Gay WEHO Guide 2020
Our insider Gay WEHO guide to the best places to play and stay in West Hollywood.
Santa Monica Boulevard leads you into West Hollywood, the thumping heart of Southern California’s gay community. LA’s Gay Pride Parade and Festival takes place here each June, and half a million people gather for the annual, much bedazzled, street parade Carnival at Halloween. The rest of the year, it’s busy day and night with cafés, gyms, restaurants, bars and dance clubs. It is truly a national phenomenon that so many gay establishments fill the streets of Weho and have been thriving there for so long.
A classic evening in gay WeHo might start over margaritas at Marix Tex-Mex Cafe, barely more than a covered patio but always a party. Looking for a cheap margarita? How about two? Fiesta Cantina, one of the Boystown strip’s most popular bars, has an amazing two-for-one happy hour special every day from 4-8 p.m. and then again from 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.!
Then amble down Santa Monica Boulevard. Dance fanatics head to Rage, Micky’s. Rage, typically catering to younger guys, loves to pack the dance floor with pop and other themed music nights. There’s a whole lotta dancing going on and you can eat there, too. Check out Musical Mondays (think “Hairspray,” “Grease” and “Chicago”), comedy and karaoke on Tuesdays, Drag Show Thursdays and Latin Saturdays.
Micky’s delivers more of a diverse crowd and a popular Top 40 soundtrack. There are plenty of places to eat, drink and dance to tunes from stellar DJs in this two-story club with a spacious patio. Another plus: Micky’s stays open until 4 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays; other nights until 2 a.m.
But why wait for Friday? Get your week off to a fun start by checking out Micky’s stand-up comedy hour on Mondays, hosted by Samantha Hale (no cover). The later show on Mondays is “Showgirls,” hosted by Raven, with music by Paulo Ramirez. There are lots of other daily specials, including Hotrod (lubin’ you up) Wednesdays and Launch Fridays (where the weekend takes off) – Top 40 downstairs and Hip Hop upstairs – with no cover until midnight.
Fubar is a little on the rowdy side, this watering hole is known for good music and good prospects for hooking up. You might see shirtless bartenders here, too. And you’ll see plenty of shirtless dancing at the Adonis Lounge show on Wednesdays and Sundays (featuring 20 ripped performers). Other nights feature comedy, karaoke and DJ Jonny McGovern.
You can always opt for the old favorite, drag queen bingo at Hamburger Mary’s. The crowd skews a bit older at Trunks sports bar, while Gold Coast or the Mother Lode are always reliable. Then there’s the Abbey, a rainbow world unto itself. It started as a simple coffee shop and has grown into an empire, sporting a Goth-gone-wild style as well as indoor and outdoor private cabanas. In 2016, The Abbey opened The Chapel bar, which hosts Salvation Saturdays, Back to the ’80s Mondays, Altar Girl Wednesdays and more.
Revolver is a video bar with a clubby vibe, flat-screen TVs and a great sound system. Oh, and a revolving (hence the name) door. It also boasts strippers, go-go dancers and shirtless bartenders (though maybe not all on the same night).
Show up on Flashback Saturdays for ’80s and ’90s dance music as well as video mashups. Down for some Trannyoke (karaoke with balls)? Stop in on Mondays and see “gender bending diva” Courtney Act hold court. Riffing on another meaning of “revolver,” the venue hosts Cocked and Loaded parties on Wednesdays, Big Gun Fridays, and other events.
There are at least a dozen other bars along the WeHo strip to lure you inside for a drink or a dance, so head out and explore!
If your shopping tendencies lean toward all things fashion, you can marvel at the design and clothing boutiques around the Pacific Design Center or the Beverly Center, as well as LA’s most famous shopping streets (Melrose Avenue, Beverly Boulevard and Robertson Boulevard)
North of Santa Monica Boulevard, the clubs and eateries of the Sunset Strip set the bar for the world. Koi, the Mondrian and Standard Hotels are good places to start. South of the boulevard, try exotic pizzettes at Taste, all-American fare lovingly prepared at Toast. Spago and Ivy are culinary institutions on the celebrity circuit and have stood the test of time in a city sees venues come and go each year.
Los Angeles has some of the finest hotels in the world. The city of West Hollywood is the most gay-friendly in all of Los Angeles and is easily walk-able. It pays to book early to get the best possible rates. Here are the hotels we recommend in WeHO, the gay epicentre of L.A.
This 5-star hotel is located on a residential street in Beverly Hills, within walking distance of Rodeo Drive. The hotel offers a rooftop pool, spa services and spacious guest rooms. Free WiFi
The Sunset Marquis Hotel Los Angeles is located in the heart of West Hollywood. Hidden away in a tree lined cul-de-sac, it is just steps from the famed sidewalks of the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood
Featuring a private rooftop with stunning views of Los Angeles, a saltwater pool & comfortable indoor/outdoor seating, this elegant 4-star hotel is close to Sunset Strip.
Discover an urban oasis at this luxury boutique hotel, located in the heart of West Hollywood city center. Enjoy elegant amenities & state-of-the-art facilities, seconds from the action