As uni students, it’s normal for us to feel out of place. However, uni is a great time for us to meet new people and explore our own interests, and finding bars and student areas where we feel safe and comfortable is a big part of this. Going to gay-friendly bars can be an awesome way to meet new friends and watch entertainment that we may not find elsewhere, like drag shows. So, here are the best gay-friendly bars in York.

So, how gay-friendly is York?

YUSU facebook - how gay friendly is York
Source: YUSU Facebook

York is a very liberal town, partly due to its bustling student population. Most students feel safe to explore their own styles and interests, and it can be really amazing to walk around and see the range of fashions and people in the city- there’s never a dull moment. York holds a pride parade every year too, displaying its friendliness towards the LGBTQ+ community. Overall York is a very gay-friendly city, so there’s no reason that anyone shouldn’t visit this historical place.

Gay-friendly bars in York

Despite its population of 200,000 people, York isn’t necessarily known for its gay bars. In fact, you’ll probably struggle to find specific gay bars in York compared to other nearby cities like Leeds or Manchester. However, the majority of bars in York are gay-friendly. We’ve done a thorough dive into which bars are the best gay bars in York for a fun night out, based on the environment, the events they hold and more.

1. Museum Street Tavern

Museum Street Tavern to open at site of former Thomas's of York | York Press
Source: The York Press

Museum Street Tavern is a fairly new pub, standing where Thomas’s of York used to be. Described by the owner as a place “where all sections of the community are welcome and co-exist together”, the Museum Street Tavern is the perfect place for everyone. With its perfect location near the River Ouse and delicious traditional pub food, this is a perfect location for anyone looking for a good night out.

They’re also an amazing venue if you love wine, food and/or karaoke! They host regular karaoke nights, perfect if you’re looking to show off your singing voice on a night out.

2. Flares

Flares Nightclub Entry for Groups in York | Book Online
Source: Funktion Events

Open Wednesday and Friday-Sunday, Flares is a go-to place for all students looking for a night out. Flares also hosts a few LGBT nights throughout the year and often collaborate with YUSU LGBTQ+, making it a perfect venue for anyone wanting a night out with a more targeted audience. These have included ‘NEON is the New Black’ and ‘Make the Yuletide Gay’, which are popular nights for the LGBTQ+ student community. Their other regular club nights typically play music from the 70s, 80s and 90s, you’re sure to have a wonderful night where you can meet so many people and really enjoy yourself.

3. Yates

Big plans revealed for revamp of historic York pub | YorkMix
Source: YorkMix

Yates is a perfect place for students to go for a good night out- not only do they do “a pound a pint” nights, but they also do weekly DRAG BINGO! I don’t know about you, but drag bingo sounds like an absolutely amazing way to spend your evening- bingo has recently become quite popular amongst young people anyway, but pair that with the glitz and glam of drag shows and you have a night to remember. Hosted weekly on Tuesdays, this is an amazing way to explore your local drag community and potentially get some winnings out of the night too.

4. Any university bars

Eat, drink and shop at York - Eat, drink and shop at York, University of York
Source: University of York

All the bars within the university are gay-friendly. Home to socials for all societies and a great way to have a few drinks by barely leaving your flat, all the bars in the university can be perfect ways to spend your night and enjoy yourself with no judgement. Whether you’re fancying some karaoke at the Glasshouse or a couple pints in D-Bar, the university bars are all good choices when it comes to gay-friendly bars in York.

Where else can I go to find a good gay-friendly bar?

Only 20 minutes away by train, Leeds has plenty of gay-friendly bars; from cabaret hotspots like Viaduct Showbar to more relaxed environments like Queens Court, there’s something for everyone. Leeds’ accessible location means that you can get back to uni in time for some rest before your 9am too- perfect!

We all love a good pub or bar, but York has so much more to offer. Why not check out our article on the best things to do in York for students? And maybe you can treat yourself to a cheeky pint after checking these out.

Plus, for any students looking for LGBTQ+ events in York, YUSU LGBTQ is probably one of the best societies that puts on all sorts of things.