Sipping in sass: What are the best LGBTQ bars and clubs in London?

Whether you’re a seasoned Londoner or a jet-setting queer adventurer, one thing’s for certain – this city knows how to throw a party, and we’re here to spill the glittery tea on the hottest LGBTQ bars and clubs that make the capital pulse with rainbow vibes.

So get ready to sip, sashay, and discover the places where the beats are infectious, the cocktails are as vibrant as the crown, and the energy is positively contagious. Let the rainbow adventure begin!

The Bridge

Media from thebridgeclapham

Location: 8 Voltaire Rd, London SW4 6DH, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7720 1959

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Thursday – 4:00 PM to 11:00 PM
  • Friday – 4:00 PM to 12:00 AM
  • Saturday – 2:00 PM to 12:00 AM
  • Sunday – 2:00 PM to 11:00 PM

Website

Established in the 19th century, The Bridge harmoniously marries its Victorian roots with modern flair by creating an inviting atmosphere that resonates with diversity and acceptance. 

Hosting drag bingo, themed pub quizzes, and electrifying drag shows, this bar ensures there’s something for everyone. They even host watching shows of RuPaul’s Drag Race, cementing its status as a go-to spot for fans of the iconic show. 

Adding to the allure, The Bridhe’s happy hours from 5 PM to 7 PM provide the perfect opportunity for patrons to unwind and connect. 

Ku Bar

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Location: 30 Lisle St, London WC2H 7BA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7437 4303

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Saturday – 1:00 PM to 3:00 AM
  • Sunday – 1:00 PM to 12:00 AM

Website

The first floor, known as Ku Bar, exudes a sleek and contemporary vibe by providing a chic space for socialising and enjoying expertly crafted cocktails. The second floor, Ku Lounge, offers a more relaxed atmosphere with plush seating and a diverse menu. 

Meanwhile, the third floor, Klub, transforms into a pulsating dance floor after dark. It features top-notch DJs and an electric atmosphere that keeps the party alive into the early hours. 

The venue hosts various events including drag shows, cabaret performances, and even themed parties that cater to different communities within the LGBTQ spectrum.

Friendly Society

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Location: 79 Wardour St, London W1D 6QA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7437 4303

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Thursday – 4:00 PM to 11:30 PM
  • Friday to Saturday – 4:00 PM to 12:00 AM
  • Sunday – 4:00 PM to 10:30 PM

Website

Nestled in the heart of lively Soho, Friendly Society emerges as a distinctive gem in London’s LGBTQ nightlife scene. Tucked behind an unassuming doorway, this venue blends an inviting atmosphere with a touch of mystery. 

Upon entering, guests are greeted by an ambience where flowers sway from the ceiling alongside mid-air Barbies. 

Beyond their visual allure, they also offer a great cocktail menu. One must-try concoction is the Bitter Slaf. It’s a drink that perfectly encapsulates the bar’s commitment to bold flavours and creativity. 

Village

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Location: 81 Wardour St, London W1D 6QD, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7478 0530

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Tuesday – 4:00 PM to 1:00 AM
  • Wednesday to Thursday – 4:00 PM to 2:00 AM
  • Friday to Saturday – 4:00 PM to 3:00 AM
  • Sunday – 4:00 PM to 1:00 AM

Website

Boasting a rich history since 1991, Village has become a cornerstone of London’s LGBTQ scene. The venue’s multi-level layout caters to diverse tastes, ensuring there’s a spot for everyone. 

Karaoke Wednesdays take the spotlight here. This activity offers patrons a chance to unleash their inner divas and belt out tunes like never before. Plus, London’s drag royalties grace the venue, so you can expect a dazzling spectacle here. 

The Yard

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Location: 57 Rupert St, London W1D 7PL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7437 2652

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Tuesday – 3:00 PM to 11:30 PM
  • Wednesday to Thursday – 2:00 PM to 11:30 PM
  • Friday to Saturday – 12:00 PM to 12:00 AM
  • Sunday – 12:00 PM to 10:30 PM

Website

Formerly an iconic gay pub known as The Edge, The Yard underwent a revamp by emerging with a fresh identity and a renewed commitment to providing an inclusive space. 

One distinctive feature that sets this bar apart is its expansive outdoor space, aptly named “The Garden”. This al fresco haven offers you a breath of fresh air while still immersing you in the lively energy of the club. 

