Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned scene queen, here's our roundup of the top gay bars in New York City to check out now!
Everyone knows that the New York City gay bar scene is nothing short of vibrant and the city’s nightlife is unquestionably busy.
New York is also one of the gayest cities in the United States. The problem is that sometimes it can feel overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time visiting the city. We certainly felt that way on our first visit here. It can feel like there's just too much to do and not enough time… where do you even start?
Here is a list of the top gay bars in NYC, whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned scene queen! And the best part…most of them are on the west side either in the West Village, Chelsea, or Hell’s Kitchen, so really, depending on how long you are in the city, you can bar hop and visit most, if not all of them!
This NYC gay landmark is where the modern gay rights movement started in 1969. Popular with tourists and locals alike, it's no surprise that the crowd varies in age, gender, and geography. You’ll meet people from everywhere in this gay bar.
The atmosphere is great and the staff is super friendly. It’s an institution and considered a ‘rite of passage’ to visit, especially if it’s your first time in New York City. The Stonewall National Monument and Christopher Park are also right across the street to commemorate the site of the Stonewall riots. To cut a long story short, New York Pride was born right here!
The Stonewall Inn is located at 53 Christopher Street in Greenwich Village and is open every day from 2 pm until 11 pm.
2. The Eagle
With a rich history dating back decades, the Eagle has evolved into an iconic establishment that has both celebrated and contributed to the LGBTQ+ community's progress and visibility. Situated in the Chelsea neighborhood, this venue has become a cornerstone of queer nightlife in the city that never sleeps.
Beyond its historical significance, the bar offers an authentic and welcoming atmosphere that captures the essence of New York City's diverse and inclusive spirit. Visitors are drawn to the vibrant energy of the venue, where they can connect with locals, fellow travelers, and like-minded individuals. The Eagle's blend of contemporary vibes and nods to its past creates a unique experience that bridges generations and fosters a sense of camaraderie.
The Eagle is located at 554 W 28th Street in Chelsea. It's open Monday – Saturday from 10am until 4am (until 3am on Mondays) and on Sunday from 5pm until 4am.
Everyone knows about The Stonewall Inn, but did you know that Julius' is considered the oldest continuously operating gay bar in New York City? Julius serves not only cocktails but some of the best burgers on an old-school grill.
The interior is simple but you may actually recognize it as it has been featured in numerous movies and television series, including the ‘Boys in the Band’ ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’, and ‘Pose', just to name a few.
Julius' is located in Greenwich Village at 159 West 10th Street and is open Tuesday – Friday from 2 pm until 10 pm and weekends from midday until 10 pm.
4. Pieces Bar
From elegant drag shows with funny queens to underwear parties, Pieces is one of the best gay bars to go to in New York City to create great memories. The crowd is very diverse, and it is no surprise that weekends are the most popular time to go. Make sure to take advantage of their liquid brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
Pieces is located at 8 Christopher Street in Greenwich Village and is open daily from 2 pm until 4 am.
Our one pick for Chelsea is Rebar – well known for its gay Latin parties and “caliente” atmosphere, this bar’s crowd tends to be between ages 25 and 45. The best day to hang out is on Saturdays from midnight until 4 AM.
Rebar is located at 225 West 19th Street in Chelsea, is open Monday – Wednesday from 4 pm until 2 am, Thursday – Saturday until 4 am, and on Sunday from 2 pm until 2 am.
6. Rise Bar
Also popular for its diverse crowd, Rise Bar and Lounge welcomes everyone with its relaxing and modern atmosphere. You can truly stop by any day of the week and have a great time, especially with their event nights.
Their drag performances are super popular, and they also feature RuPaul’s Drag Race viewing nights. If you love the vibe of crowded gay bars, you will want to go on Saturdays between 11:30 PM and 1 AM. It is often where people meet up to start their night out.
Rise Bar is located in Hell's Kitchen at 859 9th Avenue. It's open on Sundays from 3 pm until 2 am, from 4 pm until 2 am Monday – Thursday and from 3 pm until 4 am on Friday and Saturday.
7. Industry Bar
Industry is the only gay bar and nightclub on the list with a decent size dance floor. It is also known to have some of the best drag performances, you can stop by any night of the week and have a great time while watching amazing talent. The crowd tends to be on the younger side and is great for those who want to dance the night away.
Industry is located in Hell's Kitchen at 355 West 52nd Street and is open every day from 6 pm until 11 pm.
Definitely one of the most unique spots, this wild-west-themed gay bar is where country music meets gay dance party – the bartenders often hop onto the bar top and dance to a variety of country and top 40 songs. They also often pour shots into people’s mouths so stay close to the bar!
All this to say that this place super lively and memorable. They even have a jukebox so you can make sure your favourite tune gets played!
Flaming Saddles is also in Hell's Kitchen, located at 793 9th Avenue. It's open from 3 pm until 4 am Monday to Friday and 2 pm until 4 am on weekends.
