New York City is arguably the best destination in the U.S., if not the world, for gay — and more inclusively, queer — nightlife. Whether you're celebrating NYC Pride in late June, planning a future trip to the Big Apple, or a local looking for a new bar to check out, here is a comprehensive list of nearly every gay and queer bar in NYC.
The Best Gay and Queer Bars in Manhattan:
Alibi Lounge, Harlem: One of the city's only gay, Black-owned LGBTQIA+ bars, this modern bar serves up a variety of specialty cocktails, wine, beer, and bar snacks.
Atlas Social Club, Hell's Kitchen: Of the many queer bars in Hell's Kitchen, Atlas Social Club has more of an alternative vibe you'd expect from an East Village or Williamsburg bar.
Barracuda Lounge, Chelsea: This divey-feeling bar is a Chelsea mainstay, brought to you by the owners of Elmo Restaurant and Industry Bar. The happy hour pours are generous. Stay late for the top-notch drag shows and dancing.
The Boiler Room, East Village: This dive bar features a packed juke box, a well-priced happy hour, and late night dance parties.
Boxers NYC, Chelsea: Buff, shirtless bartenders pour up 2-for-1 happy hour drinks in a sports bar setting. Pretty much any after-work evening, expect the bar to steadily become jam packed.
Club Cumming, East Village: Nodding to its part-owner, Alan Cumming, the former Eastern Bloc dive bar hosts regular cabaret events, Broadway-style shows, drag performances, and dance parties.
The Cock, East Village: This gay-men-only bar is the most cruise-y of all the gay bars in the city. Head to the dark back room if you're feeling extra frisky.
Cubbyhole, West Village: One of only two remaining predominantly lesbian bars in the city, Cubbyhole is on a charming corner of West 12th Street, and features a wildly eclectic array of decor and trinkets hanging from its ceiling.
The Duplex, West Village: Established in 1950, The Duplex is another of the West Village's classic queer bars. Here, choose from drinking at the piano bar, at a live show on the smallest stage in the West Village, at the city's oldest cabaret, or outside.
The Eagle NYC, Chelsea: Perhaps the second-most cruise-y of New York's gay bars, the multi-level Eagle caters almost exclusively to gay men, and gets more debaucherous on each floor.
Evolve Lounge, Midtown East: This chic neighborhood bar has an outdoor garden patio, a billiards room, and lively happy hour.
Flaming Saddles, Hell's Kitchen: Wild-west themed, Flaming Saddles is famous for its Coyote Ugly-inspired bar-top dancers, clad in cowboy boots.
Gym Sportsbar, Chelsea: As the name implies, this is a gay sports bar, popular for post-game team drinks.
The Hangar Bar, West Village: A diverse crowd of masculine gay men frequent this West Village dive.
Hardware Bar, Hell's Kitchen: On the western outskirts of Hell's Kitchen you'll find Hardware Bar, a hole-in-the-wall with big drag shows, an incredibly long Monday - Friday happy hour lasting from 2pm - 8pm, and Sunday and Saturday brunch-inspired cocktails.
Henrietta Hudson, West Village: One of the few remaining lesbian bars in the country, and one of only two in New York City (see Cubbyhole above), Henrietta Hudson has a storied 30-year history serving as a crucial community and activist space — and safe haven.
Industry Bar, Hell's Kitchen: The most spacious of the Hell's Kitchen bars, this industrial-chic bar draws a bustling after-work scene and boisterous late night dancing.
Julius', West Village: Another West Village institution, in 1966, a "sip in" was held by activists at the bar to challenge the New York State Liquor Authority's regulation that barred the serving of homosexuals. This historic event spurred the many legal, political, and social changes for LGBTQIA+ people. Today, the welcoming neighborhood bar grills up burgers and fries, and offers strong pours.
Marie's Crisis, West Village: Little Marie's Crisis dates all the way back to the 1850s when it was used as a den for prostitution. Today, Marie's Crisis is a cozy piano bar. Warm up your vocals and join in on a sing-along performance.
The Monster, West Village: One of the West Village classics, the multi-level Monster offers a piano bar, and a basement level dance floor.
Nowhere, East Village: This lively bar on East 14th Street may just have the lowest ceiling of any queer bar — or bar, for that matter — in the five boroughs. Strong drinks, a top-notch juke box, and vibrant mixed crowd, have kept this beloved dive bar around since 2003.
Phoenix, East Village: For 22 years, Phoenix has been an East Village mainstay. Go there for a strong drink, a game of pool, and late night dancing.
