Whether you can fondly recall the days of Salvation debauchery and Birdcage camp, or showing off your hairless young body on 12th Street’s gay beach is more your style, there are endless things to do in Miami for local and visiting gays when the sun goes down. Miami nightlife is unparalleled—yes, Vegas, we challenge even you to a “nightlife off”—and one of its many highlights is the bars and clubs scene catering to the LGBT community. The Magic City will always be a primo queer party spot and a safe haven for total fierceness. From South Beach to Downtown Miami and beyond (hi, Fort Lauderdale), here are the best gay clubs in Miami.
Best gay clubs in Miami
If you were think about Twist as a human being, you’d see it as a tanned and horny 22-year-old man, slowly unbuttoning his shirt to show you the best South Beach has to offer. While clubs like Salvation have come and gone, Twist remains the place for any gay man in town to end his night. Two levels and seven bars make this a must-visit—you can bar-hop without ever having to step outside the premises. And the abundant drink specials make the nights sail smoothly. Don’t forget to stop at the back Bungalow Bar to experience the go-go boys whose dark skin and bulging pecs will impress even the most uptight of your gurls. There’s no real dress code, but there is a night for every type, from Sabroso Thursdays with Sazon Latino to Pusilla’s Underwear Contest—which, if you’ve got what it takes, will score you a $100 bar tab. As they say at Twist: ”Never a cover, always a groove!"
For years, this relaxed but chic queer staple offered visitors from around the world a club packed with hotties looking for Mr. Right Now on Lincoln Road. But recently, the multi-bar venue was forced to relocate. The good news is, it’s very close to Twist and situated in the old Liquid space (for those who remember the glory days of SoBe). Oddly enough, there’s a straight arm to the club called Trade, offering trance and deep house to get your heart pumping with a different crowd. But Score remains a powerhouse of gay party fun, bringing in international DJs like Benny Benassi, Danny Tenaglia and the late Frankie Knuckles, and singers whose voices will make you peak with delight, like Paulina Rubio. You’ll also find drag hosts of the most impressive sort, including Ms. Nina Flowers of RuPaul’s Drag Race and SoBe classic queen Daisy Deadpetals. Former gay clubs live on as nights here too, like ’90s staple Salvation and Club Boi, which caters to the sexiest black men of South Florida and their biggest fans.
One Monday a month (dates vary), Gio Profera—half of Hialeah’s hysterical performance duo Juleisy y Karla—brings the chonga sass to Basement with Juleisy’s Total Split Show. Forget bowling! You’ll vogue down the lanes and show off your best moves dancing to acts like Otto Von Schirach. Crowds are mixed, beautiful and up for anything!
There are so few places in the world where you can see a nimble drag queen do the splits on a sidewalk just steps from breaking ocean waves. And all while you chug bottomless mimosas. Palace South Beach may not look particularly fabulous inside, but the drag shows here are unrivaled and feature special guests like uber famous South Florida gem Latrice Royale. Sure, it’s located on Ocean Drive, Miami’s very own Times Square, but you’ll always find locals amped and mingling at this Palace. Each Sunday, they revel in “Brunchic”, an outdoor meal fit for the actual Queen. As they rightfully say about this hot spot by the sea: ”Every queen needs a Palace." This is yours.
Besides comedy shows and karaoke parties, this Wynwood hangout hosts a number of gay-themed nights for hipster boys and girls alike. Wednesdays are Bingo With Baba, drag queen shenanigans and lots of balls in the air. While the last Sunday of the month is all about Double Stubble, a free dance party for guys, hosted by Bass Funk Daddy, Miss Toto and others.
