Many fixtures of London’s LGBTQ nightlife may have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean the scene is dead. Hop over to one of these neighborhoods to find the best London gay bars that the community has to offer.


The fucking list

 

Soho


Admiral Duncan - If you’re looking for gay bars that don't stray far from London’s typical pub scene, then look no further than Admiral Duncan. Featuring live performances each week by Louis Cyfer, Martha D’Arthur, Nancy Clench, and various guest performers and drag queens. This pub’s weeknight happenings tend to draw lively, full crowds. Hetero friendly!

Ku Bar - Responsible for colour blast at this year’s pride (that burst of powdered paint that covered crowds for about 15 minutes), Ku Bar attracts a particularly sexy crowd (of mostly men) and takes reservations for those attending in large groups. Drinks are affordable and staff is hospitable.

Exilio LGBT Latin Dance Club - This boisterous dance club attracts latinos and latinas alike for dancing, community, and fun. Exilio plays an active role in fostering a sense of identity and representation for the hispanic LGBT community, including its participation in Pride this year. Come out for the Blingo night recurring every two weeks.

She Soho - Perhaps London’s only LGBT space dedicated exclusively to females (men are permitted as guests only), She is Soho’s newest addition to the queer scene. Owned by the Ku umbrella of London gay bars and nightclubs, She’s aesthetic is typical of Ku in its upscale casual aesthetic, with an interior featuring curved low ceilings, cushy stools, and intimate corners.

Kings Arms Soho - London’s premier bear bar hosts fun events for all to enjoy such as movie nights, pub quizzes, beer busts, live comedy, and more. Bears, cubs, chubs, goldilocks, and their admirers are welcome. Stop by for karaoke with Jivin’ Julie on Sunday nights, or for dancing to live beats spun by DJs simon_m, Mr. Jones, and Ben Jamin on Friday and Saturdays.

Village - Whether you’re attending a massive dance party or stopping by for a drink, Village offers plenty of space to do it in (take that as you may). Happy hour occurs every single night (yes, weekends too) from 5-9 PM, and features up to 50% off select drinks. Some notables from the drink menu include the Porn Star Martini, Passage to Bombay, and the Bramble. (Non-drinkers have no fear, they’ve got fruity mocktails too!) 

Covent Garden


Retro Bar - This unofficial lesbian bar hosts weekly comedy, rock, speed dating, and quiz nights for mixed crowds. Indie vibe that prides itself on alternative music, offering crowds who are not fans of pop an oasis in London’s contemporary nightlife scene. Relaxed and quirky with a non-imposing local feel.

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Clapham


The Two Brewers - Affordable drinks and drag for gays and gals. Noteworthy upcoming events include Bob The Drag Queen and Laila Mc Queen in Holy Trinity’s 2nd Birthday Tour, cabaret with Lynn Ruth Miller, and Pam Ann Cockpit. Popular drag appearances have included: Charlie Hides, Lola Lasagne, and Sharon Needles. Weekends are busiest, but cabaret keeps the venue worth frequenting on weeknights. After many renovations, patrons of Two Brewers happily say it no longer deserves its unofficial nickname, Two Sewers.

Dalston


Dalston Superstore - A staple of London’s LGBTQ party scene, Dalston Superstore is known for its lesbian night Clam Jam, its disco nights, and its artsy atmosphere. In addition to offering the entirety of the LGBTQ spectrum a place to hang and party, Dalston Superstore also serves up brunch, burgers, cafe items, baked goods, and free wifi. Various art exhibits are featured on a rotating basis, including sex-positive and queer art depicting a wide array of topics in assorted mediums. 

Vogue Fabrics - Half nightclub half queer art incubator, VFD attracts guys, gals, and the literary minded. Among the venue’s notable events are Spoken Word London, Sister Saviour, Big Girls Disco, and S.E.X. The venue frequently hosts launch parties for up and coming musical groups, and occasionally takes over radio stations. 

 

Shoreditch


Rolling Stock - This dance club offers patrons a myriad of hot gay events with male energy. Upcoming happenings include Bangerz & Mash in conjunction with Clutch Kitchen (set to be the ultimate gay brunch experience), and Bang it With Pride, a dance party featuring live DJs to benefit the victims of the Pulse shooting in Orlando, Florida.

Limehouse


White Swan -  A gay bar featuring amateur stripping, piano bar nights, open mics, live DJs, and a spacious venue for cruising and socialising. There is a separate downstairs dance area with a sleek and modern feel, Funky Fridays each week with music that will make you want to get groovy on the dance floor, and Cybil’s House, a new event starting on Saturday, July 16th.

Vauxhall


Eagle London -  A bar and lounge that describes itself as “polysexual,” the Eagle is a legendary cruise bar with a contemporary makeover. Each year the venue returns to its roots in hosting Fetish Week (right around the corner!) and the Mr. Eagle Contest. Home to bears, cruisers, porn stars, divas and dancers, and good ol’ gays such as yourself. Popular venue fixtures include a large pool table, super comfy low-key seating, a collection of disco balls, and their recurring event, Horse Meat Disco.

The Royal Vauxhall Tavern - A Grade II listed London pub housed in a historic building dating back to 1863. Decades after the famous police poppers raid in 1988, the venue went on to be awarded an Outstanding Achievement Award this year and continues to accumulate successes as an LGBTQ establishment. While its blackface drag performance regularly stirs up controversy, the venue manages to maintain a positive reputation through continued community outreach and providing lively, engaging entertainment.  

And that's it for our top London gay bars! Is there somewhere you hang out that wasn't on this list? Send us a comment so we can stay up to date on the best fucking places to be in London!


 Zoë Tersche is a New York-based writer focusing on fetish sexuality and the freedom of sexual expression. Follow her on Twitter @ZoeTersche and find out more about her here.


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