New York City has been a hub of LGBTQ+ pride for years and years, so it’s no secret that it boasts some of the best gay bars and clubs in the entire country. Spanning from Hell’s Kitchen to Brooklyn, there is plenty of different options (and vibes) to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a true club atmosphere or somewhere more low-key to meet new singles, the selection in the City is like none-other. Let’s take a look at some our favorite LGBTQ+ bars in New York City if you’re planning a night out.
1. Nowhere, East Village
Boasting a friendly, yet dimly lit space with intimately-low ceilings, Nowhere is a fun spot to meet the most creative and artsy crowd. Nestled in East Village, this spacious spot offers a variety of draft beer selections and admirable beer and shot combos to keep the party going all night long. While this dive bar is great to have a few drinks at, be sure to stick around late at night where you may flow into the crowd of a particular theme night, where things can get spicy in the best way.
Where: 322 E. 14th Street
2. Barracuda Lounge, Chelsea
Located in the heart of Chelsea, Barracuda Lounge is one of the most well-known and overall best gay bars in NYC. Known for it’s cozy backroom couches, friendly bartenders, and cheap happy hours, this spot is a must if you’re on the West Side. Plus, with their infamous drag shows (that they host seemingly every night of the week), you’ll be sure to get a dose of entertainment while you’re there. This cash-only dive bar has been around for over 25 years and has welcomed some of the most famous drag performers (and they even host their own competition each Thursday).
Where: 275 W. 22nd Street
3. The Boiler Room, East Village
If you’re looking for an attitude-free dive bar with great beer prices and an overall homely atmosphere, The Boiler Room is the spot for you. Between their assortment of bar games like pool, darts, and arcade games and their futuristic jukebox spinning crowd-selected records, there’s something for everyone no matter the vibe you’re looking for. In true dive bar fashion, this East Village spot is cash-only, but don’t worry because you will probably end up spending it on both drinks and games by the night’s end.
Where: 86 E. 4th St
4. Phoenix, East Village
What’s been a queer staple in the heart of East Village since the ’90s, the resurgence of Phoenix in the past few years has been like none other. Originally the stomping grounds for the grungy rock-n-roll gay crowd, this spot now boasts a slew of themed nights, trivia competitions, karaoke, and so much more. Plus, they have amazing drink specials making this the perfect spot to meet with friends or even mingle with some new people! Be sure to stick around at night too to make the most out of whatever fun is happening that night.
Where: 447 E. 13th Street
5. Metropolitan, Williamsburg
Deemed as one of Brooklyn’s original gay bars, Metropolitan brings out a diverse crowd from both the surrounding neighborhood as well as Manhattan. Sitting in the bustling Williamsburg neighborhood, this eclectic spot pushes away the values of the evolving area and sticks true to its traditional dive bar routes. The interior is ski lodge themed and hosts some of the most fun DJs and drag stars in all of Brooklyn. Need a breath of fresh air? Be sure to step outside into their spacious backyard to sit at a picnic table and chat with friends or mingle with others doing the same thing. Nothing beats their patio on a summer night!
Where: 559 Lorimer Street, Brooklyn
6. Club Cumming, East Village
Club Cumming is a gay bar and nightclub that doubles as one of the most unique cabaret and comedy bars in Downtown Manhattan. Owned by actor Alan Cumming, this performance-focused bar draws in a queer crowd from all over for a night of fun. Offering a variety of mixed drinks and classic beers, this spot is a great place to hit after a show (while getting another show in the process). If you’re after a glimpse of Bohemia or on the lookout for Broadway celebrities, you may want to stop by here. Be sure to check out their website to see all their upcoming events.
Where: 505 E. 6th Street
7. The Rosemont, Williamsburg
Home to a variety of theme nights and hipster DJs, The Rosemont on Montrose Ave in South Williamsburg is the perfect spot to dance the night away and sip on some cheap happy hour cocktails. Situated near The Metropolitan in Brooklyn, this spot draws many younger locals from the queer community, especially later in the night. Karaoke and drag shows are commonplace here and their outdoor patio is the best place to cool down after dancing under the bright, sweaty lights.
Where: 63 Montrose Ave, Brooklyn
8. Julius’, Greenwich Village
Julius’ Bar is not only a gathering spot, but a historic establishment too. Coined the oldest gay bar in NYC, this Greenwich Village bar has been around since the 1860s and has served thousands of drinks through the years. What was once the meeting spot for LGBTQ+ folks to drink and protest against other establishments that wouldn’t serve them, Julius’ has become an iconic name in the queer history of the city. Nowadays, the crowd is a good mix of ages and offers plenty of seating and bar space to hang out at. Plus, their in-house grill offers plenty of delicious bar food to help pair with your drink of choice.
Where: 159 W. 10th Street
9. Cubbyhole, West Village
Cubbyhole is New York’s most well-known lesbian bar! Complete with pride and seasonal decor on its interior, this cash-only dive bar is a great inclusive place to grab a drink and listen to some tunes on their famous jukebox. In the summer, their outdoor patio is the perfect place to grab some sun, and even chat with the table next to you. We recommend grabbing a drink during the day so you can get the full experience of all the decorations and chat with the local bartenders who can run down their current drink specials.
