Gay central London clubs and bars are found in an area that covers both gay Soho and the wider area of the gay West End, and you’ll find that our central London gay guide is constantly updated with all the venues in this area.
The neighbourhood features 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. This is a great area for a spot of shopping since many gay shops are located in Soho. Also this is the area where you´ll find more gay bars than you can shake your stick at!
The QX Gay Guide To Central London:
Updated January 2020
Check out our gay guide to Central London and you’ll see it is the biggest gay area in London, with its heart being Old Compton Street which we affectionately call Queer Street. Soho is a great area to do a gay bar crawl as it´s a very compact neighbourhood as it´s easy to walk. Once you’ve had your fill of bar crawling you can trot off to one of the best gay clubs Soho has to offer. At the end of the night, you can relax in one of the local gay saunas for some well-earned rest and recuperation, some of which are open 24/7. Check out our sauna guide.
Gay Central London Guide to Bars (Soho & West End)
The Apple Tree – 45 Mount Pleasant, London, WC1X 0AE
A traditional pub in Clerkenwell with a very queer twist. A safe space to go grab a drink with a few friends, with a chilled welcoming attitude. They play host to a range of fun queer-themed events.
Admiral Duncan – 54 Old Compton St., Soho, London, W1D 4UB
Landmark traditional gay pub slap bang in the middle of gay Soho. A friendly, eclectic clientele for uncomplicated drinkin’ and entertainment seven nights a week.
Comptons Of Soho – 52 Old Compton Street, Soho, London, W1D 6HJ
The Grand Dame of Old Compton Street, also known as Queer Street because it´s at the very heart of Gay Soho. 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.
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Duke Of Wellington – 77 Wardour Street, Soho, 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, Soho, 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, Soho, 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 in this pub 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, Soho, London, WC2A 7BA
This funky gay 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 LGBT+ crowd, chillin’ to indie and retro tunes.
Rupert Street – 50 Rupert St., Soho, London, W1D 7PW
This popular gay 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, Soho, 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, Soho, 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 (Soho & West End)
The following bars are open late, but watch out for Sundays when some venues tend to close earlier!
Circa Soho – 62 Frith Street, Soho, London, W1D 3JN
Cozy gay 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 gay 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.
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 gay 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. With a club downstairs.
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 Men Only Bars in Central London
Vault – 139 Whitfield Street, London, SW1W 0HH
A gay men only 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 Guide Central London Clubs
Circa: The Club – Hungerford House, Victoria Embankment, WC2N 6PA
London’s newest fabulous LGBTQ venue boasts a capacity of over 700, and an absolutely huge disco ball! Can’t go wrong with an absolutely huge disco ball! Just a sequin’s throw from the Thames, and stumbling distance from Charing Cross, Circa: The Club is a glittering example of the fact that London’s LGBTQ scene isn’t dead, or dying…she’s alive and kicking!What’s On
Club 49 – 49 Greek Street, Soho, 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 Club – 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 drag queens 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 (Soho & West End)
Covent Garden Health Spa – 29 Endell St., Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9BA
A sophisticated gay sauna and gay 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 Sauna – 1-2 Ramillies St., 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 Shops (Soho & West End)
Clone Zone – 35 Old Compton St., Soho, 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 Book Shop – 66 Marchmont Street, London, Bloomsbury, WC1N 1AB
Gay´s The Word is 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! We love this bookshop, and you can find out more about them, their shop, the books they sell and the people who like reading them, by visiting their Twitter account, so click here
Prowler Store – 5-7 Brewer Street, Soho, London, W1F 0RF
A great one stop gay 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.
Face Clinic London – 7 Silver Place, London, W1F 0JT
Take years off your mug at Face Clinic London, based in the heart of Soho. They offer all kinds of invigorating treatments; everything from dermal fillers to wrinkle treatment, chemical peels to a bit of microdermabrasion. All carried out by a team of professional and friendly doctors!