Washington, D.C., has plenty of nightlife options for the LGBT community. From dance clubs to lounges, DC’s LGBT bar scene has never been better. Spend an evening hanging out with friends or dancing the night away at one of the best gay and lesbian bars in Washington, D.C. — Amy Gardner McNeal
1824 Half Street SW
Washington, DC 20024
This legendary club is one of the most storied gay bars in D.C. After a relocation in the wake of building the Nationals’ stadium, the biggest and most fabulous drag revue in D.C. once again has a place to strut its stuff. Beautiful surroundings and a huge dance area on the first floor provide a great setting for the show. Upstairs, nude male dancers await to entertain you. Be sure to check out VOLTAGE with the incomparable DJ Steve Henderson on the fourth weekend of the month. Open every day, this is really like two clubs in one place. Hours: Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.
1639 R Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
In Dupont Circle, Cobalt offers a full evening of entertainment. Start with dinner in the Level One restaurant, follow up with drinks in the 30degrees lounge, and cap the night off with dancing on the club level. Cobalt even has two karaoke nights a week. Open every night, this is the place to go for a very diverse crowd, great dance music and great atmosphere. The soundtrack covers a wide variety of dance music, including a rock night, with some excellent DJ s. The staff is professional and fun, which makes for a great experience at one of the best gay and lesbian bars in Washington, D.C. Hours: Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.
525 8th Street SE
Washington, DC 20003
Since its opening in 1970, The Phase has been the top lesbian bar in D.C. Whether you’re looking for a place to dance, or just hang out and chill with friends, you won’t find a bar that’s more welcoming. The decor isn’t elaborate or trendy; the place has a neighborhood bar type look that matches the relaxed vibe. The drink prices are reasonable, the staff is friendly, and the door charge won’t break the bank. Phase 1 is tiny, so be prepared to jockey for a seat on busy nights. Stop in for a drink or two, and stay for the music. Cash only. Hours: Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m. to 3 a.m.