Love the nightlife? Southern California, especially in and around LA, has a vibrant LGBT bar scene. Whether your tastes favor a cozy evening of wine and cheese, or a dance-‘till-dawn throwdown, you’re sure to find a wide array of possibilities in our listings of the best places to dine, dance and make the most of Los Angeles and surrounding areas. Our list includes gay bars broken down by neighborhood, including West Hollywood, Eastside, Silverlake, Downtown LA, Hollywood, Studio City, San Fernando, Long Beach, and Palm Springs.
- The Abbey
- WeHo’s most famous – and crowded – spot, The Abbey draws sexy guys and gals from near and far, even in winter when you’ll find folks frolicking by the roaring fireplace. Strong cocktails, model-handsome bartenders, and an over-the-top interior all add to the venue’s allure. Food is best enjoyed in the daytime. 692 N. Robertson
- Casual dining and classic cocktails, what more do you need? Except a pool table right at the front so you can cruise the boys strolling along Santa Monica Boulevard as you shoot some balls. Though the space is cavernous and service spotty, this is the place to be on Saturday night, and a good alternative to the out-of-town crowds at The Abbey. 8933 Santa Monica Blvd.
- Beaches Bar & Grill
- Despite the kitschy décor and a focus on spiked slushies, this bright, bubbly spot actually has some serious cred since its backers were some of the folks behind downtown cocktail den, The Edison, back in the day. Think “Love Boat” meets “Miami Vice.” 8928 Santa Monica Blvd.,
- Employees Only
- One of New York’s most celebrated speakeasies landed on the West Coast in April and opened in the former Baby Blues BBQ space on a prime stretch of Weho turf. Like the original, this one serves handcrafted cocktails and seasonal share plates. 7953 Santa Monica Blvd.,
- Fiesta Cantina
- Thanks to 2-for-1 drink specials at two different happy hours (4pm-8pm and 10:30pm-12:30am) the crowd at this festive Mexican-themed bar swells all evening long, especially on the patio fronting Santa Monica Boulevard and the second floor deck overlooking the strip. 8865 Santa Monica Blvd.
- Flaming Saddles
- Save a horse, ride a cowboy at the West Coast outlet of this slightly kitsch (but still fun) Wild West-themed franchise serving up cocktails and cowboys in equal measure. The boys come for strong drinks, hijinks and plenty of eye candy in skin-tight muscle tees and knee-high boots to cruise. Mosey in on Thursday for “Cirque du So Cowboy” acrobatics and $5 drink specials. 8811 Santa Monica Blvd.
- The wild, sexy energy here has an East Village New York bar feel with a Silverlake twist. Preps, jocks, hipsters and alternative guys have turned Fubar into one of the city’s sultriest and most popular venues, especially late night. Thursday’s Big Fat Dick is a can’t-miss experience. 7994 Santa Monica Blvd.
- Gold Coast
- Legendary corner bar featuring strong cocktails, a friendly staff, and a crowd of regulars, with multiple happy hour specials to boot. 8228 Santa Monica Blvd.
- Gym Sports Bar
- Butch, athletic types and their admirers inhabit this inviting and energetic space. The outdoor patio is fun for people watching, while the flat-screen televisions are tuned to the latest games. Come on Saturday afternoons when the boys from the area’s sports leagues come for drinks after their games to celebrate or drown their sorrows. 8737 Santa Monica Blvd.
- Hi Tops
- Weho’s newest bar actually comes by way of San Francisco, though the locker-room concept somehow still feels fresh. Order classic bar bites and settle in for a strong sports-themed cocktail or on-tap beer. 8933 Santa Monica Blvd.,
- Micky’s sexy interior, multiple dance areas, and party-ready patio are just icing on the cake at this long-running venue. The bare-chested bartenders are just the eye-candy you need to get your engines revved, and the tight go-go boys are the flirtiest guys you’ll meet in West Hollywood. 8857 Santa Monica Blvd.
