SF Badlands

20s / 70s Music / Baseball Caps / Beer / Budget-friendly / Cash Only / Casual / Club / Coat Check / Coat Check / Cover charge / Dance / EDM / Dance Floor / Dancing / Day Drinking / Day Drinking / Funky Dresses / Gay / Gay Bar / Gay Club / Gay-friendly / Happy Hour / Jam Packed / Jeans / Late 30s / Patio / Smoking Area / Specialty Cocktails / Sports / Students / T-shirts / TVs / Top 40 / Young Professionals
SF Badlands It's a party every night at SF Badlands, a Castro institution for young boys who love to dance and older men who aren't afraid to stare. San Francisco United States 37.760842 -122.435526
3.82 11
SF Badlands - Club | Gay Bar | Gay Club in San Francisco.
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Party Earth Review It’s a party every night at SF Badlands, a Castro institution for young boys who love to dance and older men who aren’t afraid to stare. Heavily discounted Happy Hour specials draw patrons in by the early afternoon, and... ... read full review

  • Metro:

    MUNI KT, L, M Lines: Metro Castro Station

  • Phone:


  • Links:

  • Hours:

    Daily 3pm–2am

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth SF Badlands Review

The Scene

It's a party every night at SF Badlands, a Castro institution for young boys who love to dance and older men who aren't afraid to stare.

It’s a party every night at SF Badlands, a Castro institution for young boys who love to dance and older men who aren’t afraid to stare.

Heavily discounted Happy Hour specials draw patrons in by the early afternoon, and Sunday’s regular all-you-can drink beer busts even inspire a few uninhibited straight guys to sidle in.

Bartenders tend to be barely outside of twenty-one, and their normal attire of cut-offs and tiny jeans proves the brick behind the bar isn’t the only thing exposed in here.

The front lounge fills up first with tight-shirted college students and buffed-up older bears chilling on the well-worn couches, but the TV-strewn dance floor in back is the biggest draw.

By 7pm the wooden floor is a sea of gyrating toned men, shirtless locals, and women who’ve discovered they can dance at a gay club without a single person hitting on them – at least not a single guy.

Weekend visits to the club are invariably a sweaty venture, when dancing is often limited to the small space between the sea of shoulders, and condensation drips from the disco balls above. Laser lights erupt from the corners of the room, while multiple flat-screens flicker images of music videos along with the blare of Top 40 and dance hits.

Visually exciting from its TVs to its sticky boys, SF Badlands continues to make getting down and dirty an undeniably uplifting experience.

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Tip from Emma:

Instead of a regular Long Island, ask for the ‘Long Island Iced Tea from scratch.’ It’s an extra $1.50, but it just might be the only drink you need that evening. Sip slowly.

  • Crowd

    Mostly gay mix of college kids, young professionals, barhoppers, dance hounds, ladies looking to club without getting groped, and straight guys discovering what getting groped feels like, 20s to late 30s with a few older queens in the corners.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Mostly Top 40 and contemporary dance hits, interspersed with old stalwarts from the likes of Cher and ABBA. TVs tuned to music videos at night and local sports by day.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    No food. Cash only. Small smoking patio out front. Happy Hour daily 3–8pm.

  • Prices

    Cover charge $0–$5. Beer $4–$6, wine $5–$7, cocktails $5–$7. Coat check $2.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Casual: tight t-shirts, jeans, ball caps, tank tops, cute dresses, and comfortable dance attire.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Fridays and Saturdays after 7pm for wall-to-wall boys and beats, or Sundays for the $8 all-you-can-drink beer bust.

  • Close By

    QBAR (‎456 Castro Street) is another popular bar/club with daily Happy Hour deals and different dance-related themes every night.

