Choosing the Greatest Gay Bars in the World
By Out.com Editors
5400 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60640
The main level hosts the first gay restaurant franchise of its kind, serving sandwiches, burgers, mac and cheese, and meatloaf. But, nestled above this Chicago staple is a cute purple attic laden with ample bar space, tables, disco lights, and a lone bed. Did we mention that karaoke is an option?
3339-41 N. Halsted St.
Chicago, IL 60657
Attentive and, more importantly, hot model-esque guys serve your every whim -- from delicious cotton candy martinis to paninis. Walk upstairs and tilt your head back for a stunning light show in this attractive, modern venue.
800 W. Belmont Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
Head to Spin to dance the work-related stress away and mingle with a diverse crowd. You can play pool in the back room of the chic, remodeled first floor or walk upstairs to watch TV with drink in hand. Make sure to check in on Wednesdays for $1 drinks.
3349 North Halsted
Chicago, IL 60657
Word of caution: hold hands or risk losing your partner. Sidetrack is teeming with gays and undoubtedly the best bar/club this side of Boystown. A massive venue with bars to suit any mood littered throughout (and an open terrace), Sidetrack offers delish alcoholic slurpees if you’re strapped for cash but crave a buzz.
115 N 1st St.
Minneapolis, MN 55401-1411
Eclectic drinks, minimalist décor, and amiable bartenders attract a sophisticated clientele to the Jetset.
4601 Kellogg Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45226
Check out the cabaret, the drag, the deep house -- there’s room for everything in this sprawling club east of downtown Cincinnati. While Adonis boasts trademark Midwestern friendliness, you’ll also find plenty of heat, especially on summer Sundays when scantily clad men from throughout the region lounge around the swimming pool.
34 N Jefferson St.
Dayton, OH 45402-2008
Trannies, drag queens and kings, lesbians, gays, bis, and heteros dance the night away under one roof. Strippers, amazing drag shows, reasonably priced drinks, and theme nights hosted by talented DJs.
WEST COAST U.S.A.
LOS ANGELES, CA
4356 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90029
Perhaps the social epicenter of hard-partying Alterna-Wood, Akbar is the go-to spot for Los Angeles’s antigloss neighborhoods of Los Feliz, Silver Lake, and Echo Park. Great indie music on the jukebox, stiff drinks, hot guys, good times. When Dirty Dirty House Club takes off on Thursdays, the crowd gets pretty diverse -- the racially mixed vibe is a welcome change in the often-segregated L.A. nightscape.
692 N. Robertson Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Perennial “Best of L.A.” champ, this 16,000-square-foot party place attracts celebs aplenty (mostly queers and straight lassies, but occasionally a famous straight lad). Famous for creative cocktails (mmm, creamsicle!) and the perfect patio, this is where many a gay Angeleno brings his or her out-of-town pals to see -- and experience -- the heart of WeHo.
SAN DIEGO, CA
Rich’s San Diego
1051 University Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103
Especially bumping on the weekends, Rich’s is everybody’s end-up—steamy, slightly sleazy, with no small amount of cruise to a dance-pop beat.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Hole in the Wall Saloon
1369 Folsom St.
San Francisco, CA 94103-3830
Muster up the courage to walk through the dark doors of this intimidating facade, and you’ll find a friendly staff serving cheap (strong) drinks. What did your mom tell you? Looks can be deceiving.
4121 18th St.
San Franciso, CA 94114-2407
Badlands compensates for its small size with 2-for-1 drinks (at less than $5) and a lively crowd and a time-tested dance soundtrack.
SANTA FE, NM
Silver Starlight Lounge
500 Rodeo Rd.
Santa Fe, NM 87505
Yes, this bar is located in the RainbowVision gay retirement home -- er, "condominium, independent and assisted living community" -- but the Starlight offers the best damn pomegranate margarita (made by Mike) you’ll ever have.
7125 E. 5th Ave.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
This popular gay bar for the Scottsdale and out-of-town crowd is a laid-back, flip-flop and shorts dive bar with gorgeous guys and 2-for-1 Wednesdays.
1114 Howell St. (between Boren Ave. & Minor Ave.)
Seattle, WA 98101
Off the beaten path in the Belltown neighborhood, Re-Bar is full of surprises. Patrons compete in spelling bees, bingo, and video game tournaments, but the biggest events take place on Re-Bar’s stage. With offerings ranging from comedy and Shakespeare to drag shows and a cappella performances, it’s like being in college on speed. On Saturday night DJs playing pop and hip-hop are the major draw.
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