The nation's capital is home to a lively LGBTQ+ nightlife scene with plenty of gay and lesbian bars just waiting for you to join in on the fun.
The diversity of DC’s LGBTQ+ community is growing by the day, resulting in a dynamic, exciting community with plenty of bars and clubs to choose from when it’s time to drink, dance and play. Read up on some of our favorite LGBTQ+-friendly spots below.
JR’s Bar and Grill
Along Dupont Circle's 17th Street, JR’s is a mainstay, as the bar has been serving patrons for three decades. Despite the “Grill” in the title, the popular happy hour spot only serves a few small bites, making it a casual retreat with impressive drink specials and daily events. Check out showtunes on Mondays and a variety of other events including screenings of your favorite movies and select brunch events.
Find one of the city’s best atmospheres at this 18th Street hub in Adams Morgan. Referred to simply as “The Diner,” make sure you try the house drink of choice: the Lemon (or Lime or Orange) Squeeze, made with a generous pour of vodka and heavy splashes of other liquors. Come on Mondays for half-price off anything that starts with the letter “m,” and don’t be afraid to ask for cheap tots during happy hour.
The Dirty Goose
Just across the street from Nellie’s in the heart of the U Street corridor lies The Dirty Goose, which prides itself on great drinks and even better vibes. Choose from an array of martinis with – you guessed it – Grey Goose vodka, kick back and relax. We recommend checking out this popular bar during weekday happy hour, when drinks are half price from 5 - 9 p.m.
Larry’s Lounge is a gay neighborhood pub, with always-affordable drinks, solid happy hour specials, mouth-watering pub fare (see: sweet potato tots) and one of the city’s friendliest patios (you can bring your dog, too!). The downstairs area resembles a suburban living room, cozy and welcoming upon entrance, the perfect intro to the bar’s home-like atmosphere.
Number Nine comes to the bustling Logan Circle courtesy of co-founder Ed Bailey, who helped DC’s gay nightlife scene to grow during his days as a DJ. Decked out in mirrors, leather banquettes and dark wood paneling, the lounge is perfect for nighttime socialization. The music video bar upstairs is also a must-see. Get there before 9 p.m. to enjoy two-for-one drink specials.
The owners of Number Nine are also responsible for this stylish spot, sporting tall wood-backed booths, offbeat paintings and rooster-print wallpaper. Trade's "XL Happy Hour" is every day until 8 p.m. Those aren’t all the tricks of the Trade, but you’ll have to visit to encounter the rest.
Green Lantern is tough to find, but certainly worth the hunt. Tucked into an otherwise unassuming alleyway off of Thomas Circle near Downtown, the bar is located in a converted two-story carriage house. The first floor’s lounge vibe is complete with a central granite bar perfect for peering into patrons on the opposite side. Groove to your heart’s content on Green Lantern’s multi-level dance floor (with disco lights!) and chat with its bare-chested bartenders, and don’t miss the “Shirtless Men Drink Free” event Thursdays 10-11 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays 6-7 p.m.
Pitchers & A League of Her Own
Situated right in the heart of Adams Morgan’s bustling 18th Street is Pitchers, a gay sports bar, and A League of Her Own, the adjacent bar for lesbian and queer women. The brainchild of DC LGBTQ+ nightlife veteran Dave Perruzza, the 10,000-square-foot space features plenty of room for games, as well as two patios. A sports-themed menu of bar favorites includes stadium dogs, chicken tenders and burgers.