Where: 281 W. 12 Street
10. Flaming Saddles Saloon, Hell’s Kitchen
After something out of the ordinary? Head to Flaming Saddles Saloon, which is a Western-themed gay bar in Hell’s Kitchen. This spot is the closest thing to Coyote Ugly, where you’ll find bartenders with cowboy hats dancing on tables and serving some of the coldest and most refreshing cocktails around. Come for the honky-tonk style country music and stay for their delicious assortment of Tex-Mex bar food. This is the perfect spot to hit up with friends if you’re looking to get rowdy!
Where: 793 9th Ave
11. Stonewall Inn, Greenwich Village
Similar to Julius’, The Stonewall Inn is one of the most historic and legacy gay bars in New York. Priding itself on the “birthplace of liberation,” this spot has been a go-to place for the LGBTQ+ community for years and years. In terms of the actual bar, this place brings people from all over together for its assortment of drag shows, themed dance nights, and Pride-focused events. This flirty place is a fun spot to meet others, but also is cool to meet out of town tourists during the day. You never just know what you’ll get when you visit this historical landmark.
Where: 53 Christopher St
12. Playhouse, Greenwich Village
Step into this darkly-lit and buzzing basement bar to get a full experience of a night out. Playhouse NYC offers a stage and dance floor like none-other in the city and hosts many events every single week. Renovated from an old Broadway theater into a futuristic event space, this is the spot to be if you want lose yourself to dance.
Where: 100 7th Ave S
13. Industry Bar, Hell’s Kitchen
From the owners of Barracuda, Industry Bar in Hell’s Kitchen is a high-energy and spacious establishment that fits just about any mood you’re looking to get out of the night. Whether it’s mingling with (often shirtless) bartenders in the main room, tucking away in the lounge for more intimate moments, or partying the night away in the performance area with DJs and drag stars, there’s something for everyone. This is also a great spot for after-work drinks with other young people (thanks to their awesome happy hour deals), which often leads to even more partying as the night goes on.
Where: 355 W. 52nd Street
14. Albatross Bar, Astoria
If you find yourself in Queens, Albatross is a must hit! This spot is inclusive to all kinds and is one of the most delightful gay bars in NYC. All week long they offer tons of fun entertainment like drag bingo, trivia nights, and karaoke. This laidback spot is one of the most underrated LGBTQ+ places in New York.
Where: 3619 24th Ave, Astoria
15. The Cock, East Village
As the name insinuates, The Cock is as dark and sleazy as you would assume for it to be. Known for its seductive bar space and private rooms, this place is the kind of gay club you would look to go to if you were looking for something as close to the Red Light District as you can get. They also host many events throughout the week and often have cover fees late at night.
Where: 93 2nd Ave
16. Macri Park, Williamsburg
Macri Park, located in Williamsburg, is a similar spot to its sister bar The Metropolitan, except much more laidback. With both lovely indoor and outdoor space, this is the perfect place to spend afternoons after work or late at night on the weekends. Macri Park throws tons of weekly events and shows and even hosts viewings of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Where: 462 Union Ave, Brooklyn
17. Boxers NYC, Chelsea
Boxers NYC, located in Chelsea, is the ultimate guy experience. This two-level space is the perfect sports lounge and bar to meet other men who have the same interests. They have several pool tables, TVs to watch the big game, and a wide variety of beers on tap. Plus, their brick oven pizza is to die for and their happy hour specials to accompany it cannot be overlooked. And how can we forget, their bartenders are top-notch and serve drinks in their boxers.
Where: 37 W. 20th Street
18. Ritz Bar & Lounge, Hell’s Kitchen
Touted as the most “inclusive” and “care-free” gay bar in NYC, Ritz Bar and Lounge is where you can truly be yourself. With its two floors of heart-pumping music from the 80s-2000s, their dance floors are some of the most epic in the city, complete with a disco ball. Their happy hours run 4 – 9pm and they even have a small outdoor area to hang out in (if you want to change the vibe).
Where: 369 W. 46th Street
19. Rise Bar, Hell’s Kitchen
Rise is one of the newer gay bars on this list, but it still knows how to throw down. In Hell’s Kitchen, this spot is perfect for daily happy hours, karaoke, dancing to the hottest DJs, and so much more. Plus, they offer weekly theme nights and their acclaimed “Drag Brunch” which happens every Sunday. Be sure to check out their website to make a reservation!
Where: 859 9th Ave
20. Lambda Lounge, Harlem
Last but not least on our list of best gay bars in NYC is the Lambda Lounge. Located in Harlem, this black-owned gay bar is unique in its own right and offers some of the best signature cocktails around. Named after the vodka, this space has an oversized bar, lounge with luxurious couches, and even a dance floor, therefore fitting any mood you’re after. Plus, this spot fulfills its motto of combining “downtown elegance” with “uptown swag,” which is exactly what you’ll find in the clientele that show up.
Where: 2256 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd, Harlem