Party the Night Away at Tampa's Top Gay-Friendly Clubs and Bars

Successfully finding a gay club in an unfamiliar city can be trying. That's why 10Best has sought out the top candidates in Tampa, detailing their clientele, music, and atmosphere. Many of the top options are located in Tampa's GaYBOR district, a section of historic Ybor City where many businesses friendly to the LGBT community are located. There are also a smattering of bars and lounges in other locations throughout the Tampa Bay area.

To tap into one of the most popular clubs in the area head to the Honey Pot. The spacious dance floor features a premium light show and sound system to strut your stuff. Featuring Steam Fridays with drag shows for the men and Tease Saturdays that cater to women, there is something for everyone. Frequently host to special events and great guest DJs.

If you're for somewhere a little more upscale and laid back, check out the City Side Lounge in South Tampa. Catering to a slightly older, professional crowd, City Side features a main bar, sports bar and outdoor patio area for lounging with modern and contemporary decor. There is also a games area with pool, darts and arcade games.


Southern Nights, formerly G-Bar, is a popular gay club in the heart of Tampa's Ybor City neighborhood. Catering to the full LGBT spectrum, each night features a rotating list of events including a lesbian night with burlesque show on Friday and a night for the men featuring drag performances on Saturdays. In addition, Tuesday's focus on the service industry, Wednesday's feature an amateur drag contest and Thursdays are college night. Each night features a variety of drink specials. The club has a dramatic, slightly posh atmosphere, complete with dazzling laser projections, plasma screens and a thumping top-notch sound system.

Recommended for Gay Clubs because: Southern Nights is Tampa's newest entrant into the gay bar scene offering popular themed events every night of the week.

Skye's expert tip: Arrive early to avoid cover charges and take advantage of drink specials.

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Located in Ybor City, Bradley's on 7th is a popular gay bar that has something going on every day of the week. The decor is uniquely rustic and features realistic-looking trees and a stream running down the length of the bar. Happy hour leads off each day with 2-4-1 drink specials through 7pm. On Thursday's Bradley's lets the amateurs show their stuff hosting a strip show for cash and prizes. Friday and Saturdays feature DJs, hot dancers and drag shows at 11:30 pm and 1:15 pm.

Recommended for Gay Clubs because: Bradley's on 7th is a well-established gay bar that offers strong drinks, hot dancers and friendly staff.

Skye's expert tip: Check out the great daily drink specials.

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The Body Shop Bear Bar
Photo courtesy of Skye Rodgers

Recently re-opened under new management, the Body Shop Bear Bar is a gay bar located in North Tampa. This is a friendly and comfortable neighborhood spot to relax and enjoy good company. There is a full bar and smoking is allowed. No food is served, but they do host a "Bear Buffet" with free pizza on Tuesdays. There are large screen TVs, pool tables and dart boards to keep you busy. Want to get outside and enjoy the weather? No problem, there is an outdoor patio featuring drink specials. Drinks are reasonably priced all the time, but you can get an even better deal during happy hour from 3-8pm daily.

Recommended for Gay Clubs because: The Body Shop is a gay bar located in North Tampa that offers patrons a friendly neighborhood feel.

Skye's expert tip: $3 Long Island Iced Tea every day, all day.

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Outside the city

If you're heading across the bridge from Tampa to St. Petersburg, you might want to check out Enigma while you're there. Located downtown in the Edge District, a vibrant and and eclectic historic neighborhood with a variety of dining, shops, and entertainment. The bar itself has an upscale feel while still offering reasonable prices and strong drinks. The staff are friendly and the place has a welcoming vibe. There is always something going whether it's a laid back night of pool and karaoke, or all dialed up with a DJ or drag show.

Recommended for Gay Clubs because: Enigma is an LGBT friendly bar and lounge in downtown St. Petersburg with upscale ambiance and friendly service.

Skye's expert tip: This is one of few spots in downtown St. Petersburg where parking is not a problem.

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Outside the city
Quench Lounge
Photo courtesy of Quench Lounge

Quench Lounge is a popular club located across the Howard-Franklin Bridge in Largo that bills itself as an "all-welcoming" LGTBQ bar although it serves a mainly gay clientele. Every night is a party at this friendly spot with a neighborhood vibe featuring karaoke, drag queen shows, game nights and guest DJs just to name a few. If you've ever wanted to be a drag queen, be sure to check out their amateur drag search events on Thursdays where you can win $100! This is a fairly upscale club but the drink prices that won't break the bank. Inside is smoke free, but outdoor smoking is allowed on the patio.

