All of the bars and clubs listed here were submitted as "favorite local bar" by Los Angelenos who took the Great Gay Bar Survey (which in turn provided the basis for our 200 Greatest Gay Bars List). That said, if you're traveling to the Los Angeles area in the near future and want to know where the locals wet their beaks, check out these 11 watering holes.
1. THE ABBEY: Probably the best known gay bar in all of La-La Land, this massive restaurant and bar has attracted a diverse crowd of celebs, including Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, and Lance Bass. Star sightings aside, it's a reliable go-to for locals and tourists who want a taste of the good life in West Hollywood.
2. AKBAR: Definitely the place to be if you want to avoid LA's fabricated veneer, this artsy, indie-skewing Silver Lake favorite packs 'em in on the weekends, when the dance floor become a rainbow of diverse hotness. (It was here that Out contributor Drew Droege famously encountered a bachelorette party.)
3. ELEVEN BAR & NIGHTCLUB: More nightclub than restaurant, this West Hollywood favorite was originally The First National Bank of Sherman and then the Larrabee Sound Studio where Cher, Prince, and Donna Summer all recorded hits, many of which you'll hear on Eleven's always-thumping dance floors.
4. FAULTLINE: Have hair, will travel at Faultline, the place to be for bears and bear-watching on Melrose Avenue.
5. FUBAR: Muscles and hairy chests are often on display but not required at this West Hollywood hotspot that boasts it's "not your father's gay bar." All you need is a good attitude and an appetite for good old-fashioned gay fun.
(Roosterfish mural via Vimeo.)
6. GOLD COAST BAR: A neighborhood dive bar to its 32-year-old core, the jukebox, pool table, and cheap drinks keep locals coming back for more, and there's always more to be had if you mine this West Hollywood hot spot.
7. GYM BAR: LA's first official gay sports bar, Gym Bar attracts the boys who pitch, catch, and those who come by to see the game get played.
8. MICKY'S: Micky's is the happiest place on earth for those looking for two floors of dancing, go-go boys who pop to the beat, and a mixed and chill crowd in West Hollywood.
9. PARADISE: No, Paradise is not technically in LA proper. This updated piano bar with a loyal following in Long Beach, but that is in Los Angeles County, so that's close enough and offers a welcome reprieve from the more typical nightspots found around town.
10. REVOLVER: LA's glitz and glam are on full display at this video bar, but so too is unabashed gay fun, including well-armed go-go boys and a staff that many regulars describe as the most friendly in town. An outdoor smoking patio is also a plus for those who need their nicotine.
11. ROOSTERFISH: In the wild, the roosterfish is distinguished by seven eye-catching "rooster comb" spines along its back. There's no such posturing at the Venice Beach bar of the same name. An institution since 1979, this always-welcoming hot-spot features special events like hardcore karaoke, HIV testing and weekly barbecues.