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Top 15+ terrific gay hotspots in up-and-coming Raleigh
Lively, culturally diverse and aware, Raleigh is probably the best, most fun city from the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Triangle. Home to nearly 100,000 college students, Raleigh is well-known for its bustling cosmopolitan vibe and thriving cultural and entrainment scene.
Considered one of the country’s best up-and-coming LGBT cities, Raleigh is a terrific destination for the gay traveler interested in arts, festivals, sports, and food. From countless gay hot spots and gay-friendly nightclubs to historical sites, shopping and delicious bites, there are plenty of things to do and see in gay Raleigh. Although there doesn’t seem to be any particular gay neighborhood, much of the action takes place in Warehouse District. Here, you will find many hip lounges and restaurants, cozy bars and bustling nightclubs.
Famous for its world-class museum, live concerts, festivals, and best of Broadway plays, Raleigh is an excellent destination for art lovers and not only.
Foodies will find a variety of restaurants, serving anything from America’s best comfort foods to creative international fares.
Whether you are looking for an affordable entertainment hub, for cultural diversity, or for a blooming business center, look no further than Raleigh.
OutRaleigh is Raleigh’s pride festival, celebrating the LGBT community and trying to bring awareness to the importance of creating a sense of inclusiveness in our community and beyond. OutRaleigh takes place May 2 and boasts live music, DJs, food, and different events taking place all over the city.
Legends Nightclub Complex
Despite its reputation as a gay hotspot, Legends Nightclub welcomes everybody, regardless of their sexual orientation. Featuring a video lounge, a dedicated game room, a performance theater, a patio, and the best female impersonators, Legends is a bastion of fun. Whether it’s a game night or a drag show, there’s usually something for everyone here.
One of the most popular gay bars in Raleigh offers the best entertainment in town. Reasonably priced with a laid-back “come as you are” attitude, Flex is a great option for anyone looking for a good time. Trailer Park Prize Thursdays, drag queen shows, and video show tunes are some of the events that make Flex such a lively place.
A neighborhood institution, The Borough is well-known for its superior homemade appetizers and signature sandwiches. The welcoming ambiance, cleverly named menu items, excellent beer list, and friendly staff draws in a diverse crowd of gays, straights, young, and olds. There is plenty of eye candy to peek at while munching your sandwich.
Humble Pie Raleigh
Nestled in Raleigh’s warehouse and arts district, Humble boasts an eclectic menu in a hip ambiance set by the warehouse design. Featuring an patio/tiki bar, Humble Pie is a top spot before hitting the clubs.
The Pit Authentic BBQ
Raleigh is world-renowned for the historic neighborhoods, vibrant culture and thriving cosmopolitan life. To add to the experience, Raleigh is also a heaven for foodies, featuring a variety of restaurants and one-of-a-kind foods. The Pit Authentic BBQ continues the tradition by serving probably the best whole-hog, pit-cooked barbeque in the area. A celebration of all of the great culinary offerings of the Old North State, The Pit has made a name for itself as the destination for the state's signature cuisine.
Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel
Conveniently located, just steps away from the hustling of downtown Raleigh, Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel is a popular lodging among gay travelers. One of the best hotels in the area, its reputation stands in distinctive style and unparalleled service.
From furniture and holiday decoration to gifts and jewelry, Morgan Imports is an eclectic and surprising shopping destination.
NOFO @ the Pig
NOFO stand for North Fourth, and it was a shop first opened in 1997 on North Fourth Street. In 2001, the store moved and NOFO @ the Pig opened in Raleigh’s business district. NOFO @ the Pig is a popular grocery store featuring a gift store, a café, and a food market.
The Busy Bee Raleigh
The Busy Bee has a history that goes back more than 100 years. Originally opened in 1913, the café had a varied menu, including fish, oyster, and steak. There was also a private dining room for women. The café closed in 1925 and the space was occupied by a number of businesses, but it reopened in the late 1960s. Still standing and still functioning, The Busy Bee hasn’t lost its edge and continues to be a popular dining option.
A chic and relaxed ambiance reigns supreme at FIFTEEN, Raleigh's newest LGBT bar and lounge. Head here to meet with friends and sip some of the season’s finest beers, wines, and cocktails.
Uncorked: Retail Wine & Tasting Shop
Boosting an excellent selection of 18 wines, Uncorked is a connoisseur’s heaven. To add to the experience, Uncorked also offers a well-rounded food menu and craft beer.
When straight, gays and lesbians, club kids, and fashionistas gather under the same roof, you know you’ve come to the right place. The Pinhook is Durham’s premiere venue for live music, dance parties, basic chilling, and collaborative/creative events. Cheap beer, good music, and a friendly crowd guarantee a good night start.
The Green Monkey
Billed as a “shopping experience that welcomes people of all faiths”, The Green Monkey is a small, but intriguing store. Besides regular food and drinks, the Green Monkey also offers everything from t-shirts, jewelry, greeting cards, magnets, and stickers to home accessories, pet accessories, and novelties.
Originally founded in 1904, Hamlin Drug Company is the oldest African-American-owned pharmacy in the nation. Nestled in downtown Raleigh, Hamlin Drug is a well-known African-American North Carolina staple.
Bella Monica is a family-run trattoria with a reputation of serving the best cannoli in town. Elegant, but cozy, and showcasing local art, this is a great place for a special diner.