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New York City’s queer nightlife scene is unlike any other. From karaoke and cabaret, to drag shows, dance clubs, and sports bars galore, city dwellers have unique access to a wide array of LGBTQ+-friendly spots perfect for pretty much any occasion. While some bars have been around for decades with profound historical significance, others are brand spankin’ new and on top of the latest trends. All in all, there’s something for folks of all ilks.
From Chelsea to Bushwick and beyond, here are some of VinePair’s favorite LGBTQ+ bars in NYC.
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Just a few blocks from the chain restaurants dotting Times Square, The Spot is one of Manhattan’s newest gay bars, recently opened by the owners of Hell’s Kitchen mainstay Rise Bar. This locale has a fun happy hour menu featuring frozen Margs and hosts a drag brunch on the weekends, with an entree and bottomless drinks for less than $60.
Address: 599 10th Ave., New York, N.Y. 10036
No NYC gay bar list would be complete without a mention of the Stonewall Inn. Situated in the center of the West Village, this iconic venue is rich with history yet remains a fresh, fun bar with plenty of space for dancing, playing pool, and chatting. The bar also hosts regular themed events, from cabaret competitions to F*ck Me Up Fridays.
Address: 53 Christopher St., New York, N.Y. 10014
If you’re into sports, head to Boxers. The Chelsea spot features beer on tap, plenty of TVs playing every channel ESPN has to offer, and great pizza served on its outdoor patio. The bar has a relaxed, inviting vibe, great happy hour deals, and karaoke nights, no cover charge required.
Address: 37 West 20th St., New York, N.Y. 10011
This Bushwick fixture has exploded in popularity in recent years — and for good reason. The joyful late-night spot hosts fabulous live music events and drag shows you’ll want to go back to again and again.
Address: 260 Meserole St., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11206
Though Marie’s Crisis doesn’t explicitly identify as a gay bar, the beloved West Village haunt has been a queer haven since the late 1800s. The underground lounge is dark and romantic, complete with a piano player who exclusively plays show tunes — and encourages the crowd to sing along.
Address: 59 Grove St., New York, N.Y. 10014
The longest-running lesbian bar in NYC, Henrietta Hudson, which has been around since the 1980s, was once filled with pool tables, a dance floor, and great drinks. It has since transformed into a modern, airy lounge with chic ottomans, nooks to work in, a killer new cocktail program, and even a café. Though it remains lesbian-owned, the West Village staple now calls itself a “queer human space” and is welcoming to all walks of life.
Address: 438 Hudson St., New York, N.Y. 10014
This recently reopened East Williamsburg spot doesn’t take itself too seriously, serving up kitschy drinks in a disco-balled lounge. The bar has everything from Dirty Shirleys to boilermakers, and hosts fun events like “RuPaul’s Drag Race” watch parties and disco nights.
Address: 462 Union Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11211
While tons of new bars come and go, The Duplex’s relevance is eternal. The venue draws a crowd spanning folks of all ages and backgrounds, who come together each night to sing and dance to live piano or cabaret. Upstairs, The Duplex hosts trivia nights, drag shows, and stand-up comedy acts.
Address: 61 Christopher St., New York, N.Y. 10014