As one of the most gay-friendly cities in the U.S., paring down Seattle’s gay bars to the best ones is not an easy task. From lounges to clubs to more traditional bars, there is a lot to choose from, especially on Capitol Hill. Whether you’re gay, lesbian, queer, trans, or simply an ally, here are some places worth your time.
Bar, Gay Bar, LGBTQ Bar, Pub Grub, Cocktails, Wine, Beer
From the history of the building as a 1930s gas station to the lively patrons, Pony is full of character(s). With weekly karaoke on Tuesdays and happy hour “All Nite” on Wednesdays, this gay dive bar offers a small dance floor and an outdoor patio open year-round thanks to a retractable roof and a fire pit. Check it out for guaranteed trashy, classless fun.
As the name implies, this gay bar has a truck theme, which extends into the menu with options such as “MACK” & cheese, Mozzarella stick-shift, and Trucker Clucker & fries. Advertised as the place for “bears, bikers, buddies, bubbas, blue collars, and bad asses,” head to Diesel for “ice cold beer, warm hearts,” and a game of pool.
With two floors, epic shows, and food to boot, “Seattle’s longest-running and largest LGBTQ nightclub” is arguably where it all began. Since 1983, Neighbours has been investing in Seattle’s drag scene as well as in the community philanthropy. It’s also one of the few dance venues in Seattle open to underage patrons: 18+ are admitted Wednesdays from 9 pm to 2 am as well as Fridays and Saturdays from 2 am (after the bars close) to 4 am.
The Cuff is a nightclub for gay men and caters to everyone from families (specifically the 21+ members) to fetish groups. Providing “a safe space that caters to a masculine energy,” the complex has three bars: the main bar near billiards and darts, the dance bar near the dance floor, and the patio bar outside. For a place to relax and chat with others, check out “The Dog-run.”
Purr, which recently moved from Capitol Hill to Montlake, is a cocktail lounge-turned-nightclub that plays music videos across its many screens. After the move, Purr is reworking its atmosphere towards a neighborhood bar. The LGBT space also offers a delectable menu, including weekend brunch.
This straightforward LGBT bar is a great neighborhood bar where “gay” can also be interpreted to mean “happy”—because their customers are always just that. With karaoke seven nights a week, the all-inclusive venue offers cheap drinks that get more affordable six hours a day during happy hour, starting with $4 wells.
One of the most relaxed gay bars in town, Madison Pub offers a full bar to go with your game of pool or darts while you rock out to some jukebox jams. For those who prefer to watch games rather than play them, the pub is a reliable spot in which to catch the Mariners, Seahawks, and Sounders games.
Wildrose is Seattle’s only lesbian-dedicated bar as well as one of the oldest lesbian bars in the nation. Owned and operated by women since 1984, it includes a bar area, dance floor, and patio. With options for everyone, their events range from dance parties to poetry readings to pool tournaments.
R Place is a nightclub, bar, and grill spread over three levels: the first with a bar, the second with more of a lounge atmosphere, and the third containing the dance floor. The venue is known for its cabaret, karaoke, and drag queen scene, and has become increasingly “straight-friendly” over the years.
Keeping it simple, C.C.Attle’s is a gay bar that offers pub grub, a patio, and cheap drinks. Some of their better known regular events include the open-mic night and the monthly fetish night. They also take care of their own on industry night, with deals for those who work in the service industry.