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The Best LGBTQ Bars in NYC

By: Sophia Marina

Pride month is here, which means you and your love should have access to the LGBTQ bars and hangs that best suit your needs and desires as a couple. As the historical heart and center of the Gay Pride Movement, NYC’s got a lot of options for you and your boo, from sexy, sweaty men in boxers serving you drinks, to chilled lesbian hangouts, to mellow, all-inclusive dive bars—and we’ve compiled them all. Kick off your pride with a visit to any one of these thriving LGBTQ establishments, and you’ll be off to a pretty wild, fun start to the month.

The Best LGBTQ Bars in NYC

The Stonewall Inn
53 Christopher Street, Manhattan

We’re starting off where it all started at The Stonewall Inn, a bastion of gay rights that continues to be a place for celebrating Pride, and that you and your love should definitely make a point to visit. Aside from the symbolic reasons—it’s the first LGBTQ National Historic Landmark, and the site of the 1969 uprising that propelled the gay rights movement—its contemporary form of sultry, sexy downstairs and funky, fun upstairs with a soft-core porn twist is the perfect place for date night. Monday night bingo called by drag queens, wild Tuesday drag competitions, Wednesday night 90s karaoke, and the list goes on… a seriously good night awaits when you kick this one off your date night bucket list.

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Credit: The Stonewall Inn NYC
Ginger's Bar
363 5th Avenue, Brooklyn

This is a good one for you and your gal to hit up when you’re in the mood for a cool, casual kind of night that’s totally lesbian-run. Ginger’s Bar is unpretentious but charming, hosting fun and games like pool and bingo, with a backyard perfect for lounging around and sipping on classic cocktails with your one and only. There’s a jukebox, happy hour that goes till 8pm, and the kind of lowkey lesbian vibes that make anything fun.

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Credit: Zomato
Boxers
742 9th Avenue, Manhattan

Boxers is the place to go to with your guy if you both love sports, beer, pizza, pool and super sexy, shirtless bartenders wearing only—you guessed it—boxers. This poppin’ NYC gay bar is a meeting place for gay sports leagues and sports fans to convene, drink, play and get rowdy while watching games with men who share their appreciation for other men getting rough out on the field. With a 2-for-1 happy hour that goes till 9pm and guaranteed strong drinks to get you going for the game, this should be an obvious pit stop for you and your love if you want to indulge your sporty side under all-gay direction.

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Credit: Boxers Washington Heights, Facebook
The Rosemont
63 Montrose Avenue, Brooklyn

This mellow cocktail bar is a super safe queer space that puts on seriously spectacular drag shows, live music, DJ sets, and a sweet happy hour that goes till 9pm. The dim lighting, deep purple booths and clean, chic decor at The Rosemont make it a great place to go if you’re not quite feeling a dive bar, but still want in on some cheap drinks. The backyard is big, groovy, and open late, so there’s plenty of time and space for you and your S.O. to get thoroughly boozy on a summer’s day.

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Credit: Metrosource
The Phoenix
447 East 13th Street, Manhattan

The best jukebox in the city, generous pours, and a diverse, trendy crowd is what you’ll find at East Village institution The Phoenix, a longtime dive bar that’s been through it all. An outpost of the East Village’s rock n’ roll gay bar scene, this place is dark and deliciously gritty, decked in hot pink lights and an upbeat aura that gives off a sense of the cool community that runs it. Stop in for some good, cheap drinks, drag shows, trivia nights or people watching with your person, and expect a sweet, mellow time.

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Credit: Phoenix Bar NYC

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Cubbyhole
281 West 12th Street, Manhattan

Everyone’s free to have fun at Cubbyhole, where all things eclectic and chill come together to create a safe space for a good time. This bedecked and beloved lesbian bar has been doing its thing—and doing it well—since 1994, with unbeatable drink specials, free popcorn, a lively little jukebox, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. The chandeliers, Chinese lanterns and paper airplanes amassed on the ceiling are kitschy but cute, and it’s definitely one to hit the happy hour for (Monday-Saturday until 7pm), ‘cause its legendary status guarantees late-night crowds. Stop in for classic cocktails, well drinks, good tunes and an original lesbian bar experience that can’t be beat.

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Credit: Cubbyhole Bar NYC
Happyfun Hideaway
1211 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn

Happyfun Hideaway is a divey and cute hotspot for gays and their straight friends, with a pleasant hipster feel and a Tiki theme that gives it a bright, buzzy atmosphere just right for date night. Nostalgic tunes, pinball machines, a big back patio and delicious tropical drinks (think Mango Chili Margaritas and Pina Coladas) make it the ideal summer destination for you and your S.O. to get boozy at. Whether you make it a double date, or simply split a platter of their loaded nachos by yourselves, a good time is guaranteed at this cheerful, queer-friendly outpost.

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Credit: Bushwick Daily
Hangar Bar
115 Christopher Street #1, Manhattan

This lowkey, sexy neighborhood joint is the perfect destination for you and your guy if you’re looking to dance and mingle in a space that caters especially to gays of color. Nevertheless, men of all ethnicities are celebrated, and it’s a testosterone-filled, totally thriving and ultra colorful space to get down with your S.O. and truly feel a sense of community. Show up for their weekday happy hour (2-for-1 drinks till 9), play some pool, and dance under the music-video-flashing ceiling till you’re all dazed out and happy with your number one in just the right place.

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Credit: Hangar Bar, Facebook
Excelsior
563 5th Avenue, Brooklyn

This chic and fine gay bar is a haven of Park Slope, where a neat, friendly crowd comes to hang and get loose. The spacious locale boasts glossy red stools across a long mahogany bar, lots of room to dance and chat, plus a peaceful deck out back for fresh air and extra good vibes. The bartenders are friendly and mellow, and unlike the divey scene in Manhattan, want to make sure you and your love feel happy, safe and right at home. Excelsior is definitely your go-to spot for a classy and unbothered good time with your S.O. in Park Slope over cheap drinks and a cool crowd.

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Credit: South Slope News
Henrietta Hudson
439 Hudson Street, Manhattan

Another famed longtime lesbian establishment, Henrietta Hudson is where all the gals go to hang, dance, DJ and play friendly games of pool. Despite its popularity and mini-club vibes, the atmosphere remains intimate and interesting, with a panel of resident DJs spicing it up, and fun events like monthly Dyke Disco (second Sunday of every month, 4-8pm) popping their calendar. It’s historical, it’s diverse, and it’s where you wanna be with your girl if you feel like having cheap drinks and dancing in the West Village.

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Credit: Henrietta Hudson

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