Qmmunity’s (Non-Exhaustive) Guide to Local Queer Austin Biz

For anyone looking to start queering up their ATX experience

Coconut Club (photo by Jana Birchum)

You want to live like a queer Austinite, but don’t know where to start? Whether you’re visiting for one of our myriad festivals, just moved into town, or want to make a gay bucket list of ATX delights, here’s a non-exhaustive list of local LGBTQ spots you’ll love.


Cheer Up Charlies
900 Red River | Hours: Thu. & Sun., 5pm-2am, Fri.-Sat., 4pm-2am
Vibe: Neon-lined queer club that packs in live music, drag, and plenty of queer quties, plus: a spacious patio & vegan food trucks.

211 W. Fourth | Hours: Mon.-Wed., 2pm-12mid, Thu.-Sun, 2pm-2am
Vibe: Oldest LGBTQ bar in Austin with all the drag nights you’d ever want, plus: the attached Harry’s Dark Bar boasts go-go dancers, kinky parties.

Barbarella/Swan Dive
611/615 Red River | Barbs hours: Wed., 9pm-2am, Tue.,Thu.-Sat., 10pm-2am; Swan Dive hours: Tue., Thu.-Sat. 10pm-2am
Vibe: Sister clubs attached by their backyard serve as hubs for live music, legendary theme nights such as TuezGayz & NowY2K, and monthly ballroom competitions; bring ear-plugs and use Swan Dive’s bathrooms.

Coco Complex aka Coconut Club
310-B Colorado St. | Hours: Wed.-Fri., 9pm-2am, Sat., 1pm-2am, Sun., 5pm-2am
Vibe: Tropical triple-threat nightclub that houses in its walls (and rooftop) a dance music, drag & DJ paradise, plus: Caribbean food via Traphouse inside Coco’s perreo purveyor, Cuatro Gato.

Iron Bear (photo by Jana Birchum)

The Iron Bear
301 W. Sixth | Hours: Mon.-Sat., 11am-2am, Sun. 12pm-2am
Vibe: A bar by bears for bears that’s always bumping with leather & gear parties, karaoke, drag, and DJs, plus a buffet of delicious dining options.

Rain on 4th
217 W. Fourth | Hours: Mon.-Thu., 4pm-2am. Fri.-Sun., 3pm-2am
Vibe: Upscale, rainbow lit lounge with classic drag shows all week, go-go boyz heating up the dance floor, and paninis on offer from foodie fave Royal Blue Grocery.

Highland Lounge
404 Colorado St. | Hours: Wed.-Thu., Sun., 7:30pm-2:15am, Fri.-Sat., 9:30pm-3:30am
Vibe: Largest local gay bar with three stories, six bar counters, and a whole lotta fun including drag, go-go dancers, bottle service, and plenty of room to dance all night.


la Barbecue
2401 E. Cesar Chavez | Hours: Wed.-Sun, 11am-6pm
Cuisine: Salty, savory barbecue by LeAnn Mueller & Alison Clem, slow roasted over Texas post oak with sauce offered but not insisted on.

514 Medina St. | Hours: Mon-Thu., 4-9pm, Fri-Sat., 4:30-9:30pm
Cuisine: An izakaya – a casual Japanese bar with yakitori, sushi/sashimi, and other comfort foods – run by head chef & owner/namesake Kazu Fukumoto, who studied at Hiroya Yakitori.

Grizzelda's (photo by John Anderson)

105 Tillery | Hours: Wed. & Thu., 5-9pm, Fri. & Sat., Brunch 10am-2pm, Dinner 5-10pm
Cuisine: Central Mexican dishes featuring fajitas, tacos, & more compliment margaritas with pop diva names (bad girl ri ri, cardi B, queen bey) as well as a weekend brunch bursting with flavor.

Coffee & Dessert

Mary’s Café
3209 Red River | Hours: Mon.-Fri., 7am-2pm, Sat.-Sun., 9am-2pm
Cuisine: Beloved of UT-Austin attenders, expect toothsome breakfast sandwiches, lunch-perfect salads & wraps, and their signature treat: sweet liege waffles.

Jo’s Coffee
Multiple locations | Check website for each locations’ hours
Cuisine: Classic local-coffee-shop-turned-local-chain that’ll give you a quick caffeine infusion so you can better enjoy their various brekkie and lunch offerings, while also admiring the famous lesbian-penned mural “I Love You So Much” at the original SoCo location.

Patika (photo by John Anderson)

2159 S. Lamar | Hours: Mon.-Sun., 7:30am-4pm
Cuisine: With coffee by married co-owners’ specialty roaster Superthing, your bfast, brunch, or lunch time espresso will be complimented by a menu of hearty café staples mixed with unique baked beauties.

Lick Honest Ice Creams
Multiple locations | Check website for each locations hours
Cuisine: Indulgent ice cream (and a few vegan non-dairy dessert options) made with local ingredients in daring combinations you’d expect from snobby scoopers, instead served with an “honest” hospitality.

Zucchini Kill
Multiple locations | Check website for each locations hours
Cuisine: Everything you’d ever want from a woman-owned, riot-grrrl inspired bakery, offering vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free cupcakes, cream pies, bread, and more that break the stereotype of subtracted snacking meaning subpar sweets.


The Little Gay Shop (photo by Jana Birchum)

The Little Gay Shop
828 Airport Blvd. | Hours: Mon, Thu. & Fri., 11am-6pm, Sat., 11am-7pm, Sun., 11am-5pm
Merch: Queer-created products line this small but mighty shopping heaven, from Dolly Parton prints to cute candles, BDSM archival books to gay-made stained glass, and also feature in their frequent pop-up markets.

5501 N. Lamar | Hours: Mon.-Fri., 10am-7pm, Sat., 10am-6pm, Sun., 12-4pm
Merch: OG feminist bookstore with 45 years slinging lit by women, LGBTQ, and POC authors under the big purple overhang, plus cute t-shirts, cards, and other gifties only an arm’s length away.

Reverie Books
5330 Menchaca Rd. Ste. D | Hours: Tue.-Sat., 11am-7pm, Sun., 10am-6pm
Merch: Indie bookstore with shelves sorted into genres like LGBTQ romance, sci-fi, and an all too timely reproductive justice shelf, plus a generously sized kids’ section and a cute gray kitty named Stormy napping at the window.

Pop Up Markets

Eastside Pop Up
Modus Operandi: Vintage and kitsch vendors in ever-moving markets tailored toward the trendy but not too spendy shopper, with a fun, upbeat atmosphere curated to uplift local artists.

Mutiny Market
Modus Operandi: A duo-directed traveling market that vets vintage, handmade, and unique vendors aimed at folks looking for “slowmaker” goods rather than fast capitalism crap.

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