Chicago’s Gay Friendly Hot Spots: Boystown and Andersonville
Chicago’s thriving LGBT population is largely concentrated in two neighborhoods: Boystown and Andersonville. Boystown, located in East Lakeview, is considered America’s first official gay neighborhood and is proudly the gayest region in Chicago. Andersonville, north of Boystown, boasts a more diverse population including a strong Scandinavian and Middle Eastern presence among its vibrant gay and lesbian community.
Whether you’re planning to trek down the Magnificent Mile or just looking for a new gay-friendly getaway, Boystown and Andersonville are prime spots for gay travelers to enjoy a superb vacation. There are so many things to do in Chicago but make sure you check out some (or all!) of the following Boystown and Andersonville hot spots while you’re there.
· Dine: For a lively crowd, full bar, and fantastic French food, visit Firefly, a French-inspired American bistro. This funky yet romantic spot is right in the heart of Boystown.
· Drink & Dance: For a wild night out with a diverse crowd, stop at Spin Nightclub. Spin features 2 dance floors, 4 full service bars, several lounge areas, and state-of-the-art sound and light systems. Every Friday night, Spin hosts a Shower Party followed by a Shower Contest that you won’t want to miss.
· Shop: Stock up on “gay gear” (everything from rainbow adorned souvenirs to sex toys) at Chicago’s Gay Mart. Need something to wear for your night out? Stop by CRAM Fashion to try on the hottest European trends.
· Relax: Kick back and catch a flick at Music Box Theater. This historic and stylish cinema screens classics and recent films of the independent variety.
· Dine: If you want upscale dining, experience the modish atmosphere and flavorful food at Jin Ju Korean restaurant. For a less swanky (but just as delicious) breakfast, dine in at Tweet, notorious as a hangover spot and loved for its breakfast burritos and oversized pancakes made with mostly organic ingredients.
Drink & Dance: Whether you’re in for a
sophisticated evening or a naughty night, there’s a bar for you in
Andersonville. Visit Marty’s, an
intimate, upscale martini bar, for expertly made martinis in a high-end
atmosphere. Head over to Atmosphere
(@mosphere) for a night of fun complete with sexy male dancers and daily drink
· Shop: Find fashion-forward garments at His Stuff, a male clothing store featuring top brand names.
· Relax: Treat yourself to a spa day at Continuum Studio. This all-inclusive spa has services ranging from massages to waxing to skin care treatments and features custom-designed spa packages to suit your individual needs!
Bonus Stop: If you’re traveling to Chicago in the summer, you will definitely want to hit Hollywood Beach (now officially called Kathy Osterman Beach) on the coast of Lake Michigan for fun in the sand under the sun. It’s a popular beach for all Chicagoans and tourists, but the gay community and their friends tend to hang out on the south side of the beach.
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