The Best Spots for LGBTQ Nightlife in Las Vegas
Hit the Fruit Loop for drag shows, dancing, and drinks.
Pride Month may be in June, but here in Las Vegas, we celebrate Pride in October. June is just too hot—not sweaty-sexy-ripped-bodies hot, but sweaty-drag-queens-with-eyeliner-running-down-their-faces hot. That said, there are still plenty of places to celebrate your LGBTQ+ pride in Vegas every other month of the year.
When it comes to gay destinations, Las Vegas isn’t exactly Miami or Palm Springs, but we do what we can and we do it with a whole lot of camp. The best gay bars tend to be beloved dives, many of which are located in the "Fruit Loop”—the actual name of Vegas’ gay bar district just east of the Strip. But on and off Strip, you’ll find fun bars, clubs, events, variety shows, and entertainment that warmly welcome the LGBTQ community, even if they don’t explicitly cater to it. This is Vegas, after all.
DTLV Arts District
It’s been a long time since a new LGBTQ bar opened in Las Vegas, and the Garden didn’t exactly have timing on its side—originally scheduled to open March 20, 2020, the date got pushed (for obvious reasons) into June of that still-not-a-great-year. But despite the challenges of opening in the midst of a pandemic, the Garden quickly became the hottest gay bar in town, thanks in part to a sexy, stylish space in the super-hot, hip, and happening DTLV Arts District, as well as a Bottomless Drag Brunch every Saturday and Sunday. They’ve also got great food—think upscale gastropub fare like angus beef sliders and cauliflower wings—great happy hour specials, DJs and bottle service on weekends, and they host Ru Paul’s Drag Race viewing parties. Right now, happening every Thursday through November 18, the Garden is hosting Las Vegas’s “Drag Superstar,” a drag race-styled competition featuring the Valley’s fiercest up-and-coming Queens, where attendees get to vote on who moves on to the next week and the grand prize winner will be invited to join the Garden’s famed residency lineup, which includes many RPDR alums.
The Fun Hog Ranch is a cash-only gay dive bar that’s open 24/7. They host monthly events like “Bears Roam the Ranch” and “OINK Night” that also serve as fundraisers for community partner nonprofits. But make no mistake—parties can get wild at night and leather, fetish wear, and bondage gear is all highly encouraged. But if you’re not into that, skip the dancing, grab a beer, and play a little video poker.
If you’re not shy, show up to the Las Vegas Eagle on Tuesdays and Fridays in nothing but your tighty whities and drink $5 wells all night. They also have weekly drag performances and events like lip-synching competitions and drag queen bingo, plus dirt-cheap “graveyard specials” for the night owls.
This easy-going country-themed spot offers super-cheap drinks and theme nights like Trivia Tuesdays (hosted by a drag queen, natch), Humpday Karaoke Wednesdays, a “Hips, Heels and Tucks” weekly drag show on Fridays, and monthly leather nights. Possible bonus: It’s also just steps away from the Green Door sex club, which often draws adventurous/confused heterosexuals.
The country-western theme is strong here, with some of the most enthusiastic line dancing you’ll find east of the Strip, plus every day of the week they’ve got some sort of themed special or event, like “Sing with the Queen” Karaoke Mondays and “Yippie Kay-Yay Motherf*ckin’” Tuesdays.
FreeZone is basically the superclub (think Omnia) of Las Vegas gay bars. Drag queen-hosted Fierce Fridays, Savage Saturdays, and T-Time Sundays are just a few weekly happenings you can expect from this 24/7 nightclub that never sleeps, as well as a dangerous-sounding all-you-can-drink special Sundays through Thursdays from 8pm to 2am— at $15 for bottomless beer and $17 for unlimited cocktails, it’s undoubtedly the best drink deal in Vegas.
Flex features a number of popular events every month, including “Sing-A-Long with Vivianne” drag queen karaoke on Wednesdays, “FlamBOYance” Thursdays, and the puts-the-bi-in-bi-weekly queer-friendly “Gaze” Ladies Night featuring burlesque performances. Also worth noting: monthly events for bears and big boys, male strippers, pool tables, and karaoke.
