Best gay bars in New York City

The best gay bars in New York, as chosen by Time Out New York's editors. Drink and dance the night away at these gay clubs and pubs.

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  • Photograph: Liz Clayman

    Best gay bars in New York

    Atlas Social Club

  • Photograph: Michael Kirby Smith

    Best gay bars in New York

    Cubbyhole

  • Photograph: Jena Cumbo

    Best gay bars in New York

    Flaming Saddles Saloon

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    Best gay bars in New York

    The Cock

  • Photograph: Michael Alexander

    Best gay bars in New York

    The Eagle

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Best gay bars in New York

    Fairytail Lounge

  • Photograph: Grace Chu

    Best gay bars in New York

    G Lounge

  • Photograph: Grace Chu

    Best gay bars in New York

    Barracuda Lounge

  • Photograph: Jena Cumbo

    Best gay bars in New York

    Nowhere

  • Photograph: Richard Burrowes

    Best gay bars in New York

    XL Nightclub, Cabaret and Lounge

  • Photograph: Noah Fowler

    Best gay bars in New York

    Rockbar

  • Photograph: Courtesy of the venue

    Best gay bars in New York

    The Duplex

  • Photograph: Grace Chu

    Best gay bars in New York

    The Stonewall Inn

Photograph: Liz Clayman

Best gay bars in New York

Atlas Social Club

Fairytail Lounge

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

This Hell's Kitchen watering hole packs a lot of glittery, pseudo-Victorian personality into a small space. Patrons can sip cocktails off the backs of sexy centaur mannequins, or park at the bar while bopping their heads to tunes from various DJs during weekly theme nights.

  1. 500 W 48th St, (between Tenth and Eleventh Aves)
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Flaming Saddles Saloon

City folk can party honky-tonk-style at this country-western gay bar. The 74-seat spot is outfitted to look like a Wild West bordello, complete with red velvet drapes, antler sconces and rococo wallpaper. Throw back a shot and wrangle yourself a mate, or chow down on hearty grub like Texas red chili or Angus beef burgers. Don't miss the entertainment—performances by bartenders dancing in cowboy boots add to the raucous vibe.

  1. 793 Ninth Ave, (at 53rd St), 10019
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Atlas Social Club

Gay nightlife honcho Josh Wood teamed up with veterans of Drom, Eastern Bloc and Splash to bring you this speakeasy-like homo haunt conveniently located in the middle of Hell's Kitchen's thriving gay strip.

  1. 753 Ninth Ave, (between 50th and 51st Sts), 10019
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The Eagle

Whatever your kink, this fetish bar will satisfy with its array of beer blasts, foot-worship fêtes and leather soirées, plus simple pool-playing and cruising nights. In summer, it hosts rooftop barbecues.

  1. 554 W 28th St, (between Tenth and Eleventh Aves)
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Henrietta Hudson

A can’t-miss combo of a Melissa Etheridge–heavy jukebox and strong drinks poured by cute chicks has kept this lesbian spot busy since 1991. Reggae and hip-hop spin most nights, inspiring a good bit of rump shaking among the young, flirty patrons. Weekends bring a higher bridge-and-tunnel quotient, but it’s nothing a Naughty Girl (blue curaçao, coconut rum and pineapple juice) can’t help you overlook.

  1. 438 Hudson St, (at Morton St), 10014
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Cubbyhole

  • Price band: 1/4

Cubbyhole is one of the Village’s more festive and hetero-friendly gay-and-lesbian bars. Chinese paper lanterns, tissue-paper fish and holiday decorations hang from the ceiling. Barstools are upholstered with glossy vinyl bearing pictures of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Porky Pig. Eclectic? You bet. Best of all, drafts of Bass, Guinness, Miller Light and Stella are cheap.

  1. 281 W 12th St, (at 4th St)
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Barracuda Lounge

This classic, no-attitude gay lounge in Chelsea has outlasted many others due to its combination of cozy couches, awesome drag shows, cheap drinks and friendly bartenders.

  1. 275 W 22nd St, (at Seventh Ave), 10011
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G Lounge

  • Critics choice

The ’hood’s original slick boy lounge—a rather moodily lit cave with a cool brick-and-glass arched entrance—wouldn’t look out of place in an Ian Schrager boutique hotel. It’s a favorite after-work cocktail destination, where an excellent roster of DJs stays on top of the mood.

  1. 225 W 19th St, (between Seventh and Eighth Aves)
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The Cock

  • Price band: 1/4

A self-described “rock and sleaze fag bar,” the Cock is just the sort of dark, sketchy dive where you can unleash your inner sexy beast. The dearth of uptown attitude (or any apparent concern for cleanliness) pulls artists, musicians, writers, fashionistos, tourists and closeted rebels in stiff polos, all of whom can appreciate a little dirty fun. Homeskool Mondays feature DJ extraordinaire Jon Jon Battles. Weekends get so crowded (midnight to 3am) that there’s often a cover charge. Stuff your pockets before coming here; it’s cash only.

  1. 29 Second Ave, (between 2nd and 3rd Sts)
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Nowhere

  • Price band: 1/4

A friendly, spacious bar, Nowhere attracts attitude-free crowds—and the place is filled with everyone from dykes to bears, thanks to a fun lineup of theme nights. The pool table’s also a big draw.

  1. 322 E 14th St, (between First and Second Aves)
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The Stonewall Inn

The birthplace of gay liberation says “yes!” to empowerment and “hell, yes!” to go-go boys. The high-energy dance music draws a mixed, flirty crowd. Drink at one of two bars, or shake your groove thing on the dance floor upstairs. Daytime brings gawking tourists, but the evenings are still for partying. Theme nights include the Latin house party Uncut Wednesdays, but true to the bar’s democratic spirit, everyone is welcome.

  1. 53 Christopher St, (between Seventh Ave South and Waverly Pl ), 10014
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Rockbar

This reincarnated Christopher Street watering hole has a queer rock & roll theme, with frequent special events and a lively local crowd.

  1. 185 Christopher St, (at West St)
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The Duplex

Setting the pace for campy, good-natured fun (though not classic glamour), the city’s oldest cabaret is still going strong at 55. A generous mix of regulars and tourists laugh and sing along with drag performers, comedians and rising stars in the cabaret room on the second floor. (Special showcases are still in the intimate game room, which is also upstairs and has a separate bar.) In the ground-floor piano bar, the merry singing waitstaff is entertaining enough to avoid charges of gimmickry.

  1. 61 Christopher St , (at Seventh Ave South)
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Eastern Bloc

  • Price band: 1/4

This cool little space has a red-scare commie feel—in the sexiest of ways—with TV screens that show Bettie Page films, and Soviet-era posters. Bartenders are cuties, and there are nightly themes and happy hours to get the ball rolling.

  1. 505 E 6th St, (between Aves A and B)
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Users say

1 comments
Nunya B
Nunya B

How lazy was this article's author? They clearly haven't actually been to some of these places in years - Stonewall, for instance, hasn't had "Uncut Wednesdays" since the previous owner was in control of the place over seven years ago.