Scenically positioned on the edge of Lake Michigan, Chicago can get a little chilly. The gay scene in this Illinois capital, however, is so hot it’s sizzling! Well-known for its longstanding...
Scenically positioned on the edge of Lake Michigan, Chicago can get a little chilly. The gay scene in this Illinois capital, however, is so hot it’s sizzling! Well-known for its longstanding inclusive attitude towards the LGBTQ community, Chicago is renowed for having some of the country’s best gay celebrations throughout the year.
Boystown was recognised as the first official gay community in the US, so it comes as no surprise that this colourful district is home to many boutiques, bars, clubs, and theatres. Boystown is the affectionate nickname for what is officially the East Lakeview neighborhood.
Halsted Street and Broadway are the two main thoroughfares of Boystown, and each offer something slightly different for every taste. Broadway is home to several LGBTQ-themed shops, while Halsted Street boasts more than 30 different bars, restaurants, and clubs. Roscoe’s Tavern is a popular hangout, and comes with a bar, a pool table lounge, a patio, and of course a decent dancefloor. Head on Sunday for Tea Sunday, where pitchers of Long Island Teas are served at a very reasonable price, we’re talking a mere $12! If you’re looking for the best leather scene in Chicago, a visit to Cell Block is a must. While the bar also attracts different demographic, leather’ites will feel more than comfortable here.
Trendy Andersonville is known as Chicago’s second gay district, and has a large gay and lesbian population. Although not as lively as Boystown, the area is home to several LGBTQ restaurants, bars, and clubs. Clark Street is the main street in Andersonville, and pretty much stretches north to south through the district.
One of the best gay bars in Andersonville is Atmosphere, which attracts a gay male and female crowd, and offers a trendy aesthetic of exposed brick and hardwood floors. Dance the night away to top hits alongside professional male dancers who sure know how to strut their stuff. If you’re looking for gay cruising in Chicago, stop by Man’s Country, which is the city’s oldest male bath house. Otherwise check out our gay cruising page, which has plenty of other places.
Gay Pride Chicago is held in June, and offers week-long festivities along with a colourful Pride to conclude all the fun.