The Best LGBTQ Bars in Denver

Go celebrate.

The Denver LGBTQIA+ community continues to grow, thrive, and celebrate people for exactly who they are, and thankfully there are quite a few destinations that support this growth. Bars and nightclubs across the city are dedicated to the celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community, and there's truly somewhere for everyone—look no further for a cozy dive or an upbeat, energetic dance floor, and beyond.

Rino
Self-proclaimed as “Denver’s premiere LGBTQIA+ nightclub,” Tracks is likely Denver’s most popular dance spot, residing in the beating heart of colorful RiNo. The club is not only friendly to all walks of life and people of all kinds but also to those with varying tastes in music. Feel the blood pumping through you to EDM on one dance floor, the heavy bass of rap and hip-hop on another, and carefree pop hits on yet another. With three massive dance floors, multiple bars, live dancers, frequent events, and the largest LED screens around, there's plenty to keep you busy.

City Park West
If we told you there were roughly 15 lesbian bars left in the country, you maybe wouldn't believe us. But it’s true, and Denver is lucky to have one still in operation. Blush & Blu sits in the midst of all the energy of East Colfax and in addition to being one of the few lesbian bars left in the country, also survived a global pandemic and continues to thrive on community support. Every night has a theme and food or drink special (flannel Fridays?) so it’s always a good time to pop in, and the bar also has its own line of merch, a percentage of sales which are donated to a local youth LGBTQIA+ organization. Be sure to check out Sunday brunch too, or visit anytime for a frothy chai if booze isn’t quite your thing.

Trade
Trade

Baker
Ever find street parking at the southern tip of the Santa Fe art district and notice a cool, gray building with rainbow flags in the windows? That’s Trade Bar and it’s worth a stop next time you’re over that way. The innocuous building houses an LGBTQIA+-friendly fetish and kink bar offering strong drinks and sexy underground house music. Trade serves as a place of community where like-minded people can connect and not only feel safe but also totally welcomed and unjudged.

Capitol Hill
Driving down Lincoln—especially during the busy hours—can have you missing a lot of interesting hidden gems. Luckily, Denver Sweet isn’t so hidden; you’ve probably seen the rainbow flag and large mural on the side of the building and if you haven’t, you might need to get out more. The bar is a “Bear Inspired” spot, with a rooftop featuring killer views, tasty apps, sandwiches, and pizzas, and pretty much every liquor under the sun. Enjoy two levels of fun, rotating DJs, and being right in the thick of Downtown Denver.

Ballpark
Triangle knows what a good time looks like. A chic interior with plush leather booths and sexy lighting plus a massive outdoor patio means tons of space to dance, drink, and have fun. The bar is located within the historic Triangle Lounge building and has a menu comprising craft cocktails, farm-to-table bar bites, and even Starbucks coffee for night owls looking for a caffeine kick, and Fridays are for tacos and tequilas. Plus, Triangle is especially dedicated to the environment, serving as the most eco-friendly LGBTQIA+ bar in Denver by sourcing locally and using sustainable and compostable products when available. Triangle alone practices composting and sustainability enough to keep a full truck load of waste out of landfills every month.

Charlie's Nightclub Denver
Charlie’s

Capitol Hill
Alright, alright, alright, grab your ten-gallon hat and your spurs and mosey on over to the bar that’s got the market of gay-meets-Wild West completely covered. Charlie’s is a Denver institution at this point, operating for the last 40 years and remaining one of the default LGBTQIA+ bars for a weekend (or weeknight) on the town. In addition to its Mediterranean-centric food, which includes gyros, falafel, and baklava, the bar/eatery recently announced that tacos, burritos, bowls, quesadillas, and more are now available on the menu. There’s also a wide selection of libations, from generous beer and spirits lists to thoughtfully crafted Cowboy Cocktails.

North Capitol Hill
While some of the bars on this list are primo, laid-back, casual beer kind of places, X Bar is definitely where you want to go to let loose and dance your assless chaps off. Also an East Colfax destination, this place has it all: weekend brunch, a constant influx of themed events, live performances, karaoke, DJs, and so much energy. The drink specials are abundant, and the hashtag is #partyoncolfax so do your hair tall, check your nails, and feel good as hell strutting into some of the most fun Denver has to offer.

Boyztown
Boyztown

Baker
We love a name that’s straight to the point. This bar features some seriously impressive, acrobatic pole dancing and encore-worthy performances, and purchasing lap dances (now that they’re reinstated) is encouraged. The venue might not be the biggest out there, though what it lacks in size it makes up for in character, premium entertainment, and a guaranteed good time.

Hale
The bar that claims to be Denver’s oldest gay bar is one of the most laid-back of the bunch. Operating as a bar since the 1950s, the spot has definitely seen its fair share of history—good and bad. In that light, the name comes from a shift in the ‘70s to being an openly gay bar, which included a name change. To many folks’ surprise, R&R doesn’t stand for “rest and relaxation” but rather the bar’s owners at the time of the change, Rick and Roger. It might not be the place to go to get your dance on, but it’s got comfortable seating, cold drinks, and a safe space to be yourself and enjoy good company.

Lucid
Lucid

Capitol Hill
Known now as “Denver’s Disco Lounge,” this is another weekend must-visit for letting go of the week’s stress and instead being consumed by the music and colorful lights. Lucid is vibrant, fun, and energetic, on par with a Tito’s and cranberry vibe as opposed to a Colorado craft beer, though you can still probably find one. And did we mention this second-story nightclub is located within Kyu Ramen? Well, we did now—if you haven’t yet tried Kyu’s hot, savory ramen bowls, make that a priority. Then stick around for the hottest, pinkest bar Colfax has ever seen.

Baker
Li’l Devils describes itself more as a watering hole for creative types than a flashy, sexy dance venue. In fact, it’s actually a tavern/lounge serving mostly on-tap beers, many of which are local to Colorado, as well as seasonally rotating drink menus. Any time spent on the spacious deck or patio is time well spent indeed, but the warm and cozy interior is the perfect place to chat with friends and feel at home, especially as the weather gets cooler.

Tight End Bar
Tight End Bar

City Park West
A catchy play on words always hooks us, though of course the fact that this place is Denver’s “only gay sports bar” is primarily why we had to have it on our list. Oh and it’s literally across the street from Blush & Blu if you’re doing a gay bar hop. No matter what your favorite sport—yes, even cricket—there’s a really solid chance Tight End will have the game up on one of the big screens. Enjoy yourself, root for your team, and sip on a cocktail or one of the many beers on tap knowing your in a safe space where discrimination of any kind is not tolerated. And if the Big Game isn’t on but you're still looking for some fun, attend any number of regular events—from Balls Deep Bingo to Beer Bust Thursdays—to get your fix.

RiNo
Fusions Bar and Grill is one of those bars lucky enough to try their hand at opening during the peak of Covid-19. Because you know, opening a bar is easy as it is. Well, it not only opened but has since become a thriving RiNo hotspot, and not just because it serves mouthwatering Mongolian stir-fry seven days a week (although that’s definitely a big crowd pull). Fusions is gay-owned and -operated and features both a first- and second-floor bar, outdoor seating with a dog-friendly patio, and a fair amount of free parking in the nearby Industry parking garage. Order a tropical drink, one of the inspired Cocktails of the Month, or a rotating beer, and bask in the good vibes and scent of stir-fried noodles.

Be on the lookout for Denver’s newest gay bar, SIR, arriving sometime this November from father-and-son duo Tyler and Trey Stewart. It will reside in the former Vesta space on Blake Street.

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Erica Buehler is a Thrillist contributor.