Our List of the Top Gay Bars in New York City

Written by | Things to Do

shirtless in gay bar

New York City nightlife is among the best LGBTQ scenes in the world, and it extends well beyond classic gay neighborhoods such as Chelsea and the West Village to areas including the East Village/LES, Hell’s Kitchen, the Upper West Side and over those bridges and tunnels into the outer boroughs. Read on to find our picks for the best gay bars all over NYC, including tips on where you can find great drink specials, which venues feature fabulous drag queens and amazing live music, and what spaces have DJ spinning and plenty of room reasons to dance? Raise your glass: it’s time for a night on the town in the greatest city in the world!


Cool music, cute crowds, wild drag shows and talent competitions hosted on the tiny stage in the rear… 275 W. 22nd St. at Eighth Ave., NYC 212-645-8613
Boxers Chelsea
A big gay sports bar outfitted with flat-screens broadcasting all manner of games, multiple counters, pool tables, a smoking patio and smokin’ hot bartenders. A long bar faces a pizza oven dispensing mouth-watering pies to munch on while watching the game. 37 W. 20th St. between Fifth and Sixth Aves., NYC 212-624-5942
The Eagle
This dark and cruisy leather-and-Levi’s clubs boasts a great rooftop deck. Some of its popular events include Foot Fetish Mondays, Jockstrap Night, and Frisky Saturdays. 554 W. 28th St. between Tenth and Eleventh Aves., NYC 646-473-1866
At this popular after work sports bar, a team of plasma-screen TVs broadcasting games, a pool table and a basement dugout. 167 Eighth Ave. between 18th and 19th Sts., NYC 212-337-2439
This sexy new-ish Chelsea hangout in the location of the former G Lounge has a industrial décor, a hot staff, and draws all kinds of men (especially local muscle bears). 225 W. 19th St. between Seventh and Eighth Aves., NYC 212-929-1085

East Village/Lower East Side

The Boiler Room
A throwback to when the East Village was punky and funky, this dark and comfy no-frills lounge is popular with the college set, attitude-free, and offers eclectic mix of music and scruffy pool players. 86 E. 4th St. at Second Ave., NYC 212-254-7536
Oscar Wilde
Mixologist Johnny Swet sets the scene at this clever cocktail lounge, ironically situated at the former headquarters of NYC’s Bureau of Prohibition. This tribute to a great writer is the gastropub to end all gastropubs. 45 W. 27th St. at Sixth Avenue., NYC 212-213-3066

East Village

Club Cumming
Wilkommen and Bienvenue, to Alan Cumming’s swank new East Village performance-based club where everyone’s invited. Cumming teamd up with Benjamin Maisani, Darren Dryden and Daniel Nardicio for this sassy venture where anything goes. 505 E. 6th St. between Aves. A and B, NYC 212-777-2555
The Cock
Longtime late-night haven for naughty go-go boys and those in search of debauched shenanigans. The infamous and popular “Playpen Mondays” draw naughty boys and nightlife glitterati. 29 Second Ave. between First and Second Sts., NYC
Ultra-mellow East Villager with distressed décor, a pool table and a smallest but active back room ever. Events include King Size Queen, Tommy G’s Legendary Monday Night Party, and BUDDIES (a Tuesday night Beers, Beards and Bears Party). 322 E. 14th St. between First and Second Aves., NYC 212-477-4744
The always-crowded Phoenix holds video games, a pool table, a jukebox and a diverse crowd in an exposed-brick space as uncomplicated as its vibe. 447 E. 13th St. at Ave. A., NYC 212-477-9979

Hell’s Kitchen/Midtown West

Atlas Social Club
Josh Wood, Benjamin Maisani, Pablo Raimondi, and Asi Mazar hit a home run with the starry opening of the Hells Kitchen hotspot. When celebs like Andy Cohen, Anderson Cooper, and Cher start making cameos the neighborhood is more than willing to welcome a new bar to the area. 753 9th Ave. between 50th and 51st Sts., NYC 212-262-8527
This Hell’s Kitchen lounge entices with au courant accouterments and outrageous drinks. A nightly happy hour from 11 p.m. to midnight is the perfect time for a discount. 401 W. 47th St. at Ninth Ave., NYC 212-586-9390
Boxers HK
The Hell’s Kitchen–clone of the Chelsea gay sports bar stalwart features a large ground floor, a basement game room dubbed The Dog Pound, and a spacious rooftop patio. 742 Ninth Ave. at 50th St., NYC 212-951-1518
Fairytail Lounge
Glittery centaurs and other enchanted-forest motifs distinguish this cozy lounge in way-west H.K. where the boys are bewitching. 500 W. 48th St. between Tenth and Eleventh Aves., NYC 646-648-3897
Flaming Saddles
When they’re not mixing up vodka sodas in glass steins, bartenders jump up on the bar to do choreographed boot-scootin’ to Achy Breaky-type tunes at this one-of-a-kind Hell’s Kitchen tavern. 793 Ninth Ave. at 53rd St., NYC 212-713-0481
Cheap drinks are poured at the front bar and fun tunes are spun for the rear dance floor at this neighborhood haunt. In the summer, a garage door swings up, letting the scene spill onto the street. When DJs aren’t doing their thing, live performers like Monet X Change, Miz Cracker & Showbiz Spitfire Paige Turner hit the stage. 697 Tenth Ave between 47th and 48th Sts., NYC 212-924-9885
The owners of Barracuda and Elmo opened this capacious venue features couch-filled nooks, a game room with a pool table and an industrial design that’s a nod to its parking-garage past. Sherry Vine, Bob the Drag Queen, and Tina Burner shake things up. 355 W. 52nd St. between Eighth and Ninth Aves., NYC 646-476-2747
9th Avenue Saloon
This decades-old neighborhood fixture attracts tourists, locals and Broadway professionals from both sides of the footlights with strong drinks, cheap prices and friendly staff. 656 Ninth Ave. at 46th St., NYC 212-307-1503
A mixed bag of Hell’s Kitchenites spill out onto the sidewalk at this lounge known for spinning pop and dance tunes. 405 W. 51st St. at Ninth Ave., NYC 212-957-2222
Rise Bar
John Blair, Beto Sutter, and Ted Arenas joined forces for a fab yet unpretentious watering hole right in the middle of everything. 859 9th Avenue., NYC 646-892-3313
The Ritz
This upscale boy boîte boasts plenty of places to perch, though the kickin’ sound system makes it hard to settle down. 369 W. 46th St. at Ninth Ave., NYC 212-333-2554
The beautifully designed, modern duplex draws a fierce crowd. Weekly shows include legendary performers like Peppermint, Sherry Vine, and Showbiz Spitfire Paige Turner. 348 W. 52nd St. between Eighth and Ninth Aves., NYC 212-397-1700
Vodka Soda/Bottoms Up
The fun neighborhoody two bar,/two story hangout is lures cute boys out from all over NYC. 315 W 46th St., NYC 212-969-0460

