Gay Central London, known as ‘Soho’ or the ‘West End’, is the biggest area of them all, featuring a diverse range of businesses from traditional gay pubs with grand drag dames delivering glittering cabaret every night to more modern gay bar/club concepts.
Gay Central London Bars
Admiral Duncan – 54 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 4UB
Landmark traditional gay pub slap bang in the middle of queer street. A friendly, eclectic clientele for uncomplicated drinkin’ and entertainment seven nights a week.
Comptons Of Soho – 52 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 6HJ
The Grand Dame of Old Compton Street. This ever-busy drinking den has a cruisy downstairs with circular bar, plus a loungeier, grandiosely furnished upstairs. Great music, and they often show live rugby/ football matches for the butcher fellas.
Duke Of Wellington – 77 Wardour Street, London, W1V 3TH
A local pub right in the heart of the West End. This more traditional looking gay boozer boasts an eclectic and friendly clientele and is particularly busy at weekends.
Friendly Society – 79 Wardour Street, London, W1D 6QB
A discreet door hides a wonderful kitsch and kooky sub-surface bar where Barbarella meets Barbie. Friendly, fun and quirky.
G-A-Y Bar – 30 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 4UR
Soho’s palace of pop, which boasts three floors of purple-walled, pop tuneage beamed from loads of plasma screens. Scores of pretty young party things and endless cheap drinks promotions means you’re assured a fab night out.
Halfway II Heaven – 7 Duncannon Street, London, WC2N 4JF
A traditional gay boozer, with a friendly bunch of after work regulars and off-duty drag queens who are very welcoming to newcomers. Downstairs boasts regular cabaret and karaoke nights.
Kings Arms – 23 Poland Street, London, W1F 8QL
Long-serving, friendly and always popular drinking den for bears and their pals.
Ku Bar Soho, 25 Frith Street, London, WC2A 7BA
This funky bar is a pleasing plateau of comfy seats, plasma screens, great lighting and a diverse clientele. Not forgetting the hot boys behind the bar!
Light Lounge – 1 Newport Place, London, WC2H 7JR
A thoroughly cosmopolitan cocktail bar close to Chinatown, with a menu full of daring and inventive concoctions.
New Bloomsbury Set – 76b Marchmont Street, London, WC1N 1AG
A gorgeous spot for socializing nestled in the heart of bustling Bloomsbury. Pulling in a diverse mix of suave and sophisticated gays, from professionals to students, the cushioned cubby holes are great for big groups or an intimate date.
Retro Bar – 2 George Court, London, WC2H 6HH
A hidden gem that brings a slice of ‘Shoreditch cool’ to the West End. A laid-back, trendy but unpretentious crowd, chillin’ to indie and retro tunes.
Rupert Street – 50 Rupert Street, London, W1D 7PW
This popular bar has a sophisticated and stylish clientele, with live DJs playing to a packed-out venue at the weekend. A favourite pre-clubbing destination.
She Soho – 23a Old Compton Street, London, W1D 3BJ
London’s only lesbian bar, slapbang in the middle of Soho. A range of diverse nights, from karaoke to cabaret to resident DJs spinning hot tunes to an up-for-it dance floor.
Yard – 57 Rupert Street, London, W1D 7PL
A wonderful, relaxed venue with a gorge New York style loft-bar, Soho’s ONLY smoking balcony and courtyard, plus a bevy of beautiful boys, professional gayers and everyone in-between.
Gay Central London Late Bars
Circa – 62 Frith Street, London, W1D 3JN
Cozy club/bar off Soho Square, featuring super-friendly staff and a buzzing atmosphere. DJs play pop and clubbier beats, with a late license until 1am. Worth checking out for the amazing mirror-ball DJ booth alone!
City Of Quebec – 12 Old Quebec Street, London, W1H 7AH
This long-serving pub is a traditional boozer in every sense. Popular with a more mature gay crowd and their admirers, there’s quiz nights, karaoke, weekly Sunday and Monday night cabaret and a basement disco.
Freedom – 66 Wardour Street, London, W1F 0TA
A polysexual, two-floor bar that caters to many a well-heeled gayer and their sexually trendy hetro acquaintances. There’s also a glitzy disco downstairs with club nights, live performances and more.
Ku Bar Lisle Street – 30 Lisle Street, London, WC1D 5LB
A wonderful bar with a diverse crowd of party pumpin’ pretties. The Beautiful Bar Boys will have your mouths watering, but you can re-lubricate with plenty of excellent drinks offers.
Village – 81 Wardour Street, London, W1D 6QD
A three-floored wonder of stunning Sohoites enjoying chilled-out cocktails, and a Pandora’s box of poporama, karaoke nights, and weekend gogo boys.
Gay Central London Men Only Bars
Vault – 139 Whitfield Street, London, SW1W 0HH
A cruise bar where you can have drinks at the bar and unwind in front of the movie screens or wander the dark corridors and hidden vaults to discover secret treasures. There’s also themed nights of nudity and underwear-only.
Gay Central London Clubs
Club 49 – 49 Greek Street, London, W1D 4EG
A sexy Soho boutique lounge club, host to glam nights such as the eternally popular Room Service, every Thursday.
G-A-Y Late – 5 Goslett Yard, Soho, London, WC2H 0EA
The late night version of its Old Compton Street sister, which sticks to the winning formula of top pop, plasmas screens, hot boys and flirty girls – but continues until the early hours of the morning!
Heaven – Under The Arches, Villiers Street, London, WC2N 6NG
Probably the most famous gay disco on Earth! Boasting five rooms of sounds, this legendary venue caters to a wild mix, from polysexual and studenty crowds to mad trannies and muscle boys, with plenty of special events and wild parties, including G-A-Y every Thursday (Porn Idol), Friday (Camp Attack), pop artists perform live or regular themes every Saturday, and dance night Popcorn every Monday. Playing the best in pop, dance, R&B and anything you can shimmy to.
Gay Central London Saunas
The Stable – 29 Endell Street, London, WC2H 9BA
A sophisticated sauna and bar for boozing and cruising. Includes spa, sauna, steam room, cabins, video lounge and massage services, in a discreet location in the bustling Covent Garden, just a hop, skip and a jump away from Soho. A perfect way to release some after work tension.
Sweatbox – 1-2 Ramillies Street, London, W1F 7LN
A sauna, gym and emporium of spa therapies and massages all under one roof, this ultra modern, men-only space also holds regular club events such as foam parties, with 1-day and weekend passes, plus monthly and annual memberships available. Open until 2am weeknights and 24 hours over the weekend.
Gay Central London Shops
Clone Zone – 35 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 5JX
A gay man’s shopping paradise, featuring DVDs, toys, clothes, underwear, books, magazines and more. Plus, head to the basement downstairs for a feast of strictly adults-only goodies, such as porn, DVDs, dildos, plus fetish/ bondage gear.
Gay’s The Word – 66 Marchmont Street, London, Bloomsbury, WC1N 1AB
Not just the UK’s only gay bookshop, it’s also a wonderful resource of gay literature and information, from serious to camp. There are also regular readings, meetings and a real community vibe. A little walk from Soho but worth it!
Prowler – 5-7 Brewer Street, W1F 0RF
A great one stop shop for your every gay need; ranging from toys to clothes, books to DVDs and a dedicated section for porn, Prowler have got it all! Located in the heart of Soho, Prowler offers a comfortable, easy shopping space with friendly staff on hand to ensure you find exactly what you need.