Despite Miami’s rep for being one of the most gay-friendly cities in America (okay, we’ve got nothing on San Francisco, but we’re still gayer than, say, Tuscaloosa), finding a good gay bar here can sometimes be a complicated dance. There are, of course, the usual haunts. The ones that have been around for decades, that everyone knows (even all our straight friends). Places like Score and Twist, both on South Beach and both with a reputation for being prime party spots for men who love men.
But if you’re just visiting, or even if you just came out and want to finally check out a few LGBTQ-friendly spots, it can be difficult, especially if you’re searching for something a bit…different. That’s why 10Best has scoured its resources for info on all the best places for the queer men and ladies (and gender non-conforming) folks who just want to go out and get a drink with other folks with whom they might have more in common. Gay bars for men are definitely easier to find than lesbian bars (to the point that we felt the need to include events like Aqua Girl in order to have more for the ladies), but whatever your flavor, we’ve got something here for you.
When it comes to gay bars in Miami, most tend to be loud dance clubs–which is great if that’s your scene. But when you’re simply in the mood to be in a dimly-lit dive, Jamboree is where you need to be. Please don’t expect any red carpet treatment here. In fact, walk in with zero expectations. Because again: this is a dive. That said, if you know what to expect, you’re liable to have a great time. There’s usually a cover, so be prepared to shell out a few bucks (this IS practically the only male-oriented gay dive bar in town, after all). Drinks are limited to beers and wine (but they’re relatively inexpensive). There may or may not be some adult videos going on in the background (but uh, keep an open mind). And don’t go out into the back patio unless you know what’s going on (from the sound of it, it’s all on a need to know basis). Relax and have a few drinks with friends, and stay for the late-night drag show and you’ll be solid.
Recommended for Gay Clubs because: A trip to the Jamboree Lounge is a truly unique experience. As Miami’s most popular cruising bar (open daily!) we just couldn’t exclude it.
Priscilla’s expert tip: Did I mention that you should not be going out to the back patio unless you know what you’re getting yourself into? Yes? OK, good.
Read more about Jamboree Lounge →
Avoid the crowds on Ocean Drive and head to Purdy’s, an off-the-beaten-path location with a loyal following. If the scene grows old or if you are simply not in the mood for the nocturnal fray, Purdy’s offers just the antidote. The lounge has an appealing retro rec-room aesthetic that’ll make you think you’ve entered your best friend’s basement circa 1975. (Think lava lamps, funky chairs and assorted board games!) Get some friends together for drinks and checkers, backgammon, or even good ole Connect Four as you enjoy a pleasant mix of music and some of the lowest drink prices around.
Recommended for Gay Clubs because: While Miami lacks a dedicated lesbian bar, the always welcoming Purdy Lounge is even more girl-friendly on LezChic LadyLove Wednesday nights.
Priscilla’s expert tip: Make sure to get to LadyLove nights at 10pm promptly to take advantage of their open bar.
Read more about Purdy Lounge →
You’ve never been to a better Latin drag club than the oh-so-memorable Azucar Nightclub. This ultra-hot gay Latin nightclub is just the place to go to enjoy the best drag entertainment off of South Beach. Thursday nights are Drag War nights and the best queens come to battle it out for the prize, not to mention the bragging rights. If you’re looking to get a lot of dancing in though you’ll want to drop by on a Satuday night for Sabados Locos con Azucar. For those looking for a slightly more composed evening, you can always come by on Noches de Cabaret, where you’ll enjoy a comedy and well-choreographed performance by Poison Ivy, Teresita “La Caliente”, Josefina “La Globos” and the Queen of Comedy, Mariloly. There’s just no way you’ll get out of Azucar without having had the grandest of times.
Recommended for Gay Clubs because: For those wanting quality entertainment with their outings, this is the spot to be at.
Priscilla’s expert tip: You’ll want to check out Priscilla La Reina Del Desierto perform here at least once.
Read more about Azucar Nightclub →
One of the best casual hipster-esque lounges in Miami, Blackbird Ordinary offers its patrons a fully stocked bar with expert bartenders who mix your favorite drinks to perfection. DJ’s provide the music on most nights while local funk and reggae bands and other national acts set the scene on others. There’s a dance floor for those with the appropriate skills set. Blackbird goes out of its way to make its visitors feel like regulars, even if its their first go-round. They have pool tables, spacious comfortable booths, and even board games to entertain you while you wait for your meal. If you enjoyed this space when it was called Transit Lounge, you’ll definitely dig the Blackbird.
Recommended for Gay Clubs because: Though not exactly a queer space, Blackbird is diverse and laid back enough that ladies who love ladies especially frequent it on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Priscilla’s expert tip: Ladies should especially come here on Tuesdays for free booze 10pm-1:30am.
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If you ask any local or any tourist to name 3 bars in the heart of South Beach, the Clevelander would definitely be on that list. And there are so many reasons for that. Most bars don’t include an outdoor pool on the beach, and that’s just one of the perks that makes the Clevelander one of the most popular destinations on Ocean Drive. The raucous and splashy atmosphere is quintessential South Beach, and the crowd makes it feel like Spring Break all summer long. Don’t worry about a dress code; bathing suits and flip-flops are the order of the day even in December. The music runs the gamut, from rock to dance, and live music or DJs are sometimes featured.
