The Castro

the castro
Photo cred: Lynn Friedman

(Page in progress)

A super friendly community of neighbors who wear their hearts on their sleeves.

Tags: Gay, nightlife, dancing, activism, pride, colorful, Victorian architecture, clean, community

The Castro Highlights:

  • Take a minute to get acquainted with the Castro by taking a seat in Jane Warner Plaza.
  • As the epicenter for gay rights and pride, make sure to visit the GLBT Museum for some historical context. $5/ticket.
  • The Castro Theater is one of the city’s favorite movie theaters, and SF’s historic building #100. Check out the calendar for their monthly sing-a-longs, one of the most uniquely San Francisco events ($16 gets you a ticket and a bag of party favors).
  • Window shop: walk around and look at all the cleverly named stores in Castro (Ex: Does Your Mother Know). Make sure to check out my favorite hardware shop, Cliff’s Variety, one of the few businesses along Castro that have been around since the 1970s.
  • Hot Cookie: Consider buying their underwear for a fun souvenir. Insider’s tip: buy the “day-old” cookies for only $.90, rather than $2.50.
  • Local Take: a boutique shop to buy local souvenirs.
  • Twin Peaks Tavern is a great option for a drink to watch the Castro walk by.

The Castro Nightlife: Comprised mostly of high-energy gay bars and dance floors, but friendly to all.

  • The Lookout: Awesome outdoor porch that overlooks Market Street.
  • Badlands: Dancing, gay bar, an institution. Dance a long with the streaming music videos.
  • The Mix: Fun neighborhood bar with great outside patio.
  • Toadhall: Dancing, gay bar, good happy hour.
  • Hightops: A new-ish sports bar.
  • Churchill: Bordering the Mission neighborhood, this bar has hipster vibes and serves delicious cocktails in mason jars.


  • Starbelly
  • Chow
  • Woodhouse Fish Company
  • MaMa Ji’s
  • Sushi Time
  • Frances
  • Ike’s Place
  • Kitchen Story: Popular for brunch


  • Philz
  • Réveille Coffee Co.