There are many strip clubs around the center of San Francisco, although Broadway in North Beach is truly ground zero. San Francisco's strip clubs come in many different forms, from historic speakeasies turned classy dance venues to one-of-a-kind peep shows, where entertainers typically pool their earnings. Visitors should keep in mind that alcohol is only served in topless clubs, not fully nude ones, according to a citywide ordinance.
In 1964, the Condor Club caused an international sensation when it opened as the first topless club in the United States. Located on the corner of Broadway and Columbus, right where Chinatown meets North Beach, the historic strip club is still a major tourist landmark and has a distinctly old-school Barbary Coast vibe. Plush booths, a speakeasy decor, and daily drink specials make the Condor the kind of club that is popular with couples. Since live local bands play here in the early evenings on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, it has transformed the Condor into a hangout for residents of the Bay Area.
Located right around the corner from the Moscone Convention Center and a half a block from Yerba Buena Gardens, the Gold Club is the most upscale strip club in the entire city and caters mostly to visiting business people.
A daily free lunch buffet gets the club started early and a fine dining menu in each evening keeps guests hanging around well past dinner time to enjoy dinner with the show. The club also hosts a variety of dance parties, contests, and other events. Every Saturday night, the club stays open well after-hours (until 5 a.m.).
The best gentlemen's club in the city to catch performances by world-renowned visiting adult entertainment stars is the Crazy Horse. Located on Market Street just blocks up from the cable car turnaround near Union Square, this all-nude club features a large theater-style stage that brings out the natural performer in the dancers. This is also the kind of the place where pole tricks and other acrobatic maneuvers are a regular part of the show.
Sitting at the end of the Broadway Strip, just before it curves down to the waterfront, is Centerfolds. This club is less assuming than the other gaudy clubs that line the street but offers some of the best specials and events in town. Amateur contests are held every Monday, two for one special on Tuesdays, free lunches on Fridays and Saturdays, and a variety of other promotions make this club the best bang for your buck in the area.
Once called the "Carnegie Hall of Public Sex" by the famous gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, the Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theater opened in 1969 and set the standard for strip clubs across the nation. The theater pioneered the lap dance and produced several early porn films including the 1972 classic Behind the Green Door.
Today, the Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theater, which is located just off of Polk Street near San Francisco's Civic Center, is still the premier strip club in the city, and boasts five different stages or "venues" and the dancers perform fully nude. This means, however, that the club cannot serve alcohol because of the city laws regulating nudity with alcohol.