Recommended for Gay Clubs because: Palace Bar was one of Miami’s hottest LGBT spots, and the Clevelander is their temporary home for the drag-centric Sunday Sunset T-Dance.
Priscilla’s expert tip: Keep checking Palace Bar’s Facebook page for updates on where their new home will be, outside of the Clevelander!
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Club Boi has been the staple of South Florida’s urban gay nightlife since 2002 and has dominated the scene ever since. Saturdays are when they shine with Sexy Saturdays, an Urban and Caribbean-centric party unlike any other. This party definitely stands out from other gay nights around town and provides a safe and erotic club atmosphere with strippers, a friendly and efficient bar staff, diverse crowd, and an energetic and unique mix of Hip Hop, Reggae and Dancehall, R&B, Latin, House, and Old school beats. Formerly located inside SoBe’s Score club, Club Boi’s current home is in west Wynwood’s District 3 Night Club.
Recommended for Gay Clubs because: Club Boi brings hip-hop, reggae, and latin music to the forefront, making it stand out from other popular local gay clubs.
Priscilla’s expert tip: If you’ve only ever been to Club Boi when it was up on 79th street, it’s time for you to visit again.
Read more about Club Boi →
When people ask you about gay clubs in Miami, the very first one they’ll mention is Score. Score has been around for-ever and there’s a reason for it. Or many reasons, really. Sure, the drinks are a bit pricier than you’d like, and you might not always be happy about paying a cover, but a night at Score is almost always worth it. You’ll have an experience unlike any other in the Magic City, and more importantly, you’ll have plenty of new stories to tell. Party people from near and far come to this for-the-boys nightclub, now on Washington Ave.
Recommended for Gay Clubs because: Score is the ultimate party for men who love men in the MIA. Everyone knows about it, everyone’s gone at least once. You should, too.
Priscilla’s expert tip: Bring plenty of cash and your dancing shoes. You’re gonna need ’em.
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Queer folk looking for a laid-back bar with delicious, well-crafted cocktails the likes you find at many other South Beach and Wynwood-area spots will find just what they’re searching for at the Bar at Hotel Gaythering. Hotel Gaythering, Miami Beach’s only gay hotel, is the locale for this wonderfully relaxed alternative to the EDM pumping, velvet-rope-lined, dress code-enforced gay clubs found throughout the rest of the city. Also found here is a wide selection of quality craft beers (but then what great bar doesn’t have a good beer list these days?) as well as themed nights to add a little extra to your bar-going experience. Wednesday nights is trivia night, enjoy 90s tunes on Thursday evenings, and find your share of bears on Fridays for Bears and Hares night.
Recommended for Gay Clubs because: It’s got all the makings of a great gay bar: hand-crafted cocktails, a sweet beer list, theme nights, and lots of LGBT patrons.
Priscilla’s expert tip: Bring your most knowledgeable friends on Wednesdays and get $50 off your bar tab if you win trivia night!
Read more about Bar at Hotel Gaythering →
You would think that as gay-friendly a town as Miami is that we would have rampant lesbian clubs and bars throughout. And yet it seems that while we’ve got some long-standing establishments for the gay men in the Magic City, there is very little for the ladies who love ladies. This is why we’ve got to, at the very least, include info on Aqua Girl, the biggest lesbian party in Miami. It only happens once a year (sadly!) but when it does, it’s like every queer girl in the 305 comes out for it (no pun intended). 2016’s Aqua Girl festivities were hosted at the Raleigh Hotel, but the thing about Aqua Girl is it basically takes over all of South Beach so you’ll find plenty of events from pool parties, brunches, and comedy shows to truly epic all-women dance parties in various venues. Best part (as if this all weren’t good enough already) is that 100% of the proceeds of the Aqua Girl parties go toward the Aqua Foundation for Women, an organization that works to promote the equality and visibility of LGBTQ women. Hopefully someday Aqua Girl will become a year-round thing. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for now.
Recommended for Gay Clubs because: Aqua Girl is a Miami lesbian’s dream come true for having a good time. We only wish it were a year-round event.
Priscilla’s expert tip: Mark your calendar and make sure to take vacation time for this epic all-girl, week-long party.
Read more about Aqua Girl →
Ever so popular with the gay community in the 305, this South Beach club has been keeping the party going for nearly two decades now, and they don’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing down. This multilevel complex features seven bars (some indoors, some out), each with a different theme or vibe, including a tiki bar, a salsa room, a hip-hop room, a pop room, and more, ensuring that there’s something for everyone here. The dance floors here are always packed, making them the perfect place for dancing the night away or even finding a new (dance) partner. Best of all, there’s never a cover!
Recommended for Gay Clubs because: There isn’t a gay club, or even a straight club, that rivals Twist in size and extravagance.
Priscilla’s expert tip: Don’t leave without checking out all the different theme rooms, you might miss something you’ll love!
Read more about Twist →