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Best Gay Bars in Austin

Loretta Adams Last updated on Aug 01, 2023 by

Pride Month has come to a close and many businesses will put their rainbows away with the other seasonal decorations. Our collective pride certainly doesn’t end after June 30th and Austin has many establishments that support the queer community all year long. These bars and venues create a space for LGBTQ+ artists and performers and they host some of the best DJs and musicians that play in Austin. If you aren’t someone who identifies, don’t be shy! All are welcome to show face and dance until you holler “I Feel Love”. We heavily encourage everyone to continue celebrating each other and attending events at these fabulous local spots. Check out our list of the Best Gay Bars in Austin (arguably some of the best bars in Austin overall) and visit these iconic clubs before some close their doors. 

Cheer Up Charlies
900 Red River St
Velvet voiced Victor Suarez

This vegan food truck turned inclusive performance venue and kombucha bar is a staple in the Austin music scene. Nuzzled into the limestone cliffside is their neon lit outdoor stage where you can see phenomenal artists perform, as well as inside on the cozy and colorful stage facing the bar. Take a break on their back patio or go satisfy your hunger at the popular vegan burger food truck, Arlo’s. They have a wide range of events from DJs to Drag Queens, singers, bands, vendors, you name it. This place will lift your spirits as the name implies and they’ll provide some delicious drinks along the way.

Oil Can Harry’s
211 W 4th St

Loosen Up at Oil Can Harry's

This is the daddy of Austin’s gay bars. Oil Can Harry’s was established back in 1990 and has become not just loved but legendary. They have a huge 360° bar, a stage, and a dance floor laid under colorful lights dripping from the ceiling. Outside they have an extra bar and patio to catch some air between songs. If you’re looking for something more risque, head through the side door to the Dark Bar where you’ll find some of the sexiest dancers on 4th street. OCH is a quintessential queer Austin experience that you don’t want to miss.

Rain on 4th
217 W 4th St

Disco Dancing Paradise

Rain on 4th has not only been voted one of the best gay bars in Austin but recently even recognized by Esquire as one of the top gay bars in the country! Show up for their events early because the line is notoriously long. All the hype is deserved as this place is a disco dream of a club. A massive mirror ball hangs over a classic light up dance floor and you can’t help but step up and get down. They host daily performances and contribute massively to this city’s gay pride and artist support. Ride in to Rain on 4th and they’ll show you a real good time.

Coconut club
310B Colorado St

"Let's go to the laser pit!"

You get three in one at this beloved dance club. They are connected to sister venues Neon Grotto and Quatro Gato, offering two more unique spaces. On the first level is a full bar and the foggy laser pit dance floor where the party often continues until 3am. Hike upstairs to the rooftop open air dance hall, bar, and lounge where they host bigger events and performances. Don’t skip on seeing this one-of-a-kind nightclub because it won’t be here for long as new development plans take over. Go to a drag brunch or dance all night to diverse and dexterous DJs. We Love Coco.

Neon Grotto
318 Colorado St
Head Towards The Light!

Head next door to Neon Grotto where you can explore even more! This colorful club is candy for the eyes. Bring your friends and your cameras as there are three floors here filled with photo opportunities, space to dance, and neon art (of course!). You can hit the bar downstairs and catch inspired performances, lounge and dance on the second floor loft, or head all the way up to the 3rd level rooftop bar and DJ patio.

Quatro Gato
310 Colorado St
Gato's Chamoy Picklerita enjoyed on the Coco rooftop

On the other side of Neon Grotto and Coconut Club is a small Perreo club fused with a late night Caribbean restaurant called Trap House. This is where you’ll grab jello shots to start the night and then tacos and Caribbean patties before you head home. You can certainly catch drag and other performances here like the other spaces but Quatro Gato is special in that they’ll always have folks dancing and singing along to bouncing Latin beats.

Barbarella & Swan Dive
611 Red River St
Karaoke at Swan Dive and a crowd out back for DJ Suxxy Puxxy

While these two clubs are not officially considered gay bars, they host some of the most well attended and loved LGBTQ+ parties in town. Every Tuesday of the week they host TUEZGAYZ where they celebrate the gay community and blast popular anthems all night long. Barbarella has a famous dance floor, multiple bars, and the big backyard stage also leads into the more lounge style Swan Dive. Both venues are great spots to support local artists and have the time of your life.

Highland Lounge
404 Colorado St

Highland Lounge is a giant performance venue and nightclub that looks straight out of the movies. They have a large stage and dance floor surrounded by the classic second floor loft looking down into the action. Shows here are stunning and they have bottle service if you want to live large. Go see the Highland GoGo Boys and watch some of Austin’s best drag performances.

The Iron Bear
301 W 6th St

If you’re looking for something a tad more casual, try Iron Bear. You’ll find a sports bar atmosphere with a leather clad twist. As the name implies this is a bear bar, complete with good beer, bar food, and smash burgers. Let loose at their themed events like underwear night or gear up for the fetish parties. End your hibernation and get your rear to The Iron Bear.

What other venues do YOU think should be on this list? Let us know!
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