Pieces, West Village: Established in 1993, this longstanding bar hosts some of the best drag shows in the city. Expect shows to transition into packed-to-the-gills dance parties, going strong late into the night.
Playhouse, West Village: This buzzing bar and club, from the creators of Hardware Bar and Pieces Bar, hosts one of the best dance parties in the neighborhood in its basement level club.
REBAR, Chelsea: This industrial-feeling gay bar is a Chelsea standard, featuring energetic drag shows and DJs throughout the week.
Rise Bar, Hell's Kitchen: One of the neighborhood's newer establishments, Rise Bar hosts local drag shows, and turns into a thumping dance party most nights, with multiple monitors playing music videos to accompany the pounding beats.
Ritz Bar & Lounge, Hell's Kitchen: Smack dab in the thick of the Theater District, multi-level Ritz Bar & Lounge plays host to many good old-fashioned dance parties, attracting a mostly younger gay crowd.
Rockbar, West Village: A dive bar at the far west end of Christopher Street, Rockbar has dedicated bear nights, as well as Rupaul's Drag Race viewing parties, among other recurring events.
The Stonewall Inn, West Village: The 1969 Stonewall Riots are largely considered to be the start of the modern LGBTQIA+ movement. Thanks to President Obama, The Stonewall Inn is recognized as a National Historic Landmark — the first dedicated to gay history.
Suite, Upper West Side: This local gay pub has a laid-back neighborhood feel and attracts students from nearby Columbia University.
The Toolbox Bar, Upper East Side: One of the few, if only, gay bars on the Upper East Side, this colorful, intimate bar offers happy hour specials and regular live entertainment.
Townhouse Piano Bar, Midtown East: Three bars, a piano room with nightly performances (and a dress code), this cocktail lounge attracts a mix of senior and younger gay men.
Ty's Bar NYC, West Village: Opened in 1972, this classic Cristopher Street bar attracts an older gay crowd.
Uncle Charlie's Piano Lounge, Midtown East: Located just behind Grand Central Terminal, Uncle Charlie's features nightly performances in its separate piano lounge, and a bar with a backyard terrace.
The Best Gay and Queer Bars in Brooklyn:
3 Dollar Bill, Williamsburg: This large bar and performance venue has been making waves since New York lifted its COVID-19 restrictions. It's Sunday afternoon outdoor dance parties are booming.
Branded Saloon, Prospect Heights: Enjoy typical bar fare and a pint of local brew in one of the bar's spacious booths, or catch a cabaret or drag show in the backroom performance space.
C'mon Everybody, Bed Stuy: Unassuming from the outside, with its narrow bar and tropical plant-fringed lounge, C'mon Everybody has a bustling performance space in the back that hosts raucous queer dance parties most weekend nights.
The Exley, Williamsburg: This newcomer has already made itself a staple in the North Brooklyn queer scene. Evenings are great for sipping a frozen cocktail or craft beer with friends. Come night, the bar turns into an impromptu dance party.
Good Judy, Park Slope: The former second space of longtime local haunt Xcelsior, Good Judy serves up standard drinks in its two-floor space and cozy backyard patio.
Macri Park, Williamsburg: This small but lively bar has yet to lift its temporarily pandemic closure. Given its sister bar, Metropolitan, recently reopened, we're hopeful Marci Park will soon follow suit.
Metropolitan, Williamsburg: From Queeraoke Tuesdays to Drag Race viewing parties to its legendary free Sunday barbecue in the back patio, Metropolitan has been a second home for the Brooklyn queer community since 2002.
The Rosemont, Williamsburg: Make your way back through the bar-lounge to find yourself on the sweaty dance floor. Expect an overspill of dancing and socializing in the backyard patio lawn.
The Best Gay and Queer Bars in Queens:
Albatross, Astoria: On an unassuming corner of 24th Avenue, Albatross is a great low-key bar to grab a drink and catch up with friends.
Icon, Astoria: This easy going bar has an early aughts, Sex in the City vibe, featuring a weekly roster of drag shows and live singing.
Friend's Tavern, Jackson Heights: Neighborhood Latin bar with regular bingo, karaoke, and drag show nights, as well as recurring happy hour and Sunday brunch.
Hombres Lounge, Jackson Heights: Self-proclaimed as having the most Manhattan vibe of all Queens gay bars, Hombres Lounge attracts a diverse, predominantly Latin crowd and offers up tasty bar food with its cocktail menu.
Music Box, Elmhurst: This longstanding neighborhood bar boasts an excellent happy hour.