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San Francisco's Best Dance Clubs In The Castro

San Francisco's Best Dance Clubs In The Castro

Picture of Danika Peterson
Updated: 10 January 2017
San Francisco‘s The Castro district is home to some of the best nightlife in the city. From the iconic Twin Peaks Tavern to the second-story dance party in The Café, there are plenty of welcoming and fun venues to discover. Here are The Castro’s five best clubs.
“An Afternoon at Beaux” © Torbakhopper/Flickr


Beaux, the French word for boyfriends, is one of the newest Castro hotspots. Open seven days a week, this bar and dance club have some of the best drink specials in the district (two-for-one happy hour). Every night at the bar caters to the young male crowd, with their hunky male dancers everywhere. While the bar is very popular with the boys, Beaux has one of the best ladies’ nights in San Francisco. Every Wednesday DJ China G and Ms. Jackson know how to please a crowd and keep the ladies coming back. The upper deck is great for those wanting to relax and talk over drinks. The swanky venue offers a fun, flirty, and exciting night out.

ALT="The Lookout"
“The Lookout” © Stephen Kelley Photography

The Lookout

This bar with a view, the Lookout is one of the most popular bar and restaurants in The Castro. While many bars with attached restaurants close early, the Lookout’s restaurant is open late for customers with the munchies. During the day the bar and restaurant are also open for all of those with a wandering eye. The second floor has some of the best people-watching and a great way to spend a beautiful San Francisco day. After dusk the scene transforms into a thriving dance party with attractive males dancers and risqué and raunchy music videos. It is an absolute blast that everyone should visit at least once.

Q Bar

Any young bar-hopper might call Q bar the little club that could. Despite its small size, the club has some of the best dancing in The Castro. Rather than play the usual Top 40 mixes, the club hosts what 7×7 Magazine calls the “best indie rock DJ experience.” Every night has a theme, and ones not to miss are Tuesdays, when they hold 13Licks, a ridiculous lesbian dance party, and Wednesdays for their infamous “booty call shots.” When it’s busy you can feel it shoulder-to-shoulder with everyone in the bar. But the crowds are friendly and the music is enough to make you want to dance with a pretty stranger.

Night time in The Castro  / ©Travis Wise/ Flickr
Night time in The Castro / ©Travis Wise/ Flickr

The Café

The Café is one of the most popular nightlife spots in The Castro. Located in the heart of the district, it’s within walking distance of nearly every bar on the list. Inside the second story club are three bars, a patio and skylight, and one of the best dance floors in the Castro; who doesn’t love a platform to dance on? With its massive dance floor it’s easy for everyone to find a spot to get their groove on. Unlike some of the gay bars in The Castro, this venue has a good blend of men and women and is regularly packed. One of the best nights of the week is Sunday, when the club hosts and boasts, the best drag show in The Castro. The show is hysterical and ridiculously entertaining.


A night out in The Castro is never complete without visiting Badlands. The club is one of the premier video/music venues in the area. Like the Café, Badlands has a unique dance floor. While the dance space is much smaller than the Café’s, the circular area has a floor-to-ceiling light show complete with a state-of-the-art sound system. Throughout the venue are flat screen TVs playing your favorite Top 40 music videos, including some great oldies. There is always a frenzied energy among the crowd, so for those wanting to see and be seen, the front of the club offers a lounge. The club is packed nearly every night of the week and is worth at least one dance.