The Yard has mastered the art of balancing sophistication with an unpretentious vibe. Its diverse events cater to an array of tastes, from themed parties and drag shows to laid-back social evenings. The lineup ensures there’s always a reason to return. 

Dalston Superstore

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Location: 117 Kingsland High St, London E8 2PB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7254 2273

Opening hours:

  • Monday – 4:00 PM to 12:00 AM
  • Tuesday to Thursday – 4:00 PM to 2:30 AM
  • Friday to Sunday – 12:00 PM to 3:00 AM

Website

Walking through the door of Dalston Superstore is like entering a glittering time capsule that whisks you away to an era where disco balls, neon lights, and flamboyant decor reign supreme. 

By day, this bar serves as a cosy neighbourhood cafe – one that transitions into an exuberant dance floor as night falls. Some of the notable events that attract attention here are Body Swap and Club Tantrum, alongside impressive performances from London’s top go-go dancers.

The Glory

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Location: 281 Kingsland Rd, London E2 8AS, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7684 0794

Opening hours:

  • Monday – 5:00 PM to 11:00 AM
  • Tuesday to Thursday – 5:00 PM to 12:00 AM
  • Friday to Saturday – 5:00 PM to 3:00 AM
  • Sunday – 2:00 PM to 11:00 PM

Website

Owned by the iconic drag queens Jonny Woo and John Sizzle, this establishment celebrates the art of drag in a cosy pub setting. The evenings here are often adorned with ticketed drag shows, cabarets, and a plethora of LGBTQ+ arts events

The real magic unfolds in the basement, especially on Fridays and Saturdays since it transforms into a pulsating disco club that invites you to dance the night away. The bar even opens its arms to patrons late in the afternoon and serves up a range of chilled drinks and cocktails.

SheBar

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Location: Old Compton St, London W1D 5JL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7437 4303

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Saturday – 5:00 PM to 1:00 AM
  • Sunday – 5:00 PM to 10:45 PM

Website

SheBar is London’s exclusive retreat dedicated to queer women and non-binary individuals. As the city’s sole women-priority venue, this bar buzzes with an eclectic mix of LGBTQ+ folks, drawn in by its modern charm and the pulsating beats from the hottest DJs around. 

In this pint-size powerhouse, expect your nights to be filled with the best drag king performances London has to offer. And if you’re feeling brave, there are Karaoke Wednesdays here. So, you can take the stage and sing your heart out.

Two Brewers

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Location: 114 Clapham High St, London SW4 7UJ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7819 9539

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Saturday – 5:00 PM to 2:00 AM
  • Sunday – 4:00 PM to 2:00 AM

Website

Two Brewers is a South London staple that has been proudly serving the gay community for over three decades. This venue’s charm lies not only in its status as South London’s premier cabaret spot but also in its welcoming vibe that transforms it into everyone’s favourite drink.

As set foot into Two Brewers, expect to be swept into a whirlwind of entertainment ranging from dazzling drag acts to uproarious comedy nights, all backed by the eclectic beats of resident and guest DJs. 

And if you’re looking for a bit of mid-week fun, you’re in luck! The venue hosts a variety of events throughout the week. 

Freedom 

Media from freedombarsoho

Location: 60-66 Wardour St, London W1F 0TA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7434 9413

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 4:00 PM to 3:00 AM

Website

This stylish and sophisticated bar and club is where luxury meets liveliness. Imagine stepping into a world where the decor is as opulent as the cocktails are inventive. Plush booths and stylish chandeliers too!

Freedom Bar is a favourite haunt for West End performers, adding a dash of star quality to your night out. Plus, the club’s basement pulses with the beats of a state-of-the-art sound system, and for those who dare, dance poles await your moves on the dance floor. 

And if the ambience and the company weren’t enough, their cocktail list features delight like the Grace Kelly and the Bette Davies – they add an extra layer of glamour to your night. 

Circa

Media from circasoho

Location: 62 Frith St, London W1D 3JL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7434 9413

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday to Saturday – 1:00 PM to 1:00 AM
  • Saturday to Sunday – 3:00 PM to 1:00 AM

Website

Housed in the historic Hungerford House next to Embankment station, this spacious venue has become a sanctuary for diversity and celebration. 

