On the American East Coast, New York, the city that never sleeps, shines all over the world and has a considerable influence in the cultural, financial and fashion fields. With a multi-ethnic population, it is a city open to diversity. You can visit exceptional museums, enjoy panoramic views from one of its many buildings or stroll along 5th Avenue. As a tolerant town, LGBTQ+ establishments can be found all over the city, although they are mostly present in Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, Greenwich Village and Brooklyn neighborhoods. But you will find gay-friendly places all over the city.
New York City is located in the state that has the same name. It’s the city with the largest population in the United States, just in front of Los Angeles. Combined with its urban area, it has a population of approximately 23 million. The city is divided among the boroughs of Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. You can also visit a number of famous museums such as the MoMa, the 9/11 Memorial or the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum. You can take a walk in Central Park, Times Square, Broadway, see the bull on Wall Street or take the ferry to visit Liberty Island and the famous Statute of Liberty. For tours, we would recommend the New York City Pass, which will allow you to regroup and organize your visits better.
New York City is a very cosmopolitan host city in the same way as Toronto in Canada or London in the UK. This strength gives it a multicultural and multiethnic face that is very favourable to the various minorities. This is strongly reflected in the LGBTQ+ community, which is made up of a variety of people from all over the world, making the city so special. The community has come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, an event that is considered the very first uprising of the homosexual community against official persecution.
June 28, 1969 is a date that will always affect gays around the world. For years, the LGBTQ+ community has experienced regular repression by the authorities. That day, a new police raid took place at the “Stonewall Inn” bar in New York. This time, a general uprising among the customers ensued and the police lost control. This action will continue for several days and the victims will come together to form the “LGBTQ+ community”, a symbol of the struggle for freedom and equality. A year later, in June 1970, the first Gay Prides took place in New York and also in Los Angeles, to celebrate the anniversary of the Stonewall Inn events.
At this point, things have changed a lot. New York State is one of the most advanced states in the US in defending LGBTQ+ rights. Same-sex marriage has been legal there since 2011, long before it was implemented at a federal level. Adoption and gender reassignment are also permitted.
In New York, as in all American cities, the US dollar is used. 10 EUR will give you approximately 12 USD. For travellers from Canada, 10 CAD will give you about 7.80 USD.
To enter the United States, a biometric or electronic passport is required, regardless of your country of origin (even for Canadians or Mexicans). Check to see if the small chip symbol is present under the name “Passport”.
Citizens of the European Union, Switzerland and the United Kingdom must then make sure to complete an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) application online. The cost is 14 USD which you can pay online. Be sure to apply on the official US government website here: ESTA. The electronic authorization will be linked to your passport number for 2 years.
Gay bars in the Hell’s Kitchen district
Flaming Saddles Saloon (739 9th Avenue). Gay bar with a cowboy theme. Nice country atmosphere, with the waiters dancing on the counter.
Rise Bar (859 9th Avenue). Beautiful, modern, well-decorated video lounge with a small stage that hosts live entertainment. Theme evenings every day of the week.
Industry Bar (355 W 52nd Street). Popular gay bar and club in New York with bar area, dance floor, pool table and stage with shows.
Barrage (401 W 47th Street). Gay bar with a nice atmosphere, excellent cocktails and a decoration strewn with male paintings. Latino parties are hot.
Atlas Social Club (753 9th Avenue). Neighborhood bar with retro decor, pop music, ideal if you’re looking for a happy hour spot.
Ritz Bar and Lounge (396 W 46th Street). Gay bar on 2 floors divided between several spaces so nice if you’re looking to chat then dance and party. Regular theme evenings.
Hardware(697 10th Avenue). Neighborhood bar with bar area, dance area and stage with drag shows.
Fairytail Lounge (500 W 48th Street). Dancers’ bar in Hell’s Kitchen in a dark and loungey atmosphere.
DBL (667 10th Avenue). Popular gay bar with a chill and lounge style that serves excellent cocktails at reasonable prices.
Gay bar in Times Square
Big Apple Ranch (151 W 46th Street). Bar and especially LGBTQ+ country dance club just a step away from Times Square.
Gay bars around West Village / Chelsea / Greenwich Village
Eagle NYC (554 W 28th Street). An institution in New York (and in the whole world, considering the number of Eagle Bar) with an atmosphere true to their reputation: muscle, leather in a cruising bar atmosphere.
Barracuda Bar (275 W 22nd Street). Gay bar with a lounge atmosphere and simple decoration where it is easy to find a quiet place to chat.
Rebar Chelsea (225 W 19th Street). Modern bar-club with many dancers, quiet at happy hour then the atmosphere quickly becomes heated.
Gym Sportsbar (167 8th Avenue). Gay bar with an unpretentious sports bar atmosphere, game broadcasts, pool table and a cruising area downstairs.
Boxers (37 W 20th Street). Muscled Bar with a large indoor space, a crazy atmosphere during the Rupaul Drag Race broadcasts and staff all in muscle.
Julius’(159 W 10th Street). Very famous gay bar-tavern in New York which serves good beers and fast food in an old-time style decoration.