East Side

The Tool Box
This dive bar hosts dance parties with a DJ and cute go-go boys on the main floor Friday and Saturday; the downstairs is cozier. 1742 Second Ave, between 90th and 91st Sts., NYC 212-348-1288
The Townhouse
Two levels of mature gents and their younger fans hum along to dance tracks and sway to songs from the Jerry Herman oeuvre. 236 E. 58th St. between Second and Third Aves., NYC 212-754-4649
Uncle Charlie’s
This effervescent lounge, tucked atop an unassuming store on a quiet block, boasts live piano entertainment. 139 E. 45th St. between Third and Lexington Aves., NYC 212-661-9097

Upper West Side

This adorable lounge attracts Columbia gays with leopard-print lamps, cozy leather banquettes and the occasional uptown drag star entertaining on the small stage. 992 Amsterdam Ave. between 109th and 110th Sts., NYC 212-222-4600
West End Lounge
Columbia boys, drag queens, and neighborhood cubs converge at this Morningside watering hole, known for Topless Tuesdays, Karaoke nights, and local drag queens. 955 West End Avenue between 107th and Duke Ellington Blvd., NYC 212-531-4759

West Village

Called home by local lesbians (and usually a few boys), this small West Village bar features a capricious décor that’s heavy on the fish. 281 W. 12th St. at Fourth St., NYC 212-243-9041
The Duplex
At the city’s oldest continuing cabaret/piano bar, the staff performs between bouts of serving downstairs, while upstairs is a more traditional boy bar and an intimate room that books cabaret acts. 61 Christopher St. at Seventh Ave. South, NYC 212-255-5438
The Hangar
Neighborhood guy’s guy bar that attracts a diverse crowd grooving to classic gay tunes. 115 Christopher St. between Bleecker and Hudson Sts., NYC 212-627-2044
Henrietta Hudson
Jam-packed lesbian club/lounge with a multicultural crowd that’s still gay-boy friendly. 438 Hudson St. at Morton St., NYC 212-924-3347
Once the Village’s oldest continuously operating bar went gay in the 1950s, it would go on to become the city’s oldest gay bar — a comfy place for cheap drinks, burgers and fries. 159 W. 10th St. at Waverly Pl., NYC 212-243-1928
Marie’s Crisis
Old-school sing-alongs are on tap at this long-running piano bar. There’s no fuss and no frills at this late-night theater queen hot spot. 59 Grove St. at Seventh Ave. South, NYC 212-243-9323
A Sheridan Square stalwart where mature men and their admirers sing along to their favorite show tunes upstairs while a heavily Latino crowd grooves to dance tracks on the floor downstairs. 80 Grove St. at Seventh Ave. South, NYC 212-924-3558 Open Mon-Fri, 4pm-4am; Sat & Sun, 2pm-4am
You’ll either be singing to retro dance tracks or laughing at the antics of drag queens at this longtime West Villager. 8 Christopher St. at Sixth Ave., NYC 212-929-9291
Find furry men at this butched-up bar with a fist-pumping soundtrack and cheap drinks. Things get burlier and beefier as the night goes on.185 Christopher St. at Weehawken St., NYC
Daddies, faux thugs, and girls who like girls rule the roost at this two-story birthplace of gay pride. Every night offers a different theme, from drag-hosted game shows to karaoke to beer blasts. 53 Christopher St. at Seventh Ave. South, NYC 212-488-2705
Ye Olde Boy Bar serves a loyal and friendly Christopher Street clientele — young, old and everything in between.114 Christopher St. between Bleecker and Hudson Sts., NYC 212-741-9641

Outer Boroughs & Beyond

Homey Astoria bar with a pool table and jukebox. 36-19 24th Ave. at 38th St., Astoria, Queens 718-204-9045
Park Slope pot with a jukebox, garden and outrageous drinks. 563 Fifth Ave. at 16th St., Park Slope, Brooklyn 718-832-1599
Icon Astoria
Beefcake dancers and NYC nightlife legends flock to this unassuming watering hole. 31-84 33rd Street., Astoria, NY 347-808-7592
This B-burg bar boasts a sprawling patio. 559 Lorimer St. at Metropolitan Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn 718-599-4444
Laid-back cocktail lounge and garden patio. 63 Montrose Ave, off Lorimer and Leonard Sts., Williamsburg, Brooklyn 347-987-3101

Also see out pick for best piano bars in NYC.
Looking for more things to do in New York, check out our picks for the best LGBT events in NYC this week

Last modified: June 14, 2018