- Mother Lode
- Though you might miss it thanks to construction at the moment, Mother Lode is still open for business in the heart of Boystown. A Weho landmark without the attitude, neighborhood gays come for the pool tables, karaoke nights and a truly fun night out. This is definitely the place to start the evening before hitting the other nearby bars. 8944 Santa Monica Blvd.
- Two stories packed with a dance-loving crowd who can’t get enough of the potent cocktails being served at three bars. Multiple theme nights, go-go dancers, and a party atmosphere 365 days a year. 8911 Santa Monica Blvd.
- Reopened after a years-long hiatus, Revolver takes over the space that once held East/West, and returns with a more gentrified atmosphere. The drinks aren’t cheap, but at least they’re strong, all the better to match the well-muscled gym boys you’ll come across on a Friday night here. 8851 Santa Monica Blvd.
- St. Felix
- A cozy restaurant and lounge enjoyed by flirty singles, romantic couples and groups, St. Felix’s selection of wines, beers, and playful cocktails are a great way to start your evening (and maybe even meet someone). 8945 Santa Monica Blvd.
- This comfortable, fun venue for playing pool, people watching and enjoying cocktails generally attracts an older crowd with daily drink specials and friendly bartenders. 8809 Santa Monica Blvd., 310-652-1015
- These Are 17 Films on Netflix with Full Frontal Male Nudity
- When Porn Is the Family Business? Make a Doc about It
- These Are 15 Series on Netflix Where You Can See Naked Men
- This is What It’s Like to Be Internet Sensation Davey Wavey Now
- The Highlight Room
- The Dream Hollywood Hotel’s rooftop terrace has become one of LA’s trendiest bars thanks to prime views and a hot, young crowd. The place comes alive at night thanks to classic American fare and cocktails like Watermelon Mint Lemonade with vodka and cold-pressed juices. 6417 Selma Ave.
- The folks from Melrose Umbrella Co. offer a hopping hotspot with a natty nautical theme, tiki touches, and strong specialty cocktails like a Mai Tai with two kinds of Caribbean rum, macadamia nut liqueur, orgeat and vanilla. 6611 Hollywood Blvd.
- Relive your “Teenage Dream” at this 18-and-over weekly event for pure pop music (beatboxing to ballads) every Thursday from 9:30pm. Sexy go-go dancers, world-renowned DJs and celebr nights make this one of the most fun dance parties in town. Visit clubtigerheat.com for venue information and other events.
- Forget traditional gay bars and visit this hipster venue frequented by skater punks, East Side studs and indie-loving gays. There are two bars, a packed dance floor in the back, an eclectic jukebox and low-priced drinks: everything you need for the perfect East Side night out. 4356 W. Sunset Blvd.
- Bibo Ergo Sum
- This cozy Art Deco-inspired watering hole off Robertson is one of the town’s best kept secrets and the keeper of one of its best cocktail lists whose drinks all have names that are nods to magic. You might even feel like doing some tricks of your own after drinking a few. 116 N. Robertson Blvd.
- Eagle LA
- A notoriously dark den for men who love uniforms, leather, latex and kink. Multiple theme nights dedicated to bears and other fetishes make for some down-and-dirty fun. 4219 Santa Monica Blvd.
- The Sunday beer bust is legendary, as is the Thursday underwear party, but the bar is also great for spotting leather daddies, Levi’s-clad hotties and bears most days of the week. Drink specials, theme nights and good times await. 4216 Melrose Ave.
- This bar — one of Downtown’s biggest, at over 10,000 square feet — occupies pride of place on the second floor of a historic 1902 brick building. Though the dance floor is a big draw, the main attraction is a semi-open patio with plenty of windows for people-watching. 357 S. Broadway, Los Angeles,
- The name is a nod to LA’s growing rapid-transit system, but there’s nothing pedestrian about this hotspot. It’s on the small side, but that makes the industrial-chic space a tad cozier (and easier to talk to neighbors). The happy hour runs from 5-8pm, and there are plans to start weekend brunch soon. 131 E. 6th St.
