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Illustration of beer, wine and cocktails in various glasses
(Zipeng Zhu / For The Times)

20 great bars that celebrate L.A.’s LGBTQ community, past and present

June in L.A. means it’s Pride Month. You can see it in the rainbow flags that pop up in the most expected (and unexpected) places. You can hear it in the music and the cheers from dancing crowds that move just a little freer. And, of course, you can taste and smell it in the limited-edition, colorful and sometimes spicy cocktails that local restaurants and bars design specially for the occasion.

Although it may be just as fun to wander around the lively streets of West Hollywood or Silver Lake strolling into whichever spot catches your eye first, it can never hurt to have a game plan. There are so many places to hit, and only 30 days in June.

Where to hang out in Los Angeles when you want to meet queer folks but don’t want to roll up to the usual gay bars and clubs.

So instead of standing outside on the street, overwhelmed by the bright lights and sparkling decorations, consult our list of 20 LGBTQ+ (and ally) owned, operated or founded hotspots that are worth your visit for Pride Month or any time of the year. We know this isn’t a complete list of LGBTQ bars in Los Angeles County and we hope to add more entries soon.

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Drag queen Nico Cervantes, stage name “Borgia Bloom,” performs at the Boulevard.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

The Boulevard

Pasadena LGBTQ+ $
The Boulevard prides itself on being Pasadena’s only gay bar. If you’re not looking closely, you might miss it from the outside. But once you step in, you’ll feel more than welcome. Dance under colorful lights, play a round of pool or sing your heart out with their karaoke machine.

The tea from Mark Lanza, who started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the bar during the pandemic: “I was used to small-town type bars, and after 30 years this is the only place I’ve ever found that feels like this. It’s a gay bar, it’s a straight bar, it’s a trans bar, it’s a drag bar, it’s a karaoke bar, it’s a bar you can go to no matter who you are and feel comfortable. Everyone loves to come here because it’s just fun, it’s just a great place to hang out with friends and meet new people.”
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The outside of Precinct is photographed in 2021.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Precinct

Downtown L.A. LGBTQ+ $$
Precinct is the perfect place for a Pride happy hour or happy hour any other time. Massive windows line the walls and allow for a welcomed breeze inside. Come with a group of friends, order some drinks at the bar (and the crowd favorite: chicken tenders), and find a place to sit and chat.

Craving something a little less low-key? Join Precinct after dinner for spicy performances all night long or on Sunday for drag brunch.
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A crowd watches a drag performance at Redline in downtown on May 30, 2021, in Los Angeles.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Redline

Downtown L.A. LGBTQ+ $$
Redline is a small bar, but it packs a punch with its weekly drag shows, trivia nights and reverse happy hours. It’s been around since 2015 in which time it’s become a frequent destination for LGBTQ+ artists, comedians and activists.

The tea from stylist Antonio Soto: “Redline is one of my favorite queer- and POC-owned establishments. ... I love getting a gin martini and a personal pizza or fries and watching their fabulous drag brunch.”
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Customers spend the night outside on the Bullet Bar's patio.
(Matthew Mullins)

The Bullet Bar

North Hollywood LGBTQ+ $
If you’re looking for something a little more freeing and downright fun, stop by the Bullet, one of few LBGTQ bars in the Valley. This small, dive-y spot is host to many events during the week from racy dance performances to drag queen bingo. The bar is usually filled with regulars, but they’ll make you feel right at home.

Join the Bullet on the weekends for a rotation of live DJs.
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The Black Cat Tavern storefront sign on Sunset Boulevard.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

The Black Cat

Silver Lake LGBTQ+ $$
The Black Cat is known in the community as the site of an early LGBTQ civil rights demonstration in Los Angeles, so having lunch there might be a wonderful way to celebrate Pride. “It’s a cultural historical landmark,” said the cafe’s manager, Benjamin Schwartz. “It’s a physical place where people can actually come and touch the history and be reminded of its importance.”

The restaurant is blessed with a lot of outdoor space, Schwartz said, and offerings from the food and beverage menus have been tailored to enjoy outside on the “catio.” Inside, the walls are decorated with pictures from the demonstration and a commemorative plaque hangs on the front door.

