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Exclusive | San Francisco: Where to Play/Meet Part Two

Exclusive | San Francisco: Where to Play/Meet Part Two

The Stud (399 9th St; 415-863-6623) is an institution, a comfortable bar with pool table, pinball, and a dance floor hosting a variety of theme nights. Check to verify the current lineup. The Eagle (398 12th St; 415-626-0880) is the most traditional leather bar, with a heated outdoor patio. Lone Star Saloon (1354 Harrison St; 415-863-9999) is probably the most famous bear bar in the world. Tough dykes are welcome, too.

The Hole in the Wall Saloon (1369 Folsom St; 415-431-4695) lives up to its name. It?s a dark, dank spot where pretty much anything goes, and we do mean anything. You?ve been warned. Even raunchier is the Powerhouse (1347 Folsom St.; 415-552-8689;, which has Thursday underwear nights and all sorts of kinky and cruisy events. If you can't get laid here, you might need to change your approach. These guys are ready and willing!

Technically in the Mission but culturally a part of SoMa is Truck (1900 Folsom St; 415-252-0306), a friendly, low-key bearish joint with a bar menu and regular event nights.

The Mint Karaoke Lounge (1942 Market St; 415-626-4726) is the only full-time gay karaoke bar in town. Very popular, and deservedly so. Martuni's (4 Valencia St, at Market; 415-241-0205) is a martini bar/piano lounge. Open seven nights a week, this sing-along piano bar has a loyal 20-40 something clientele, and is particularly packed on Friday and Saturday nights. Their lemon drops are incredible!

Marlena's (488 Hayes St; 415-864-6672) draws a somewhat older crowd for drag shows and cocktails, but it's a friendly enough place, popular as an after-work hangout. Because it's in the ever-trendy Hayes Valley, it's actually become more popular with all types in recent years. The once rather drab Trax (1433 Haight St; 415-864-4213) bar, in the Haight, has enjoyed a bit of a resurgence in recent years as well, thanks to cool music and a hipster-ish mixed gay/straight crowd.

Esta Noche (3079 16th St; 415-861-5757) is the undisputed hub of Latino gay life in the city, with an eye-popping array of go-go boys, hunky bartenders and, of course, drag queens. These girls are serious, and the bar is a classic. At the other end of the Mission is El Rio (3158 Mission St; 415-282-3325), which packs in an eclectic group for everything from salsa to spoken word. All genders, colors, and orientations mix happily.

Part One | Part Two | Part Three

San Francisco: Introduction
San Francisco: Where to Stay
San Francisco: Where to Eat
San Francisco: What to See & Do
San Francisco: Where to Shop
San Francisco: Resources

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Joe Okonkwo