With its roots linked to the popular Soho spot, Circa carries forward the legacy of sleek beats and a fashionable crowd, but on a grander scale. The club stretches its arms wide open until the early hours of the morning, embracing party-goers with a mix of electro-pop, and house music.

They even have a riverside restaurant that can be considered one of the best restaurants in London. It serves British classics and a cocktail lineup that will have you coming back for more, 

FIRE Nightclub 

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Location: Vauxhall, S Lambeth Rd, London SW8 1RT, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3242 0040

Opening hours:

  • Friday – 11:00 PM to 9:00 AM
  • Saturday to Sunday – 11:59 PM to 6:00 AM

Website

FIRE Nightclub has carved out its reputation as one of London’s leading LGBTQ+ nightclubs. This super club is a favourite for its high-energy ambience and ability to host up to 1,500 party-goers who dance the night away to a blend of house, techno, and bass. 

The club’s atmosphere is amplified by neon-lit rooms and powered by both local and international DJ talents, creating an immersive experience that lasts till the early hours of the morning. 

Electrowerkz

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Location: 7 Torrens St, London EC1V 1NQ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3976 6669

Opening hours: Open 24 hours

Website

Electrowerkz is particularly famous for its monthly flagship night, Slimelight, an iconic goth party that has been a staple since 1987. This event continues to evolve and embrace all who lean towards the darker side of nightlife. The dress code? Anything but the ordinary.

Besides Slimelight, Electrowerkz hosts a mix of events like the alt-rock night Voodoo London, the Saturday night gay party Roast, the art techno rave Riposte and various DJ-led nights.

What adds to the bar’s charm is its history. Originally a stable for London’s trams and then metalworks, the building was transformed into a club in 1980. The venue still houses remnants of its history, including a part of a tube train.

Zodiac

Media from zodiacbarlondon

Location: 119 Hampstead Rd, London NW1 3EE, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7126 8230

Opening hours: 

  • Tuesday to Wednesday – 5:00 PM to 1:00 AM
  • Thursday to Saturday – 5:00 PM to 1:30 AM
  • Sunday – 5:00 PM to 12:30 AM

Website

Established post-lockdown, this venue quickly transformed from a one-off event to a permanent fixture that is still delighting the LGBTQ community with its welcoming and safe atmosphere. 

The bar, a labour of love by Jade (aka Lady Phoenix) and her partner, was birthed from the desire to create a communal space that offers support, love and friendship. A haven where every member of the community can find solace and celebration.

The venue’s themed nights cater to a wide spectrum like bear gatherings, fetish nights, drag acts, and talent contests. Their commitment to inclusivity is evident in their entertainment lineup and the warm vibe they promote. 

Royal Vauxhall Tavern

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Location: 372 Kennington Ln, London SE11 5HY, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7820 1222

Opening hours: 

  • Monday to Thursday – 7:00 PM to 12:00 AM
  • Friday – 6:00 PM to 4:00 AM
  • Saturday – 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM
  • Sunday – 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Website

The Royal Vauxhall Tavern (RVT) is a legendary cornerstone of London’s LGBTQ+ culture and nightlife. With its roots stretching back to the 1860s, this Grade II-listed gem has been a beacon of entertainment and inclusivity long before pop icons like Lady Gaga graced the world stage. 

Known for its intimate setting and friendly crowds, RVT regularly hosts an array of LGBTQ+ events like the iconic Duckie and Butch and Please club nights.

The tavern’s history is as rich and colourful as the performances it hosts. From the witty quips of Paul O’Grady’s Lily Savage during the police raids of the 1980s to the incognito visits by celebrities like Freddie Mercury, every night at RVT is steeped in stories and history.

Queen Adelaide

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Location: 483 Hackney Rd, Cambridge Heath, London E2 9ED, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7012 1100

Opening hours: 

  • Sunday to Wednesday – 5:00 PM to 1:00 AM
  • Thursday to Sunday – 5:00 PM to 3:00 AM

Website

Emerging from the remnants of the beloved George & Dragon pub, Queen Adelaide quickly became a hotspot for queer hipsters in London. 

The bar’s interior is a mix of kitschy and campy decor, adorned with fairy lights and treasures akin to car-boot-sale. A particularly quirky feature is an animatronic and carrot-chewing horse head. 

They also host a variety of events ranging from R&B dance parties to celebrations of French pop divas, ensuring that there’s something for everyone.

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