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Your guide to the best lesbian bars in London

Robyn Exton

Aug 12, 2022

Your guide to the best lesbian bars in London

A great lesbian bar is hard to come by these days. Once a staple in every major city, these bars are sadly now far and few between — but the party isn’t over just yet. A handful of lesbian bars around the world are still popping up, and London is one of them. Though the city only has one true lesbian-exclusive bar left, there’s still plenty of queer spaces that welcome lesbians. Many of these bars feature lesbian-friendly events, so there’s always something to explore in London’s best LGBTQ+ establishments 🌈✨.  

What makes a great lesbian bar? We’re pleased you asked. Great tunes are obviously a requirement, and we give bonus points if women or queer artists are played often. Our ideal lesbian bar has enough space to dance your heart out but also a cosier space where you can chat with friends or a new cutie.

Fun neons can often light up a lesbian bar or give it some extra ambience. Rainbow or orange, pink, and white flags deck the halls. Themed nights, like Royal Vauxhall Tavern’s Butch, Please! Or Village512’s Aphrodyki, cater to a lesbian crowd and are always a bonus. And finally, the establishment must be a safe space for women, trans and gender nonconforming people — that’s non-negotiable. 

From south to north, east to west, here are the best queer and lesbian bars London has to offer 🎉

SHE Soho is the place to be

Located at 23a Old Compton Street, SHE Soho is a chic club and the only full-time lesbian-run bar in London. 

The “women priority” venue is a safe space for queer women, nonbinary people, and their guests. You can regularly stop by for drinks and dancing to one of their featured women DJs, or visit on one of their special event nights, where you can find themed parties, sexy burlesque shows, or queer-friendly comedy — SHE does it all. 

Online reviews are quick to note the excellent music played in the venue, the welcoming environment, and that you might splurge on drinks — but it’ll be well worth it. 

Ku Bar and its sister venues never disappoint

Ku Group is made up of five of the best gay and lesbian bars around London — including SHE Soho — so you know you can find something no matter your flavour.

Ku Bar, the three-story venue at 30 Lisle Street, has history, as one of the first gay bars in Soho Central. Years later, it’s still a community favourite, and for a good reason. 

Head upstairs and you’ll hit Ku Lounge, a more intimate spot to chat with your friends or meet new ones. 

As the sun goes down, check out Klub, Ku’s bottom-floor, late-night venue playing your favourite pop hits. Good news: It stays open until 3 a.m. every day of the week. 

Little Ku, affectionately labelled the naughty sibling venue, is on 25 Frith St. Cabaret is commonplace at this location, and there’s even a special event where beloved performer Vicki Vivacious plays SPIN THE WHEEL, and bar-goers can win prizes all night long.

Queer-friendly events aren’t limited to SHE Soho, and with five stellar venues, there’s always plenty of them to go around. 

Check out Royal Vauxhall Tavern’s lesbian-friendly events

No list of lesbian bars in London could be complete without the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Its beautiful structure was built in 1865, and it has been revered as an LGBTQ+ cabaret venue since the 1980s.

Located at 372 Kennington Ln, this iconic venue and nightclub is a haven for all LGBTQ+ folks, but their lesbian-friendly events make them stand out from the rest. With a range of variety shows, queer entertainment is endless at RVT. 

Check out the monthly Butch, Please!, where butch women are encouraged to come party all night long. 

Stop by on a Thursday for “Bar Wotever,” an extravagant showcase of all things queer, from spoken word poetry to live music and cabaret. If you’re feeling bold enough, you can even step up to one of their open mic nights, where you’ll be met with an accepting and supportive crowd. 

“Fantastic cabaret shows. Wonderful lovely crowd. Really great place to celebrate how far the community has come to support each other”

One online reviewer

Dalston Superstore has it all

Is there anything gayer than a club that doubles as a gallery and cafe? We don’t think so. What we do know is that Dalston Superstore has no shortage of queer-friendly fun.