Stonewall Inn(53 Christopher Street). A must-see if you’re visiting New York, this place is so full of history for the LGBTQ+ community and was a turning point in the fight for gay rights.
Pieces Bar (8 Christopher Street). Small gay video bar, pool table and stage with drag shows. Terrace in summer.
Ty’s Bar NYC(114 Christopher Street). Small gay bar with a good reputation that hasn’t changed in many years, lots of choices at reasonable prices and regular customers.
Hangar Bar(115 Christopher Street). Another bar that has been around for many years, unpretentious, with a rather mature and loyal clientele.
Henrietta Hudson (438 Hudson Street). A very popular lesbian bar, known for its cocktails and its fiery atmosphere. Possibility of eating on the spot as well.
Cubbyhole (281 West 12th Street). Another very famous lesbian bar with a very colourful floral style.
Gay bars elsewhere on the East Side
Nowhere (322 E 14th Street). Neighborhood queer bar with pool table, cozy private spaces and themed nights.
The Cock (93 2nd Avenue). Dancers’ bar that takes you back to the original hardcore universe of the very first gay clubs.
Phoenix Bar (447 E 13th Street). Gay bar with a friendly unpretentious clientele and many locals in an old tavern atmosphere.
The Boiler Room (86 East 4th Street). Neighborhood bar, with a pool table and a small selection of food.
Townhouse Piano Bar of New York (236 E 58th Street). Chic piano bar with live music from local artists, great cocktails and a good clientele.
Gay bar in Brooklyn
3 Dollar Bill (260 Meserole Street). Gay bar-club in Brooklyn located in a former industrial space, a large stage to host well-graded drag shows, nice dance floor and the sound system is worth it.
Xstasy Bar and Lounge (758 5th Avenue). Gay bar-club with a nice latino atmosphere, regular shows, lounge area and also an outdoor terrace.
The Rosemont (63 Montrose Avenue). Friendly bar that hosts live music and drag shows.
The Exley(1 Jackson Street). Famous gay bar in Williamsburg with a nice drink menu, you can relax in the quiet or enjoy the outdoor space.
Metropolitan Bar (559 Lorimer Street). Very popular gay bar in Brooklyn with a large indoor space, a beautiful terrace covered with greenery, ideal for groups.
Branded Saloon (603 Vanderbilt Avenue). Bar-restaurant 100% Wild West in addition to being LGBTQ+. New artists will perform on the small stage.
Macri Park (462 Union Avenue). Gay bar in the neighborhood, dark atmosphere with fireplace inside and a small outdoor space. Regular drag shows.
Ginger’s Bar (363 5th Avenue). Well known lesbian bar in Brooklyn with very affordable prices.
Important information: the following popular New York bars are now closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic: Posh Bar NYC and Therapy (a favorite spot of RuPaul’s Drag Race).
Cabaret in Hell’s Kitchen
Lucky Cheng’s Drag Queen Show Place, Restaurant and Bar (707 8th Avenue). Enjoy an evening of entertainment at this cabaret that allows you to make dinner reservations and enjoy drag shows.
Gay club in Greenwich Village
The Monster(80 Grove Street). A well-known gay bar in the heart of Manhattan that is part of the local LGBTQ+ community and will take you back in time.
Cabaret & Gay Club – East Side
Lips Drag Queen Show Palace Resturant and Bar (227 East 56th Street). Well-known cabaret theater with dinner and live drag show.
Cumming Club (505 East 6th Street). Club that presents drag performances and special queer nights.
The Pyramid Club(101 Avenue A). Mythical club that pays tribute to the 80’s and disco-pop music.
Brooklyn gay club
Club Evolution (76-19 Roosevelt Avenue). Gay latino lounge club with very sexy waiters and regular drag performances.
House of Yes(2 Wycloff Avenue). Big club in an old warehouse with performers, stage shows and a very clubbing atmosphere.
Gay club in Queens
Hombres Lounge (8528 37th Avenue). Modern gay club with a very nice style mixing design, floral art and very latin male paintings.
Icon Astoria(31-84 33rd, Astoria). Gay bar-club with a nice bar area, large dance floor and regular shows.
Gay sauna culture is much less prevalent in the United States than in Europe. So don’t be surprised if you don’t find a list like in Barcelona, London or Berlin. There are some existing establishments, but they are so poorly rated by customers that we cannot, in all objectivity, list them in this guide.
From June 24 to 28, 2021
New York City Pride 2021 is scheduled to take place from Thursday, June 24 to Monday, June 28. The parade will take place on Sunday, June 27, 2021 from Chelsea. Pride Island will be located in Hell’s Kitchen (Pier 97 on Hudson River Park).
The theme for New York City’s 2021 gay pride event has been unveiled and will be “The Fight Continues.” Full program.
August 1, 2021
Alegria Pride 2021 at the Brooklyn Mirage (Avant Gardner) with DJs Enrico Meloni, Maura Mozart and Tom Stephan.
Almost all gay dating apps are used here because New York City is an international gay meeting place.
Video source: You Tube – NYC Pride Official – February 3, 2021. Photo credit 1: licensed by Shutterstock.com / photographer: mapman. Photo credit 2: licensed by Shutterstock.com / photographer: lazyllama.