Though Nevada did manage to legalize same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court took care of it for the entire country (just barely anyway), Las Vegas seems to have trouble throwing its full support behind the gay community, and recent closures of Krave, Drink & Drag, and Liaison have only added to the frustration. But the scene trudges on! So raise a glass and toast to the progress made so far and the promise of what’s to come at the 13 best LGBTQ bars and clubs in Sin City.
Best pool time: Temptation at Luxor
3900 Las Vegas Blvd South
On select Sundays throughout the summer, the Luxor pool transforms into the biggest gay-friendly dayclub in Las Vegas. Expect DJs, overpriced cabanas, and plenty of skin. An honorable mention goes to The Tropicana for its LGBT outreach that took a stab at similar pool parties over the past year.
Best dive bar: Fun Hog Ranch
495 East Twain Ave
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. It’s an equally great spot to try to score four queens.
Best karaoke: Las Vegas Eagle
3430 East Tropicana Ave
The best place to belt out a tune is also the best place to drop your pants. Karaoke happens three nights a week, and if you sing in your underwear, a free drink will come your way.
Best place to spot a cowboy: Badlands Saloon
953 East Sahara Ave
Though recent renovations have rid the joint of its old country music-playing jukebox, Badlands Bingo, Fabulous Funny Fridays drag show, and super-cheap drinks will surely suffice. Definite bonus: it’s just steps away from the famous Lotus of Siam Thai restaurant. Possible bonus: it’s also just steps away from the Green Door sex club, which often draws adventurous/confused heterosexuals.
Second-best place to spot a cowboy: Charlie’s
5012 Arville St
The country-western theme is strong with some of the most enthusiastic line dancing you’ll find east of the Strip, plus Sing-a-Long Musical Mondays and Drag Queen Trivia Tuesdays.
Best for hooking up: Share Nightclub
4636 Wynn Rd
The dance floor on the first level offers the same crowded grinding, VIP tables, and bottle service that you’d find at any nightclub on the Strip (though this one’s just off it), while the lounge upstairs offers a little more room to breathe and actually have a conversation. If you’re into that sort of thing.
Most non-stop dancing: Piranha Nightclub
4633 South Paradise Rd
Open 24 hours a day, the central destination of the Fruit Loop (a cluster of LGBTQ establishments) 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.
Best for ladies: FreeZone
610 East Naples Dr
Sunday is Ladies’ Night, Thursday is Boys’ Night, and there’s plenty of mingling on both occasions. The rest of the week comes complete with two nights of karaoke and Drag Madness on weekends, which is one of the longest-running drag shows in Vegas.
Best drag shows: Flex Cocktail Lounge
4347 West Charleston Blvd
Flex features two popular reviews each week: Flamboyance on Thursdays, and the long-running What A Drag! on Saturdays. Also worth noting: male strippers, pool tables, and karaoke.
Best friendly hang: QuadZ Video Bar
4640 South Paradise Rd
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.
Most historic: Bastille on 3rd
1402 South 3rd St
Formerly known as Snick’s Place, which is often credited as Vegas’ first gay bar decades ago, this hard-to-spot hideaway in the Downtown area south of the Arts District is a cross between a dive bar and a British pub, with three distinct happy hours: morning (11am-2pm), afternoon (4-7pm), and night (11pm-2am).
Best place to play video games: The Phoenix Bar & Lounge
4213 West Sahara Ave
Nothing says inclusivity like people of all genders and sexual proclivities sharing a game of Super Mario Bros. and other Nintendo Wii games on a giant projector screen. 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.
Best place to get your oil checked: The Garage
1487 East Flamingo Rd
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.”
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1. Temptation at Luxor3900 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas
2. Fun Hog Ranch495 E Twain Ave, Las Vegas
3. Las Vegas Eagle3430 E Tropicana Ave, Las Vegas
4. Badlands Saloon953 E Sahara Ave, Las Vegas
5. Charlie's Las Vegas5012 Arville St, Las Vegas
6. SHARE Nightclub & Ultra Lounge4636 Wynn Rd, Las Vegas
7. Piranha Nightclub4633 Paradise Rd, Las Vegas
8. FreeZone610 E Naples Dr, Las Vegas
9. Flex Cocktail Lounge4371 W Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas
10. QuadZ Video Bar4640 Paradise Rd, Las Vegas
11. Bastille on 3rd1402 S 3rd St, Las Vegas
12. The Phoenix Bar & Lounge4213 W Sahara Ave, Las Vegas
13. The Garage1487 E Flamingo Rd Ste C, Las Vegas
During the summer, the Luxor selects certain Sundays to host Temptation, where their pool becomes the hottest gay club in town. Luxor brings the DJs and drinks, and the patrons bring the bodies and party.
Leather-wearing patrons are the norm at this gay hangout. Late night the bar can get a little crazy, but refuge can always be found in the video poker games set up inside.
Located in Tropicana Plaza, this gay-friendly bar hosts frequent theme nights and always has karaoke. Want a free drink? Just take on karaoke -- in your underwear.
Between the cheap drinks, old-school country jukebox, pool tables, dart boards, and theme nights, this gay bar stays busy and relatively crowded. The easygoing atmosphere and local crowd make it a fun place to spend a night.
You won't mistake the theme at this spot: it's country-western through and through. Line dancing and country music are the norm, plus they run special events like Drag Queen Trivia Tuesdays.
With all the features of a successful nightclub (VIP section, bottle service, and a crowded dance floor for grinding), it's no surprise that SHARE has become a popular gay hangout. If you're looking for a more relaxed, less crowded area, they also have an upstairs lounge.
Even on nights when there isn't an event the dancefloor at Piranha rivals those of on-strip establishments. They frequently play host to well-known drag queens and are an active part of Gay Days Las Vegas, and the cozy outdoor patio is a great spot to cool off from the dance floor.
FreeZone is home to one of the longest running drag shows in Vegas. 'Drag Madness' runs on weekends, but the rest of the week has events as well -- like Sunday night Ladies' Night and Thursday Boys' Night, plus karaoke other nights.
Two nights a week Flex hosts popular drag shows Flamboyance and What a Drag! But the rest of the week isn't exactly boring: they have pool tables, karaoke, happy hours, and male strippers (!!).
This friendly spot is more calm than some of its Fruit Loop counterparts, with pool tables, dart boards, and a jukebox instead of a dancefloor and DJ booth. It has a following of regulars and relaxed, friendly bartenders.
Bastille used to be Snick's Place, which is considered one of Vegas' first gay bars. It's a little hard to find, but worth it. They run three happy hours: morning (11am-2pm), noon (4pm-7pm), and night (11pm-2am).
This laid-back, lounge-y bar is a popular gay hangout and offers karaoke, pool, and a dance floor -- like many of the other bars in the area. But this bar also has Super Mario Bros, a Nintendo Wii, and a giant projector screen to play it on (!!).
They take the theme very seriously at this bar: names of drinks include the "Drive Shaft" and "Fuel Injector" and bartenders are called "mechanics." The assortment of televisions, bar games (pool, darts, shuffleboard), and the fun crowd make it a popular spot.