NYC - The Official Guide

The 10 Best Gay Bars in Brooklyn

Brian Sloan
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Every June, New York City’s Pride Month kicks off in Brooklyn with the annual Park Slope Twilight Parade, marching past the historic neighborhood’s beautiful brownstones. But you can celebrate LGBTQ pride year-round at the borough’s many gay bars and nightclubs. With a generally younger vibe than Manhattan and a diverse groove, Brooklyn’s gay nightlife offerings can match, and sometimes even outshine, the more established scene across the East River. At the bars below, you’ll find a wide variety of parties, DJs and special events.

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Bossa Nova interior Bossa Nova Civic Club. Photo: Erez Avissar

Bossa Nova Civic Club  
Bossa Nova is justifiably known for its dancing, though not to the Brazilian music it’s named after. Every night of the week, its playlist runs the gamut from EDM to soul to techno to reggaeton. Check the club’s Facebook page to see what’s on the musical menu any given evening, and get ready to boogie down with the Bushwick crowd.

Excelsior  
This neighborhood bar has been a warm, welcoming spot for gay locals and those visiting “the Slope” for more than 20 years. In 2016, they moved a little south and expanded to a new space on Fifth Avenue with a bar on the first floor and a small dance space upstairs. There’s also an outdoor patio, though it’s mainly popular with smokers and their friends.

Ginger’s Bar  
An unpretentious neighborhood joint with a fine jukebox to match, Ginger’s has been a popular ladies’ hangout for years but is now more mixed on most nights. Stop in for a game of pool or some casual conversation about how much Brooklyn has changed, a perennially popular topic, with Ginger’s remaining a bastion of the old ’hood.

Happyfun Hideaway         
A Bushwick favorite located underneath the Myrtle Avenue M train, this laid-back lounge features crowds of 20-somethings who identify as gay, straight and everywhere in between. In addition to cocktails and beers, there’s also a fun comfort-food-based menu suited to snacking and chilling till the wee hours.

House of Yes, Pride, interior Courtesy, House of Yes

House of Yes          
Located in the more industrial section of Williamsburg, this large venue hosts big dance parties that often feature theatrical and acrobatic elements on its main stage. You’ll find a more artsy queer aesthetic here—the crowd and their outfits can be outré, but with a welcoming anything-goes vibe.

Metropolitan           
Things are always hopping at this popular gay bar located near the nexus of the L and G trains in Williamsburg. On weekends, the bar is wall-to-wall with boys ready to dance and cruise all night long (or at least till 4am closing). On Sundays from June through October, the spacious back garden hosts a free afternoon barbecue with $12 pitchers of beer.  

Macri Park 
The sister bar of nearby mothership Metropolitan, Macri Park is a smaller, cozier space. It’s got red velvety wallpaper, low lighting and some out-there drag shows starring local talents like Misty Meaner, Ruby Roo and Sassy Frass. Out back, there’s a lively patio with picnic tables framed by a semi-ironic white picket fence.

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Mood Ring, interior Courtesy, Mood Ring

Mood Ring   
With inventive astrological-themed cocktails and decor by local artists, Mood Ring reflects the artistic creativity and gender fluidity of the Bushwick scene. The crowd at this colorful space tends to be a sampling of artists and students who identify across the gender spectrum, with some serious dancing in the back room going down on weekend nights.

Tendertrap, interior, dance floor Courtesy, Tender Trop

Tender Trap
Though it’s not technically a gay bar every night of the week, this Greenpoint nightclub tends to draw a mixed crowd of locals on most evenings. You can discover some up-and-coming bands on their live music stage, with shows on weeknights. On the weekends, things get a little queerer with their Saturdazed party that features DJs and late-night dancing.

Xstasy Bar & Lounge
The largely Latino crowd at this LGBTQ bar reflects its Sunset Park neighborhood. It’s popular for a daily happy hour featuring $5 beers and cocktails. Later at night, you’ll find bingo, karaoke, go-go boys and, on Friday and Saturday nights, dancing to top 40 and club hits in a fog-and-light-filled back room.


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