Recommended for Gay Clubs because: Quench Lounge is a friendly, neighborhood spot with themed parties every night of the week.

Skye's expert tip: Check out Half Price Happy Hour from open to 9 pm.

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Tampa's Reservoir Bar located in historic Ybor City bills itself as the the finest hole in the wall in town. Open to all, this fine dive bar serves both gay and straight clientele who are looking to do some serious drinking. The bar features a wide variety of specialty beer and some sinister concoctions brewed up by the friendly bartenders. Sit at the bar or strut your stuff playing bar games including darts, pool, and a few other drinking games. It's happy hour till 7pm every day and Saturday and Sunday drink specials feature fresh squeezed margaritas and homemade Bloody Marys for $4.00.

Recommended for Gay Clubs because: Tampa's Reservoir Bar is a popular gay friendly dive bar in Ybor City.

Skye's expert tip: Free pool during weekday happy hours.

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Hamburger Mary's is a bar and grille location in Tampa's Ybor City historic district. Every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night guests are treated to risque "HamBingo" hosted by some of Tampa's most popular drag queens with proceeds going to local charities. Friday and Saturday nights feature two drag shows each evening. As its name suggests, the menu features a good selection of specialty burgers as well as a variety of sandwiches, salads and appetizers. Located on the second floor overlooking busy 7th avenue, there is a nice size outdoor patio perfect for enjoying the weather and people watching.

Recommended for Gay Clubs because: Hamburger Mary's is a popular bar and grille in Ybor City famous for its drag queen bingo nights.

Skye's expert tip: Reservations are strongly recommended.

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Among the most entertaining gay bars in Tampa, Florida, this high-energy club is a sweet spot to shimmy like you mean it on an expansive dance floor bathed in flashing lights. After busting every move you've got, retreat to the balcony where danced-out clubbers sip cheap, tasty drinks and chat with the sociable staff. The Honey Pot also features Steam Fridays with phenomenal drag shows for men and Tease Saturdays with sensational specials for women including $1 drinks from 10 pm - 11 pm. There are also plenty of special events and guest DJs.

Recommended for Gay Clubs because: The Honey Pot is a well established and very popular gay dance club in Ybor City.

Skye's expert tip: This club is only open on weekends.

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The Castle
Photo courtesy of The Castle (Facebook)

This massive club has a different theme for nearly every night of the week, ranging from pop video night to goth or trance. There are 3 different areas for music, and 5 areas altogether to hang out, each offering something a little different and it's a good bet you'll leave having seen something completely new. Despite the alternative clientele, everyone in The Castle is friendly and welcoming. Because The Castle is so wide-ranging, it's a good idea to check their website before you go to see what you might be getting yourself into.

Recommended for Gay Clubs because: The Castle is a popular alternative and gay-friendly nightclub located in Ybor City.

Skye's expert tip: Due to the variety of clientele, check the website to see nightly events before you go.

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South Tampa

One of the most welcoming, laid-back gay clubs Tampa has to offer, City Side is located in trendy South Tampa. The lounge boasts friendly bartenders, fantastic (and long-lived) happy hours and a well-stocked game area. The venue holds 3 different bars; the main bar, a sports bar featuring lots of flat screen TVs, and patio bar that is only open weekends. As talented DJs spin Top 40 hits, patrons shake it on the dance floor or sip drinks under the stars on the outdoor patio. Visitors are also delighted by daily events like Fetish Friday, Throwback Thursday, Sunday Funday featuring drag queen bingo, Saturday and Wednesday feature karaoke, and Tuesday nights are game nights with free pool.

Recommended for Gay Clubs because: City Side Lounge is an upscale gay club and sports bar located in South Tampa.

Skye's expert tip: Parking can be an issue on the weekends.

Read more about City Side Lounge →


Meet Skye Rodgers

Skye is a freelance writer that adopted Tampa as her hometown over a decade ago and never looked back. As a native of Canada, Skye has happily embraced the no snow climate, and in her spare time...  More About Skye