Best Gay and Lesbian Bars and Nightclubs in Washington DC

By: George Adelman

Being the capital city of America and the hub of governmental activities, Washington DC carries a rather businesslike aura with people dressed up formally rushing to work. It doesn’t have a laidback charm to it like Buffalo or Boston, but at the same time, it’s not as fast-paced as New York City. To put it simply, Washington DC is a well-disciplined town with an orderly structure of daily life, well for the most part. Although the Evergreen City blows off an air of purpose and resolve, it harbors plenty of naughty places for the mischievous.

Washington, DC, is among the most liberal cities in all of America and houses the largest LGBTQ population in the country. In the past, it has also been instrumental in many minority activist movements. Named after the American president George Washington, the American capital continues to live up to its history of embracing minorities and offers all sorts of social spots to the LGBTQ community.

Although most gay and lesbian bars are exclusive to queer people, they are open to all. Let’s go over the best LGBTQ clubs in Washington DC so that you can stop by the city’s queer hotspots the next time you are in town.


Green Lantern

The Green Lantern is a neighborhood favorite and offers a lot of pleasing features to visitors. From daily happy hours, karaoke nights every Sunday and Monday to ‘shirtless men drink free’ event every Thursday, several special events draw massive crowds to the happening pub.

The exterior of Green Lantern can seem deceptively modest, but once you’re inside, the shift in mood is unmistakable, as the interior of the place is pretty suggestive.


Nellies Sports Bar

Nellies are the oldest and most popular gay bar in town and attract a starkly diverse LGBTQ crowd. Known for its games on TV, poker nights, pub grub, nellies carries a convivial ambiance. An enticing feature of the bar is the many photos of scantily clad athletes resting on the walls for decor. Tuesday karaoke, Wednesday trivia, and weekend drag brunches are popular events held at nellies weekly, which draw massive crowds from far and wide.


The Duplex Diner

Fondly known as the diner, the Duplex Diner offers an unbelievably friendly environment that is complimented with heady drinks made by talented mixologists. The lively place holds an 80’s themed dance party monthly, known as the breakfast club remix, and sells every item starting with the letter m on the menu at half price on Mondays. The signature drink served at the diner is a citrusy beverage called lime (lemon or orange) squeeze, which is made with a generous spout of vodka mixed with heavy spurts of other spirited ingredients.

The Duplex Diner is an ideal location for some innocent flirting and friendly conversations.


Larry’s Lounge

This neighborhood pub is known for affordable yet tasty drinks, unbelievable happy hour specials, and mouthwatering bites. It also has one of the friendliest patios where visitors can bring their dogs. Sporting a very homey, warm, and welcoming vibe, Larry’s Lounge is perfect for someone looking to lazily relax after a hectic day.

Don’t miss out on the nightlife fun of Washington DC, and experience the other side of town by visiting any of the mentioned bars.