Hell's Kitchen has been the gayest of the city's gayborhoods for a decade, and the scene keeps growing and evolving. In addition to gay-bar pioneers including Ninth Avenue Saloon and Posh, stylish boy bars such as Industry, Therapy and Vlada draw locals and tourists alike to the West Side ’hood.
Even the old gay-bar guard is moving in: In 2012, superpopular Chelsea sports bar Boxers opened an outpost here, and the owners of downtown institution Pieces launched Hardware. Quirky newcomers like Fairytail Lounge and Flaming Saddles offer an oddball (in a good way) alternative to the fashionable, buttoned-up drinkeries in the neighborhood.
Whether you're entertaining out-of-town guests, going bar-hopping with pals, or just want to enjoy a cheap happy hour, Hell's Kitchen has got you covered.
Recommended: Hell's Kitchen neighborhood guide
Gay bars in Hell's Kitchen
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.Read more
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.Read more
Vlada von Shats (who runs Russian Samovar) has stocked this stylish gay lounge with Soviet-style spirits. In addition to the 15 kinds of vodka infusions on the menu, the space features padded leather banquettes; a long, sleek bar; works by local artists; and on select evenings, drag shows.Read more
The 30-year-old Hell’s Kitchen fixture (once known as Cleo’s) is practically a clubhouse for the area’s gay population. Though beloved in-house drag-queen-cum-barkeep Ginger has left her post, other entertainment comes in the form of karaoke (Wed 10pm–1am). During happy-hour (Mon–Fri 4–10pm; Sat, Sun noon–8pm), well drinks cost $4.50, so seats can be hard to come by.Read more
Drinks like the Freudian Sip (Ketel One Citron, fresh ginger and lemonade), served in a nice big tumbler, are sure to leave you feeling blissfully worry-free at this cocktailcentric space. But it’s the impressive venue that draws young neurotics: two levels of slate floors connected by a dramatic staircase, crowned with a massive skylight. Mellow pop, house and techno play at the perfect level, allowing for both conversation and grooving.Read more
Gay and Latino is the dominant culture, the energy is infectious, the dance floor is hot, the drinks are weak and the lines to the men’s room are curiously long. You say you’re not into go-go boys, papi, but you’ll change your mind after a few moments in front of these platforms. On Freedom Fridays, everyone gets in free. Saturdays bring dance and live shows (2am), and such quality acts as La India and Dana International. You can’t not have fun.Read more