LAGuide

A Definitive Ranking Of Literally Every West Hollywood Queer Bar

All 19 Weho gay bars, ranked.
A Definitive Ranking Of Literally Every West Hollywood Queer Bar image

photo credit: Benji Dell

Resting not-so-gently between Robertson and La Cienega on Santa Monica Blvd., this section of Weho might be one of the most culturally significant queer neighborhoods in the entire world. And it also has more nightlife than anyone knows what to do with.

So how do you make sense of it all? Everywhere you turn there’s another jam-packed bar filled with people who could all be Jonathan Bailey's Wicked stunt double. Because we’ve ranked every single queer bar in the area, and we’re here to tell you how exactly each one should fit into your night out in Weho. Ready? Let’s get weird.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Hi Tops

Bar

West Hollywood

$$$$Perfect For:Sports!

We respect any bar that pulls off a punny name, and Hi Tops has that going for it. This popular SF transplant is still on the newer side by West Hollywood standards, and for that reason alone, it’s crowded. The high-school-themed space is big and open, which is ideal for people to stand around and look at each other until somebody makes the first move. Tuesday night trivia is very popular, and some people here are watching sports unironically. That said, the most surprising aspect of this place is its excellent craft cocktails. So instead of your usual vodka soda, go for the mezcal-heavy Magic Hour, or The Klaw, which is made with gin and cardamom bitters.

photo credit: Chelsea Lauren

$$$$

Taking over the legendary Gold Coast space, Or Bar opened in 2022 and is already one of our go-to drinking spots in West Hollywood. Yes, $20 craft cocktails are egregious even for Weho, but we appreciate that Or Bar is more than just a four-walled room filled with Britney remixes and 24-year-olds standing around on Grindr. People here are actually hanging out, and if you can believe it, talking. The place skews loungey, but not in a tacky, bottle service kind of way. There are plush, comfy banquettes where anyone can sit and a giant, amoeba-shaped chandelier hanging over the bar. It’s retro, kitschy, and gives off the energy of a well-attended dinner party in Palm Springs.

photo credit: Brant Cox

$$$$Perfect For:Big GroupsBirthdays

Despite being located in the center of the action on Santa Monica Blvd., walking into this restaurant/performance space feels like you've found a secret oasis. There’s a great front patio that never gets too crowded, bartenders who’ll look you in the eyes, and excellent queer programming throughout the week that includes bearded lady cabarets, Drag Race viewing parties, movie nights, and more. If you’re in the mood to day drink on the weekends, it’s all about the Wig & Waffles drag brunch with $29 bottomless mimosas and copious amounts of death drops. 

photo credit: Sterling Reed

$$$$Perfect For:Happy Hour

Schmitty’s is a neighborhood bar operating inside the old GymBar space, now run by the same people as FuBar—which is still closed post-pandemic. Got that? It doesn’t matter. All you need to know is that Schmitty’s is a good place to grab a drink and hang out on a spacious patio next to a closed-down Five Guys. The Irish pub aesthetic is definitely a little cheesy, but no one’s complaining about that when there’s a Monday through Saturday Happy Hour with discounted well cocktails, wine, and beer.

photo credit: Team Infatuation

$$$$Perfect For:Dancing

You’re probably at Revolver because you’re too drunk to realize it’s not Micky’s and you’re under the impression that go-go dancer is in love with you. Revolver could be any gay bar anywhere in the world, which also means it’s quite popular. It also benefits from having dozens of TVs playing iconic music videos and a great corner location where hundreds of girls finally decide to take off their high heels and cry.

photo credit: Brant Cox

$$$$

The Bayou is where you go when you’ve just arrived in Weho and realize you’re too sober for whatever is going on that night (and need to address that issue ASAP). Their daily Happy Hour goes until 8pm with discounted beer and well drinks, and there's good cell service if you need to check Grindr. Bayou might be small, but the feel is right (read: Mardi Gras) and the bartenders will almost certainly pour you free Fireball shots for no reason. Your jumping-off point for an evening of personal destruction lies here.

Finally making use of the best corner in Weho (Santa Monica and San Vicente), Rocco’s is a relatively new addition to the neighborhood and, at the very least, a lot better than the sad Bank of America it replaced. With a massive, wrap-around patio and huge bar area inside, Rocco’s is a bit corporate but gets points for providing the area with the restaurant/bar combo it needed. Is the food good? Not really. But they have a decent beer list, plenty of appetizers you’ll be fine with when you’re drunk, and Wheel of Fortune playing during the week. Also, they have a full dog menu if your canine child is tagging along.

photo credit: Brant Cox

$$$$Perfect For:Sports!

