There isn't a place anywhere on Earth that has cemented its mark on LGBT history quite like New York City. From one of the very first gay power meetings in the USA, to the Stonewall Riots, and the amazing work that organisations in the city have done to combat the stigma of HIV/AIDS, New York's mark on the LGBT community is really quite extraordinary.
In addition to that, its gay bar scene is remarkable. The spread of gay establishments across the city lends itself to exploring New York, whilst stopping for a cocktail along the way!
The team at Much Gay have visited New York many times, and we've compiled a list of the gay bars we always visit when we swing through town (listen to us, we've been three times).
In no particular order here are our top 10 gay bars in New York City:
Now a National Historic Monument, the Stonewall Inn is the site of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, and Pride started here. The sense of history in this unassuming bar is undeniable, and we all owe the people who frequented it over the years a huge debt of gratitude for the work they did to pave the way for equality.
It's also a great bar too. If you only visit one gay bar in New York, make sure that it's this one.
Long a haunt of Broadway casts after their shows finish, Marie's Crisis Cafe is a must-visit New York gay bar. Featuring a huge piano, if you love show tunes, this is the place to be.
The bar comes alive every night with lively renditions of songs from musicals, and their drinks selection is fantastic too. A must-see! Singer Gregory Dillon was also telling us recently about how much he loves Marie's Crisis, so you don't just have to take our word for it!
Long renowned as the best place to spot a celebrity in New York City, Barracuda Lounge is a fantastic bar, featuring drag shows every night. It's annual event Star Search is said to be a forerunner of Rupaul's Drag Race, and there isn't a better night of entertainment in New York.
A must-see for visitors - you'll love it!
A staple of the New York gay scene for 30 years, the Townhouse typically attracts an older crowd (and their admirers) and is noted for it's more smart casual dress approach. Sing-along to a show tune with their nightly piano sessions, and enjoy three bars all under one roof.
Boxers is notable for its bartenders, who serve drinks in... well... their boxers. If you're looking to be served by smoking hot bartenders whilst enjoying the atmosphere of the most famous gay sports bar in New York, Boxers has you covered!
With a few locations across the city, the original Hell's Kitchen location is a great bar, and even has a rooftop bar in the summer.
Often compared to Coyote Ugly, Flaming Saddles is a cowboy-themed gay bar that is famous for its bartenders, who like to jump onto the bar top and give a dance to the patrons. A fun night is guaranteed at Flaming Saddles, definitely a must-see if you're in New York City!
They even have a location in West Hollywood, Los Angeles too, so even if you're nowhere near New York City, you're not missing out on the fun!
An institution of New York's East Village for over 20 years, Phoenix always has something going on. Whether it's go-go dancers, karaoke, or anything in between, you're guaranteed to have a great night at Phoenix.
If you're in the East Village, don't miss it!
What at first seems like a rather cheeky name, Club Cumming is actually owned by actor Alan Cummings, and is a popular gay hangout. Themed as a cabaret joint, there's always something going on at Club Cumming, and you never know who you're going to see there. Worth a visit!
A great gay bar with a laid-back, comfortable vibe, Nowhere Bar features a dark room, as well as great events and a great set of go-go dancers. If you're in the East Village, it's definitely worth popping in for a drink!
Another bar with a storied history, Julius' is one of the oldest gay bars in New York, and was the site of the Mattachine Society's first ever sip-in (you can check out our Instagram account for more info on that). It's a great little gay bar, and you can't help but enjoy the history of the place as you sip on your drink. A must-see!
So that's our round-up of the top 10 gay bars in New York City. What's your favourite New York gay bar? Let us know in the comments!
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