Emergency measures in the wake of Covid-19:
There are restrictions on the entry of certain travelers into the United States in an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19. See the CDC website for details and updates.
Effective July 6, travelers entering or returning to Chicago from states experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases are directed to self-quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state. As part of Chicago's Phase IV: Gradually Resume guidelines, the reinstatement of certain restrictions went into effect July 24, and indoor bar events have been suspended. See Chicago.gov.
Big Chicks is open for limited patio seating or pickup MON-FRI 5-9:30pm and SAT/ SUN 3-9:30pm. Hamburger Mary's patio has limited service from 4pm WED-FRI and 11am SAT-SUN. Roscoe’s is open noon-10pm (11pm FRI+SAT) with reserved tables on the patio. The Sidetrack front patio and rooftop deck are open daily 1-11pm with socially-distanced table service for parties of under 6 people.
Large events, including International Mr. Leather, Chicago Pride, and Northalsted Market Days, cancelled for 2020, now have new 2021 dates. See our events page.
The country's third-largest city, Chicago has a totally different vibe from the big cities on either coast. Nicknamed "Paris on the Prairie" because of its wide boulevards and tree-shaded parks, Chicago has a lot in common with that European capital. It has world-class museums, a breathtaking array of restaurants and gay nightlife that rivals any of its neighbors.
This sophisticated city was home to the world's first skyscraper, (the Home Insurance Building in 1885, at just nine stories tall). Since then, the city has attracted famous architects like Louis Sullivan and Mies van der Rohe. The skyline's main feature these days is the iconic Willis Tower, the former Sears Tower completed in 1973, the tallest building in the world for nearly 25 years. Its observation deck is one of Chicago's most popular tourist destinations.
From O'Hare International Airport, take the Chicago Transit Authority's 'L" train heading east for $5. Change at Addison for a bus over to Lakeview, or go all the way into the Loop (about 45 minutes) for downtown destinations, and connections to other lines. For information see CTA. For taxis see the airport sites.
Midway International Airport, on the southwest side, eight miles from the Loop, also offers air connections to cities all over North America and the Carribean -- dominated by low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines, with around 100 destinations. The CTA train fare to the Loop or Lakeview costs $2.50.
Chicago, the hub of the Amtrak national rail system, has trains coming into Union Station (225 South Canal St) from all regions of North America.
Greyhound has service to 2,400 locations in North America, with several Chicago stations. Their main terminus, at 630 Harrison St, is just west of the Loop, where I290 intersects with I90/94. MegaBus has low-cost intercity express bus service between Chicago and over 100 other US cities, coast to coast, plus Toronto, Canada.
The Windy City is a breeze to get around, and a car is not only unnecessary, but often difficult to park. Bus routes 22 along Clark, and 36 on Broadway and the CTA Red Line EL will get you most anywhere in gay Chicago, and taxis are easy to find. Night services operate every 30 minutes on the Red and Blue lines, and the N22 bus runs on Clark from Andersonville, through Boystown, to the Loop.
CTA full fares are $2.50 per trip. Pass cards for unlimited rides of one ($10), three ($20) or seven days ($28), may be purchased online, from station vending machines, or or at retail locations around town, including CVS and Walgreens drug stores. Visit the TransitChicago.com or RTA websites to plan your route.
Metra, the Chicago area commuter rail system, has 11 lines with 241 stations radiating from downtown Chicago (LaSalle St Station, Millennium Station, Ogilvie Center, or Union Station), to the six-county area of northeast Illinois. Ravenswood and Clybourn have stations, but there are no stops in Boystown or Andersonville
With more than 170 miles of on-street protected, buffered and shared bike lanes, along with off street paths such as the 18.5-mile Lakefront Trail, Chicago is getting more bike-friendly every year. See BikesWays for maps and information. Divvy Bikes is Chicago’s bike sharing system, with almost 6,000 bikes at 580 stations across the city. Bikes are accessible 24 hours every day with membership (sign up online) or with a 24-hour pass from any Divvy station. BikeChicago has the largest bike selection in town, and helmet, lock and a free map are included with rental. They also offer Segway city tours.
Boystown: Chicago's biggest concentration of gays is in the high- energy neighborhood of Lakeview East, perhaps better known as Boystown or Northalsted. It's a triangle between Belmont Avenue, Broadway and Halsted Street, the site of Chicago Pride Fest in June, Northalsted Market Days in August, and the Northalsted Halloween Parade in late October.
Andersonville: The mellower Andersonville district stretches into Edgewater and includes many bars and restaurant of interest. Midsommarfest is the annual summer street festival in June, when people throng Clark Street from Foster to Catalpa for two days of music, dancing, entertainment, and food.
