West Hollywood gay bars have earned themselves the reputation of being some of the hottest nightlife spots in the world. This article aims to teach you about some of the best gay bars in West Hollywood, and what makes them so darn fun!
Living just a couple hour flight north of Los Angeles, I usually try to book myself a connecting flight through LA. Same timezone = no jet lag and a happy Bailey. Not only is it a great way to save money while flying, but I also get the wonderful opportunity to explore West Hollywood! The nightlife in Vancouver doesn’t hold a candle to the West Hollywood nightlife scene.
West Hollywood, or WeHo, is located Just east of Beverly Hills and West of Hollywood. WeHo is actually its own municipality in the LA area, not a section of Hollywood. This means it has its own municipal government that is in charge of things like their their police force, roadways, and parking regulations!
West Hollywood is considered by many to be the gay capital of the USA, which is definitely seen throughout Santa Monica Boulevard. Here, you will find gay bars, restaurants, shops, and flags in just about any direction you look.
If you’re staing in California for awhile, don’t forget to stop by Palm Springs and check out some of the gay resorts there!
Don’t worry about walking down the street holding hands with someone or kissing in public. In WeHo, PDA is encouraged! The sense of community I feel every time I walk across the rainbow crosswalks in West Hollywood is absolutely astounding.
Sort of like Thailand, WeHo is known to be the gay mecca of the area, with over 40% of WeHo’s citizens identifying as LGBTQ! If you’re wondering what to do in West Hollywood, head on over to Santa Monica Boulevard. Every store, club, bar, gym, and apartment complex in the area caters to the LGBTQ community! Everyone is extremely friendly, and you will feel a sense of safety and community as soon as you step out into the streets to explore the West Hollywood gay bars!
The West Hollywood gay district is set up as one long street, which makes it easy to find your way around. Towards the north of Santa Monica Boulevard, you will find most of the restaurants, grocery stores, gyms, and stores. As you walk South West, you will begin to hit the bars and clubs!
While I was in West Hollywood, I noticed a free HIV testing van parked along the club and bar areas. I quickly found out that this is something they do almost every night, and I think it is such a great idea! Your health is your number one asset. Check out their Facebook to learn more about what they do for the community here!
Before you go, make sure you pick up one of these Amity Jack bedside boxes. I always travel with one. They have everything you need – should your night get a little bit wild.
Tips For Going Out In WeHo
- Don’t stick to one bar: WeHo has a ton of bars and clubs, all within a close proximity of each other. Each one has a different vibe and crowd, so make sure you don’t just stick to one place. Get out and explore!
- Tip your bartender: Drinks are pricey in West Hollywood, but you will find that your bartender will be a lot more receptive if you tip well for your drinks.
- Meet people: Okay I am not condoning cruising at the clubs, but everyone is out in WeHo to enjoy themselves. Make some friends!
- Watch your drink: The gay bars and clubs are packed almost every day of the week. Make sure you don’t take an eye off of your drink while you are at the West Hollywood gay bars.
- Bring ID: If you are international, you will need to carry your passport with you while you are at the gay bars in West Hollywood. The legal age to drink in the USA is 21, and most West Hollywood gay bars and clubs will not let you in if you are underage. Rage Nightclub is 18+, but I am pretty sure that the rest of the bars and nightclubs in WeHo are 21+.
- Dress to impress: Most places in WeHo don’t have a dress code, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a certain standard to uphold while you are going out here. Learn about the places you want to go and dress accordingly! Don’t wear a suit to a leather bar, and please please please make sure you put on deodorant before you start sweating on the dance floor!
- Plan to stay late: Most places in Weho close between 2am and 3am, so expect to stay out pretty late. There some after hours clubs that run from around 3am until 10am if you are feeling extra crazy!
The Best Hollywood Gay Bars
Okay now that you guys know a bit about West Hollywood and how to have fun while you are out, I am going to list some of my favorite West Hollywood gay bars for you, and what is so special about each!
Whether you are looking to watch some dancers, a drag performance, or get down on the dancefloor, the amount of venues in the gay Weho nightlife scene will ensure there is something for you to do!
Trunks WeHo is a fun gay ‘dive bar’ that is famous for their cheap drink specials and fun space. I found trunks to be the perfect spot to stop for a drink before I went elsewhere, as it is located smack dab in the middle of the other West Hollywood gay bars worth checking out. They also recently added a patio which is pretty fun!
You will find this place packed on drag nights, and they are famous in the ‘gayborhood’ for their all-day drink specials. On Thursdays, they do Rupaul’s Drag Race viewings which are pretty fun!
“An all male version of Coyote Ugly”, Flaming Saddles is a country western themed bar and club packed with sexy cowboys, country music, line dancing, high energy, and cheap drinks. This bar and its other location in NYC are actually owned by a straight couple, but it is most definitely a gay bar, trust me on that one.
You will find the sexy cowboys line dancing on the bar and getting everyone in the joint super riled up during their performances. The alcohol flows freely at Faming Saddles, and they sure know how to get a crowd excited. If you are in town on a Monday or Wednesday, check out their Karaoke nights!
Micky’s is another club that has quickly become a staple of the West Hollywood gay bars. Micky’s is where you go if you want to see a drag performance! The cabaret is on Monday’s so make sure you reserve your tickets online so they don’t sell out. Famous Drag Queens such as Raven, Nomi B, Aja, and Dida Ritz are some of the few known to perform at their cabaret shows.
Micky’s has 2 club levels, 3 bars, and a patio. You will not run out of space to enjoy yourself. They have world famous DJ’s and go-go dancers at their events often! Lady GaGa has even performed at Micky’s, so you know you’re in for a treat.
Rage is known as the only 18+ club in WeHo, so head here if you want to hang out with a younger crowd or you are under 21. Rage is an extremely high energy nightclub, and is often packed full of people looking to dance the night away. They do offer cheap drinks here, and they have some fun drag shows throughout the week (Unfortunately, those nights are 21+ as well).
Ah, The Abbey. One of my favorite places in the world. The Abbey is a food lover’s paradise by day, with a large and beautiful outdoor seating area. At night it transforms into one of the top clubs in West Hollywood. The open air paired with a well stocked bar and a raging dancefloor create a beautifully designed space that is perfect for just about any night out.
While a bit more on the pricey side when it comes to drinks, you will find some amazing hand crafted cocktails created specifically for The Abbey by CEO David Cooley’s travels around the world!
Right next door to the Abbey, you will find The Chapel, owned by the same amazing man. While there is a gate separating the two spaces, it is often removed to turn the venue into one large party!
The Chapel is probably the busiest nightclub in WeHo… after midnight. There’s sort of a general rule to avoid The Chapel before then, then flood in to end your night. You will find a packed dance floor and bumping DJ’s to fuel your dancing until the wee hours of the morning at the Chapel.
The drinks here were a little pricier for WeHo, about $12 for a vodka soda. But I had a great pour, and really only needed one! If you make it out on the weekends, it is definitely worth it to see the DJ Donna Martel, a DJ staple of the Weho Club scene! She has been a resident for almost 40 years, and spins some of the best events in West Hollywood!
No matter where you end up during a night out in WeHo, the West Hollywood gay bars will have something for you to enjoy.
What are your favorite bars in West Hollywood? Let me know in the comments below!