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Best Gay Bars In New York -- New York's Best Gay Bars

Updated on July 8, 2011

Having A Gay, Old Time

Given how diverse New York City is, it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that it's one of the most gay-friendly places in the United States. Thousands gather each year for the Gay Pride Parade and Halloween Parade. Meanwhile, Manhattan's many homosexual clubs and bars attract gay and straight patrons alike. Whether you're looking to meet Mr. Right or simply want to go to a place where there's dancing and good music, there's no shortage of options! Indeed, New York City has some of the best gay bars.

I myself, am a straight, married woman, but my best friend is gay and has been more than happy to take me around to his favorite spots. Based on our outings together, here's our combined list of the best gay bars in New York.


A Night Of Fun At The Duplex

Top Gay Clubs In New York

1. The Duplex (61 Christopher Street): For fans of WILL & GRACE, this was supposed to be the club where Jack performed his cabaret acts. Thankfully, the real-life entertainers are much more skilled! This historical piano bar, located in the West Village, is the perfect place to kick back, have a beer and enjoy some live music, and it's definitely one of the best gay bars in New York. It's an interactive environment, where the pianist will accept requests and even let patrons take the microphone. The last time we went here, we brought along a friend who'd never been to a gay bar before. She was nervous at first, but after about 20 minutes, calmed down and enjoyed herself. It happened to be an especially good night there; one man was dancing on a table wearing a feathered boa, while the crowd had a blast singing along to Broadway and Billy Joel tunes. It's this friendly atmosphere that keeps people there until all hours of the morning -- and keeps them coming back for more.

2. Splash (50 W. 17th Street): Splash, which is in the heart of Chelsea, offers a much different vibe from The Duplex. You don't come here to merely hang out; you come here to dance, be seen and meet people. If you're looking to actually hear yourself think, come before 10 p.m. when the crowds start rolling in. At the earlier hour, there's room to grab a drink, get a seat and make some friends. Giant screens adorn the walls of this dark club, which looks a bit like a warehouse, playing music videos or clips from movies that are somehow associated with gay culture. The last time we were there, for example, they played a bunch of things featuring RuPaul, Beyonce and Britney Spears ... and then showed some clips from "Mommy Dearest." Splash also has game nights and special theme nights throughout the week so check their Web site for the latest offering. It's a fun place to go if you're up for some partying and that's why it's on our list of New York's best gay bars.

3. Gym Sportsbar (167 8th Avenue): I found this cozy bar to be rather low-key, but my friend points out that it's the only gay sports bar in Manhattan and they have great happy hour deals. It's true, the drinks there are good. When I went, I had a delicious apple martini (the second for free), served to me by a friendly bartender. While it's not as raucous as the first two places listede here, it's a nice bar to relax in before or after a night on the town.

4. Therapy (348 West 52nd Street): I like the appearance of this club; the wood-paneled walls almost make it look like a ski lodge. What's great about Therapy is that it regularly features live music and other types of entertainment, like comedy shows.

5. No Parking (4168 Broadway): If you're looking to explore a different neighborhood in NYC, head uptown to No Parking, which is in Washington Heights (by W. 177th Street). With it's red lights, it looks a little like a spaceship; the thing to see here are the go-go dancers, who perform most nights.

6. The Ritz (349 W. 46th Street): This lounge is a relaxing place to hang out and is a little more upscale than the other places. It has a nautical theme, for those of you who are into sailors. They also play good music there so it's a great place to enjoy some dancing. Warning: this place can get PACKED to the limit so be prepared to get very cozy with your neighbors on the dance floor!

7. Pieces (8 Christopher Street): This lively bar is ther perfect place to go if you feel like partying or meeting someone. They have karaoke several nights a week and also offer specialm "post office" evenings. Basically what happens is, everyone there is given a number and you can send flirty messages to a number who strikes your fancy. When you get a message, your number will be announced so you can come up to the bar to get it. It's so much fun -- and a fantastic icebreaker.


Cyndi Lauper Performs At Splash


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    • Kevin Mulcahy Jr profile image

      Kevin Mulcahy Jr 

      5 years ago from New York, New York

      Pieces is mentioned abov but there's no link. The site is :-)


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