The 14 Essential LGBTQ Bars in Chicago

Outside Roscoe’s during Pride

Chicago’s LGBTQ scene is world-renowned

There’s a reason so many young queer people flock to Chicago and never leave: the city’s gay scene is fun as hell. Boystown, of course, is the city’s official gayborhood, with LGBTQ-friendly bars, restaurant, and clubs occupying nearly every storefront on Northalsted. But Chicago’s queer community exists far outside the Lakeview enclave—and so do the great gay bars.

From butch lesbian North Side dives to raucous South Shore dance parties, the spots below are a diverse range of LGBTQ watering holes all over town. Whether they include drag, dancing, or are dives—or a little bit of all three—Chicago’s best gay bars have a little something for everyone.

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