always need a garish watering hole in which to dance and get trashed. Badlands is that place. The beats are strictly uncomplicated club hits and Top 40, and the diva-heavy videos are always amusing if not predictable. Locals, however, tend to steer clear of the venue because of recent accusations of racial discrimination by some of its former clientele. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • SF Mix

    SF Mix

    4086 18th St. San Francisco, CA 94114
    415-431-8616

    http://www.sfmixbar.com Mix is a quintessential gayborhood bar: rainbow flags as far as the eye can see, super-sweet bartenders (some in tight white tanks), many flavors of Absolut, and a dance-friendly jukebox. What Mix has that other gay bars might not is a slammin' back patio, complete with an additional full bar, robust heat lamps, pool table, large-screen TVs, free-condom bin, and margarita machine. Sip on those at 6 a.m. when they open (which they do on a daily basis). Mix also boasts generous happy hours: 3-7 p.m. on weekdays and noon to 10 p.m. on weekends. But you'll pay cash for your drinks - they don't accept cards, but do have an ATM if needed. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • Swedish American Hall

    Swedish American Hall

    2174 Market San Francisco, CA 94114
    415-861-5016

    http://www.swedishamericanhall.com Located right upstairs from Cafe Du Nord is its auditoriumlike sister venue, the Swedish American Hall. Music usually ranges from country and folk to indie rock and beyond. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • Toad Hall Bar

    Toad Hall Bar

    4146 18th St. San Francisco, CA 94114
    415-621-2811

    http://www.toadhallbar.com Friendly neighborhood bar in the Castro with karaoke early in the week and retro dance DJs on weekends. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • Twin Peaks Tavern

    Twin Peaks Tavern

    401 Castro San Francisco, CA 94114
    415-864-9470

    http://www.twinpeakstavern.com You can't miss this self-proclaimed "Gateway to the Castro": the vibrant and flashing rainbow sign directs visitors into this centrally located gay bar whose picture windows offer some of the best people-watching opportunities in the city. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

  • The Valley Tavern

    The Valley Tavern

    4054 24th St. San Francisco, CA 94114
    415-285-0674

    http://www.valleytavern.com A woodsy little patio hidden behind the bar is a decided bonus at this Noe Valley drinking spot, which otherwise serves up standard sports bar offerings (e.g., two pool tables, lots of televisions, digital jukebox, etc.) in a setting that's a skosh fancier than your average football fan's party room. The 20 or so beer taps are usually divided among domestic and international brews, ranging from the lightweight (Pabst) to the heavy (Guinness), with a broad-minded variety in between. Read more about this San Francisco bar or club >>

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