Small town, big backyard
With their long-running Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, the Neo-Futurists zipped through 30 original plays in 60 minutes. Never the same show twice, the lightening-fast performances were hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking. After a successful 20-year run at the renowned theater troupe's home base, the Neo-Futurarium in Andersonville, they launched The Infinite Wrench in 2017. A barrage of two-minute plays for a live audience, each play offers something different, funny or profound, elegant, disgusting, topical, irreverent, terrifying, or put to song. See their website for upcoming shows in 2019.
Other theater and musical troupes in the neighborhood present everything from live-action gay soap operas to a tribute to The Carpenters. There's also a bi-monthly queer showcase called Homolatte - a twice-a-month, all-ages, queer music and spoken word series on 1st and 3rd Tuesdays each month at Tweet/ Big Chicks, 5024 N Sheridan.
Pride Films and Plays creates powerful theatrics and films that speak for the community using stories with LGBT characters or themes, with performances and screenings at their new home at Pride Arts Center.
More local queer theater productions can be seen at the Apollo Studio Theater, Mary's Attic, Stage773, the Steppenwolf Theatre, Theater Wit, and others among the four dozen theaters and performance venues we list in our Chicago maps & listings pages.
Art House cinemas, your best bet for seeing international LGBTQ film screenings, include: The Gene Siskel Film Center; Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema; Logan Theatre; and the Music Box Theatre. The Reeling Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival takes place in September. The Chicago Filmmakers presents new media arts works, and the Chicago Film Society screens 35mm and 16mm film prints from studio vaults, film archives, and private collections throughout the year.
The Magnificent Mile is a high-end shopping district on Michigan Avenue between the Chicago River and Oak Street. Department stores Bloomingdale's, Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Saks are all here, along with the Apple Store. Up-market brands include Armani, Burberry, Bulgari, Cartier, Chanel, Gucci, Tiffany, Louis Vuitton, and Ermenegildo Zegna. The 900 North Michigan Shops, The Shops at North Bridge, and Water Tower Place are local retail and dining centers.
The Bucktown and Wicker Park neighborhoods, off North Milwaukee Avenue, are also full of boutiques, galleries, theaters, eateries and nightclubs, but with a more artsy/alternative vibe than in downtown.
Media and resources
Windy City Times is the city's gay newspaper. Boi Magazine covers gay entertainment and clubbing. Grab Magazine is Chicago's gay bi-weekly magazine, with business listings, bar events and maps, plus local color. ChicagoGoPride is another LGBT resource.
Chicago Events has gay and general events listings, along with many of the city's ethnic, street, food and music festivals.
The Leather Archives and Museum documents leather/fetish community history with artifacts, photographs, exhibitions, a library, film screenings and special events - here in the home city of the International Mr Leather contest each Memorial Day Weekend.
For Chicago Bearfest events in late May see their facebook calendar.
The Grabbys, the porn movie awards events over the Memorial Day Weekend, bring the stars and the fans to Chicago from far and wide.
Mr International Rubber contests take place in November, along with a Rubber Dress Code Party and events at clubs around town.
Asians & Friends Chicago has events each month throughout the year, with website links to other events and resources.
The Reeling: Chicago LGBT International Film Festival takes place in mid-September.
The Center on Halsted is one of the world's best LGBT community centers with services, activities and special events -- and its construction was financed without any government money.
Area LGBT+friends sports associations include: the Athletic Alliance of Chicago; the Chicago Gay Hockey Association; the Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association; the Chicago Rowing Union; and Front Runners Chicago/ Proud to Run; and Second City Tennis.
The Chicago Reader is a great alternative paper for general listings, reviews, and events around town. Newcity is another general online resource.
Choose Chicago, the city's "official destination marketing organization," has a thousand ideas for places go and things to do. Consult them online, or at one of their visitor centers.
See the website of Enjoy Illinois for Chicago listings, but also for when you venture further into the Prairie State. Events12 has a full list of upcoming Chicago events for the year.
For a city map and website links to businesses and entertainment venues, see our gay Chicago listings tab. See events for what's happening around town, and for several years of photos from around town, see our gallery pages.
Ace Hotel Chicago (311 N Morgan St, West Loop; 312-548-1177), casual, gay-friendly vibe national chain, rooms, suite and loft, rooftop bar/lounge; City Mouse Restaurant and bar, 7am-11pm meals, everyday brunch.
Acme Hotel Company (15 E Ohio; 312-894-0800), newly remodled downtown boutique hotel, hardwood floors, all modern amenities.
