12 Of The Best Gay Clubs & Bars In London

London is home to a myriad of gay clubs, catering to every vibe you can think of.

Gay clubs in London
Photo by NIM on Unsplash

As a big city, London is a relatively safe place to be gay, with a large and supportive LGBTQ+ community. There’s a huge pride parade every year and countless notable gay establishments all around. Soho’s Old Compton Street in particular is an LGBTQ+ hub, where many of the best gay bars are located.

The Glory

281 Kingsland Rd, London E2 8AS, United Kingdom

The Glory is an alternative gay club owned and operated by esteemed drag queens Jonny Woo and John Sizzle. It’s considered a “performance mecca,” with famous drag queen acts, late-night discos, LGBTQ+ art events, and monthly variety shows aplenty. There’s a pub on the ground floor, and the club in the basement opens on the weekends for a wild night. Make sure to check the website to see what’s on the program before you go.

Hibiscus’ London Fashion Week debut at The Glory
Hibiscus’ London Fashion Week debut at The Glory. Photo by wigs.by.sian on Instagram

Dalston Superstore

117 Kingsland High St, London E8 2PB, United Kingdom

Dalston Superstore has been host to queer art exhibitions, spirited club nights, and exceedingly entertaining weekend drag brunches since 2009. The space works as a cafe in the daytime, with delicious brunch food galore, but the basement turns into a rowdy club once the sun goes down. At night, you’ll find live DJs playing disco and techno music to a pumped-up crowd, making Dalston Superstore a fantastic place to let loose among bustling throngs of soon-to-be friends.

Issa Mad Haus Party at Dalston Superstore
Issa Mad Haus Party at Dalston Superstore. Photo by markashleyd on Instagram

Royal Vauxhall Tavern

372 Kennington Ln, London SE11 5HY, United Kingdom

The Royal Vauxhall Tavern was built in 1865 as a public house and became an LGBTQ+ venue in the 1980s, making it the oldest gay bar in South London. The organization is known for raising money to support LGBTQ+ charities as a way to give back to the community. Even when it’s busy it doesn’t feel overwhelming – in fact, many people describe RVT as the place they truly began to feel comfortable in their own skin. With live music, experimental theater, cabaret, stand-up comedy, disco, and even bingo, there’s truly something for everyone here.

Mary Mac performing at Royal Vauxhall Tavern
Mary Mac performing at Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Photo by rvtofficial on Instagram

The Admiral Duncan

54 Old Compton St, London W1D 4UD, United Kingdom

Housed inside of a former Victorian hotel, Comptons operated as a pub in the 1950s where gay men would mingle in secret back when homosexuality was a crime, until it officially became a gay bar in 1986. The ground floor can get quite busy, but the upstairs lounge is the place to go if you want a bit of a break from the crowds. Comptons attracts a more mature circle than the average Soho club, but it’s still host to several popular events such as live sports viewing parties and cabaret nights.

Outside Comptons
Outside Comptons. Photo by dazza_czapelka on Instagram

G-A-Y & Heaven Nightclub

30 Old Compton St, London W1D 4UR, United Kingdom

Opened in 1979, G-A-Y & Heaven Nightclub is an iconic LGBTQ+ institution often hosting performances from internationally famous stars such as Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus. This is the biggest gay bar in London, with 2 massive dance floors and 4 bars. Pick which floor to congregate on based on your music taste: 90s pop classics on the ground floor, or house and electronic up top. Wherever you decide to hangout, one thing is for sure, people come to G-A-Y & Heaven to dance.

Mae Muller performing at G-A-Y & Heaven
Mae Muller performing at G-A-Y & Heaven. Photo by kaysloaty on Instagram

Two Brewers

14 Clapham High St, London SW4 7UJ, United Kingdom

Opened in 1981, Two Brewers is one of the most famous drag cabaret bars in London. There are drag shows every day of the week, plus frequent events like pub quizzes and karaoke. The club room in the back only opens on Friday and Saturday nights for extra wild dance parties. Two Brewers is known for the friendly atmosphere it cultivates, making it perfect for those who like to have a good time even if they’re on the shyer side.

