Start Your Engines! 8 Best Bars in NYC to Watch RuPaul's Drag Race

Yes, gawd!

RuPaul's Drag Race is back and more fabulous than ever. It's even on a new network, the one and only VH1!

After the season's explosive opening episode with Lady Gaga, Ru is ready to kick things into high gear and launch her new queens into the fast lane.

There's no better way to watch than out among the other Drag Race fans, with some of the most fabulous New York City queens hosting viewings. 

Here are the spots we'll be sashaying to on Friday nights.

1. The Manhattan Monster Bar (80 Grove Street)


Who else better to host a Drag Race viewing night than one of the girls who was on it herself? Brooklyn favorite and Season 9 contestant Aja is hosting a weekly viewing party down in the Village at the iconic Manhattan Monster Bar.


A standout in the downtown scene, the Monster welcomes NYC's fiercest club queen to come and "spill the tea" on what was going on that didn't make it to TV. And it's the only place in the city to get a viewing with one of the current contestants! C'mon, NYC!

Doors open at 6 p.m. and meet and greet with Aja tickets are available at the venue.

2. Rise Bar (859 9th Avenue)


You ready for a show? Join Showbiz Spitfire Paige Turner as she takes you on a colorful trip every Friday at Rise Bar in Hell's Kitchen. Not only will she be giving her witty thoughts throughout the viewing, there'll also be performances, games and giveaways throughout the night!

Every seat is a good seat to catch all the drama with their giant screen and they're serving up 2-for-1 drink specials until 9pm. Rise is known as the city's "most unpretentious gay bar," so you'll be in a diverse crowd of fellow fans for a surefire fun night out. 

Showtime is a 8 p.m. sharp!

3. Albatross Bar (3619 24th Avenue - Queens)


Come watch the queens in Queens! Albatross is a beloved Astoria staple that attracts people from all over the borough. On Friday nights, Gilda Wabbit hosts a Drag Race viewing party that goes from zero to 60 in under 20 seconds.

Each week she brings a special guest co-host for mid-show commercial commentary, hysterical hijinks and a full on drag show after the episode ends. Is there any other way, really? The shenanigans start at 7 p.m. but make sure you stick around to see the real show after Drag Race.

4. Brooklyn Bazaar (150 Greenpoint Avenue - Brooklyn)


Two Brooklyn favorites made it onto the show this season, so the borough is going all out when it comes to its viewing parties to celebrate. Experience Season 9 in a whole new way, including a Drag Race Catchphrase Bingo that you play while you watch.

Surrounded by old-school arcade games, The Nobodies' Ariel Italic and Zalika Parsons get the party started at 7 p.m. with shows to pump you up for the 8 p.m. episode. There's dancing, fabulous prizes and even more shows after Drag Race is done, so get ready to go all night!

5. Rockbar (185 Christopher Street)


It's always a rocking down night in the Village at Rockbar. But the party gets even crazier when Drag Race is on! Your hostess for the evening is Viva Vidalia, whose quick mouth is only rivaled by her show-stopping performances.

Pop in before the episode at 7 p.m. for the Rupeat Podcast with trivia and prizes! Each week Viva has special guests hosts for commentary and to help her keep the party turnt well after the Drag Race credits roll. Are you ready to rock?

6. Liberty Hall at Ace Hotel (20 West 29th Street)

Best Drag Duo Glam Award Winners Brita Filter and Terra Hyman are back at The Ace Hotel for their drag-tastic Friday night viewing party, followed directly by their now legendary drag queen competition Lady Liberty. Ya'll don't even know how these girls turn it out.

Brita and Terra give their signature high-energy comedy during the Drag Race viewing at 8 p.m. and directly after at 9 p.m. they kick off the Lady Liberty drag competition, with a weekly prize of $200 and a $4,000 grand prize package. 

Stick around to who snatches that weekly crown!

7. Vodka Soda/Bottoms Up (315 West 46th Street)

The soulful seductress Nedra Bella brings her hysterical antics and brazen belting to one of Hell's Kitchen's hottest spots. The bi-level bar offers two distinct levels to party in, and the crowd is lit no matter which level you venture to.


Vodka Soda/Bottoms Up also offers $4 drink specials during the party, a steal for a cocktail in midtown. And a secret fun fact: If you dress up in drag, you get to drink for free. That's right, glamazons. So put on those kitten heels and strut on down! Just remember to tip the bar staff.

8. Branded Saloon (603 Vanderbilt Avenue - Brooklyn)


Yee haw! Pop on over to the rustic themed Branded Saloon for both dinner and a show! Brooklyn legends M Adame Vivienv and Kinga host a Drag Race night like none other. These queens are in the know this season and are ready to spill the tea and reveal some serious insider gossip.

And this is a place to come hungry. Every Friday night in Prospect Heights there'll be drag shows, trivia, prize giveaways and special guest appearances as a delectable side to the Season 9 viewing and their extensive food menu. Trust us; it's a mouthful.

[Feature Image Courtesy Metro] 

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