Stop by for a veggie burger or fried chicken leg and, as Schwartz said, “keep community, friendship and Pride alive.”
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Casita Del Campo's colorful outdoor patio.
(Jakob N. Layman)

Casita Del Campo

Silver Lake LGBTQ+ $$
It’s almost impossible to have a bad time at Casita Del Campo. “It’s not like you just come to the restaurant to eat and drink,” said director of operations Sara Victoria Franco. “It’s also an entertainment hub.”

There is no lack of vibrant color in Casita Del Campo. Situated in a bright pink bungalow, the Mexican restaurant is proud to be a queer landmark. Ornaments and stained-glass lights hang from the ceilings, and every wall is covered with art and memorabilia. “When we opened in the ‘60s, we were very queer-friendly, and that hasn’t wavered through the years,” Franco said.

Casita Del Campo is also home to the Cavern Club Theater, known for its unique drag shows and holiday spectaculars. Catch a performance while enjoying the restaurant’s most popular dishes: carnitas and enchiladas. Then chase your food down with the new Pride Paloma cocktail made with tequila, grapefruit juice and sparkling water.

“We want people to come in and enjoy and feel totally safe,” said Franco. “It’s really important for us to continue giving back to the community that gave us so much support in our early years.”
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People fill the Akbar dance floor under a disco ball.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Akbar

Silver Lake LGBTQ+ $
“Everything about Akbar is special,” said Scott Craig, who co-owns the bar with Peter Alexander. The kitschy, old Hollywood decor, disco music and hipster crowd reflect Akbar’s “general aesthetic as a welcoming space for an assortment of people from the queer community with no judgment or expectations,” Craig said.

Akbar is sure to be lively this pride, as always. “We will be serving the usual tasty and cheap and strong drinks,” Craig said. Be sure not to miss out on the seasonal special: Pride punch.
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Patrons enjoy their food in La Bohème's outdoor parking lot, which has been converted into a bohemian paradise.
(Susan Hornik)

La Bohème

West Hollywood LGBTQ+ $$$
La Bohème has an eclectic bohemian vibe. The quirky decor has caused many on social media to compare it to “Alice in Wonderland” because of its unique lamps and color combinations.

La Bohème’s artsy atmosphere is certainly more laid back, but you can still get your bottomless mimosas here on weekends.

The tea from fashion designer Dalia MacPhee: “The restaurant is a staple for many people in the LGBTQ community. I have always been inspired as a designer whenever I go there. Often when I lounge in the bohemian/renaissance outdoor garden, I imagine being transported to another place and time, and the creations flow. It’s amazing how they were able to make the outside area reflect the heart of the inside. It’s like taking the art gallery to you.”
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The outside of a building during Pride Month in 2020.
(Susan Hornik)

WeHo Bistro

West Hollywood LGBTQ+ $$$
You won’t be able to miss WeHo Bistro this Pride Month. “We go a little overboard sometimes with our decorations,” general manager Mike Mederos said.

The gay-owned, gay-managed bistro converted its loading area into an attractive patio space and installed 10,000 Christmas lights that hang above customers as they dine. Pride flags of all sizes are abundant.

If you stop by to celebrate, make sure to order a “shot of pride.” It’s covered in rainbow sprinkles and edible glitter and changes colors with a splash of lime juice. “It tends to be pretty contagious,” Mederos said. “One table gets it, and then another table wants it.”

The tea from suit designer Leon Elias Wu: “The restaurant has such a nice atmosphere. I go to their amazing patio to meet with other LGBTQ artists and creatives and discuss projects over their fantastic brunch. They have a killer Bloody Mary, and I can bring my dog. Can’t wait to go there for Pride.”
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A few of the many colorful cocktails available during Happy Hour at Rocco's WeHo.
(Susan Hornik)

Rocco's WeHo

West Hollywood LGBTQ+ $$
Looking for a place to let loose a little? Check out Rocco’s WeHo, co-owned by NSync singer Lance Bass. “We did not even mean for this to have a dance floor, but the community really wanted it,” he said.