Open 24 hours a day, the central destination of the Fruit Loop has a sound system to rival most clubs on the Strip, and an outdoor patio that’s perfect for catching your breath between trips to the dance floor. They host almost-nightly events, including Latin Tuesdays with $5 wells until midnight, Wednesdays We Wear Pink with $5 wells from 10 pm–midnight, and We Love the Weekend on Friday and Saturday nights with performances at midnight and 1:30 am. They’ve got a packed schedule for this year’s Pride Month, including a Party Like It’s 1999-themed Halloween weekend.
If the madness of Piranha gets to be too much, QuadZ offers a Fruit Loop alternative sans dance floor, where the regulars prefer to hang out with the bartenders, shoot pool, play darts, and pick out songs on the video jukebox. This is another loosely-themed “country” bar with monthly “Cowboy Bingo” nights supporting the Nevada Gay Rodeo Association.
Nothing says inclusivity like people of all genders and sexual proclivities sharing a game of Super Mario Bros on a giant projector screen. The Las Vegas Gaymers even hold weekly video game tournaments here. It’s one of the most welcoming bars in the LGBTQ community, partially due to lesbian-themed evenings where it’s cool if the boys show up too.
There are plenty of TVs to watch a big game, plus pool, darts, and shuffleboard to play a few of your own. The auto theme is taken seriously—bartenders are called “mechanics” and serve drinks like the “Drive Shaft” and “Fuel Injector.” They’ve got an amazing all-day happy hour that runs from 11 am–7 pm, with two-for-one drinks on offer, plus daily deals that run from 8 am–4 pm, including $4 shots of 1800 silver on Sundays and $3 off top-shelf liquor on Thursdays.
The 24/7/365 Spotlight Lounge is probably best described as a quintessential gaming bar for locals that caters to the gay community. This is a friendly, relaxed spot with daily drink specials, video poker, keno, slots, pool tables, six 50'' TVs, daily gaming promotions, and shuffleboard tournaments on Saturdays.
The fiercest queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race can be seen slaying at their very own show at the Flamingo, and these “showgirls” know how to WERK. RuPaul’s Drag Race LIVE! is an original production based on the Emmy Award-winning reality competition with new dance numbers, costumes, and choreography. Marvel at world-renowned drag show queens like Asia O’Hara, Derrick Barry, Kameron Michaels, Naomi Smalls, Vanessa “Vanjie” Matteo and Yvie Oddly. There’s also RuPaul’s Werk Room, a merch shop where you can slay with a new makeover and meet the performers. Sashay! Shante!
The infamous Liquid Drag Brunch at Señor Frog's happens every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with wild performances by the stars of RuPaul's Drag Race and Vegas's finest female impersonators. The liquid part of brunch is blessedly bottomless, so sidle up to the open bar and pick your poison before grabbing a front seat at this interactive stage show. Plus, brunch is buffet-style so you can hit that line as many times as needed to make sure you don’t fall out of the bar when you leave.
If you only see one show in Vegas in your entire life, make it one of Spiegelworld's whacked-out, raunchy, NSFW, and most definitely queer variety/vaudeville shows. Right now that roster includes Absinthe, an absinthe-fueled circus held in a big top in front of Caesars Palace and hosted by the enigmatic Gazillionaire; Opium, the out-of-this-world space opera send-up with plenty of robot sex and a sword-swallower named Todd (you’ll understand why that’s relevant when you see the show); and their newest production, the Atomic Saloon Show, where Madam Boozy Skunkton and her boy Blue Jackson will have you saddling up for the wildest ride of your life. These shows are basically like Cirque if Cirque had an NSFW sense of humor and thoroughly embraced queer camp.
The longest-running show on the Las Vegas Strip is back at the Trop, and it is now hosted by the legendary Queen of Las Vegas, Frank Marino, the longest-running performer on the Strip who is best known for his longtime role impersonating Joan Rivers. Expect a wide range of celebrity impersonators that include queer icons like Cher, Elton John, and Lady Gaga.
Nicole Rupersburg is a freelance writer covering food, travel, arts, culture, and what-have-you. She winters in Las Vegas and summers in Detroit, as does anybody who's anybody. Her favorite activities include drinking beer and quoting Fight Club.