The best of Beijing's LGBT nights

Our roundup of the capital’s coolest queer nightlife

We're here, we're queer and we're ready to party. If this sounds like you or someone you'd like to boogie with, read on for our roundup of the best LGBT nights in Beijing.

Bars and clubs



From its larger-than-life owner Mondo Wong to its garish interior, Adam’s is the gay bar Beijing has always needed, replete with strippers’ pole, twink barmen, ropily muscled dancers and outrageous drag queens. How this flaming watering hole has endured amid the cutthroat competition in Sanlitun remains a secret that Wong ain’t telling, but, if you don’t take yourself too seriously, this is the kind of place you can wander into any day of the week and make a friend.



Into its second decade, the only dedicated gay club in town continues to lead the pack and is even muscling in on the pre-club drinking action with its slick tie-in bar Des Link. Entry is still free after 3am, the owners still discreetly support good gay social causes, and the place still heaves after midnight on weekends. Floor shows range from international gogo line-ups to celebrity DJs (Nina Flowers, of RuPaul’s Drag Race fame, was a recent headliner). The BOGOF happy hour from 9-10 PM on Sundays and Thursdays makes this one of the few clubs in town that gets a decent midweek showing. Gay clubs come and go in Beijing, but there’s only one Destination.

Kai Bar

Rumours of Kai’s demise, another victim of the April bulldozing of Bar Street, were, it turns out, exaggerated. Insider sources claim that Kai’s doors will remain open, news that will no doubt be deafening music to the ears of this institution’s legion of longtime fans. A shadowy interior, bargain prices (10RMB beers and shots) and a tinnitus-inducing sound system hearken back to a simpler time, welcoming all comers from underage embassy twinks to venerable old-timers. We hope it can hang on, even as our beloved dives surrounding it fall beneath the sanitising scythe of Beijing’s latest urban regeneration drive. Keep up to date with all the bricking-up nonsense at our blog page.

Red Dog

Queer Picture Resized

The most recent addition to the capital’s LGBT drinking circuit, Red Dog isn’t a gay bar per se, but tall, immaculately dressed Wuhan-born manager Kangyin – Jack to his friends – is going all out to guarantee a safe, friendly space for queer patrons. This boho hangout, tucked beneath a flight of stairs in Sanlitun Soho, attracts a discreet late-night crowd of serious drinkers. Aiming high in terms of quality and service, Red Dog warrants a splurge – expertly mixed classic and seasonal cocktails average 70RMB a pop. Consequently, this is less a pre-club charging station and more a place to treat your besties to an indulgent, languorous evening’s repartee.

The Rabbit

Situated just across from Q Mex in Sanlitun’s Courtyard 4 complex, this upstart, neon-illuminated partnership with gay dating app Aloha is a new kid on a well-populated block. Designed with old-school punters in mind – a lot of tables for groups, low music – there are a few nods to innovation: the ironclad smoking ban and all-gender toilets are a welcome addition, as is the Monday to Thursday 8-10pm happy hour, when cocktails can be had for 40RMB.

Theme nights



Once the new kid on the block, GLAM (Good-looking Asian Male), held every Thursday night in the slick Long Jing cocktail bar, is now one of the capital’s longest-running gay socials. Pitched at the young professional crowd (cocktails average 70RMB), the two-for-one offer on all drinks helps pull in ’mos from all walks of life. Host Marlon Ma reliably draws in a sharp-looking crowd of LGBT embassy workers, financiers, hoteliers and college professors, who have turned GLAM into the rhinestone-bedecked queen of Thursday nights.

Long Jing. Glam open 9pm-2am Thursdays only.

GLIFAA Happy Hour

Long ago broadened out to include more than just diplomats and their partners, GLIFAA, led by US Embassy power couple Ravi and Claudiu Buck, runs a popular monthly get-together at a new, gay-friendly venue each month, allowing the capital’s queers to identify likely new drinking holes while also meeting new people in an informal setting the second Thursday of every month. Hob-nobbing is fuelled by BOGOF deals on suitably high-end beverages. Determined LGBT networker? Look no further!

GLIFAA Happy Hour, locations vary. Open 7pm-late, second Thursday of every month. For details, and to join the WeChat group, email

Les Booze

les booze

Diversity, thy name is Les Booze! This night is still the go-to social for les, bi and trans ladies looking to mingle every first Friday and third Saturday of the month. The cosy courtyard location is perfect in all weathers, and in the summer the party regularly spills out into the park opposite. Tsingtao and Tiger are 15RMB, margaritas 30RMB and mojitos 40RMB, enthusiastically served by Chill Bar’s delightful crew of bartenders.

Chill Bar. Les Booze open 9am-late, first Friday and third Saturday of every month.


Two Cities

Fine Taiwanese leaf teas (starting from 60RMB a pot), top-end gourmet organic drip-brewed coffees and one of the airiest, creamiest cheesecakes in town, this café and art space is a great place to sink into a plush sofa and tap out that coming-out story you always wanted to. Pick up knick-knacks ranging from ethically-produced baijiu to keyrings, with many of the proceeds going to support LGBT causes in the Chinese diaspora. There’s a reason Two Cities has endured so long.

Pop-Up Beijing

This Time Out favourite furniture store-turned-social hub has a little bit of everything, but its all-day Thursday happy hours and old Hollywood classic film screenings (where else in Beijing will you get your Gloria Swanson fix?) that draw in the rainbow crowd. Join some of Beijing’s most gloriously hip culture vultures, sip truly excellent wines and make acerbic comments from immaculately restored soft furnishings in a space decked out like Bette Davis’ walk-in wardrobe.

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