Explore Minneapolis Gay Bars, Clubs & More | Gayborhood
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TOP 15 gay hotspots to check out while in Minneapolis
Over the past years, Minneapolis has developed a strong reputation of being a queer-friendly city, supporting gay rights and same-sex marriage. A city that has constantly took it up a notch, Minneapolis was the first one to vote and accept gay and lesbian pastors and one of the few to introduce a student non-discrimination act to protect gay students from being bullied.
With a rich cultural landscape, a fertile art scene and a growing LGBTQ scene, it’s easy to see why Minneapolis has become a hot destination for gay travelers. Throw in hip shops, a mix of ethnic, and sophisticated cuisine, charming architecture, modern skyscrapers, and a thriving night scene and you got yourself a gay magnet city.
The Minneapolis queer scene is alive and constantly growing. You will not find a designated gayborhood, but most businesses have a “come as you are attitude” and will make you feel welcome. Gay nightlife is concentrated in Downtown Minneapolis, where you will find a handful of gay bars and clubs catering to every want. Whether it’s a classic diner, a hip lounge, a neighborhood institution or a hole-in-the-wall, there’s something for everyone in this mid-size city.
Art lovers will be thrilled to discover that Minneapolis has some of the best museums and theaters in North America. With the second most theater seats per capita in the nation, Minneapolis’ theater scene is internationally acclaimed and a must. So, whatever you do, make time to see a world-class theatrical production.
After you’ve indulged in art and culture, grab a bite at one of Minneapolis’ great ethnic restaurants and cafes. The night is young, so you’ve got plenty of time to enjoy a drink or two at a neighborhood bar before heading to The Famous Bras Rail to dance the night away.
If you are planning to visit Minneapolis, check Gayborhood’s guide for the best gay-friendly hangouts in the city where you can eat, drink, dance and have a good time.
The Lab Theater
The Lab Theater was built by the Guthrie Theater as a space for experimental and unique works. Staging numerous independent productions – ranging from theater productions, to concerts, cabaret and festivals – The Lab Theater has become a staple of Minneapolis’ cultural landscape. Located in the Warehouse district, The Lab Theater is a must for art and theater lovers.
Nestled in the Warehouse district, in a building resembling a modern art museum, Jetset can be easily missed. But, one you find it, you will discover a hip gay hotspot, with a sleek décor and a New York vibe. Perhaps the most sophisticated gay lunges in Minneapolis, Jetset draws an upscale clientele to its long and minimal interior.
The Famous Brass Rail
No visit to Minneapolis is complete without a stop at The Brass Rail. Well-known for the stiff drinks, relaxed vibe, and sexy mix of stripers, go-go boys, lesbians and straights, this grungy dive-bar undertook a serious facelift and was fully remodeled. The dark and sleazy joint was replaced with a sleek nightclub, featuring a VIP section, along with a wide selection of the best drinks around.
Billed as “Minneapolis premier gay nightclub since the 1920s”, Gay 90’s is arguably one of the most popular gay bars in town. Boasting three dance floors, two restaurants, eight bars – including a leather bar – male strippers and drag shows, there’s a taste for every want here. The club is packed during weekends with an eclectic clientele of gay, straights, lesbian, young, and olds.
Nested in the Mill District, just across the plaza from the Guthrie Theater, Spoonriver serves contemporary gourmet cuisine in a sleek and intimate ambiance. Its focus on locally produced ingredients and food baked from scratch with the freshest ingredient made Spoonriver a popular destination for gourmet travelers. The restaurant also features an extensive take-away deli case for riverside picnics or meals to go.
A Mill District newcomer, Aloft Hotel offers loft-inspired guest room just steps away from Minneapolis’ shops, restaurants, and main attractions. The rooms feature ultra-comfortable signature beds, oversized shower beds, and custom amenities, such as 42-inch flat-panel LCD TVs, coffee makers and high-speed Internet.
Bryant Lake Bowl & Theater
Located in Uptown Minneapolis, Bryant Lake Bowl & Theater, or BLB how the locals call is, is a bowling alley, restaurant, bar and 85-seat theater. The bowling alley features 8 new antique-style bowling lanes and is a great place to meet new people and mingle. The restaurant serves American comfort food, but the real star here isn’t the food, but the huge selection of bottled beers. One of the greatest additions of BLB is the small theater, a great venue for local theater productions, films, and festivals. It is a host of the annual Minnesota Fringe Festival.
For more than 35 years, The Saloon has been Minneapolis’ premiere going-out destination. The energizing atmosphere, hooping dance floors, good shows, nice music, and friendly staff are some of the many aspects that made The Saloon such a popular place. Check out their karaoke nights, amazing contest, exclusive shows, charity events, or renowned Saloon Pride Block Party.
Wilde Roast Café
Calling itself a “neighborhood restaurant with an updated Victorian feel”, the Wilde Roast Café is a gay-friendly restaurant best-known for the extensive menu and eclectic desserts. Check out their large selection of gelatos with flavors that can satisfy even the pickiest customer.
Located in the heart of Minneapolis, Hell’s Kitchen is best-known for its great food and cozy ambiance. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night drinks, the restaurant also offers live music most evenings plus a late night music program.
A friendly crowd of 30-something men gather at the EagleBoltBar for cheap drinks and unpretentious fun. But don’t let the name fool you, EagleBoltBar isn’t exclusively a beat/leather bar and everybody is welcomed here on weeknights. During the weekend, however, make sure to put your Levi’s and leather jacket, as the patrons tend to take the dress code pretty serious.
DreamHaven Books and Comics
DreamHaven specializes in new and used science fiction, fantasy, horror, film, comics, and graphic novels. Boasting an incredible collection of books and comics, DreamHaven is one of Minneapolis’ most popular independent bookstores.
From ready-made garments to made-to-order and made-to-measure clothing, Elsworth Mensware keeps the men in Minneapolis stylish and well dressed.
Billed as a “premium rotisserie”, Brasa takes inspiration in the diverse home cooking fund throughout North America, the Caribbean and South America. A local favorite, diners come here for the slow cooking style, the attention to fresh, locally produced ingredients, and the casual dining environment.
Muffin Top Café
Located on Nicollet Avenue, in downtown Minneapolis, Muffin Top Café serves a variety of fresh coffees, soups, sandwiches, salads, and expresso drinks in a relaxed, friendly, and accepting atmosphere. Cozy and intimate, this is a great place for gatherings, meetings or first dates.