Tom's Leather Bar
Foto: Alejandra Carbajal

The best gay bars in Mexico City

There’s fun to be had any night of the week at the best gay bars in Mexico City.

Escrito por
Alberto Cervantes
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The untamed nightlife of CDMX is legendary and it extends (of course) to the best gay bars in Mexico City. As the pulsing epicenter of the country, Mexico City is where you can catch a drag show, hit up a lesbian bar or dance the night away to a mix of reggaeton, banda, cumbia and more (there's a dance floor for every type of queer). 

In this list of unmissable gay clubs, you'll find everything from the classic Tom’s Leather Bar – a daring and exhibitionist option since the 1990s – and Zona Rosa’s preppy club, Kinky, complete with gogos and strippers to the classic La Purísima, named on multiple occasions as one of the local LGBTQ community’s favourite hangouts and even a couple spots where straight folks are welcome too. 

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Best gay bars in Mexico City

The policy here is keep it simple. A lax door policy and a noble cover of 50 MXN grants you access to the ultra-wide dance club decorated with pink neons and hardwood floors. They play top 40 music videos, have unicorns on the walls, and play reggeaton with pop hits mixed in—hip-shaking encouraged. Although, from time to time they’ll play more obscure hits much to the chagrin of the millennial crowd. Baby can be summed up easily, cheap and refreshing. The staff is friendly, and the spot isn’t ostentatious.

Tom's is located through a non-assuming door on Insurgentes Avenue, just before Michoacán street. For many, this spot is well-known but, for the younger crowd (24 and under), it might look like a northern Mexican cantina because of the double doors at the entrance. Everything is fair game here: drinks, fun, hookups, porn, and even sex. How, you say? Because you absolutely must traverse their famous 'dark room' to get to the bathroom. There’s no other way. So, let that serve as a warning (or an incentive) that you will end up in the dark at some point or another during your time here.

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The old El Otro Río Bar has been renovated and renamed, El Pecado. You'll be greeted by drag queens and dancing at the bar to the left, but there is anothe bar and high-tops in the back if you want to rest and grab a drink. There's a small stage where drag queens invite patrons up to dance to hits like Katy Perry’s 'Hot and Cold' but expect the stage to get more and more muscular as the night goes on. 

La Purísima could be the disco version of Marrakech Salón – just much wider, darker, and designed especially for dancing and making out under strobe lights. Before entering, a spectacular phrase framed in lights welcomes you with the only entry requirement: 'Pare de Sufrir!!' (Stop suffering). The walls are black with crimson highlights and pictures that are far more pornographic than pure. There are also tables and armchairs along with a stage for the muscle-bound strippers to grind on. 

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This kitsch-retro cabaret/gallery is responsible for turning the República de Cuba street in the Historic City Center into an alternative to the usually poppin’ Zona Rosa LGBT neighborhood. And this alternative is legit. Even though you’ll still catch them playing Katy Perry and the pink overload is in full effect, you’ll also hear them blasting Radiohead and The Pixies throughout the night. Unlike many gay clubs in Mexico City, Marrakech Salón doesn’t play into the typical gay stereotypes that have plagued Mexico for so long. Here, the idea is to have fun and be able to laugh at oneself – something that’s not all the common in the LGBT community. 

When the PERRA bar closed at the end of 2016, it temporarily moved to a room in the Teatro Garibaldi. After a few events, problems arose with the organizers and they decided to part ways. This is how Divina was born. They share an entrance with Teatro Garibaldi, although Divina has a much larger space with two stages for dancers or brave souls who wish to moonlight as such. In the main bar downstairs, they keep it simple: vodka, brandy and beer. The music ranges from electropop to the most intense reggeaton and the versatility is what makes it fun. 

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This spot is located in the former home of a Zona Rosa icon, Lipstick, but that's where the similarities betwen the two spots end. Kinky Bar is divided into two areas: One area is set with stages and tables and it’s decorated with tongue-in-cheek versions of the classic Mexican game, Lotería. The other half of the room is surrounded by glass walls and has a small, cute karaoke setup reminiscent of a cabaret. The music is predictable but, good, with dance hits in English and Spanish mixed in with indispensable classics. 

Whether you’re a bear or a bear-lover, this Londres Street spot in the Zona Rosa is for you. It’s essentially a cave-like long corridor adorned with pictures of beefy men that get progressively deeper and deeper, although not necessarily more sultry. The music of choice is Spanish and English pop hits and beers run around 30 MXN. This place is famous for its karaoke nights on Fridays: Expect big burly man singing Paquita la del Barrio hits. 

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Formerly known as Roshell's Place, this club offers lockers and dressing rooms, so you can put away your usual grey business suit and walk around in that irresistible dress rocking those high heels. The staff here is super friendly and approachable. They’re even trained to help you with your makeup in case you’re not really sure how to apply that eyeliner pencil just yet. They also host comedy night in the main hall, which is slightly reminiscent of a David Lynch movie only it's also a very Mexican cabaret at the same time. It might go without saying but… everyone is welcome here. Even straight folk.

Sodome is as place where men walk around in sandals and a towel and that’s it. Well, sometimes not even that, to be honest. Be aware that not everything can be controlled when dozens of naked gay men are walking from the steam room to the dark labyrinth upstairs. However, the vibe here is very chill, almost hippie. Sodome is always a great option for a night out: With DJ boiler room sessions in the lobby and monthly themed parties on the final Friday of each month. 

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