Floppy Rooster is Florida’s only all-nude gay strip club. And to be certain, not all the roosters in the room will be floppy after eyeing the beefcakes on display. Whether you like twinks, muscle men, frat boys, bears or lanky dudes, there’s a man here you’ll welcome onto your lap completely. Not only are they all studs, most have Magic Mike-like dance moves, and all are hung like donkeys. If you want to take it up a notch, get the VIP treatment—either a booth for 15 of your besties or a private room for solo time with your new dream guy for an hour. A friction dance is a mere 10 bones! This joint is also perfect for those who had one too many bloody Marys on their flight in—it’s right by the airport.
If you’re looking for a gay-friendly pool party in architecturally stunning surroundings, look no further than the Vagabond Hotel on Sundays. The MiMo-style hotel hosts a weekly poolside bash, where you’re welcome to pull up a chair at the outdoor bar and watch for eye candy while listening to tunes spun by local DJs like Louie Arson and Lumin. The Vagabond is also a full-service hotel, in case you need to grab a room for the night.
If you want pretty faces, a cool—but not super hipster—vibe and a mojito, Hotel Gaythering’s bar should be your first stop for the evening (and of course, being a hotel, you can stay the night). Billing itself as “straight”, this gay-centric hotel’s moniker says it all. The decor is a hodgepodge of vintage Americana and tropical ’50s elegance and even includes cool spots to pop a squat like a repurposed vintage dental chair. It’s a refuge from the South Beach madness, set aside in a mid-century structure off Lincoln Road. The music and TVs are never too loud for a conversation. The concierge service makes guests “instant locals”, and you won’t find any babies at this 21-and-older spot. Check out Wednesday trivia night, ’90s Thursdays, a ‘hoppy’ Hour that lets you hop-in after work for dirt-cheap drinks, and Bares & Hares which welcomes otters, wolves, pigs, the site says and “even the Beavers”. Most importantly though, you can grab a glass dildo or buttplug—or even a bottle of lemonade—in the bar’s vending machine.
Azucar is as sweet as its name suggests. This is the premier gay Latin nightclub in Miami, offering a welcome break from the glitz and sleaze of South Beach and an intro to the Little Havana area. It’s dragtastic with plenty of fun, fabuloso nights. Come on, who doesn’t want to check out Priscilla La Reina del Desierto, where the ladies bitch, sing and perform en Español? Cabaret nights keep things intimate and clean for your more reserved pals. And Azucar has amateur drag war nights in which young queens can strut and drop like the future stars they are. For those with a hankering for muscles, Magic Mike-type meatheads will also titillate and tempt as you clutch your dirt-cheap drink in sweaty, trembling hand.
Club Bailo asks, “Do you?”, and the answer is a clear: “Si!” You do dance till dawn at this Latin drag spot. Though geared toward a mixed crowd, you’ll quickly find your Latin papi for the week at Bailo. And the best part? You’ll probably come home with salsa steps as your souvenir. There’s drag and cabaret, and Wednesdays promise hot dancers and private rooms—that just reeks of a steamy tropical night already, in the best way possible. This spot is a little off the beaten track, but that’s where you’ll find the real Miami.
After hitting up the most touristy Cuban restaurant of all time, Versailles (pronounce the “s” like a native), and catching some flamenco at Casa Panza, mix up the evening with Little Havana’s Wet Bar. Hispanic go-go boys provide the eye candy, DJs spinning bilingual dance tunes will tickle your ears and bang at your hips, and drag queens with accents will guide you through the wildest of Miami’s Latin nights.
Yes, we’re suggesting you make the trek north of the Miami-Dade County line for a night of beats and buff bods here. The Manor Complex includes a megaclub, event space and ultra lounge. The two-level nightclub is as classy as it gets, decorated with crystal chandeliers and a large performance stage that’s been graced by RuPaul-approved stars like Bianca Del Rio. There are state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems and a lavish VIP room for those hoping for a real night to remember. Wilton Manors is the only true gay neighborhood for hundreds and hundreds of miles—so before you hit the dance floor at the Manor, make sure to swing by GayMart for some “personal shopping” and find a subset of pre-gaming clubs that suit your particular predilections, like Ramrod or Cubby Hole nearby.