Best Gay Bars in East Village, New York City

By: George Adelman

Often looked at as a place for misfits, the East Village holds immense cultural and historical significance. The open-for-all neighborhood has been the birthing place of many artistic movements such as the American punk rock and the Nuyorican movement. Henceforth, its role in promoting counterculture has been instrumental.

Influenced by its illustrious history, the New York borough remains a convivial locality for everyone. People living in the area or visiting it can be unapologetically authentic and true to their personality without fear of judgment. Because of the inclusivity people experience in East Village, they keep coming back to the locale to be themselves and do whatever they wish to do.

Whether someone wants to witness historical remains, devour literature, or let loose to the beat of peppy music, they can do it all in East Village. Yet, naturally, the local bars and clubs become the most crowded places in town at night.

Although East Village generally has inclusive hangouts for all to frequent, it boasts of its gay bars because of the varying entertainment styles offered at each of them. From tasteful clubhouses to outright salacious meeting spots, East Village provides every type of play to locals and visitors alike for an eventful night in New York.

If you wish to check out some of those places, here’s a guide for you.


The Boiler Room

After enjoying the peak of stardom in the early to mid-90s, the dive bar lost its edge for a while only to reclaim it in the 2010s. And now, the boiler room is a dim but vibrant get-together point of the most diverse population of the LGBTQ community. Deliciously intoxicating drinks and popular jukebox music lend a lively atmosphere to the boiler room.


Nowhere Bar

Peculiarly named, nowhere bar is a chic hangout for the LGBTQ community in the East Village. It serves the most exclusive and all-encompassing groups of people in NYC. From aspiring gypsies, bohos, lesbians, gays to heterosexual allies, a diversified mix of people frequent this place primarily because of its rustic interiors that give off a casual and inviting vibe. Pool tables and talented DJs further add to one’s experience at the dive bar.


The Cock

Time to get a bit (read: an awful lot) raunchy! Flaunting a neon red rooster on its entrance, the cock is an unabashedly raunchy bar where one can indulge in open cruising and public display of affection. Generally filled to the brim with LGBTQ members, the gay hotspot offers endless opportunities for risqué encounters with total strangers or a wild night with partners. The skillful in-house DJs play a mix of music to charge up the crowd for dirty dancing or any other overt suggestive activities one might like to try.



A low-profile, easygoing place, Phoenix has been a significant part of the gay nightlife in the East Village for the longest time. However, the pub has lost some of its popularity and often rests without a crowd. But two signature features of Phoenix remain; its cheap yet heady drinks and a friendly environment.

If you wish to experience the uninhibited fun that a typical East Village night offers, you have to visit the places mentioned in this article.