Midtown, Atlanta, United States
Good for an afternoon cocktail or a night out since 1988, Blake's packs a fun crowd within a small, dimly-lit bar, particularly after 11 pm when there is usually little wiggle room. Patio out back, and drag shows on Sunday.
Andersonville, Chicago, United States
The popular Marty's Martini Bar is intimate, upscale and Toulouse-Lautrec-inspired in its decor, serving top-notch 6- and 9-ounce martinis in both classic and more adventurous creme brûlée, black velvet or fruit flavors. An enclosed patio out back expands the cozy space in summer months.
North Park, San Diego, United States
Pecs is a divey bearish bar with darts, electronic games, a pool table, pin ball, large screen TVs and stiff drinks, but it is warm and welcoming to folks of all persuasions and big on nightly tournaments, Pride parties, drink specials and sexy servers.
Five Points, Denver, United States
Located in a former film reel plant at 35th and Walnut, Tracks puts on a sound and light dance party three nights a week. Although new to the Five Points area, the Tracks name traces its roots back to 1980 when it opened as a high-energy, after-hours club in an old trucking warehouse on Fox Street. Theme nights range from college and butch queen to the popular First Fridays, Denver's largest lesbian dance party.
French Quarter, New Orleans, United States
Café Lafitte in Exile on Bourbon Street is said to be the oldest continuously operating gay bar in the country. Opened in 1933, it operates 24 hours a day with a wraparound balcony and French Quarter views, a second-floor game room and a video bar. It has drawn a mixed crowd since its early days (when it was managed by a lesbian) and is the city's gay epicenter during Mardi Gras and Southern Decadence celebrations. Karaoke is Wednesdays and Original Trash Disco on Sundays.
Warehouse District, Austin, United States
Gay-owned and hetero-friendly, Oil Can Harry's is an Austin institution that has hosted spirited party nights for over two decades, along with a fine mixed crowd of pretty young things, cowboys and drag queens. The dance floor is nearly always packed, and there's a welcoming patio with bar out back.
Silver Lake, Los Angeles, United States
Akbar puts an alternative twist on a gay dive bar, packing its small dance floor in back with all ages and all types. A hipster hangout since 1996, it features comedy, craft and bingo nights, drink specials, lip-syncing competitions and music by jukebox and DJ. Nice to know: it has parking and can be reached by Metro Bus #2 or #3 and the Fountain Red Line (Sunset and Vermont).
East End, Nashville, United States
Advertised as "a bar for everyone who is human" over 21, Lipstick Lounge is a lesbian-owned and lesbian-frequented hang out with all the makings of a good time: live music, trivia, karaoke, darts, dancing, food, drink and a patio. Weekends, Tex Mex brunch is from 10 am to 3 pm, and weekend nights are pretty packed with women from middle Tennessee and well beyond.
Lakeview, Chicago, United States
If you're claustrophobic, Roscoe's might not be the place to check out on a weekend night. A notorious gay bar in Boystown since 1987, this multiple-room, neon-glowing, community staple is always jam-packed with a diverse crowd. There are daily pitcher specials and a monthly calendar full of epic drag races, live band karaoke and burger buffets. Only a few blocks from Red, Purple, and Brown El stations.
South Beach, Miami, United States
Opened in 1993, Twist is the longest running gay club in Miami and a hive of activity spread over seven different bars with a little bit of everything hot music. Credit cards accepted but only after your tab hits $30. Twist's motto: Never A Cover. Always A Groove. And if you get peckish in the pre-dawn hours, there's the 11th Street Diner open 24/7 next door.