You are taken around all the important historic sites in San Francisco's gay area. The $45 fee includes lunch. Last time I was there, our group was introduced to Armistead Maupin on a street corner! Unfortunately, Trevor Hailey has retired as of August 15, 2005 and she was the epitome of Southern Charm.
A "mixed" place, this Castro bar becomes mostly gay (and more crowded) by midnight. What sets it apart are not the little TVs embedded into the bar, nor the tiny but zesty little dishes (mini-burgers, grilled-cheese sandwiches with tomato soup "dip," Yukon potatoes with paprika aioli), but the fact that you can actually have a grown-up conversation there. In general, it's a chilled-out and friendly place, more suited to the flush of young professionals than the party boys. The decor doesn't hurt, either: space-age white furniture, curvy chairs, and tasteful (yes, really) neon.
2247 Market Street (between Noe and Sanchez), San Francisco; tel: (415) 621-5256; www.lime-sf.com
For the best food at knock-down prices (and for colourful, mainly gay, San Fran locals) head for Chow's in Castro where they are queuing down the street every night of the week; but never mind, the waiting staff will direct you to an adjacent bookshop from which they will call you when your table is free. The food is great, the portions are gargantuan, the service is brilliant and the bill is miniscule.
215 Church St; tel: 415-552-2469;
Directions: Take the bus from the centre of San Fran and get off at Castro - turn left and it's a couple of hundred yards down on the left. Or, Take the K,L,M or J Church Underground Muni Metro and get off at Church (Street) Station. Chow is on the south side of Market Street.
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