Welcome to the dynamic and inclusive LGBTQ+ scene of Washington DC, where the city’s vibrant gay bars offer a haven of celebration, acceptance, and unbridled fun.
From historic establishments that have withstood the test of time to trendy newcomers pushing boundaries, the capital is a hub for diverse and thriving gay nightlife.
In this guide, we’ll take you on a thrilling tour and connect with like-minded individuals from the best gay bars in Washington DC.
1836 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202) 483-1483
Larry’s Lounge is one of the best gay bars in Washington, DC, thanks to its relaxed, easygoing.
Located near Strivers’ Section Historic District, this bar is equipped with moody lighting, cozy seating, and very inviting vibes, which I love!
I appreciate its dog-friendly policy, making it even more fun to go here and here and hang out with a beer on the outdoor patio.
Plus, drink prices are pretty reasonable, and I highly recommend getting both wine and beer.
1335 Green Ct NW, Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 347-4533
If you’re looking for a gay bar that has it all, Green Lantern, located between Thomas Circle Park and Franklin Park, might be your best bet.
Green Lantern is one of my top picks for gay bars in the city because it sports an eclectic vibe, with super fun drag shows, 80s night dance parties, karaoke nights, and even live exotic dancers!
All in all, it’s a convenient and entertaining spot for friends to meet up.
I love taking shots and dancing (or singing) the night away at Green Lantern!
1435 P St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 986-0999
Number Nine is where to get a drink if you want a sleek, stylish atmosphere near the Logan Circle area.
It’s one of the more luxurious bars for gays and lesbians in town, with very stylish digs throughout the multilevel establishment.
I love coming to Number Nine to drink specialty cocktails, and I highly recommend ordering the Bully Boy with Redemption bourbon or the Sweet Heat Margarita with Milagro tequila.
1519 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 328-0090
JR’s Bar is a longtime neighborhood gay bar west of Stead Park. It has an extremely friendly atmosphere that both tourists and locals love.
I typically hit up JR’s Bar during their energetic happy hour, but I also love going to watch their drag shows or simply on the weekends to dance my heart out.
What I love most about JR’s is that they stream music videos, which adds a very nostalgic and cheerful feel to the place.
You can sing and dance along to the best “gay anthems” with ease!
639 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 462-4464
Uproar Lounge & Restaurant, located by the Howard Theatre, is one of the most fun places to go out because it has three levels, including an atmospheric rooftop deck.
The crowd here is one of my favorites in town, with a diverse and inviting feel to it whenever I go.
I also appreciate that when it gets a bit crowded, I can get some air on the roof and mingle, then go back downstairs when I’m ready to dance again.
2319 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202) 733-2568
A League of Her Own is undoubtedly one of the most fun places to get drinks for people who also love sports!
It’s an animated and dynamic bar in the Lanier Heights area, and I love that they host various events throughout the week, including but not limited to game-watches, dance parties, and trivia nights.
The bar caters mostly to lesbians but welcomes people of all sexualities and backgrounds as well.
1637 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202) 328-3222
Dupont Italian Kitchen is the perfect mixture between a gay bar and a family-style Italian kitchen, so there’s obviously so much to love about it.
It caters to an older crowd but welcomes in anyone who appreciates a tasty, hearty pasta and a little boogie now and then.
There’s plenty of space and a wonderful atmosphere, so you can truly choose your own adventure at Dupont Italian Kitchen.
900 U St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 332-6355
Nellie’s Sports Bar is a highly popular spot in the boisterous U St area, offering a variety of events for sports lovers and drag show lovers alike.
They also have poker nights if you’re feeling competitive or karaoke nights if you’re feeling like wailing out some show tunes.
I strongly believe it’s one of the most fun places to go to in the city, but be careful – you might end up staying for hours longer than you initially intended!
2161 P St NW, Washington, DC 20037
Phone: (202) 293-1293
Located near the O Museum in The Mansion is The Fireplace, a friendly neighborhood gay bar that has a more local crowd of regulars as opposed to the tourists and college kids you’ll find in other areas of the city.
I appreciate the dive bar feel, the extra strong drinks like Vodka Punch and Cosmos, and the music!
Some people say the music is a bit random and outdated, but I actually like that because you never know what you’re going to get!
209 M St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 849-6130
Red Bear Brewing Co, in the NoMa area of DC, has some of the best ciders I’ve found in the city.
Plus, they have a wide variety of brews and wines, catering to various tastes and preferences.
I usually go for the cider, but my friends love all the options here.
And notably, this gay-owned brewpub has plenty of board games to keep you entertained with your friends, making it a fan-favorite for weeknight hangouts.
1410 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 986-1094
In Northwest DC near the Old Korean Legation Museum, you’ll find Trade, an easygoing, unassuming gay bar best known for its happy hour with high-value drinks.
If you’re looking for big cocktails and a friendly atmosphere, it’s hard to beat Trade.
You’ll get a dive bar feel and strong dive bar cocktails in a more friendly environment.
Plus, if you come on the third Saturday of the month, you’ll get to watch one of their incredible drag shows!