Central London’s Gay and Gay Friendly Bars

This is it. This is the big one, kids. We’re going central and taking you with us.

Admiral Duncan

54 Old Compton Street, Soho, W1D 4UB

Tube: Leicester Square

This venue, in the heart of Soho’s gay scene, was named after Admiral Adam Duncan, who defeated the Dutch fleet at the Battle of Camperdown in 1797. Well done him. It’s also known for being the scene of a bomb attack, carried out by Neo-Nazi David Copeland on 30 April 1999. It’s pretty hard to miss this place. A one-room bar in the middle of Old Compton this is the place for entertainment and fun. Those of you who enjoy a pint of the pale stuff have the choice of draught Peroni, Stella, Carlsberg, Carling or Heineken, or bottled Sol or Peroni. We suggest making camp by the jukebox which provides decade after decade of hit.

Compton’s of Soho

53 Old Compton St, W1V 5PN

Affectionately named “Soho’s favourite gay bar” by the team behind Compton’s, this place will capture your heart and your liver. This is an old-fashioned gay club that used to have blacked-out windows and sawdust on the floor. Separated into two floors, upstairs has glorious wallpaper and an ornate chandelier – very fancy. We suggest bringing a date. If you’re after action we recommend heading to the main floor which is much louder, darker and clubbier.

Opening hours:

Mon-Thurs 12:00pm – 11:30pm
Fri-Sat 12:00pm – 12:00am
Sun 12:00pm – 10:30pm

• Free Wi-Fi
• TV screen
• Private hire

The Edge

11 Soho Square, Soho, W1D 3QE

Tube: Piccadilly

Located at the heart of London’s high street this is one gorgeous bar to wet your whistle in. We adore the Union Jack flags fluttering outside. The venue’s divided into four floors, each one offering a unique and vibrant theme with a fantastic array of entertainment throughout the week. They’ve got live DJ’s, fabulous drag queens (yay), sexy gogo boys, topless barmen and much more.

The ground floor transforms into a vibrant club space. It’s open until 3am on the weekends with dazzling lights and lasers, not to mention topless barmen and drags. We didn’t want to leave. On the first floor you’ll find the Lounge bar which offers a relaxed and sophisticated area to enjoy a cocktail or two with a select few guests or 50. Reservations are recommended. We LOVE the Paparazzi Lounge, the newly refurbished second floor bar.It’s decorated with lighting features, bespoke leather seating and a designer bar. For those who need to shield their eyes from the paps there’s a VIP booth ! A very popular area available for private hire, corporate functions, meeting, filming location and photo shoots. Finally we have the Penthouse Suite: a stylist party space with an LED light up dance floor and Arabian decor.

Escape Bar

10a Brewer St, London, W1F 0SE 

Tube: Piccadilly Circus

Firstly, we want to draw your attention to their cocktail shots. What’s not to like? The word that springs to mind to describe Escape is definitely “intimate”. A great gay dance bar with a large video screen that plays music videos, accompanied by a mixed crowd who are happy to, well, mix. We recommend going to Fabulous Friday’s.

If you want to know just what sort of thing happens in Escape Bar, take a look here.

Freedom

60-66 Wardour St, London, W1F 0TA

Tube: Leicester Square

This is a seriously stylist and sophisticated bar. Dress to impress, ladies. You’ll find a rather lovely cocktail bar on the ground floor, decorated with crystal chandeliers, leather booths, luxurious crushed velvet upholstery and 19th Century, French floor tiles. They’ve got an impressive cocktail list, as well as a wide range of Champagnes, Wines, Beers and spirits.

They’ve also got the recently refurbished Basement Club, also boasting it’s own crystal chandeliers, crushed pink velvet seating and over 200 mirror balls. There are 3 booths and the VIP area can be reserved. The Club is also available for private hire.

Freedom is well known for its live performance events, including their weekly Cabaret night Kinky Kabaret. Regular performers include The Idolls, The Danni Dee Show and Beauty and The Boys.

G-A-Y Bar

30 Old Compton Street, W1D 4UR

Tube: Leicester Square

Jeremy Joseph’s G-A-Y Bar has pretty much got everything you could possibly want: cheap drinks offers, a young crowd and plenty of Kylie. It’s spread over three floors, and is always busy. We’ve noticed that it tends to divide opinion: some adore it, others can’t wait to get outta there. Us? We can’t get enough.

Halfway To Heaven

7 Duncannon St, WC2N 4JF

Tube: Piccadilly Circus

This place literally is between Heaven and Soho. We recommend coming on a Tuesday when the regular drag act performs. That said, if karaoke is what you’re after try Monday’s and Thursday nights.

To find out what else is available have a click here.

Kings Arms

23 Poland St, W1F 8QJ

Tube: Oxford Street

There’s not much to say about the Kings arms other than it’s a friendly, traditional boozer in Soho. They’ve got a good choice of beers from bottled lager through to real cask ales. This is undoubtedly one of the most popular gay pubs in London. You’ve more than likely walked right past it.

Ku

30 Lisle Street, WC2H 7BA

Tube: Leicester Square

Ku was voted London’s best central gay bar by the readers of Boyz and Pink Paper. If that’s not enough to draw you in, we don’t know what is. It’s spread over three floors with a capacity of 500. It has a super exclusive Champagne bar, which we reckon is the ideal place to take someone you want to impress, and a club with DJ’s every night to keep you swaying to the beat. We’d almost go as far to say that this is a great place for a mid-week tipple, and is fantastic at the weekend if you want to enjoy current and all-time chart fillers.

Fancy some candy? Yeah, you do. Press the love button.

Quebec

12 Old Quebec St, W1H 7AF

Tube: Piccadilly Circus

You’d be wrong to assume that London’s oldest gay bar is just suited to the older gentleman. Despite being dubbed as the ‘elephants graveyard’ due to its older drinkers, it attracts a strong mix of ages. There’s a quiet, comfortable main area and a disco downstairs. It might be fair to say that compared to some of the city’s trendier venues, this is slightly suburban. That said, you don’t have to shout or pose so much, which is nice for a change.

Retro Bar

2 George Court, Trafalgar Square, WC2N 6HH

Tube: Embankment

We like hidden gems, and this is certainly one of them. Eccentrics are certainly welcome here. There’s a great mix of music, and a good array of weekly entertainment.

Rupert Street

50 Rupert Street, Soho, W1D 6DR

Tube: Leicester Square

This is a busy one. Gay party central, we’d say. What we really love are the reasonably priced cocktails: cosmopolitans, mules and mojitos for not more than £6. Equally affordable shots and double vodka Red Bulls are frequently enjoyed.

Yard

57 Rupert Street, Soho, W1D 7PL

Tube: Leicester Square

With warm weather hopefully here to stay this is the perfect time to visit the Yard. They’ve got a beautiful, heated garden and courtyard bar with a rather comfortable balconied loft bar. They reckon they attract a “mature sexy, discerning, gay crowd, from suits & gym bunnies to pre-clubbers and streetwise tourists”…what more could you possibly desire?  There’s two areas, the Courtyard with an alfresco bar and seating that’s open all year, and the Loft Bar. We could sit on the leather sofas all day.

READ MORE

North London’s Gay and Gay Friendly Bars

South London’s Gay and Gay Friendly Bars

East London’s Gay and Gay Friendly Bars

West London’s Gay and Gay Friendly Bars

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