The Ritz is located on Restaurant Row in Hell’s Kitchen. When you first walk in it looks like just a simple narrow bar. However, move on into the back or upstairs and you will discover a packed dance floor. The crowd tends to be more mixed but the vibe is super relaxed and welcoming.
Ritz Bar and Lounge is located in Hell's Kitchen at 369 West 46th Street. It's open Monday – Saturday from 4 pm until 4 am and on Sundays from 4 pm until 10 pm.
10. Club Cumming
Club Cumming is named for the owner, bisexual actor Alan Cumming; who you might have seen in Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion, Goldeneye, and Eyes Wide Shut. Now he runs a fabulously fun gay club that regularly features performers doing burlesque, drag, or cabaret, viewing parties for RuPaul's Drag Race and DJs spinning tunes, as well as other diverse events like knitting nights!
Club Cumming is located at 505 East 6th Street on the Lower East Side and is open daily from 5.30 pm until 4 am.
11. Henrietta Hudson
Lesbian-owned and operated, this is the ultimate hangout for lesbians and the gay-friendly community, plus it's open year-round. They have won several awards, including Best Lesbian Bar, Best Bartenders, Best Latin Party, Best DJs, and more!
Henrietta Hudson is located in the West Village at 438 Hudson Street. It's open every day from 5 pm until either 2 or 4 am (but only until midnight on Mondays).
12. The Monster Bar
Since its inception in the early 1960s, the Monster Bar has been a trailblazer in the city's queer nightlife scene. Born during an era when LGBTQ+ spaces were often hidden or underground, the Monster provided a safe haven for individuals to gather, celebrate, and find acceptance. Its walls have witnessed the evolution of LGBTQ+ rights and visibility, making it not only a bar but also a living monument to the community's journey.
Inside you will find a multi-level gay haven with a famous mirrored staircase, watched over by vintage Lalique chandeliers. There's a 360-degree piano bar on the ground floor and a nightclub underneath, apparently, even gay icons like Andy Warhol and RuPaul have partied in this illustrious location.
The Monster Bar is located at 80 Grove Street in Greenwich Village. It's open Monday – Friday from 4pm until 4am and weekends from 3pm until 4am.
13. Hush HK
Located in the former home of Therapy, across from Industry Bar, is one of the youngest gay bars in New York City. Even though it's young (opening in 2021), Hush has already made its mark as one of the top gay entertainment venues in Hell's Kitchen.
Hush is open every day of the week with craft cocktails and drag divas performing, but they also have epic parties from Wednesday to Sunday. Wednesday night is the commando party, Thursday is a Latin party, Fridays are either house pop or NSFW fétish night plus there's Shush Saturdays and Sunday Night Live.
Hush is located at 348 West 52nd Street in Hell's Kitchen. It's open Monday – Wednesday from 5pm until 2am, Thursday and Friday from 5pm until 4am and on weekends from 3pm until 4am.
14. Barracuda Lounge
Ooooh, Barracuda! This iconic gay lounge has been going strong since 1995 and is well-known as the home of the legendary “Star Search” – a bar show that's thought to have been the inspiration for RuPaul's Drag Race.
Barracuda also broke new ground by being much more relaxed and intimate than other gay bars in New York when it opened. The focus here is on entertainment, with drag shows every night along with frequent promotional events for Broadway shows. And for any fans of Sex and the City, the episode where Stanford first goes to a gay bar (and has to strip to his underwear to get in) was actually filmed at Barracuda.
Barracuda is located at 275 West 22nd Street in Chelsea and is open every day of the week from 6pm until 4am.
15. Gym Sports Bar
There are just as many gay guys who are into sports and ‘manly' activities like shooting pool or pounding beers as there are those who like to get their nails done and go dancing. Of course, many of us like both sides of the coin! And if you're looking for a sports bar where you can watch whatever game you're into but don't want to be surrounded by hetero guys, there's the Gym Sports Bar.
This sporty space has locations in LA and Fort Lauderdale as well, while the New York location is a casual watering hole that also has the distinction of being the first gay sports bar in the city. So if you're looking for somewhere to catch the latest ball game and discuss fantasy football with other gay guys, this is where to go!
Gym Sports Bar is located at 167 8th Avenue in Chelsea and is open on weekdays from 4pm and on weekends from 1pm. The bar closes at 2am from Sunday until Thursday, staying open until 4am on Friday and Saturday.
16. Boxers NYC
While Gym may have been the first gay sports bar to open in New York, it's definitely no longer the only one. Boxers NYC is another gay sports bar which actually has two different locations in both Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen. This is an excellent place to watch sports while enjoying a wood-fired pizza, and also to watch the hot staff in their boxers!
Boxers NYC is located in Chelsea at 37 West 20th Street and Boxers HK is in Hell's Kitchen at 735 9th Avenue. They're both open Monday – Thursday from 4pm until 2am, on Fridays from 4pm until 4am, Saturdays 1pm until 4am and Sundays from 1pm until 2am.
17. The Dickens
For those who prefer a more refined bar experience, The Dickens has got to be one of the most upmarket and glamorous gay bars we've ever experienced! This is a really unique space in that it's not a dive bar or a club, but a literary-themed space for dinner, drinks and dancing.
