The Best LGBTQ+ Bars and Parties in Miami
Here, queer, and ready to rage.
For decades, LGBTQ+ nightlife has brought people together, creating a place where everyone can be themselves, no matter who they are or how they identify. And in Miami, a city that already lends itself to that mindset, nightlife remains at the center of the LGBTQ+ life.
South Florida’s history as a gay Mecca dates back decades. Stars like Grace Jones, Sylvester, and Divine were regulars at the iconic Copa Club in Fort Lauderdale, and the warm weather and lively local community made South Florida a coveted home for folks from all walks of life. Throughout the years, LGBTQ+ locals have found each other through nightlife, whether that be in a club with booming speakers, a drag show with high-kicking queens, or a cocktail bar over casual conversation. Today, the options for a fun night out are endless. And the fun isn’t just limited to the 305—Wilton Manors and Fort Lauderdale up north are longtime queer hotspots in their own right.
Whatever you’re looking for, Miami’s got it. Pride is a year-round celebration here, and the city’s massive Latine population makes it one of the most diverse and vibrant LGBTQ+ communities in the country. They don’t call it the Magic City for nothing.
With the second-highest population of LGBTQ+ residents in the nation, Wilton Manors is a small city with a big heart, so the trip north from Miami is worth it for anyone looking for a wild night out. It’s not uncommon for cities to have a gay bar called The Eagle, so it should come as no surprise that Wilton Manors has its very own. Located in the heart of the small nightlife district, the bar caters to the leather, bear, and fetish communities, and draws inspiration from the bars of Berlin. Regular events include jockstrap night, bear-eoke, underwear night, and much more.
Nathan’s Bar prides itself on being “Miami’s Most Unique Gay Bar Experience,” and it’s true: good luck finding another one like it. Opened during the pandemic in 2020, Nathan’s is a classic video bar, with screens playing scenes from beloved shows like Sex and the City and The Brady Bunch. It made waves when Miami New Times readers ranked it as their favorite new gay bar in 2021, less than a year after its doors first opened.
If you’re looking for a more laid-back Wilton Manors destination, Monkey Business has you covered. It’s located a ways away from the hustle and bustle of Wilton Drive, both distance-wise and vibe-wise, as visitors of all ages come to enjoy cocktails in a casual setting. And if you time it right, you might even catch a live cabaret act.
Located down the street from Wilton Manors, Ramrod is a tried-and-true leather bar with everything from cigar socials to jockstrap nights. Patrons wearing fetish gear get two-for-one drinks on Fetish Fridays, while Saturdays feature caged dancers and guest DJs all night long.
Club BOi has been held at different venues throughout its lifespan, but it’s currently stationed at The Villa nightclub in Miami Gardens. The event sports a colorful Urban Caribbean vibe, with DJs spinning everything from hip-hop and R&B to reggae and soca for the upbeat crowd.
Miami’s Latine population has been a driving force in the city for decades. And while other gay clubs in South Florida feature Latin nights or dedicated Latin music rooms, Azucar is the only LGBTQ+ venue in the city that caters exclusively to Latin crowds. Ever wanted to hear a “Suavemente” and Madonna mash-up? Now’s your chance.
Twist has been a South Beach institution for nearly three decades, founded in 1993 under the motto “Never a cover, always a groove.” The same rings true today, and in recent years, Twist has become the epicenter for gay nightlife in Miami Beach. With seven bars, three dance floors, and the guarantee of go-go boys and drag queens, there’s something for everyone here.
The crown jewel of Wilton Manors, The Manor Complex is a multi-level nightclub with multiple bars and dance floors as well as a dedicated performance space, where gay-friendly artists like Brooke Candy and queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race entertain adoring South Florida fans.
The three-block stretch of Wilton Drive where Georgie’s Alibi Monkey Bar sits might just be one of the gayest pieces of real estate in the country—and Georgie’s Alibi always attracts most of the clubgoers. Not feeling the main room’s techno situation? Head next door to the adjacent Monkey Bar and dance to as much pop, hip-hop, and reggaetón as your heart desires.
Many of Miami’s LGBTQ+ venues are driven by high energy and thumping music, leaving only a few spots around town for locals who just want to grab a drink and chat with someone without yelling. Jamboree Lounge is a no-frills dive on the edge of Miami’s up-and-coming Little Haiti neighborhood, making it an ideal for a casual night away from buzzy South Beach.
Gramps has risen to become one of Wynwood’s hottest spots in recent years, thanks in large part to its frequent RuPaul’s Drag Race watch parties and Double Stubble drag shows. Thursday nights at Gramps belong to Miami’s newest drag queens, kings, and things, as local legend Karla Croqueta takes the stage to host the must-see Double Stubble.
Local queen CC Glitzer hosts karaoke at Hôtel Gaythering’s bar every Monday night. Don’t miss Bears & Hares on Fridays—where there’s some for everyone, no matter which member of the animal kingdom you most identify with. Besides the bar, the sauna is the Gaythering’s other main attraction, with private rooms and amenities available to all.
After roasting in the South Beach sun all day, chances are you’ll be looking to quench your thirst when the sun starts to set. With Palace being directly across the street from the beach, it’s a no-brainer, complete with half-priced drinks during happy hour. The weekend brunches are a local and tourist favorite—just make sure you make your reservation well in advance. And if you’ve ever wanted to see a drag queen jump off a table into a splits on the sidewalk before strutting into the street to direct traffic, you’ve arrived.
Located just outside of downtown Miami, Club Aqua is an ideal spot for men looking to decompress after a long day of work. Sweat out your stress in the sauna, or hit the onsite gym if that’s more your speed. If you’d rather cool off instead, take a dip in the outdoor pool.
Wynwood is home to some of the newest LGBTQ+ offerings in Miami, with R House leading the fun-loving charge. Alongside all the afterdark antics, weekend drag brunches here have quickly become the best place for tableside entertainment this side of the MacArthur Causeway.
Named after the fictional drag club from the beloved Robin Williams comedy, Birdcage Brunch is a monthly drag revue that takes over cocktail staple Sweet Liberty the second Sunday of every month. Where else can you watch a sexy burlesque performance, an upbeat dance routine, and an emotional ballad all before your appetizer arrives?
It’s unfortunate that the days of Miami’s longtime lesbian institutions like Cheers and Cherry Grove are over, with very few dedicated nightlife options available for South Florida’s queer women and gender non-conforming population. Founded in 2018, Lezchic’ is dedicated to giving these folks just that space via various pop-up events, including ’90s parties, silent discos, paintball, and the annual Red A Fair circus. As founder Rae Janae explains, she does it “with one specific goal in mind: to establish Miami’s ONLY lesbian nightclub.”