Since most strip clubs just exist to make less-than-sober men relinquish large sums of money so they can, if only for a fleeting moment, feel like they're not associate financial consultants at mid-sized regional banks, they can be rather depressing places of business. But surely there are some that are great, that don't make you feel like you're doing something kind of creepy, where you can leave with your head held high... assuming you don't run into anyone you know.
To help you find which ones fit that bill, our crack team of researchers made a big sacrifice and scoured the nation, from New York to LA, from Portland to Miami, to find the best places to watch women disrobe, and these are the top 21.
Los Angeles, CA
Someday you’ll be sitting in a movie theater, watching a big-budget Hollywood movie, and say, “Hey, I’m pretty sure that girl making out with Zac Efron danced for me one time.” At least that’s what the girl currently grinding on your gym shorts for $25 will have you believe, since every single dancer in this West LA strip hall is just doing this until she catches her “big break”. And while the words “playmate”, “model”, and “girl who'd make me piss myself before talking to in a club” will usually be said multiple times while sitting at the rail, the odds are a lot more likely her “big break” will involve starring in a film with a name that ends in “Volume 9”. Either way, though, great club!
Um, they’ve got a spaceship on the roof. Now if you read the news -- or spend enough time in Tampa -- it might have you convinced it's also the way many of the local residents arrived in Florida, but you'll definitely be convinced that the $25 you spend on a full-nude lap dance from girls almost-as-hot as the ones down the street at Mons is the best $25 you’ve ever spent in three minutes. In a spaceship. On the roof of a strip club. God bless, Tampa.
Most strip clubs’ menus are limited to warmed-over buffets and bad bar food. But most strip clubs aren’t owned by dudes who own ranches. And thus, at Portland’s famous Acropolis, you can score a 16oz T-bone -- with potatoes and salad! -- and a beer from a huge tap list, then eat it while you watch a woman fully disrobe. A foot from your blood-covered plate. Because the stages are also the tables. And because this place rules. Oh, and the brunch is good! There are naked women there too.
While there was a time when the idea of fine dining in strip clubs made about as much sense as selling fine wine at a NASCAR race, the folks at Alluvia in this high-end Atlanta strip joint were pioneers when they opened in 2002. In addition to having the most upscale club in the ATL -- with the hottest dancers that won’t all be flocking to rappers, unless 3rd Bass is there, of course -- Cheetah also boasts a restaurant where you can fuel up for a long night of g-string tucking and making it rain with the likes of blackened lobster with cheesy grits & fried okra.
Devil’s Point might be the most Portland of strip clubs. The service is laid back and friendly, most of the dancers double as Suicide Girls and are just as happy cracking wise as they are casually (no pressure!) trying to sell dances, and audience participation is key. Case in point: Stripperoke, where you take the stage and belt out the song of your choice and heavily tatted girls disrobe. And were that not Portland enough, the place also holds infamous bikini car washes in the Summer... with a section devoted to dog washing as well. Because nothing gets the juices flowing like watching scantily clad beauties hose off a St. Bernard.
Because everyone knows the true mark of a great strip club is a gourmet restaurant on the roof, the guys who rehabbed Spearmint Rhino in Vegas opened the downtown Miami cabaret/strip club/dance club where the girls might be topless, but the top of the club features gourmet Italian grub by Top Chef alum Carla Pellegrino. The club is less of a strip club than it is a club with strippers, where you’ll find more ladies at the tip rail tucking bucks than you will guys, and a noticeable absence of anyone being called to the main stage.
If you’ve ever been sitting at a strip club, watched an NFL 3rd round draft pick make it rain with his entire signing bonus, and thought to yourself, “What I could really use right now is a nice high-top fade,” well, you’d probably have been better off going to the venerable KOD. Not only do they have some of the most impressive pole performers you’ll see, since it’s mentioned in every Lil Wayne song ever there’s a solid chance you’ll see a pro athlete or rapper make it rain, plus there’s a full basketball court out back, ya know, in case the Portland Trail Blazers stop by.
Aside from possibly having the best name in the history of Alaskan strip clubs (which we’re guessing isn’t all that extensive, but whatever) hot strippers know that the uncomfortably high male-to-female ratio in the Last Frontier means that guys will pay good chunks of their Alaska Permanent Fund check on buck-tucking and lap dances. An added bonus: if you go in the Winter you won’t have to worry about spending all night in a strip club and being assaulted by the sun when you walk outside since, well, THE SUN DOESN'T EVER COME OUT.
It just wouldn’t be Texas without some wood paneling, dead animals on the walls, and friendly blonde girls with Texas-sized... smiles. Among other things. The dancers -- who are a minimum of 21 years old -- also compete for an annual college scholarship (confusingly, since they are a minimum of 21, but, whatever, COLLEGE!), and put actual effort into their stage shows, which include acrobatics, fire juggling, and live snakes and happen on six stages on busy nights. That's all while you chow down on actually-delicious food from chef Jose Luis Nieto.