Rocco’s front patio is great for people watching. “You can’t beat our location,” Bass said. “We call ourselves the heart of WeHo because we are right in the middle of everything. This is the only area in the boulevard where you can see the beautiful Hollywood sign in the Hollywood hills.”

Although Rocco’s indoor restaurant has a sports bar feel, its backyard patio — formerly its parking lot — has a more exciting vibe that, according to Bass, “transports you to another place.” There’s an outdoor shower in which dancers get to gyrate and show off their moves.

Pro tip: Don’t miss the weekly drag brunches.
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Drag queen Rhea Litre performs on the patio at Beaches WeHo in 2021.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Beaches WeHo

West Hollywood LGBTQ+ $$
From the street, a charming patio welcomes guests into Beaches WeHo. Once inside, the authentic Cuban food, bottomless mimosas, rowdy drag brunch and Pride happy hour offer a surprising yet welcome twist.

Co-owner Jacob Shaw is committed to creating a “fantastic, fun” vibe that matches Beaches’ commitment to inclusiveness. “As a family-owned, gay-owned business, we always want to keep that neighborhood identity,” Shaw said. “We want to be welcoming to everyone, so people feel like this is a safe place to come.”
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A view of the Skybar Pool Deck at the Mondrian Hotel.
(Mondrian Los Angeles)

Skybar at Mondrian Los Angeles

West Hollywood LGBTQ+ $$$
If you’re tired of bar-hopping during Pride Month and would rather relax poolside, consider hanging at the Skybar at the Mondrian.

With its panoramic views, Skybar’s inviting patio is considered a favorite among West Hollywood and L.A. locals.

This month, you can order a celebratory cocktail called Pride n Prickly made with gin, peach schnapps, lemon, simple syrup and prickly pear puree.

If you are visiting from out of town or want a staycation, the hotel is offering a Love Is Love hotel package, which will get you two free drinks and a disposable camera. Plus, for every package booked, the hotel will donate $10 to the AIDS/LifeCycle Foundation.
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Patrons dine at Harriet's Rooftop on a busy evening.
(Susan Hornik)

Harriet's Rooftop

West Hollywood LGBTQ+ $$$
Harriet’s Rooftop is the perfect place to cool off and relax during Pride celebrations.

“Harriet’s Rooftop, which sits above the 1 Hotel, is really quite special,” said Markus Molinari, an LGBTQ activist and partner in h.wood Group, which operates Harriet’s Rooftop as well as Sant’olina at the Beverly Hilton. The spot has a priceless panoramic view of Los Angeles that you can enjoy while eating your brunch or dinner.

“It’s important to us at the h.wood Group to align ourselves with other like-minded businesses that give back by bringing awareness through action,” Molinari said. “Those intentions vibrate throughout the space, which makes for a magical place to be a part of and experience.”

Also, don’t miss out on Pride Month specials like the rainbow salad or the Pride popsicle at the 1 Hotel West Hollywood pool lounge. Wash it all down with the new Pride cocktail which is mixed with silver shimmer. Proceeds from every cocktail sold will benefit the Trevor Project’s Los Angeles chapter.
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The outdoor patio at the Abbey Food & Bar decorated for Pride.
(Ryan Forbes / AVABLU)

The Abbey Food & Bar

West Hollywood LGBTQ+ $$
Over the last 30 years, the Abbey has grown into a West Hollywood staple, but it has maintained the original coffeehouse atmosphere, said general manager Todd Barnes.

The bar is sure to be busy at all hours of the day and the vibe is contagious. Let loose on the dance floor inside or take a break with a frozen cocktail on the terrace.

The Abbey remains “a focal point and prime destination for gatherings at all times of day and is the perfect backdrop for our weekend drag brunch performances,” Barnes said. “Our signature Abbey martinis or Abbey mojitos are customer favorites during Pride season.”

Also, visit the Chapel at the Abbey if you want to check out dancers and their moves while having a cocktail or two.
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Gym Bar's storefront with pride decorations.
(Nicole Kagan / Los Angeles Times)

Gym Sportsbar & Grill

West Hollywood LGBTQ+ $$
Decorated from floor to ceiling with team flags, college sports memorabilia and soccer balls hanging next to a disco ball, Gym Sportsbar & Grill, which is in a new location, is a unique stop on Santa Monica Boulevard.

