Boston’s acceptance of sexuality (of any orientation) has come a long way since the Puritans founded the city in 1630. Massachusetts was the first state to recognize gay marriage — a full decade before the country as a whole did — and its capital city quite fittingly has a host of bars catering to the LGBT community.
Whether you're seeking a low-key dive bar or an in-your-face cocktail bar with drag brunches, these six LGBT-friendly bars and clubs in Boston will make you feel right at home.
For the Cocktails: Trophy Room
Drag brunches and regular screenings of RuPaul make visiting Trophy Room in the South End a weekly occurrence for some Bostonians — especially those looking for more than just a standard drink. Here, bartenders serve 13 signature craft cocktails with a heavy pour. Order the namesake Trophy Husband: a smooth blend of Grey Goose cherry noir vodka, ginger liqueur, and lemon juice.
For the Dancing: Club Cafe
Club Cafe, also in the South End, has been a mainstay in the Boston nightlife scene since 1982. On weekends, it’s the city’s top spot for dancing. They blast hits and remixes as revelers bust moves under an oversized disco ball.
For the Sing-along: DBar
Dorchester’s DBar is a contemporary American restaurant by day, and a dance party by night, when the sleek leather banquettes transition to cozy lounge areas. Go on Tuesdays for dinner and cocktails before a DJ arrives to play songs from musicals (the classics, of course, but also new hits) as the crowd sings along to the music videos shown on television screens.
For the Sports Fan: Cathedral Station
The only gay sports bar in Boston, Cathedral Station shows all the major games indoors on big screen TVs. Root for the home team (or risk some dirty looks) with a cocktail or beer in hand. Not into spectator sports? Try your hand at darts and pool before heading outside to the relaxed patio area.
For the Beer: The Alley
After major renovations in 2015 and 2016, The Alley is once again one of Boston’s most happening gay bars, now with an updated dance area and LED lighting. Come fall 2017, expect a new kitchen and bar menu as well. Until then, swing by for the 20-beer draft list of mostly local brews and the friendly atmosphere.
For the Dive Bar: The Eagle
The Eagle on Tremont Street is exactly what you’d expect from a long-popular gay dive bar: a pool table and juke box, a mixed crowd, and affordable, strong drinks. There’s nothing pretentious about it — but that’s the whole point.