The Most Fun Queer Spots In LA (Whether You Drink Or Not)

Our favorite queer marketplaces, cafes, and venues where you can actually meet new people.
The Most Fun Queer Spots In LA (Whether You Drink Or Not) image

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

LA has some legendary queer bars, but we’re always on the lookout for fun spaces that don't necessarily fit into the category of "nightlife." The spots on this list are for those days when you actually want to socialize with new people without screaming over a thumping Kylie Monogue chorus. From a queer cafe that's perfect for coffee dates to an LGBTQIA+ skate night at a legendary roller rink, these are our ten favorite queer spots to have a great time with or without alcohol.


photo credit: Morgan Lierberman


Downtown LA

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One of our favorite sober queer spaces is currently in residence at DTLA’s Redline. Detroit Vessey’s is an inclusive cafe that’s perfect for grabbing lunch with a few friends or doing some low-pressure social interaction on a random Saturday night. They’ve become famous for hosting a bunch of queer-centered group cycling rides, which usually double as fundraisers for organizations like AIDS/Lifecycle. But they also throw drag king shows, movie screenings of camp classics, and fun brunches with live musical performances. Drop by for a little caffeine and a snack, or follow their Instagram for updates on the latest events happening.

If you’re looking for a chill spot to sit back and watch live shows, Hotel Cafe in Hollywood might be your favorite new venue. Located in an alleyway a block south of Hollywood Boulevard, this cozy bar hosts intimate sessions with up-and-coming singers and comedians. They even have a dedicated LGBTQIA+ night called Queer Cafe that happens every month or so. Come for a solo nightcap or bring a couple of friends to celebrate a lineup of local queer performers before they hit it big.

This iconic roller skating rink has been around since the 1950s, and it’s still our top pick for a fun night out in Glendale. Even if you haven’t actually been to Moonlight Rollerway, you’ve probably seen it in countless TV shows from Euphoria to Barnaby Jones. It’s not uncommon to see queer people in colorful wigs and sparkly outfits here any night of the week, but Rainbow Skate Night is the rink’s official queer-centered session where the DJ bumps gay anthems for all to enjoy. It happens weekly on Wednesdays from 8-10pm, and you should definitely buy your tickets online in advance because they occasionally sell out.

No plans on a sunny Saturday afternoon? Check out The Beehive. It’s a massive outdoor venue in South Central where there’s always something going on. Once a month, they host Black Market Flea, a day party and marketplace uplifting Black-owned artists and musicians from across the city. The ticketed event is also an unofficial fashion show where lots of queer folks show up in latex catsuits and bright pink wigs like models on a Paris runway. There’s also a very active dance floor and an elevated stage in the main courtyard where artists like Anderson .Paak and Janelle Monae have made surprise appearances.

If country music and queer line dancing sound like kinds of things that could get you off the couch on a weeknight, make your way to Club Bahia. On Mondays and Thursdays, the Latin bar in Echo Park hosts a western-themed hoe-down called Stud Country where you can live your LGBTQIA+ cowboy fantasy. People typically commit to the bit and show up in blue jeans and pointy boots, but there’s no official dress code. You’re simply there to let loose on the dancefloor and maybe even two-step your way into someone’s DMs. It’s a flirty, fun time that kind of feels like a queer version of Hannah Montana: The Movie.

Walking into Tramp Stamp Granny’s in Hollywood is like walking into the most insane high school theater cast party of all time. Here you’ll find bartenders belting Celine Dion and pouring shots, strangers having Missy Elliot rap-offs, and the whole room singing Seasons of Love in unison. This rowdy piano bar is the kind of place you peek your head into because you hear noise from the sidewalk, then wake up the next morning with a text from an unknown number asking if you’re still on for the Dear Evan Hansen matinee.

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Attention: After nearly a decade, there's a lesbian bar in LA again. Say hello to The Ruby Fruit, a welcoming, jubilant queer space that already feels like a tentpole of the community. Located in a Silver Lake strip mall, the natural wine bar is small (there’s a tiny wrap-around bar and a handful of tables inside), but the party spills out onto the sidewalk and even the parking lot on a nightly basis, turning a neighborhood bar into an impromptu block party of married couples, neighbors, bandmates, and everyone in between.

Honey's is a clubby queer bar at Star Love (a colorful cocktail spot in East Hollywood) where there’s something happening on any given night: karaoke Wednesdays, upbeat house DJ sets, comedy nights, even queer night markets. There's a wraparound bar up front and a dance room in the back, so even if you come out on a weekday, it’ll feel like a Friday night. While this place is lesbian-focused, it’s very inclusive of everyone. They’ve got $10 well drinks Wednesday through Saturday from 6-8pm, and they’re usually strong enough that you’d only need one or two before hopping on stage to perform your fully choreographed dance to “Fergalicious.”

From writing workshops to classes about caring for your houseplants, Junior High hosts events for queer folks who actually want to talk to one another. The non-profit art gallery in Glendale is where you can join a book club and try a 50-minute aerial hammock lesson all in the same day. If you’re looking for inclusive queer nightlife, they also host comedy nights, DJ sets, and night markets with clothing vendors from across the country. It’s like a gender-affirming clubhouse where everyone is welcome—check out the calendar on their website for more events coming up.

This overachieving West Adams plant nursery goes above and beyond to make the queer community feel safe. Not only do they host an event called “Readings At Sunset: A Queer Poetry Night'' on a monthly basis, they also operate an inclusive night market with over 20 QTBIPOC vendors selling handmade earrings, matcha candles, vintage clothing, and more. So if you’re looking for a laid-back space to meet new people, pick up a new swiss cheese plant, and support some queer artists, this is it. Recently, the space has been threatened by plans for a future development project—Plant Chica’s owners have launched a GoFundMe to raise money for securing their current space, or finding a new one in the neighborhood.

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