Resting not-so-gently between Robertson and La Cienega on Santa Monica Blvd., Weho’s Boystown is one of the most culturally significant gay 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 straight out of last night’s Matt Bomer fever dream and you’re panicking. But it’s going to be OK. Because we’ve ranked every single gay bar in the area, and we’re here tell you how exactly each one should fit into your night out in Weho. Ready? Let’s go get weird.
The Bayou is where you go when you’ve just arrived in Weho and realize you’re way too sober to be doing this. Their late night Happy Hour (10:30pm-12:30am) is magic, with $3 beers, $5 call drinks, and good cell service for checking 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.
Located farther down Santa Monica Blvd - away from the main action - Fubar is Weho’s last real underground queer outlet. Its rougher edges might scare off the greener crowds, but let it. This place is a weird, gay dystopia and perhaps your best chance at seeing a dancer’s actual butthole. Thursday’s “BFD” party is undoubtedly their most popular night of the week, and if you can’t figure out what that acronym means then you probably shouldn’t go.
We respect any bar that pulls off a punny name, and Hi Tops makes the cut. This popular SF-transplant is still pretty new 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 hot guys to stand around and look at each other until somebody makes the first move. Tuesday night trivia is very popular, and some people in here actually watch sports unironically. That said, the most surprising aspect of this place is their excellent craft cocktails. Too bad everyone’s just drinking vodka sodas.
No real introduction necessary, 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 going anywhere anytime soon. Just avoid the weekends, when every Brentwood divorcee and carpooling teenager from Rancho Cucamonga descends on it. One overlooked aspect of the place though is the food. Get here on a Sunday afternoon for brunch and walk away thrilled. And hammered.
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.
If you were to look up “complete and utter sh*tstorm” 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. There’s also an after-hours till 4am on weekends, so, see everyone in heaven.
In reality, St. Felix is far less a gay bar and much more a place to just hang out, eat good food, and people watch on the patio. Located smack in the center of all the action, the bigger scenes here happen during the week, when the after-work crowd invades for the fantastic Happy Hour, or on Sunday afternoons for brunch. St. Felix is your cool gay uncle who still knows how to have fun - but keeps his life together at the same time.
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, and for that reason alone it’s generally pretty crowded. It also benefits from having a great corner location where hundreds of girls finally decide to take off their high-heels and cry.
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 recent exterior facelift, but luckily, is pretty much unchanged otherwise - good news for those seeking mixed drinks that are actually just full cups of well tequila. The interior isn’t great by any means, and there’s a decent chance someone will stick their hands down your pants here, but generally speaking, you’re in for a good time.
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 flat-out destination that you need to work into your schedule.
Finally making use of the best corner in Weho (Santa Monica and San Vicente), Rocco’s is the newest addition to Boystown and, at the very least, looks a whole lot better than the sad Bank of America it replaced. With a massive, wrap-around patio and huge bar area inside, Rocco’s is certainly a bit corporate, but gets bonus points for providing the area with the restaurant/bar combo it needed. Is the food any 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 son is tagging along today.
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 actually does promise some fun things, like a solid Happy Hour, alcoholic slushies, and something called #BaeWatchFridays. But in reality, 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.
Sitting directly next door to The Abbey, the crowd at this aggressively by-the-books club is mostly comprised of circuit gays and overflow from its more famous neighbor. The music can be fun sometimes, but it’s so over-crowded, everyone just ends up standing around talking about how fun the music is instead of actually being able to dance.
Most likely referred to you by your scream-crying friend as “Ugh, Old Coast?!,” it’s no secret that this place attracts a more mature crowd. But it’s still a good place to pick up a drink. Gold Coast has been open for about 400 years and is littered with regulars being served by bartenders who will straight up not look at you. And that’s refreshing. But unfortunately, that man in the mauve turtleneck just blew you a kiss, so it’s time to go.
Fiesta Cantina is one of those terrible bars that still think as long as you get people drunk enough, using broad-stroked Mexican culture to entertain them is completely fine. It’s not. And by “culture” we mean plastic palm trees, spray-painted beach tableaus, and 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.
We’re now entering the Lisa Vanderpump portion of the list, which is to say, we’re almost 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.
Congratulations. The dullest, most meaningless spot in all of Weho is PUMP. The “Sexy Garden” restaurant is a complete waste of one of the best properties on all of Santa Monica Blvd. Lisa Vanderpump could’ve given us a place that mattered, but instead created something we have plenty of - a stale, over-designed lounge filled with Beverly Hills Housewives looking for fun gay guys to make themselves appear more interesting on Instagram. We’ll pass.