GymBar was one of the first Weho bars to close down during the pandemic. It was also the first bar to announce its reopening… in a brand new space a few blocks down Santa Monica Blvd. Taking over a former Halal Guys that absolutely no one went to, the new digs are pretty similar to the old ones. Which is to say, it’s a fairly cramped space with TVs blasting MLB games, rec sports teams throwing back drinks as quickly as possible, and a few lost straight guys who haven’t figured out this isn’t Barney’s Beanery.  

photo credit: Team Infatuation

$$$$Perfect For:DancingPeople Watching

Welcome to Weho’s lost and found. Trunks is where you go when you lost one friend at the Chase ATM line and the other is still inside the Pavilions that closed a half hour ago. Trunks is tiny, easy to get into, and in the middle of everything, making it the ideal spot to regroup and find your people before heading to the next spot. Also, bartenders here hand out tequila shots like they’re free. And if you flirt with the right server, they might be.

photo credit: Heart

$$$$Perfect For:Dancing

The closure of Rage in 2020, one of Weho’s oldest and most recognizable gay bars, was a major loss for the community. The fact that Heart has re-energized the space and brought life back to one of the most prominent corners of Santa Monica Blvd. is reason enough for us to like it. That said, it’s still pretty generic: complete with crowded dance floors, long lines, and a generally attractive crowd standing around not having fun. Keep your eyes on Heart’s Instagram though. They pull in some of the biggest names in the business with shows throughout the week. 

photo credit: Team Infatuation

$$$$Perfect For:Dancing

If you were to look up “complete and utter shitstorm” in the dictionary, you would absolutely find Micky’s. This is where you go after a sloppy breakup (or the death of a Golden Girl) to realize the power of yourself and others. Everyone in Micky’s is dead-set on getting as hammered as humanly possible and they’re very good on their word.

photo credit: Brant Cox

$$$$Perfect For:Dancing

You wake up Sunday morning, you don’t know where you are, and there’s a number in your phone that reads “Craig from Kitchen24.” Assume you went to Mother Lode. The classic dive bar underwent a facelift a few years back, but luckily, has remained unchanged otherwise—good news for those seeking mixed drinks that are just full cups of well tequila. The interior isn't great by any means, and there’s a decent chance someone will kiss you on the neck without telling you first, but generally speaking, you’re in for a good time.

photo credit: Team Infatuation

Hamburger Mary’s is all about three words: Drag Queen Bingo. Come Sunday afternoon, get intimate with some bottomless mimosas, text an ex at brunch, and stick around until 6pm when the best bingo in the world commences. Hamburger Mary’s might not be much of a nightlife fixture but on Sundays, it’s a destination that you need to work into your schedule—especially if you have people visiting from out of town.

photo credit: Team Infatuation

$$$$Perfect For:DancingDay Drinking

No introduction is necessary here, but we’ll give one anyway: The Abbey is the most recognizable gay bar in LA and probably the country (maybe the world?) and ground zero for all things Weho nightlife. And with four separate bars, a gigantic front patio, and a multi-tiered dance floor, it’s not being dethroned anytime soon. Just avoid the weekend nights, when Brentwood divorcees and carpooling teenagers from Rancho Cucamonga pack the room. And somehow, surprisingly, their food is quite good. Come on a Sunday afternoon for brunch and walk away thrilled. And tipsy.

photo credit: Brant Cox

$$$$Perfect For:Dancing
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Who doesn’t want to drink in a bar named after a Bette Midler movie that deals with the crippling effects of viral cardiomyopathy? This beach-themed bar does, in fact, offer some fun beachy things, like a solid Happy Hour, alcoholic slushies, and drag brunch lip sync battles. But ultimately there’s not much separating Beaches from other generic bars on the block. If you stumble in here on the way to somewhere else, you’ll be fine, but no one comes to Weho just for Beaches.

photo credit: The Wild

$$$$Perfect For:Brunch

The Wild wins the coveted award for being the newest bar in West Hollywood. Unfortunately, it also wins the award for being Just Another Bar. Located in the former St. Felix space, this tropical-y cocktail bar (there are more birds of paradise plants here than La Cienega Nursery) is a fine pitstop on a Weho bar crawl, but there’s nothing you can’t find the next spot over. There’s a decent brunch on the weekends, Drag Race viewing parties, and go-go boys gyrating to house music. Beyond that though, we struggle to stay interested.

photo credit: The Chapel at The Abbey

$$$$Perfect For:Dancing

Located directly next door to The Abbey, the crowd at this aggressively by-the-books club is comprised mostly of circuit gays and the overflow crowd from its more famous neighbor. The music can be fun sometimes, but the space is so easily overcrowded, that most people end up standing around talking about how fun the music is instead of being able to dance.

photo credit: Team Infatuation

$$$$Perfect For:Dancing

Fiesta Cantina is one of those bars that thinks as long as you get people drunk enough, no will one notice the cheap Mexican restaurant cliches held up as entertainment. And by “cliches” we mean plastic palm trees, spray-painted beach tableaus, and lackluster All-You-Can-Eat Taco Tuesdays. It’s also important to note that no matter where you are in Fiesta, you’re less than six inches away from the nearest vomit, so stay on your toes. And while you’re at it, just turn around and leave.

photo credit: Team Infatuation

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We’re now entering the Lisa Vanderpump portion of the list, which is to say, we’re at the end. Tom Tom is the latest in a long line of Bravo-powered bars that are quickly erasing all traces of authentic queer culture in West Hollywood. Is Tom Tom even a gay bar? It doesn’t matter—it’s a bad bar, full of straight girls on vacation who think gay men are tourist attractions. And yet, this steampunk-themed atrocity still manages to be slightly better than Lisa’s other properties, simply because there are weird mechanical clocks you can stare at while you contemplate if you’re part of the problem.

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