Recommended for : Food & Drink Culture

Once the center of gay culture, gay bars were meeting places that provided safe havens and community centers for LGBTs of all ages. With the advent of Internet and integration, and of course rising rents, the gay bar scene may be dwindling, but these old-timer gay and lesbian bars not only continue to sling drinks* but serve as historical monuments to the rich history of these places of belonging and the clientele that found themselves there.

*Some may have shuttered, but we're leaving them on with a note lest they be forgotten.

The Stonewall Inn

The Stonewall Inn

New York City, United States

Perhaps the most famous gay bar in America, The Stonewall Inn was the site of the 1969 riots that ushered in a new era for gay rights in America.  Though...
  • For Men
  • 3.6
  • 2
3W Kafe

3W Kafe

Paris, France

A cool Parisian bar with DJs and a small dance floor in the basement, 3W Kafe stands for Women With Women. Men are welcome if they come with a woman.
  • For Women
  • 4
  • 2
Cafe 't Mandje

Cafe 't Mandje

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Cafe 't Mandje is one of the longest-running gay bars in the world, opened in 1927 by local lesbian Bet van Beeren and kept by her sister Greet until the 1980s....
  • LGBTQ
  • 4.5
  • 1
Palace Bar & Grill

Palace Bar & Grill

Miami, United States

The Palace Bar & Grill, with the motto "Every Queen Needs a Palace" has been stage center since 1998 when it became the first gay restaurant/bar on Ocean...
  • LGBTQ
  • 4.3
  • 1
The George

The George

Dublin, Ireland

The George calls itself the lynchpin that holds together Dublin's gay scene, and has been for over 25 years. The front bar area, called Birdie's, is good for a...
  • LGBTQ
  • 4.7
  • 1
Admiral Duncan

Admiral Duncan

London, England

Admiral Duncan, on Old Compton Street in Soho and in operation since the early 19th century, is one of London's oldest gay public houses. It draws a mixed...
  • LGBTQ
  • 5
  • 1
Heaven

Heaven

London, England

Heaven is certainly a scene in the cellars of Charing Cross Station, with a strict door policy. First opened in 1979 in a former roller-disco called Global...
  • LGBTQ
Bar Mattachine

Bar Mattachine

Los Angeles, United States

Bar Mattachine, named after the first gay rights activist organization in Los Angeles, bills itself as the first gay craft cocktail bar downtown. One of the...
  • LGBTQ
  • 5
  • 1
Hank's Bar

Hank's Bar

Orlando, United States

A fixture on the gay scene since 1987, Hank's calls itself "The Best Little Bar - With The Worst Reputation". It is a no-frills neighborhood hangout with cheap...
  • For Men
  • 1
  • 1
Gold Coast

Gold Coast

Los Angeles, United States

Around since 1981, Gold Coast is a small but legendary cruise bar popular with the local crowd and older gays and transgenders. It has a pool table, cheap...
  • For Men
  • 5
  • 1
Wild Side West

Wild Side West

San Francisco, United States

The Wild Side West dates to 1962 when proud lesbians Pat Ramseyer and Nancy White opened the first incarnation in Oakland. Two years later, it moved to Broadway...
  • For Women
Pied Bar

Pied Bar

Provincetown, United States

Pied Bar is something of a Provincetown landmark, and has been a meeting point for the Cape Cod lesbian community since the early 1950s when it was called the Ace...
  • For Women
Marie's Crisis

Marie's Crisis

New York City, United States

A classic piano-bar that's steeped in New York history--it was built in the 1850s as a brothel--Marie's Crisis often has off-duty musical theater types tinkling...
  • LGBTQ-friendly
The Village

The Village

London, England

This long-running bar-slash-club has maintained its popularity over the decades, bringing in a steady if not packed mixed crowd six days a week. On Mondays, happy...
  • LGBTQ
La Champmeslé

La Champmeslé

Paris, France

The first girl bar in Paris in 1979, La Champmeslé is nothing less than an institution. Plus it's homey and fun with themed evenings including Tuesday for...
  • For Women
Royal Vauxhall Tavern (RVT)

Royal Vauxhall Tavern (RVT)

London, England

Once a Victorian concert hall, the iconic Royal Vauxhall Tavern has long been a fixture on London's gay scene. In 2015, it was awarded protected status and became...
  • LGBTQ
Just Us Lounge

Just Us Lounge

Biloxi, Mississippi

Just Us Lounge welcomes anyone at anytime. Opened by Lynn Koval in the late 1990s as a safe haven for community, Just Us is one of the oldest gay bars in...
  • LGBTQ
Bulldog

Bulldog

Brighton, England

A combination of pub and club, the Bulldog is said to be the oldest gay venue in Brighton, serving the community since 1979. Housed in a former brewery which has...
  • For Men
Cranberry

Cranberry

Zurich, Switzerland

The go-to gay bar for award-winning cocktails, Cranberry has been a mainstay since it opened in 1997 with a long drink menu, and industrial chic décor and a...
  • LGBTQ
Duplex

Duplex

Paris, France

This little locale with a green facade is the oldest gay bar in the Marais and one of the most unpretentious in both its clientele and bare bones decor. It gets...
  • For Men
Comptons of Soho

Comptons of Soho

London, England

Comptons has cemented its reputation as the Grand Dame of Queer Street since it opened in 1986. On the ground floor of what first opened as the The Swiss Hotel in...
  • For Men

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