It’s a smaller space, but it’s sure to be packed on the weekends. Stop in to check the score on one of the bar TVs and stick around for American food, a live DJ and livelier dancers.

The scoop from lighting designer Malcolm Watson: “Every time I go in there, it always feels like home. They make everyone feel really welcome. You can go in there and grab some food for lunch or an early dinner and just watch life go by on the outdoor patio.”
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Trunks' outdoor patio during happy hour.
(Trunks)

Trunks

West Hollywood LGBTQ+ $
Trunks is the perfect bar to begin your night out. The music is dance-worthy, the drinks are cheap (and strong), and the crowd is spirited.

Hang out on the outdoor patio to people-watch or head inside for some upbeat dancing under a ceiling adorned with swaying pride flags.

The tea from L.A. artist and activist BlackManWhiteBaby: “I love Trunks because of its diversity. It’s one of my favorite bars. I never felt out of place there.... There is always a feeling of being welcome regardless of the color of one’s skin or sexual preference. I would sometimes go by myself because it was always so easy to make new friends there, and it felt like that cool, local, friendly pub. I mean, I’ve seen guys there with their moms.”
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Customers sit for happy hour on the St. Felix patio.
(St. Felix)

St. Felix

West Hollywood LGBTQ+ $$
St. Felix has “an upscale vibe without the pretentiousness,” said owner John Arakaki. He believes the bar and restaurant have “the best view” of Santa Monica Boulevard. “Our patio was designed by Justin Howard from Flaming Flower Productions to be fun, creative, practical and accessible,” he said.

This Pride, the bar is celebrating its 15-year anniversary. Drop by for a St. Felix Mojito or a limited-edition Pride T-shirt and make a friend or two.

“All the colorful characters and strong individuals make this community vibrant and special,” said Arakaki.
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Fiesta Cantina's storefront with pride decorations.
(Nicole Kagan / Los Angeles Times)

Fiesta Cantina

West Hollywood LGBTQ+ $$
Head over to Fiesta Cantina if you’re looking for a daytime beach party vibe.

“People are drawn to the upbeat music, the crowd, the energy level, the intensity and just the fun festive atmosphere,” said general manager George Figares.

Hang out on the patio for a chill drink with friends or make your way inside to dance to throwback jams from the late 1990s and early 2000s. If you’re feeling bold, order the restaurant’s famous Mega Margarita served in a 36-ounce glass and pair it with another customer favorite: made-to-order nachos.
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The view from the patio at h.wood's Sant'olina at the Beverly Hilton.
(Markus Molinari)

Sant'olina

Beverly Hills LGBTQ+ $$$
H.wood’s restaurant and bar, Sant’olina at the Beverly Hilton, is the perfect dinner spot for friends or a date thanks to its open-air views of Beverly Hills and beyond and a Mediterranean twist.

Molinari said, “It’s sunny L.A. meets Tel Aviv that blends the two cultures into extremely unique but traditional, mind-blowing, delicious-tasting dishes that keep you coming back for more.”

Feast on dips and kebabs as you take in the L.A. County skyline.
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Customers enjoy happy hour on the Roosterfish outdoor patio.
(Danica Faye Drezner)

Roosterfish

Venice LGBTQ+ $$
A rainbow-painted crosswalk will guide you right to Roosterfish’s front door. The bar originally opened as a gay bar in 1979 but is now open to everyone. “It’s a place that we can get the whole community together over beautiful afternoon cocktails,” said co-owner Mario Vollera.

The space was designed to be reminiscent of an elegant club in London or Barcelona, Vollera said. You can’t go wrong with the cocktail menu but the 1979 is a fan favorite. Named after the bar’s opening, the fruity tequila drink has become a staple cocktail among regulars.

Go to Roosterfish with a group of friends, have a drink, take in the murals on the walls (all made by local artists) and vibe out to house music from live DJs.
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