Top things to do

Top Choice Theater in The Castro & Noe Valley

Castro Theatre

The city's grandest movie palace opened in 1922. The Spanish-Moorish exterior yields to mishmash styles inside, from Italianate to Oriental. Ask nicely and staff may let you take a peek, or come for the nightly cult…
Top Choice Art in The Castro & Noe Valley

Artisana

Artisana sells functional artworks designed for daily use – or at least daily admiration. And they're made exclusively by small-batch artisans, some of them local. Look for stitched-leather hip flasks, sterling and …
Top Choice Italian in The Castro & Noe Valley

Poesia

An all-Italian staff flirts with diners at this unpretentious 2nd-floor bistro with a sunny yellow interior and comfy banquettes good for lingering long after a hearty dinner. Expect dishes you don't typically see a…
Top Choice Californian in The Castro & Noe Valley

Frances

Chef-owner Melissa Perello earned a Michelin star for fine dining, then ditched downtown to start this market-inspired neighborhood bistro. Daily menus showcase bright, seasonal flavors and luxurious textures: cloud…
Top Choice Cinema in The Castro & Noe Valley

Castro Theatre

The Mighty Wurlitzer organ rises from the orchestra pit before evening performances and the audience cheers for the Great American Songbook, ending with: 'San Francisco open your Golden Gate/You let no stranger wait…
Top Choice Fashion & Accessories in The Castro & Noe Valley

Sui Generis

Emerge with confidence from this designer boutique certain that nobody but you will be working your new look. The well-curated collection of contemporary and vintage clothing skews towards dressy – best for those wi…
Top Choice Books in The Castro & Noe Valley

Charlie's Corner

More than a bookstore, Charlie's Corner is a place for kids to explore ideas, creativity and storytelling. The playfully designed space is scaled to children, with a giant magic tree rising to the ceiling and munchk…
Top Choice Gifts & Souvenirs in The Castro & Noe Valley

Local Take

This fab little shop next to the F-Market terminus carries perfect gifts to take home: SF-specific merchandise, all made locally. Favorite items include a miniature scale model of Sutro Tower; T-shirts emblazoned wi…
Square in The Castro & Noe Valley

Harvey Milk & Jane Warner Plazas

A huge rainbow flag flaps above Castro and Market Sts, officially Harvey Milk Plaza. Look closer and spot a plaque honoring the man whose legacy is gay civic pride and political clout. Across Castro, by the F-train …
Museum in The Castro & Noe Valley

GLBT History Museum

America's first gay-history museum cobbles ephemera from the community – Harvey Milk's campaign literature, matchbooks from long-gone bathhouses, photographs of early activists – together with harder-hitting install…