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Washington DC Gay Bars

The nation’s capital is home to a vibrant and dynamic LGBTQ+ community, supporting an all-round cross section of the community with people of all identities, interests, and backgrounds. DC is an international crossroad of culture as well a familiar home to many diverse people, with historically important sites scattered across the city and LGBTQ+ events that attract people from across the country. The annual Capital Pride Parade is nationally renowned, but there are also popular events and festivals hosted here throughout the year, and plenty of queer bars and clubs open every night of the week.


A League Of Her Own

Lesbian, Sports, Outdoor Seating

Right next door to the legendary Pitchers is the equivalent sports bar for lesbians and queer women. It features plenty of room for games as well as two patios where you can sit back and people watch, and in keeping with the surroundings, you can enjoy a sports-themed menu of bar favourites includes stadium dogs, chicken tenders, and burgers. The owners of these neighbouring bars are dedicated to providing safe and friendly, so these bars are understandably popular.


Older Crowd, Drag, Food

Dupont Italian Kitchen gay bar and restaurant serves fresh Italian food in the heart of Washington DC's queer Dupont Circle area. DIK is frequented by a slightly older crowd but friendly bar staff make sure everyone is welcome. DIK is open seven days a week for good food and drinks, and it hosts some of the best karaoke nights in the area. Always lively, always friendly, and with a lovely patio area, DIK is popular with everyone.

Green Lantern

Bear, Dancing, Karaoke, Cruising

Green Lantern is hidden away in an otherwise unassuming alleyway in Downtown. The bar is located in a converted two-story carriage house, and the first floor's lounge vibe is complete with a central and stylish granite bar. You can dance the night away on Green Lantern's multi-level dance floor (complete with disco lights) and chat with the shirtless bartenders. There's even a “Shirtless Men Drink Free” event on Thursdays, along with karaoke and exotic dancers on other days.

JR's Bar

Drag, Cocktails

JR's Bar is a pillar in DC's LGBTQ+ Community, serving amazing cocktails and popcorn since 1986. Great drink specials, campy videos, and friendly bartenders keep JR's packed with fun seven days a week. If you're looking for a casual place for a drink, JR's is the place to go in the heart of Dupont Circle, complete with show tunes and trivia nights among other events. Sundays are especially popular, mainly because of the super cheap vodka!

Larry's Lounge

Outdoor Seating

Larry's Lounge is Dupont Circle's neighbourhood bar that's known for generous pours, dog-friendly patio, and being welcoming to everyone. It's committed to providing a place for anyone and everyone, even your furry four legged friends! There's plenty of room for you to hang out in a calm and quiet atmosphere with no loud music, making it the perfect place to meet with friends and catch up without having to shout over a DJ.

Nellie's Sports Bar

Sports, Dancing

Nellie's is one of the city's oldest and most popular gay bars. Downstairs in the bar there are sports games playing on the TVs and drag bingo hosted here on Tuesdays always draws a crowd. Nellie's is also famous for its Beat the Clock happy hour, running for most of the evening, when each hour the price of a drink increases by a dollar. Outside the bar, the upstairs patio boasts a DJ and plenty of dancing.

Number Nine

Cocktails, Outdoor Seating

Number Nine is located in the heart of the scene and has been completely renovated to create a space that is at once modern and classic. The venue has two floors, with amazingly plush and comfortable furnishings including marble bars and a fireplace. State of the art sound and lighting means that the downstairs bar is lively at night, while you can enjoy your craft cocktails in the stylish video bar and lounge upstairs.

Pitchers DC

Sports, Food, Outdoor Seating

Situated right in the heart of Adams Morgan's bustling 18th Street is Pitchers, a gay sports bar right next door to A League of Her Own, the equivalent bar for lesbian and queer women. There's plenty of room for games and a sports-themed menu of bar favourites including stadium dogs, chicken tenders, and burgers. A lively atmosphere and lovely outdoor patio make this a great place to hang out and watch the game with your crowd.

The Dirty Goose

Cocktails, Outdoor Seating

The Dirty Goose lies in the heart of the gay scene and prides itself on great drinks and an even better atmosphere. You can choose from an array of martinis and craft cocktails, then just kick back and relax, and the bar is especially popular during weekday happy hour when drinks are half price. This space perfectly combines high energy with a laid back vibe, attracting a mixed crowd that make great company.

The Fireplace

Cosy, Dancing

A short walk down P Street will bring you to this popular dive bar. The Fireplace is known for its diverse crowd, great drink selection, and of course the fireplace beside the bar. The bar tends to attract regulars who gather and catch up in this cosy space. Upstairs you'll find black lights and DJs, and a space where you can dance until late in perhaps the most unassuming bar in DC.



Trade is a stylishly quirky spot, boasting tall wood-backed booths, offbeat paintings, and rooster-print wallpaper. Instead of the traditional happy hour, Trade hosts its legendary 'Huge' event where cocktails are served in pint glasses throughout the evening. The oversized and delicious drinks plus a generally festive atmosphere draws a "stand and model" type of crowd that's free of attitude and always up for a good time.


Bear, Dancing, Food, Outdoor Seating

This Shaw neighbourhood bar is central to the gay scene and is especially busy on sunny days when the rooftop can be enjoyed to the fullest. When the deck isn't packed, the top floor is full of music and dancing and a side of jumbo wings. There's karaoke every Monday night that draws a lively crowd, and since Uproar is DC's premier bear bar, there's plenty of hot men to get to know here.

Recommended gay friendly hotels in Washington DC

There are so many places to stay in Washington DC, 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 Washington DC as this helps us to keep the site updated with all this useful information!

Tours & Experiences in Washington DC

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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