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The best lesbian bars and event series in Los Angeles

Robyn Exton

May 18, 2023

The best lesbian bars and event series in Los Angeles
  • It’s a Friday night in Shane McCutcheon’s Los Angeles. I want to look hot and gay and go out with my friends without dealing with… well, cis, straight men. 

    Is that too much to ask? Sometimes, it feels like the answer is yes.

    Maybe we have to be ten times smarter than straight people to find our people. But we’ve always done it. 

    If you want to go out dancing, I know a place.  (Did you hear the drums? I bet you did. Alex — that’s lesbian Alexa — play “I Know a Place” by MUNA).

    There’s no shortage of bars for gay men in Los Angeles. But as many women and nonbinary people know well, these spaces are not immune from the transphobia, racism, and misogyny that are a harsh reality even in the LGBTQ community.  

    Women and gender-diverse folks have always had a harder time finding dedicated spaces to meet up, dance, and just exist. According to the Lesbian Bar Project, in the 1980s, there were hundreds of lesbian bars in the United States, but today, there are fewer than 30. 

    Los Angeles didn’t have a lesbian bar for ten years, since The Palms in West Hollywood closed in 2013. Without brick-and-mortar places to come together, organizers and activists have worked tirelessly to create events and meet-ups for the queer community. In February, two new locations opened in the city, The Ruby Fruit and Honey’s at Star Love. With the state of the hospitality industry in LA, their existence is still precarious — all the more reason to get out and support them. 

    Check out these bars, restaurants, and events in Los Angeles for lesbians, trans women, and nonbinary folks. 

    Lesbian bars you’ll want to be a regular at

    Honey’s at Star Love

    Source: Eater LA

    Located in East Hollywood, Honey’s at Star Love is sexy as hell. Hanging plants, bisexual lighting, feathered chandeliers, sapphic art — Honey’s scratches that maximalist itch. They also have a stacked events calendar and plenty of space for a dance floor makeout. 

    “I was shocked to learn how few brick and mortar nightlife spaces existed for us, specifically our vibrant AFAB, trans, and nonbinary community members,” Charlotte Gorden, co-founder of Honey’s, told Los Angeles Eater. 

    Their cocktails range from $14 to $16, as well as wine, beer, and nonalcoholic beverages. (I’m curious about mushroom beer. For $6?) They also have a happy hour from 7 pm to 8 pm with $7 beers, $10 well drinks, and a $4 pretzel. 

    Check them out on Western Avenue — Wednesday and Thursday, 7 pm to midnight, Friday and Saturday 7 pm to 2 am. 

    The Ruby Fruit

    Source: Eater LA

    The Ruby Fruit is another new lesbian bar in Los Angeles, located in Silver Lake. Since its opening in February, there’s been a huge amount of buzz around the restaurant — they got a write-up in The New York Times, and #therubyfruit already has over 40,000 videos on Tik Tok. 

    The Ruby Fruit is a natural wine bar. I’ve been to a handful of places like this in other cities, and the vibes are always sapphic as hell.  In the months since its opening, the restaurant often reaches capacity, with queers spilling onto the sidewalk of the strip mall. 

    This is a place for sapphics of all ages, great for a casual glass of wine after work or on a chill Saturday night. (They are closed Sundays and Mondays.) 

    A glass of wine ranges from $16 to $18, and they also sell beer, spirits, and non-alcoholic beverages.  They serve lunch Tuesday to Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm and dinner from 5 pm to 10 pm, 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. 

    Think fresh ingredients, familiar favorites, and plenty of vegetarian options, of course. 

    Lucky’s Lounge 

    This one is bittersweet, but I would be remiss to leave them off the list. Lucky’s Lounge opened in downtown Los Angeles in September 2022, set to become the only lesbian bar in the city since 2013. But they closed the very same month because so many showed up. 

    Source: Downtown LA

    What did we learn from this? We need more dedicated LGBTQIA+ spaces specifically for nonmen. 

    But keep them on your radar! If we’re lucky, we’ll be back together soon. 

    Events for queer women in Los Angeles 

    Cherry Bomb

    Source: The Cherry Bomb

    Following The Cherry Bomb’s newsletter and Instagram are the best ways to stay in the loop with lesbian, queer, trans, and nonbinary events and meetups in West Hollywood. Drag king brunch, beach meetups, DJ sets, and art shows. All of the events your sweet sapphic heart could imagine.

    They also have a community space on their website to find everything from dog trainers, doctors, artists, hair stylists, real estate agents, and more, so if you never want to pay a straight person to do anything for you ever again, Cherry Bomb is a good place to start. 


    At this point, Girlbar/AltarGirl is a part of lesbian lore, the cannon, and the culture. The dance events started in New York in the late 1980s and moved to Los Angeles in 1990, finding a home on Wednesday nights at the Chapel next door to the Abbey. 

    Source: Girlbar

    These nights inspired SheBar, the fictional lesbian nightclub in the “L Word” where Carmen would put on those low-rise jeans and headphones and make eyes at Shane all night. 

    Sometimes Girlbar is the chaotic queer energy we need, but it isn’t always the most inclusive space. It’s advertised as an “upscale nightclub” for “the sexiest clientele,” and sometimes I just don’t feel that hot? I don’t know. But if you want to dance all night, maybe next to Tom Sandoval and Raquel, live your L Word dream to the fullest. 


    Source: Taste

    Taste is a Black, queer-organized event series for women loving women around the country — Las Vegas, San Diego, and San Francisco. So, check them out y’all. 

    They host parties every month around Los Angeles. Tickets for their LA Pride weekend range from $25 to $50. The vibes are sexy, wild, and fun for women loving women who want to let loooooose

    Damn Good Dyke Nights

    Anna Goodman has been organizing queer events since 2016, now under Damn Good Dyke Nights. They have an Instagram to share monthly community events, including Open Dyke Night — karaoke every second Thursday of the month at Tramp Stamp Granny’s in Hollywood, Hidden Hearts — every last Thursday of the month at De Buena Planta in Silver Lake, HOT FLASH — a party for queer people over 30 who don’t want to scream over loud music, and Girls, Gays, & Theys, which started in December 2022. 

    Source: Damn Good Dyke Nights

    Queer Field Day

    Queer Field Day started in 2021 with three friends who wanted to make space for queer people to spend time together. Now two years in the making, they organize social events around Los Angeles including leagues, trivia, crafts, and a gay prom. 

    Source: Queer Field Day

    The best part about these events — everyone’s there to make friends! 

    It’s a lonely world to be queer. Finding safe spaces to connect, play, and dance has always been essential to our survival. While they are certainly few and far between, let these places fill you up with queer joy.  We deserve to be together. 

    Robyn Exton

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

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