Choosing the Greatest Gay Bars in the World
By Out.com Editors
Not long ago we traveled the globe to give you the ultimate guide to gay bars, 60 of the choicest combos of cocktails and community from Provincetown to Prague. But a truism on the consistency of nightlife it’s that there is no consistency to nightlife -- and it’s time for an update.
We’ve weeded out the duds and added a few more of our faves, and now we want to know what’s your go-to for a good time? What is the ultimate gay bar in the world?
Tell us what we’re missing. Zing us for what we included. We’re whittling it down to 50 and that’s when the real fun begins…
NEW YORK CITY
281 W. 12th St.
New York, NY 10014
The heart of the West Village might be the last place on earth you'd expect to find a rrriotin' lesbian bar, but Cubbyhole has been for NY's queer lady folk – and increasingly, plenty of guys -- since it opened in '94. It's also a great neighborhood bar, and until the Beatrice Inn closed next door, it was a great place to sink your sorrows after getting rejected from that door. The ceiling is a tawdry cornucopia of party knick-knacks like Chinese lanterns model airplanes. But no matter who's there (and with dollar drinks, everyone is), the eclectic and never-ending jukebox is always the center of attention. On gay pride weekend, the party spills out onto the streets.
559 Lorimer St.
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Pretty much Brooklyn's best full-time gay bar. Decidedly low-attitude, friendly crew on both sides of the bar will help you while away the hours and get liberated. Fireplaces in the winter are fantastic, multi-level backyard rules in the summer. Sunday brunch includes free Lucky Charms, and hot Lesbian Wednesdays are off the hook. The perfect meeting place to suss out your Manhunt "date" before committing to the hot and heavy.
348 W 52nd St.
New York, NY 10019
After a long week in the big city, a drink at a sexy club in the heart of the new gay village (Hell’s Kitchen) is therapeutic. The centerpiece of this chic, brick-and-wood bi-level club is the staircase, a virtual runway that leads to the lounge, which features cabaret, comedy, karaoke, and a comfort-food bar.
50 W 17th St.
New York, NY 10001
Predictable, yes, but reliable too. Manhattan’s ever-busy gay staple shows no sign of flagging, and though you really may not care for Musical Mondays, this two-floor Chelsea staple has something for everyone -- especially when you’re wasted and not too fussy. Happy hour fans sing karaoke and swill cheap cocktails served by pec-heavy, underwear-clad bartenders, while young nightlife lovers revel in trancey Top 40 remixes until the wee hours.
1236 Dorchester Ave
Dorchester, MA 02125
This gay friendly restaurant bar serves eclectic, to-die-for food, but the mellow and welcoming ambiance set by color-changing lights, music, and nouveau decor makes for an all around great evening. The only peeve is the lack of a maitre d’ -- you’ll have to seat yourself -- and the oh-so-few male waiters.
Gifford House Bar
9 Carver St.
Provincetown, MA 02657
Located at the tip of Cape Cod, this bed and breakfast, tailored to gay vacationers but hetero friendly), appears quaint to first timers. But, being a gay couple’s destination, they know what it means to have fun. Stop by the Lobby Piano Bar for drinks and then head over to Club Purgatory to complete your night of debauchery.
NEW HAVEN, CT
130 Crown St.
New Haven, CT 06510
Southern Connecticut’s biggest gay destination draws a widespread crowd to its three sleek floors of dancing and debauchery. From Yale and Wesleyan undergrads to Bridgeport riffraff, the crowd at Gotham Citi is looking to branch out and hook up. Find a friend early, because after hours the basement turns into a hardcore goth playground with thumping house and gloomy performance art—unless you’re into that.
202 S 13th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
The City of Brotherly Love’s best gay bar is arguably its skankiest. Woody’s slutty bartenders sling flavored Stoli in plastic cups to barely legal students and lifer townies. Wednesday college nights are the best, when the bar’s (inexplicably) carpeted floors are packed with kids from U. Penn, Drexel, and Thomas Jefferson University.
2004 18th St. NW (between N California St. & N U St.)
Washington, DC 20009
D.C.’s gay A-listers assemble every Thursday night to gawk and squawk. Though the lobbyists and Supreme Court clerks that gather there are a highly compensated bunch, it seems like no one pays to play, since they’ve all slept with the hunky bartenders.