Gather with friends or meet new people in its community space, pick your poison in the cafe and bar, and then get hype in the club with live music and drag shows. 

Queer partygoers visiting lesbian bars in East London can vibe at the bimonthly Fèmmme Fraîche event, which invites femmes and butches alike to party to the trashiest pop and guilty pleasure music, or underground house and techno tunes — the choice is yours. 

Naturally, this party at London’s beloved queer bar and gallery will be full of other art forms too, shedding a spotlight on women and queer artists. As their website states, this party allows no bullshit, just dancing; that’s the sort of party we can get behind 😊.

“One of those cool places that define gay east London,” and visitors can expect to find “a lot of young gay people having fun here all day long or even on special nights.”

One online reviewer

Dance the night away at G-A-Y

The name says it all. This three-story bar at 30 Old Compton Street is a colourful spot for queers, filled with jukeboxes and live performances. 

While welcoming to all LGBTQ+ folks, G-A-Y has special spaces and nights just for lesbians and queer women to dance the night away — and we mean all night; they’re one of the only gay and lesbian bars in South London that offers a late license to party. We love to see it.  

Village512 has a can’t-miss event for queer people

This all-new gay and lesbian bar in East London is ready for you. 

At 512 Kingsland Rd, Village512 is a neon dream that feels seductive, creative, and intimate all at the same time. Head here for an after-party or make it the main event, and try some local brews or CBD-infused drinks while you’re at it. The bar turns into a nightclub with a late license until 6 a.m. 

You’re not going to want to miss Aphrodyki, the only Ancient Greek-themed party for lesbians, queer women, and trans and nonbinary babes in London. The event promises to feature the goddesses of RnB and Pop — say no more, we’re there. 

“Great new addition to the queer LGBTQ+ scene” with an “intimate atmosphere” that makes people of all identities feel safe and respected.

One online reviewer

Bring your gal pals to Lafayette

Lafayette is a hidden gold mine for London’s enthusiastic lesbian bar supporters. You can find it at 11 Goods Way (but once you do, you might never want to leave!) 

One reason the live music venue is in such high standing with the local queers is its Gal Pals event, a queer dance party specifically created to build a safe space for queer women and nb folks. 

You can expect to hear jams from your favourite women and queer artists, so bring your friends and get ready for a night to remember.

Express yourself at Freedom Bar

For something a little more stylish and sophisticated, head over to Freedom Bar at 66 Wardour Street. 

Feel free and empowered to try one of its two dance poles on the floor or simply have a chat over drinks in one of the bar’s plush and intimate booths

With events like “Kinky Kabaret” and “High on Heels,” the vibe and entertainment have made this a hotspot for gay and lesbian bargoers in London.

Online reviews praise the location’s great drink selection, accessibility, and friendly staff. 

The Common Press

The Common Press is a multidisciplinary experience like no other. This new, buzzy LGBTQ+ venue at 118 Bethnal Green Rd is made up of three spaces: a bookshop café, a multimedia events space, and a bar.

Led by Glass House Projects, this establishment welcomes London’s diverse creative and queer community.

Each location offers something unique to its patrons. The Commons is its intimate gathering space where artists can perform and connect with the community. The Common Press, the intersectional bookshop, highlights work from queer and marginalised communities. Lastly, Common Counter, the space’s bar (and soon-to-be restaurant) emphasises its sustainability-focused mission, with plenty of social events to get you back for more. 

Whether you’re having a chat over a cup of coffee or a cocktail, Glass House has a space for you to meet new folks, connect with your friends, and feel free to express yourself. 

Let loose at these queer and lesbian bars in London

The next time you’re looking for a night out on the town, be sure to check out one of these beloved establishments. 

Keep an eye out for the always-fresh rotation of queer-focused events many of these clubs offer. We hope to see you on the dance floor!

Robyn Exton

Robyn is the CEO & Founder of HER. Find her on Twitter.

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