Sexy pool parties with locally-brewed blond beer. A stripper dressed as an alien going full monty. Simply a coffee, a comfy chair and some eye-candy.
Whatever you’re looking for in a gay bar, Buenos Aires is sure to have it. Known for years as the gay capital of Latin America, the city is famously welcoming to LGBT people from around the world.
Maps and guidebooks showing off the homosexual side of Buenos Aires can be picked up at most gay-friendly locations, such as the Axel Hotel or El Lugar Gay. Tours highlighting the city’s active gay bar scene can be found either through this literature, or just from chatting with local bartenders and hotel managers.
There are hopping dance clubs like Glam, with tight security and beautiful people. Then there’s Bach Bar – the city’s oldest gay bar – a lesbian bar that has been an icon in Buenos Aires for about 20 years. With so many to sample, the Indy stepped out to bring you this week’s Top 5 of some of the best gay bars in town.
For those wanting a good overall experience, Sitges is the place to go. Now 15 years old, the second-oldest gay bar in town doesn’t look its age.
The magic is in the details. Classy, modern light fixtures cast a warm glow, while flat screen televisions give off cool rays. The black-and-white polkadot walls stand as a good canvas for the blue and green pot lights to decorate.
The service here is great. The bartenders work together like the Borg on a drink-making mission. Well-dressed and professional, they move in unison to prepare pricey but fancy beverages and move them to customers in reasonable time.
The rooms are filled mostly with men, but there are women at Sitges too. There is usually a cover charge, but you get what you pay for.
Wednesday night includes free pizza with a show after 1am. Thursdays offer two-for-one on drinks until 1am, while Fridays’ cover charge pays for the open bar. Saturdays have a dance party with performances, and Sundays are famous for their karaoke and “telegram” chat ups.
Sitges opens Wednesday-Sunday from 11pm. Av. Córdoba 4119, sitgesonline.com.ar
KM Zero claim to host “The Hottest Night in Buenos Aires”, and their Monday night stripper night is certainly not for the faint of heart (or skin). The only place where you might find more fun this early in the week is in San Francisco’s Castro district.
As you walk down to the basement, you first see the long bar. Blue lights brighten the black walls, and a slightly dark and dingy atmosphere lingers – it’s the kind of place where anything could happen.
Leather couches sit in-front of the stage where the shows take place and tables are arranged behind the couches cafeteria-style, allowing people – including the strippers – to move easily between them.
The staff are friendly and welcoming, and the shows are interesting to say the least. From strippers both dressed and undressing as aliens, to a tequila contest that involves licking salt from a stripper’s belly, the things that happen at this bar promise to be too much for an even slightly prudish person.
Like Sitges, KM Zero draws a lot of men, but women are also welcome. Besides the Monday stripper night, a variety of shows take place on every night of the week. Drinks hover around the $30 mark, with many cocktails coming in at $28.
KM Zero opens everyday from 11:30pm, except Wednesday when it opens at 12:30pm. Santa Fe 2516, kmzero.com.ar
Pride Café, as you can tell from the name, is far more café than bar. That said, it sells alcohol and it’s a lovely place – warm and welcoming, with a serene atmosphere.
On arrival, you can choose between the sunny patio on the corner or the cool comfy seats indoors.Outside, the neighbouring trees lend a touch of greenery, and inside, the white walls are decorated with modern art. The occasional rainbow adds a spot of colour, too.
It’s a relaxed location, and the speed of service is comparable to most cafés in town. You should probably give yourself (and your partner) at least an hour to unwind and enjoy the day. The coffee is delightful and, although $13 might seem a little steep for a café con leche, the quality is high and the mug comes more like a bowl.
The chocotorta is also highly recommended. The layered cake with mousse is rich, but not too sweet and, topped with cinnamon, it’s the perfect Sunday afternoon treat to share with a lover.
The café is open from 11am-8pm Mondays to Saturdays, and from 10am-8pm Sundays, and all genders are welcome.
Pride Café opens every day from 11-8pm except Sunday, when it opens at 10am. For more information, click here.
Flux is a nice, discreet place for those who need a quieter moment. Like KM Zero, you enter by walking downstairs into a basement. There, the lights are dim, and the interior is inventive.
There’s a giant Indian wall hanging that sits beside photos of “Flux” tattoos adorning men’s bodies. The bar is filled with shabby chic couches and chairs, providing a lot of canoodling space, and the music won’t draw your attention from your date. The bathroom stalls don’t all have doors or lights, but are clean.
If you’d like a menu, you’ll be handed a record – that’s right, an old-school black record – that has the drink and food lists pasted on the back of the cover and on the record itself.
There isn’t always a cover charge, but Flux closes a little earlier than some other bars, shutting its doors around 2 or 3am. Drinks are a little cheaper here than at many of Buenos Aires’ other gay bars, sitting around $30 each, with a litre of Quilmes for $24.
Again, there tends to be more men than women, but women are certainly allowed.
Flux opens every day from 7pm. Closing times vary. Marcelo T. de Alvear 980, fluxbuenosaires.blogspot.com
If you want a hopping party and a chance to pick up through dance moves, Amerika is where you want to be.
With a maximum capacity of 1,866 people – most of whom are quite attractive – you’re bound to find someone to suit your tastes.
Red and green strobe lights brighten the dark, black room. A giant disco ball spins extra light around the main room, where a DJ sits on stage. Security is everywhere.
Upstairs, there’s a separated area with a bunch of strong-backed black couches. Blocked by curtains, and darker than the rest of the bar, you can only imagine what sexy deeds go on here.
Amerika’s several bars sell drinks at around $20-40, which is comparable to other gay bars. Most nights have a cover charge, however, so don’t leave home without a few pesos tucked in your pocket.
Men and women are welcome.
Amerika opens Thursday-Sunday from 1-8am. For more information, click here.