Beautiful bed & breakfast in the heart of Ortigia, the baroque old town of Siracusa. The very friendly proprietor is an architect, and everything about the house reflects his professional skills. Even better than it looks on the website.
A fabulous, genuinely Portuguese restaurant serving traditional food which is also extremely trendy, glamorous and VERY gay! Right in the middle of the Bairro Alto next to all the action.
Rua da Atalaia 57, Bairro Alto;
Metro: Baixa Chiado;
tel: 21 346 48 11;
Reserve a table as there are only two timetables allowed, 20.30 or 22.30
Every Thursday night is one of the best club nights in town. Fantastic stage show all night, it really kicks off around 3am with the big, fat transvestite dancing show/parade. Quite entertaining. Massive and open drug consumption and gay friendly as well.
Niceto Vega 5510, Palermo.
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
A place to drink or dine for friends of Dorothy and their friends too. Each table has a phone and a number, see a boy or two you like? Use the 'hotline' and give them a buzz. The bar is very fun and not cruisey at all, my straight friends love it more than me.
114/11-13 Silom Soi 4 Silom Road
The first two are more laid-back women's bars in Shinjuku 2. Fuji is great to go to if you have male mates; stuck in the early 70s. Good if/when Kinswomyn is too high on the energy scale. The Tokyo "out" women's scene is quite small, so people do tend to know each other well and are very friendly. There’s also a high butch rate.
Shinjuku 2-7-2 2F
Shinjuku 3-8-5 Kanagawa Bldg B1 03-3355-6938
Fuji is in the basement of an obscure building; ask around
Club packed with gorgous lezzas. Mixture of music - dance, disco, pop, and friendly, happy ambiance. Blokes can go too with their female mates. Top night out. Just wish there was a club like this in the UK!
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.
Bump is a gay/mixed bar and restaurant in Center City. Go for happy hour (5-7pm) when all cocktails are $3, or go later for dinner. I recommend the crab cakes with remoulade, rice and wilted spinach.
1234 Locust Street Philadelphia 19107;
Women-only bar in the heart of Shinjuku Ni-chome (left-of-centre gay district). Free entry, drinks start at Y700 - laugh with the friendly regulars and Tara, the R&B-loving owner. One of the finest women's bars you're likely to visit!
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