I recently had a friend visit London who wanted to check out the gay bars in Soho. Because it was his first time in London I was keen to show him the best Soho had to offer. Being a Wednesday I figured the bars would be half empty, that was not the case. As we embarked on our mini bar crawl he was overwhelmed by the choices and how buzzing the Gay bars in London were. Nothing like his home town Austen, Texas.
The Yard Bar
Arranged over two floors The Yard Bar is known for its fantastic courtyard. Decorated with eclectic furniture, large ornaments and various types of lighting, the atmosphere is vibrant and buzzing.
Upstairs has a large indoor area and a small terrace that looks onto the courtyard. Downstairs there’s a small amount of indoor space but the courtyard is where everyone converges. The crowd is mostly gay guys in their 20s and 30s.
57 Rupert St, Soho, London, W1D 7PL
Rupert Street Bar
Rupert Street Bar is a favourite with smartly dressed, professional gay guys of all ages. The barmen are friendly and efficient. There is a large drinks menu and a flavourful cocktail list.
The bar has a large open plan space and chic décor. Plenty of seating along the large wrap-around windows makes Rupert Street a perfect place to catch up with friends and people watch.
50 Rupert St, Soho, London W1D 6DR
The Duke of Wellington
Affectionately known as ‘the Welly’ the crowd here is friendly, unpretentious and usually bearded. The space outside, around the bar and along the street, can get very crowded on the weekend due to its popularity.
The Duke of Wellington has traditional British pub decor and is arranged over two floors. There is plenty of seating upstairs including a space that can be reserved for bookings and special occasions. Downstairs is mostly standing and has a DJ on the weekends.
77 Wardour St, Soho, London, W1D 6QA
Village Bar Soho
Located in the heart of Gay Soho, you won’t miss Village Bar when doing a pub crawl. There are two bar areas on the ground floor and a quiet space upstairs where you can escape for a chat.
The crowd is younger and made up of gay guys and some straight women. Depending on when you go there’s a chance you’ll catch the handsome GoGo dancers strutting their stuff on the podium or bar.
81 Wardour St, Soho, London, W1D 6QD
Comptons of Soho
Comptons of Soho is a large Victorian Pub arranged over two floors with great features, a grand staircase and lots of charm. Popular with gay guys in their 30s and above, this is a great place to go with friends or alone.
Upstairs there’s generous seating and a great ambience thanks to its décor. Downstairs is mostly standing with some seating and has a cruiser feel.
51-53 Old Compton St, Soho, London, W1D 6HN
Admiral Duncan has the feel of a traditional Birtish boozer. The pub is located on Old Compton Street, London’s home to bars, restaurants and businesses popular with the LGBT community.
The intimate space makes for a place that’s flirty, friendly and sociable. The patrons are mostly gay men in their 30s and beyond and up for a good time. The Cabaret and Drag shows are a lot of fun and take place most days.
54 Old Compton St, Soho, London, W1D 4UB
G-A-Y is one of the largest venues in Soho. The bar is arranged over three levels with minimal seating and decor. However, this is of no issue to the crowd. Venture upstairs and you’ll see a dance floor packed with people dancing and singing like they own the dance floor. The atmosphere is lively and vibrant.
G-A-Y attracts a spectrum of revellers from the LGBT+ community as well as a sizeable amount of straight women.
34 Old Compton St, Soho, London, W1D 4UR
Ku Bar is a Central London based venue located close to the other gay bars in the Soho area. The bar attracts a younger crowd from the LGBT+ community.
The decor is modern, sleek and colourful. Arranged over three floors there’s a chilled space upstairs and a club downstairs. The up-tempo music, together with the happy hour, gets the patrons dancing until the early hours.
30 Lisle St, London WC2H 7BA
Circa is a short walk from the other gay bars in Soho and popular with uber-cool gay guys in their 20s and 30s. The bar can get very busy on weekends, which sometimes means queuing.
The decor is glam chic, there’s a DJ booth in the shape of a disco ball. The atmosphere here is up beat and one of the gay bars in Soho that gets the crowd up on their feet and dancing.
62 Firth St, Soho, London, W1D 3JN
Kings Arms London
Kings Arms is a centrally located London pub and a five-minute walk from the hub of other gay bars in Soho. Traditional décor and regular (mostly gay) clientele create the feeling of visiting your local pub, which makes for a refreshing change in this part of London. The karaoke on Sundays is particularly fun.
The Kings Arms serves a range of drinks, from cocktails to Ales and attracts a friendly bearish crowd and their admirers.
23 Poland St, Soho, London, W1F 8QJ