It's named after Charles Dickens because some theorists believe many of his characters were queer and there are some delightful nods to the author in the bar, including a staircase filled with first-edition Dickens covers in pride flag colors. Head here for a delicious dinner in the restaurant, have a cocktail in the opulent Genie's Lounge, then check out the two other bars and the rooftop space.
The Dickens is located at 783 8th Avenue in Hell's Kitchen and is open Monday to Friday from 4pm until 2am and on weekends from 1pm until 2am.
18. Ty's Bar
Ty's is another old-school gay bar that's been gay-owned and run since it opened in 1972. This has always been (and still is) a gay bar that caters mostly to the bears, leather and Levi's community, although they are open and welcoming to everyone. A fun and friendly night out is always guaranteed here, plus Ty's is also the official home of the Empire City Motorcycle Club – the oldest ongoing gay motorbike club in the country.
Ty's Bar is located at 114 Christopher Street in the West Village (just down the road from the Stonewall Inn) and is open daily from 2pm. It closes at 2am from Sunday to Wednesday, 3am on Thursday and 4am on Friday and Saturday.
19. The Hangar Bar
Another gay hotspot on famous Christopher Street is the Hangar Bar, a place where men of all backgrounds meet, mix, mingle and cruise. Yep, this is one of those kinda gay bars where the bathrooms get busy (if you know what we mean) and you're bound to make some new friends. There's plenty of good music and cheap drinks, with a very sexy vibe. So if you just want somewhere casual to meet real friendly gay guys, wing your way over to the Hangar.
The Hangar Bar is located at 115 Christopher Street, directly across the road from Ty's Bar. It's open every day from 3pm until 4am, although it opens slightly earlier at 2pm on Saturday and 1pm on Sunday.
With a name like Flex, you don't need a hugely active imagination to guess what kind of guys frequent this particular gay establishment! This bar is located in what used to be the Posh gay bar, but it's been completely renovated and now features some very eye-catching artwork, including a hand-sculpted mural of shirtless gay bikers by local artist Jo Mar.
Their motto at Flex is “Come alone and meet friends, or come with friends and make more friends” and that is definitely the vibe here. Make sure you also pop in next door to the Ben & Jerry's Scoop Store (run by the same owners of Flex) for some ice cream!
Flex is located in Hell's Kitchen at 405 West 51st Street. It's open Monday – Thursday from 4pm until 2am, Friday from 4pm until 4am, Saturday from 3pm until 4am and Sunday from 3pm until 2am.
If you're looking for an elegant piano bar in New York City, but gay, then head to the Townhouse of New York. This is a very swanky gay men's club where the business set come to mingle and have a drink while enjoying some beautiful piano performances. While many patrons will be in suits after coming from work, you don't have to wear a blazer but do ensure you dress to impress as this is not a dive bar.
The Townhouse of New York is located at 236 East 85th Street on the East Side. It's open every day from 4pm until 2am, and until 4am on Friday and Saturday.
While this is not so much a bar as a drag dining experience, it's still an absolute must-visit while you're in New York! Lips is a legendary drag show palace that's been serving looks for nearly 30 years, and it's one of the best places for a hilarious dinner or brunch. There are different shows six nights a week, with themes ranging from karaoke to glitz and glamor or even Twisted Broadway. This is definitely one of the best ways to start a gay night out in NYC, or nurse your hangover during their weekend brunch show…
Lips is located at 227 East 56th Street and it's open Tuesday – Sunday nights from 7pm for dinner and drag, as well as Saturday and Sunday at 1pm for brunch.
23. Big Booty Bread Co.
Okay, okay, again this is not actually a gar bar, but it's just so funny we had to include it! Big Booty Bread Co. is just the best name for a bakery and the sweet treats on offer here are to die for. We're talking dulce de leche cupcakes, peanut butter cookies and guava turnovers! Plus, you can get merch with “I <3 Big Booty” to wear home and remember your wonderful time in New York.
Big Booty Bread Co. can be found at 261 West 23rd Street in Chelsea and it's open Monday to Saturday from 8:30am until 7:30pm and on Sunday from 10am.
Summary of the best gay bars in New York
Want to do an epic gay bar crawl while you're in New York? We've organised all the gay bars by neighborhood so you can easily plan your own amazing visit!
- The Eagle
- Gym Sportsbar
- Big Booty Bread Co.
- The Townhouse of New York
- Club Cumming
- The Dickens
- Flaming Saddles Saloon
- The Ritz Lounge
- The Hangar
- Henrietta Hudson
- The Monster
- The Stonewall Inn
- Ty's Bar
Happy travels are safe travels
For more inspiration:
- Looking for somewhere to stay? Check out our list of best gay Airbnbs in New York
- For more USA travel, have a read of our gay travel guide to Miami
- These are the best gay bars and clubs in Miami as well
- Along with our gay guide to Fort Lauderdale
- And don't miss our complete gay travel guide to the Florida Keys
- Get inspired with our list of some of the best gaycation holidays in the USA