The 12 Best Gay Bars In D.C.


For years, there have been arguments that traditional gay bars are on their way out, with non-gay bars becoming gay hotspots and D.C.’s gayborhood largely transformed. Yet more than ever, the importance of the gay bar cannot be overstated. As President Barack Obama put it, these gathering places are for more than “to be with friends, to dance and to sing, and to live—it is a place of solidarity and empowerment where people have come together to raise awareness, to speak their minds, and to advocate for their civil rights.” Since we last put together this list in 2013, some have come and others have gone—most regrettably, Phase 1, D.C.’s only lesbian bars. But queer nightlife is still going strong, be it at the bars below or the many LGBTQ dance parties we highlighted last year (many of which cater to women).

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