Pride Month, aka June, is part of the year when New York City’s queer bars and clubs ramp up their parties and promotions — happy hours, drag shows, drink specials, and all sorts of events to toast the city’s vibrant queer scene. From dive bars to newly opened clubs, these safe spaces for NYC’s queer community are worth seeking out year-round.Read More
Where to Eat, Drink, and Party for NYC Pride
The queer bars to seek out during Pride — and the rest of the year
Hush opened during the pandemic in the former home of Therapy. The bi-level space is home to a busy dance club, especially on weekends, and ticks off all the boxes of a night out: dancers, shots, and DJs blasting a playlist until late.
Venture to this cavernous 10th Avenue bar in a former electrical-supply store where no one takes themselves too seriously. The design is industrial-inspired and serves as a backdrop for regular drag and DJ shows.
A number of gay bars in Jackson Heights have a big following in Queens, but Friend’s Tavern is one of the most popular. It’s often a gathering point for groups of friends looking for a night out. Another bonus to its prime location (besides easy access to the 7 train) is that it’s just steps from the crowd-favorite Birria-Landia truck.
This mini-chain of sports-centric LGBTQ bars draws a diverse group of folks through its doors — sports fans or not.
Lesbian bars are all too rare in New York and the rest of the country, cementing their importance in the queer bar scene. Dating back to 1994, Cubbyhole is one of the most famous of such venues and promotes itself as accessible to the entire LGBTQ+ community and allies. It’s a very tight space, and the ceiling is adorned in bright decor that gives it a funhouse feel.
The longest-running gay bar in the city, this West Village institution proudly displays its history. A woody corner tavern, it looks like it’s hardly changed over the years, and longtime regulars will mingle with newbies while perched on the stools. Grab a cozy table in the back for a group and order the juicy, freshly griddled burger.
The Stonewall Inn
Ground zero for the 1969 riots that helped launch the gay rights movement, Stonewall is still a rousing, though very touristy, Village destination to pay tribute to the movement. Downstairs, there’s a pool table and a large bar area with bar seating and tables. Upstairs, there’s another bar plus a dance floor and stage that hosts various events, including drag shows, 90s karaoke, and more.
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This subterranean East Village queer dive features a draft beer selection that’s a step above the standard dive. There are seemingly endless dark nooks for hanging out — or impromptu makeout sessions.
On a stretch of the West Village near the Hudson River, this bar primarily caters to lesbians and queer people and is one of the longest continuously running lesbian bars in the country. The funky brick-walled space decorated with stained glass and a disco ball hosts rotating DJs spinning tunes. There’s a pool table, and some nights are no-cover.
The Boiler Room
A long-running and homey dive, Boiler Room is where laid-back East Village residents go to simply hang out and guzzle gently priced well drinks. The ambiance is basically nonexistent, but the pool table, photo booth, and digital jukebox provide all-night entertainment.
One of a flock of queer bars to open post-pandemic, Mary’s Bar has been dubbed a queer “Irish pub” where all are welcome. It opened this spring from the legendary team behind Ginger’s in Park Slope, in partnership with One Stop Beer Shop, which was housed in the Greenpoint space for more than a decade.
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One of the initial Williamsburg queers bars to open, to this day it’s less crowded and way more laid back than others in the area. Sit back in the booths of the tunnel-like space or head to the quaint backyard.
On most days, the Woods is a regular bar, but on Wednesday nights, it becomes the de facto lesbian and queer hot spot that people travel all from across the city for.
This popular and cheerful gay bar occupies a roomy, thoughtfully designed space with a backyard in South Williamsburg. Themed parties and karaoke bring crowds to the dance floor on weekends.
House of Yes
Bushwick’s House of Yes has gotten more mainstream over the years, but it’s still one of Brooklyn’s biggest venues for pride. The massive space has multiple bars, and while covers can get steep, it’s always been reliable for a very Bushwick type of night.
The Bush is part of a nationwide renaissance of post-pandemic lesbian-owned bars that caters broadly to a queer, trans, and gender-nonconforming community that’s more inclusive than ever. In addition to cocktails at this “dyke bar for the queers,” Caribbean patties are served.
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This Clinton Hill bar is also a venue with tons of events packing its calendar. Stop next door to Chilo’s for a drunchies dinner of tacos.
This Bed-Stuy bar skews into restaurant territory, with a dining room that’s table service and a solid food menu that lists smoked mussels, lamb meatballs, and key lime pie. While many of the queer bars on this list lean more divey, a drink at Oddly Enough feels more like a special occasion, with a strong cocktail menu to boot.
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While Ginger’s in Park Slope is a lesbian hangout at its core, the bar welcomes all members of the LGBTQIA+ community and attracts bargoers of all ages and genders. It’s a legit dive with cheap drinks, kitschy decor, and a pool table. There’s an enclosed garden out back, and the bar never feels clubby, so it’s an ideal spot for a chill night of pool and music. With plenty of space, it’s great for groups. This year, the bar opened a sibling location called Mary’s in Greenpoint.
Good Judy in Park Slope feels like a good balance between a dive bar meets a disco with a loyal local following. Patrons can easily swing by for a pint or late-night dance party on most nights.