- Spire 73
- LA’s bar scene doesn’t always inspire superlatives, but this is an exception. It’s located on the top floor of the Intercontinental Hotel and has the honor of being the highest open-air bar in the Western Hemisphere. But that doesn’t mean it’s kitsch or touristy. Instead, it boasts prime views, slick private cabanas and flickering fire pits, and an extensive menu of cocktails and other drinks to enjoy while taking in the skyline. 900 Wilshire Blvd.
Studio City/San Fernando Valley/Inland Empire
- Oil Can Harry’s
- After 40 years, this classic Valley gay bar is still going strong. You can still find a friendly crowd, strong but cheap drinks, a rotating roster of evening events, and even line dancing. 11502 Ventura Blvd., Studio City
- The Bullet Bar
- This leather and Levi’s joint stands out for having a no-attitude, cruise-friendly vibe. Karaoke, drink specials and theme nights are part of the fun and make this one of the swinging-est scene in NoHo. 10522 Burbank Blvd.
- The Falcon
- Pulse-pounding DJ sets and affordable drinks attract an eclectic, good-looking crowd. The space gets packed, but with twinks, bears, and everything in between filling it up, no one complains. 1435 E Broadway
- Hamburger Mary’s
- An all-American menu, a no-attitude environment and enormous drinks all make this Long Beach classic perennially popular. Cute boys fill up the lively bar and resto for its hot bartenders, dancing, and expansive back patio. 330 Pine Ave.
- The Mine Shaft
- One of the most popular gay bars in town thanks to friendly service and cheap drinks not to mention a healthy mix of regulars and newcomers alike as well as DJs on Friday nights and live bands on Saturdays. Bring cash because cards aren’t accepted, though you won’t need much thanks to $2 happy-hour specials. 1720 E. Broadway
- The Silver Fox
- Long Beach’s long-running gay bar is still going strong thanks to fun weekly events like karaoke on Wednesdays and Sundays and 2-for-1 Tuesdays. Though the patio is a popular spot, once the crowd warms up to the music, you’ll find everyone inside on the dance floor. 411 Redondo Ave.
- The Barracks Bar
- The Barracks is hotter than ever — with porn stars, leather daddies, uniform studs, and fetish freaks cavorting on the patio. Don’t miss a chance to hit the popular Sunday beer bust. 67-625 E Palm Canyon Dr.
- Chill Bar
- More contemporary than some of the city’s other gay bars, Chill Bar is the place for strong cocktails, a convivial crowd, good music, and plenty of mingling on the popular patio. 217 E. Arenas Rd.
- One of Palm Springs’ most popular clubs, the inclusive vibe, thumping dance floor, packed bars and game area with pool tables, as well as prime cruising on the front patio all keep this bar at the top of everyone’s must-hit list. 302 E. Arenas Rd.
- Right next door to Hunters, the vibe here is more laidback and friendly – just what you’d expect from Palm Springs’ oldest gay bar. Make new friends among the locals while enjoying sing-alongs, karaoke, or local art exhibits. 224 E. Arenas Rd.
- Tool Shed
- This Palm Springs staple still packs in the leather lovers and skin-tight jeans-clad hotties. Early birds get drink specials; a good time is practically guaranteed. 600 E. Sunny Dunes Rd.
- Toucans Tiki Lounge
- A veritable landmark, this kitschy joint brings the tropics to the desert. Come for the cabaret or the renowned drag shows, and stay all night for great drinks and dancing at this nostalgic oasis in the heart of Palm Springs. 2100 N. Palm Canyon Dr.
If you’re going to be in New York, check out Our List of the Top Gay Bars in New York City.
Want Metrosource LGBTQ content notifications? Sign up for MetroEspresso.
Last modified: April 12, 2019