If T.I. naming you the best strip club in Atlanta to go to on a Monday isn’t qualification enough to make your top 21 list, well, then, clearly your criteria are way too high. This spot is a favorite of not only Mr. I, but pretty much every other rapper who has ever set foot in the state of Georgia, and its smoky main room is packed other nights of the week with Atlanta locals, too. And Drake. Drake comes here a lot, too.
Open since 1954, when it catered to the Port of Portland’s merchant seamen (laugh it up!), Mary’s is the oldest and most iconic of Portland’s myriad strip clubs, a magical place that serves up its Topless Blonde ale while a topless blonde shimmies on stage. The place often feels like a burlesque comedy show, with dancers feeding an on-stage jukebox and cracking endless jokes, even as they hang upside-down and let gravity take over jiggle-duty. It’s like a friendly neighborhood hole-in-the-wall, but all the neighbors are hot naked women, and it has become one of Portland’s must-see attractions.
There are probably plenty of people at any given strip club that will tell you size doesn’t matter, but when it comes to the legendary Mons Venus on Tampa’s Broadway of strip clubs Dale Mabry Highway, it actually isn’t just being polite. This tiny strippery might lack booze, but what it lacks in alcohol it makes up for in -- dancer-for-dancer -- the best-looking collection of ladies in the country. You won’t find 300 girls working like you might at Vegas megaclubs, but every girl at Mons is well worth the $20 cover to see naked. And without booze to blow your money on, it’s just that much more you can spend to convince them size really doesn’t matter.
Las Vegas, NV
This may be the only club in America that does the impossible and gives you the best chance of not having to drop a grand to maybe get to hang out with a girl at a strip club, post-strip-club. Olympic Gardens (OG), sets up the perfect scene; with an all-male revue going on upstairs, females get all hot and worked up and then journey downstairs to see, oh wait, you. Sigh.
New Orleans, LA
One of the leading authorities in strip clubs in, like, the entire universe called this “the best strip club in New Orleans, period,” so you knew it was going to make the list here. Unlike some New Orleans clubs where the dark light can lead to some VERY regrettable decisions, the Big Easy’s best club three years running isn’t afraid to show off its gourmet-restaurant décor, its Penthouse-worthy dancers, or its multiple levels of VIP suites. Also, it’s right on Bourbon Street, so if you’d rather conserve your strip club fund for lap dances, you can get the party started early from not-too-far-away.
Las Vegas, NV
Whoever said partying at the same place both day and night wasn’t fun clearly hasn’t visited this place. Sapphire threw a wild card into the gentleman’s club game and added a pool to their venue as part of their day club. Pool parties and hot girls with, ahem, limited clothing, in one immediate area? Great. (We can still wear T-shirts in the pool, though, right? People still do that?)
The clubs in South Beach are great and all. But you know what would make them, like, the greatest places ever since those mini-airport hotel rooms? If you kept the music and lights, but all the go-go dancers were totally naked, served alcohol 'til 8am, and had tons of girls stuffing dollars in said girls’ g-strings. Oh, that’s Scarlett’s, which despite being a good 40 minutes away from South Beach keeps the same vibe, draws a ton of girls as customers, and has better-looking dancers than most of Miami's “real” clubs.
New Orleans, LA
The great upside to re-doing a nearly 20-year-old Bourbon Street landmark strip club is you finally get those cigarette burns and liquor stains out of the upholstery. The downside of the major renovation to this 18,000sqft, two-level luxury stripping palace is now lap dances can run you $60. But if you’re not balling on that level the girls are still as hot -- and a little wilder -- than other clubs in New Orleans and the place still looks brand new. Pro tip: if a girl says she is from Slidell, she’s worth buying some drinks for. They tend to be the fun ones.
New York, NY
Kind of like being the quarterback for the Giants, when you’re the biggest name in America’s biggest city, you’re always going to be named among the best. Nevermind that this three-story downtown pole emporium is only topless, they’ve got 7,500sqft of entertaining space, the hottest strippers in New York, dance-club quality sound equipment, and, oh yeah, a prime steakhouse. No wonder Howard Stern has his own private room.
Las Vegas, NV
You think a metro of 18 million people like Los Angeles would have more hot girls who wanted to take off their clothes for money, and could rate more than one club on this list. But the dirty little secret is that LA's hottest strippers all fly to Vegas for the weekend to make money here, where you’ll find literally hundreds of girls (who have to be above an 8/10 to work there, claims management) willing to be really, really nice to you for a small fee.
New York, NY
Really, what kind of silly tourist spends their time looking at stuff like the tallest BUILDING in New York City when you could go see something really impressive, like the two-story tallest STRIPPER POLE in New York, and the hottest girls Eastern Europe has to offer doing acrobatics and gymnastics on said pole like it’s a balance beam and Bela Karolyi’s in the front row yelling at them in Hungarian.
Since those puritans in the City of St. Louis won’t allow any fun, the Penthouse people had to go across the state line -- and the Mississippi -- to Sauget, where a $1,500-a-year annual membership entitles you to full liquor entertainment, full-nude lap dances, and strippers who are actual paid employees and therefore will be nice to you even if you AREN’T in the mood for a dance. Plus, they’re all trained mixologists and take courses in wine and cigars. Like, seriously, they probably know more than you. Don’t be intimidated.