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San Diego Gay Bars

San Diego is known for its friendly people and welcoming atmosphere, and nowhere is this more prominent than on the LGBTQ+ scene. One of the most popular destinations in the country for queer tourists, San Diego welcomes people from across all the spectrums of the community. The Hillcrest area is the hub of the LGBTQ+ scene and is always buzzing no matter what the season, hosting events from CityFest to the renowned annual Pride parade. The party atmosphere can also be found across the city, where more queer friendly destinations welcome you in for a good time.



Cocktails, Outdoor Seating

This true dive-bar in the heart of the Hillcrest neighbourhood has a real rock and roll feel with loud music from an old school jukebox. Alibi is a favourite watering hole for the LGBTQ+ community of San Diego and their allies who like good music and great drinks. Have a friendly game of pool or hang out on the patio with a cocktail, and watch out for the great value drinks specials on offer.



Cheers is a simple gay dive bar that has been serving its community for years. It has absolutely no attitude and a down to earth vibe so come as you are a meet a diverse crowd of local gays who are always happy to chat. The bar draws a mainly male crowd but welcomes anyone for a game of pool or a catch up at the bar. Drinks are cheap, and there's daily specials so you can grab a bargain.


Outdoor Seating

In the heart of Hillcrest, Flicks is one of San Diego's original gay video bars. The patio out front is great for relaxing with a beer and doing a bit of people watching at any time of day or night. Inside there are games and karaoke to enjoy with a friendly crowd, plus videos playing throughout the venue. Drink, dance, and enjoy this place where you can always be yourself.

Gossip Grill

Lesbian, Food

Gossip Grill is a female forward bar and restaurant that also proudly served the whole LGBTQ+ community. This favourite local hangout is arguably the most popular for lesbians in the area and is a place to meet new people. The kitchen serves delicious American comfort food while the bars are fully stocked with a great range of spirits and beers. The decor throughout is feminine inspired and quirky, making Gossip Grill a place to be seen.

Number One Fifth Avenue

Gay Friendly, Outdoor Seating

As one of the oldest gay dive bars still operating in Hillcrest, Number One holds a special place in the heart of the neighbourhood. For nearly 40 years, this bar has moved with the times while not forgetting its roots, allowing it to remain a hub for the LGBTQ+ community of San Diego, and a place where everyone is welcome. With great drinks, a pool table, and a patio out back, this is a place to relax and make friends.

Pecs Bar

Outdoor Seating

Pecs Bar offers the perfect outdoor space to relax and enjoy yourself with good drinks, good food, and good company. You can enjoy the sun on the patio, or if you'd rather stay inside the bar you can find pool tables, darts, TVs, and a digital jukebox to play your favourite tunes. Everything is at a reasonable price and top quality, and friendly staff will make sure you have a great experience overall. Regular happy hours are especially popular.


Young Crowd, Dancing

Rich's is San Diego's largest and oldest gay bar and nightclub, located in the heart of the vibrant Hillcrest neighbourhood. Rich's has two rooms each with big dance floors, full bars, incredible DJs, and the best dance music in town. It's arguably one of the most popular gay nightlife destinations in the city, attracting a mixed and generally younger crowd. State of the art light shows, themed events, and friendly staff make for a great night out.

San Diego Eagle

Older Crowd, Fetish, Cruising

Tucked away in the corner of the San Diego gay scene, this small and intimate bar is a haven for a mainly male crowd who identify with the leather crowd, as well as other fetishes. As the only leather bar in the city, the Eagle draws plenty of guys every night who are looking for some good beer, a casual game of pool, and of course some cruising action.

The Hole In The Wall

Cocktails, Outdoor Seating

The Hole in the Wall was one of San Diego's first openly gay bars, and today remains a favourite bar for the LGBTQ+ community. Everyone is welcome for a good time in the city's friendliest dive bar. Drop in to relax on the beautifully spacious patio where you can enjoy your drinks with friends, including delicious cocktails that are especially popular. If you can, visit on Sunday Funday for the weekly beer bust!

The Loft


The Loft is a true neighbourhood gay bar where you can find all your favourites for a fun night out. Classic bar snacks and great drinks set you up for a good time. Have a friendly game of pool or just enjoy the music, which is a quirky mixture of emerging rock, pop, and indie tunes. There are also events hosted throughout the week, from comedy nights and performing arts to features DJs entertaining late into the night.

The Rail

Drag, Dancing, Cocktails, Food

Having been around since the 1930s, The Rail is established as one of San Diego's historic gay bars but has been remodelled with more modern decor that still nods to the past. This venue's calendar is full, and features a legendary Latin night, premier drag shows, a Country Music weekly and much more. During the day, The Rail is a popular spot for brunch, serving cocktails and beers in a lounge style atmosphere.

Recommended gay friendly hotels in San Diego

There are so many places to stay in San Diego, California, and at GayMapper, we want to make sure you get great value and a good experience, so check our recommendations below for Gay Friendly hotels. As an LGBTQ+ traveller, it's important to stay somewhere welcoming, with great value and maybe near to gay venues. Treat yourself to a luxury hotel or stay budget and spend what you save on partying! Please support GayMapper by checking out our hotel deals in San Diego, California as this helps us to keep the site updated with all this useful information!

Tours & Experiences in San Diego

Make the most of your travels by pre-booking our popular tours and experiences.  There's a whole range of options, from cultural and historical to food, drink and nightlife.  Get under the skin of your destination, and book a tour or experience now.  

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