Los Angeles has a strong reputation for its gay bars and clubs, with an entire strip dedicated to gay establishments on West Hollywood’s Santa Monica Boulevard. The streets and bars of this stretch are completely packed Thursday through to Sunday night. It really is a must-see for any LGBT traveler. Although the city is best known for its WeHo nightlife, there are plenty of other alternatives to find surfer boys, fishy queens, Instastuds and mustache-donning hipsters.
The best gay bars in Los Angeles
The Abbey, West Hollywood, takes the cake and also serves the cake (!), as one of the most famous gay bars in the world. From its infamous brunch celebrations with mimosas by the pitcher to heated weekend nights with acrobatic go-gos, this establishment attracts LGBTs and their straight friends. Because of its global success, The Abbey recently opened The Chapel, a separate bar under the same roof, targeted toward a specifically gay clientele. Sunday Funday is its crown jewel.
It wouldn’t be Los Angeles without queens. At Micky’s bar, its “Showgirls” Monday nights is a classic drag performance with many RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni turning up… bring your single bills, hunty! For a more riotous and alternative party, visit “Queen Kong” Friday nights in DTLA’s Precinct club, where the ghoulish Boulet Brothers host a devilish show infused with downright sickening performers.
For all the size queens out there, FUBAR’s “B.F.D.” (Big Fat Dick) Thursdays can’t be missed. One of the longest-standing weekly parties, it brings the right amount of kink, with shockingly clad go-go boys, a backroom photo contest, and decently-priced drinks. Whatever your scene, there are plenty of gay clubs in Los Angeles to choose from!
Alternative gay bars in Los Angeles
When you're in the mood to get away from the crowds in West Hollywood, head to nearby Santa Monica, Silver Lake or DTLA. The Bird Cage in Santa Monica is a safe haven on weekends for West Side LGBTs with a spacious day-drinking patio.
Silver Lake hosts the long-standing Akbar with few frills but commendable drink prices and a well known “Bears in Space” party on select summertime Sundays. If you're looking for a leather daddy or cub scout, The Eagle and Faultline will not disappoint.
Downtown, sip speciality crafted cocktails at Bar Mattachine while watching hot go-gos read books, or try Redline for the Spanish-infused Top 40. The best rotating parties include the pansexual palace of A Club Called Rhonda, Ostbahnhof, and Spotlight.