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SF Pride | © GPS/Flickr
SF Pride | © GPS/Flickr

The Best Gay Bars in San Francisco

Picture of Deanna Morgado
Updated: 6 September 2017
All around the world, San Francisco is recognized for its rich and progressive LGBTQIA community and culture. And the fun goes on and on in the gay nightlife scene. Have a real San Francisco experience while checking out some of the best drag shows, dance parties, great drinks and company. People from all walks of life, sexual preferences, and status are welcome to party, drink, and have a great time at these top gay bars in San Francisco.


Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
Courtesy of Oasis
Courtesy of Oasis

Oasis puts on some of the most fun and entertaining performances in San Francisco. Cabaret, drag shows, and just all-out dance parties are just a few of the fun times to be had here. The venue used to be in a former bathhouse, and has now become a favorite among the gay nightlife scene in the city. Performances and events are presented by drag legends D’Arcy Drollinger and Heklina. Oasis was the winner of 2016 Best of the Bay, 2017 SF Niteys Best Gay Dance Club, as well as the 2015 Best New Nightclub by both the SF Weekly and the B.A.R., and one of the 2015 Best Places to Play by SF Magazine. A must-visit.
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Wed - Thu:
6:00 pm - 12:00 am
Fri - Sat:
6:00 pm - 3:00 am
11:00 am - 9:00 pm

Moby Dick

Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
Moby Dick, San Francisco
Moby Dick, San Francisco | © Allan Ferguson/Flickr

There’s more to this longtime gay watering hole than a punny name. The atmosphere is laid-back, casual, and inviting. With the options of playing pool, pinball, and video quizzes, friendly competition has a place at Moby Dick. There’s always 12 beers on tap and there’s the 2-for-1 frozen drinks special every day of the week. The bartenders and staff are so friendly and welcoming, and they know how to sling great drinks.
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The Stud

Bar, Pub Grub, $$$

The Stud has been a community favorite since its doors opened in 1966. This beloved gay bar features events like awe-inspiring drag and burlesque shows, disco and other one-of-a-kind parties, karaoke, and more. The Stud not only has owners and staff, it is a self-proclaimed “worker-owner collaborative,” meaning everyone does everything. This dynamic shows in the welcoming atmosphere and unintimidating setting. The Stud is cash-only though, so come prepared.
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Sat - Wed:
5:00 pm - 2:00 am
Thu - Fri:
5:00 pm - 4:00 am

Aunt Charlie’s Lounge

Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
A drag show in San Francisco
A drag show in San Francisco | © James Buck/Flickr

Located in the Tenderloin, this gay bar is anything but ordinary. Aunt Charlie’s Lounge is known for their unfeasibly cheap drinks and unforgettable drag shows. There always seems to be some sort of celebration going on. However, on certain nights after 10 p.m. t