SF Badlands User Reviews

Average rating:
Gor G. Jun 8, 2013
I am a cheerful person. Scratch that, I am an overly cheerful, Tigger-esque person. You can ask my friends. I annoy some people, but oh freaking well. I am happy, they are not. But there are days when I get down in the dumps, too. Surefire way to get me back to my happy self is either (1) indulge in sweets; (2) eat good food; (3) go for a hike; or (4) go dancing. If dancing is what I need to get back to my usual self, Badlands is where I usually drag my friends to. I love the cheesy songs. I love the Top 40 songs. I love the crowd who frequent this place. I love that I see wildness/craziness even before I set foot in the place (e.g. buttnaked man in front of Walgreens). I love that the wildness/craziness continues in the dancefloor. I love that the place just exudes...San Francisco to me. Most of all, I love that no one tries to grind against me! (Well, almost no one) I can dance unassaulted and undisturbed. I love it! So when I am down and in serious and guaranteed need of seratonin/melatonin in my system on the quick, Badlands is it! Just be sure to come in before 10 so you can get in before they charge. If it is still not jumping at that time (which never happened to me), you could always step out and get a stamp so you could get back in.
Shit Show Central
Kyle N. Apr 28, 2013
If you're going to visit the Castro Badlands is a MUST. All of the hot buff guys are here and they're ready to get wasted and dance the night away. They play the best music I've heard at any gay club- All the very best dance music from disco to today. The last song is always a slow song, which is a nice, refreshing tradition for a gay club. The party starts early here with happy hour. The drinks are cheap and the bartenders are quick so you won't miss that must-dance-to song. The only drawback here is the line which frequently stretches down the block. I'd recommend getting here a bit earlier rather than spend your night waiting in line. Some people may find this place way too crowded so if you're clostropheobic, proceed with caution. I love to dance and meet new people on the floor so if that's your speed, come on Saturday night when it's most lively.
Nina W. Mar 29, 2013
Visiting a place like Qbar is undeniably a part of the San Francisco experience. If you want to party with the gayest of the gays in the rainbow city, then this is where you should go. While it is definitely focused on the male variety, they have weekly “lezzie dance parties” every Tuesday, and this is what I want to review. One must admit that it’s awkward to walk into at first. If you’re female, you’re probably being given the once-over by most of the women who see you, and if you’re male you might as well leave. However, once you get a few drinks in you the party never stops. The music they play is generally EXACTLY what you want to hear when you’re out dancing and having a good time, and whether you want to participate or not it’s awesome to watch the ladies cutting a serious rug on the dance floor. There’s a separate room (plastered with racy posters for your enjoyment) in which to light up a cigarette and converse with fellow smokers, and the bar is long enough that you won't generally have a problem getting a drink. However, I will say that the line for the bathroom is always hell, especially on Tuesdays during this “ladies’ night” of sorts. Also, if you’re a Qbar you’re probably seeing this Girls Gone Wild-esque video being played out on each TV screen, depicting all kinds of naked debauchery and wild partying. This footage that MUST have been filmed on a national holiday or something, because I’ve never seen the place get that crazy. It is often described as a sticky, shirtless, breathless club in which to get your down and dirtiest, but I beg to differ—at least the majority of the time, the dancing is kept to the PG13 level and the people are, for the most part, clothed. That being said, QBar is still worth a trip (or several). Getting rowdy with some real San Francisco scenesters (the tastemakers of SF arguably being at least 50% gay), dancing like you REALLY don't care, and enjoying the bartenders' generous pours are what this place is all about.
The Good Badlands
Alexandra Z. Feb 20, 2013
Badlands is a great place for all sorts of people, they play the music people usually never admit they like or even heard of, but later you see everyone singing along and busting out their weirdest dance moves, which they would not even do in front of a mirror, yet it is so fun and unpretentious. People come here to have fun and just be themselves and that is exactly what they do. As the night grows the place starts looking like a ballroom dance school on acid, everyone is dancing so crazy and no one cares what they look like. The people there are super friendly, no one will ever push you and will always say "sorry" if they spilled their drink on you by accident. It does not matter if you are gay or straight, everyone has fun here, as long as you don't judge others you will not get judged either.
Rachel G. Nov 16, 2012
I have never had so many black-out insane and crazy nights than I have at Badlands. I love coming here because it's so crazy and chaotic. This is the place to let loose and not give a damn about what people think of you. I was originally dragged here one night and I so didn't want to go because I had heard "stories" about it. So I was in fact reluctant to go, but it ended up being really really fun! You have to go into this place with an open mind and a clear path for where your night is going to lead you. You go in with no reservations and leave with some...it's worth the trek though.
Wet n' Wild
Jaclyn W. Nov 8, 2012
Stumbled in here after going to a few bars in the Mission. I was on vacation and coming from New York, I was shocked to see all of the bars closing so early. This was our last stop before the hotel and my guy friend wanted to check it out. We stroll in and Robyn is playing on the TVs overhead. The bar was packed despite the half hour until closing announcement. Everyone was super friendly and me and one of my girlfriends actually picked up two straight guys. No one discriminates and everyone is down to have a good time! Come happy and in the mood to party.
Always a party !
Lucy A. Nov 1, 2012
One of my wildest nights in San Francisco took place at Badlands...and it was a Wednesday. This place is always full of people looking for a good time. The music is always blasting, the dance floor is always moving, and the people are always there to socialize. Yes, I was probably one of those annoying girls dancing at a gay bar, but no one seemed to care! I would go back any day of the week if I was in the mood to dance and blow off some steam! Badlands lost a star because the DJ won't take requests and its slightly sketchy bathroom.
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