Drag Circus at Two Brewers
Drag Circus at Two Brewers. Photo by anderrida on Instagram

Village Soho

81 Wardour St, London W1D 6QD, United Kingdom

Village Soho was the first gay bar in Soho back in 1991 and has maintained its overt popularity throughout the years. There are 4 bars across 3 floors, including a house music club in the basement, a comfortable upper-level cafe bar, a posh cocktail lounge, and the main dancefloor that headlines go-go dancers Thursdays through Saturdays. There’s no fee to get in, making it a great spot to round out a busy evening.

Stage performance at Village Soho
Stage performance at Village Soho. Photo by village_soho on Instagram

Comptons

51-53 Old Compton St, London W1D 6HN, United Kingdom

Housed inside of a former Victorian hotel, Comptons operated as a pub in the 1950s where gay men would mingle in secret back when homosexuality was a crime, until it officially became a gay bar in 1986. The ground floor can get quite busy, but the upstairs lounge is the place to go if you want a bit of a break from the crowds. Comptons attracts a more mature circle than the average Soho club, but it’s still host to several popular events such as live sports viewing parties and cabaret nights.

Outside Comptons
Outside Comptons. Photo by dazza_czapelka on Instagram

Ku Bar

30 Lisle St, London WC2H 7BA, United Kingdom

Ku Bar is a renowned leader of the LGBTQ+ community and a sponsor of the yearly pride parade in London. The bar mostly attracts a younger, hip crowd of locals and tourists alike with its live DJs sets and boisterous drag shows across 3 neon-lit floors. Check out the Ku Lounge, a lively cocktail bar, if you want a glimpse of the individuals who’ve won the London’s Sexiest Bar Staff Award multiple times, or head down to the basement club for a more intimate feel.

A night at Ku Bar
A night at Ku Bar. Photo by kubarlondon on Instagram

The Yard Bar

57 Rupert St, London W1D 7PL, United Kingdom

The Yard Bar is a trendy, lowkey LGBTQ+ hangout spot ideal for a peaceful reprieve from busy city life. The bar features a private garden courtyard with outdoor heating, as well as a quieter balcony loft bar on the second floor. Both spaces offer an extensive cocktail menu that impresses even the most experienced London bar hoppers.

Entrance to The Yard Bar
Entrance to The Yard Bar. Photo by theyardbarsoho on Instagram

She Soho

23a Old Compton St, London W1D 5JL, United Kingdom

Run by the same team as Ku Bar, SHE Soho is the only exclusively lesbian club in London. Despite its small size (max capacity is 200 people), stand-up comedy, cabaret, karaoke, drag king performances, and live DJs on the weekends are just some of the weekly offerings to expect at this intimate basement bar. SHE was created as a safe space for women and nonbinary people to get to know their own community, away from the gay bars that tend to be crowded with men. As such, there’s a “no unaccompanied men” rule that’s strictly upheld at the door.

Inside SHE Soho
Inside SHE Soho. Photo by shesohobar on Instagram

Freedom Bar

60-66 Wardour St, London W1F 0TA, United Kingdom

Freedom Bar is a sophisticated cocktail bar and nightclub, hosting drag shows in the lively basement space and casual music among relaxed opulence on the ground floor. The venue is popular among West End performers, who have been known to put on an impromptu show when the vibe is right.

Outside Freedom Bar
Outside Freedom Bar. Photo by jana_bajalovic on Instagram
Meghan St. Pierre

Content Editor Associate

Meghan is a native of South Florida who loves nature and landscape photography. Her favorite travel activities are getting lost in new cities and trying local desserts. She has been to 22 countries, and her favorites have been Sweden and Denmark so far.

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