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A Day In: The Castro

Imagine a post on the Castro without a picture of the pride flag or the Castro Theater. Though these iconic images help conjure a neighborhood rich in culture and activism, we’re drawn to the smaller establishments that are just as vibrant and significant.

San Francisco native and Castro resident, Paul McWilliams shares his favorite spots.


With names such as Gypsy Tears and The Bullfighter, Blackbird‘s artisan cocktails are a handmade indulgence. You’ll be in harmony in a comfortable setting that attracts a diverse mix of gay and straight populations.

2124 Market Street / Happy Hour 5-8pm Weekdays

Anchor Oyster Bar is a small, locally owned seafood restaurant that has been part of the community since 1977. The oysters and rotating seafood menu are a perfect chance to sample West Coast seafood at its finest, and their chowder was named a Bay Area favorite by the San Francisco Chronicle. But it is best to keep your party small since this place gets quite crowded. Your best bet is grabbing a seat at the bar.

579 Castro Street / 415.431.3990

Chef Melissa Perello’s restaurant, Frances, is tucked away in the residential streets of the Castro, and has garnered much critical acclaim for its daily-changing menu featuring local producers. It can be quite difficult to get a reservation, but it is worth the effort. Make sure to save room for the Pink Lady Apple Galette. Made with Humphrey Slocombe Rum Raisin ice cream, this is one treat not to miss.

3870 17th Street / 415.621.3870


Sui GENERIS is a high-end designer consignment boutique featuring separate his (Ille) & hers (lla) stores both in the same block on Market Street. “Sui generis” is a Latin expression meaning “of its own kind” and this is evident when browsing their merchandise. Everything feels hand-selected which makes for an amazing variety of clothing, shoes and accessories.

Ille: 2231 Market St. / 415.437.2231    Ila: 2265 Market St. / 415.437.2265

For well executed men’s clothing, go to Unionmade. They offer a variety of quality designers which make their price point high, but it is good for a fashion splurge. Ladies, are you feeling left out? Rumor has it they are opening a women’s store in Noe Valley in the not so distant future.
493 Sanchez Street / 415.861.3373

Celebrating 75 years in business, Cliff’s Variety Store is a neighborhood icon. Not only do they offer all the handy hardware you’d expect to find, they also sell amusing gifts and quirky knickknacks.

479 Castro Street / 415.431.5365

One Comment Post a comment
  1. iPost #

    It worth you to spend time on it! many interesting things to find out!

    May 18, 2012


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