Best Western Hawthorne Terrace (3434 N Broadway; 773-244-3434), Boystown location between lake and N Halsted scene, rooms/suites, fitness center, free breakfast, premium cable TV, internet access.
City Suites Hotel (933 W Belmont; 773-404-3400), art deco-style building, Boystown location at Belmont El station, gym pass, breakfast, Wi-Fi.
Chicago Getaway Hostel (616 West Arlington Pl; 773-929-5380), hostel with style, comfort and service of boutique hotel, spacious, modern common areas, gourmet kitchen, outdoor patio; inexpensive dorm beds or private rooms.
Dana Hotel (660 N State; 312-202-6000), luxury boutique hotel and spa, big windows overlooking State Street, up to 3 bedroom suites, 24-hour gym, private wine reserves.
HI Chicago (24 E Congress Pkwy; 312-360-0300), downtown, all ages welcome, no curfew, 500 inexpensive dorm beds, free breakfast,free WiFi, shared kitchen, laundry, TV lounges.
Hilton Chicago (720 S Michigan; 312-922-4400), over 1,500 rooms, Lake Michigan/ Grant Park views, heated indoor pool, whirlpool, sauna and seasonal sundeck; hosts International Mr Leather competition.
Hotel Allegro (171 W Randolph St; 312-236-0123), 483 luxury guestrooms and suites downtown, 4-star services and amenities, 312 Chicago Restaurant, wine hour.
Hotel Burnham (1 W Washington St; 312-782-1111), Condé Nast Gold List landmark, luxury boutique hotel, Eco-friendly services and amenities, Michelin-rated Atwood Café restaurant
Hotel Indigo (1244 N Dearborn Pkwy; 312-787-4980), stylish, deluxe amenities, Gold Coast between Downtown and Boystown, Golden Bean restaurant.
Hotel Monaco Chicago (225 N Wabash; 866-610-0081), downtown boutique hotel, luxurious French decor, South Water Kitchen restaurant, fitness center, business center; part of Kimpton chain.
Hotel Versey (644 West Diversey Pkwy; 773-525-7010), 133 rooms/suites, full-service alternative to expensive downtown hotels; WiFi/T1, satellite TV, business extras. Formerly Days Inn.
House 5863 (5863 N Glenwood Ave; 773-944-5555), gay-friendly B&B between lake & North Clark nightlife, flex-time breakfast, garden and deck areas.
Kinzie Hotel (20 W Kinzie; 312-395-9095) in River North, contemporary luxury boutique hotel, near Magnificent Mile shops, 24-hour business and fitness centers.
Majestic Hotel (528 W Brompton; 773-404-3499), "shabby chic" alternative boutique hotel, cozy rooms, closest to the lake rooms in Lakeview; breakfast, gym access, WiFi.
Villa Toscana Guest House (3447 N Halsted; 773-404-2643), small gay-friendly Boystown central guesthouse, landscaped front yard, broadband wireless, self-serve continental breakfast.
Willows Hotel (555 West Surf St; 773-528-8400), Lincoln Park location two blocks from lake, breakfast, WiFi, gym access.
See over a dozen more Chicago lodgings suggestions on our map and listings pages.
Bars & clubs: Boystown/ Lakeview area
Berlin (954 W Belmont) acclaimed multicultural alternative and queer dance club, late-night crowd, performance artists, live music, comedy, drag shows, guest DJs, dancing until 4-5am. Just-released cutting-edge nuggets mix with classics in hands of Chicago's freshest generation of DJ talent.
Bobby Love's (3729 N Halsted) tiny neighborhood bar at the top of Boystown where karaoke rules.
Cell Block (3702 N Halsted), men's cruise, video and dance bar, games, bear nights, IML and Mr. International Rubber events & special parties.
Charlie's (3726 N Broadway) rollicking country-western bar, morphs into high-energy dance club after 2am Thursdays - Sundays when other Boystown bars have closed. Saturday karoake, drag shows, and late night after-hours until 5am.
Circuit "On Tour" at various clubs around town; drag, hip-hop nights, go-go dancers, and Noche Vaquera/ Latinx parties.
Closet (3325 N Broadway), lesbian owned, friendly-to-all neighborhood bar, games, free WiFi, special theme parties.
DS Tequila Co (3352 N Halsted), tequila bar, beer/ cocktails/ bar food, Saturday and Sunday brunch.
Elixir Lounge (3452 N Halsted), specialty cocktails, prohibition-era classics, tastings, special events, next to Hydrate.
Fantasy Nightclub (3641 N Halsted), Latin, Urban and special event dance club nights, erotic go-go dancers, drag shows, