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House-made chicken liver pâté at Starbelly
House-made chicken liver pâté at Starbelly

Photo: Starbelly

Places

Best bars and restaurants in the Castro District

One of the first gay neighborhoods in the United States, San Francisco’s Castro District, remains an epicenter of the City’s LGBT community as well as enjoying a reputation as an area to find good food and drink options. It’s a bright neighborhood filled with traditional houses and colorful murals, that’s easy to navigate and find things to do.

Photo: Twin Peaks Tavern

Twin Peaks Tavern

Named after the nearby hills overlooking the neighborhood, this iconic bar is old school and is called “gateway to the Castro” as its neon sign is one of the first things people see on entering the area. A historic landmark, it’s one of the first gay bars in the nation, open since 1971. It feels like not much has changed here or been updated—simple drinks and hospitality, a good spot from which to watch life in the Castro.

Twin Peaks Tavern

401 Castro St, San Francisco

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Photo: Flore

Flore

This restaurant and café, which has been open since 1973, has an outdoor patio and large glass greenhouse walls surrounded by plants, giving it a “secret garden” feeling. Flore keeps the menu easy with just a couple of offerings for lunch and dinner, simple classics like slow-roasted beef stew and cheese tortellini. It’s a great place to grab lunch.

Flore

2298 Market St, San Francisco

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The drink "Jungle bird" at blackbird. Photo: Blackbird.

Blackbird

This dimly lit bar has an innovative seasonal cocktail menu, with entries such as the Wizard Smoke (the alchemy in the drink includes mescal, strawberry rose reduction, white pepper, tequila, lemon and Aleppo) as well as a large selection of craft beer and wine. The bar is filled with interesting art and features opening parties for new exhibits.

Blackbird

2124 Market St, San Francisco

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Photo: Lookout

Lookout

This second-floor bar and restaurant has an outdoor patio that offers a great view of the Castro at sunset and the nightlife below you. It has expected bar fare such as pizza, burgers and tacos, along with less predictable options, such as deep fried tequila shots, which are surprisingly tasty. Fun events include karaoke on Mondays and an occasional “drag brunch.”

Lookout

3600 13th St, San Francisco

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Photo: Starbelly

Starbelly

Locally-sourced California comfort food fills the menu for brunch and dinner. A wide range of appetizers, sandwiches and artisan pizzas, as well as seasonal items are on the menu and the enclosed patio area is open all year-round. A nice spot for couples or small groups.

Starbelly

3583 16th St, San Francisco

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Photo: Eureka Restaurant and Lounge

Eureka Restaurant and Lounge

This two-level restaurant is a good choice for date night and specializes in Southern cooking. A hearty menu includes items such as crispy chicken livers as an appetizer and entrées gumbo or the Eureka meat loaf with garlic mashed potatoes, carrots, green beans and creole gravy. The traditional cocktail menu includes classics such as a Manhattan, Dark 'n' Stormy and “Gingertini.”

Eureka Restaurant and Lounge

4063 18th St, San Francisco

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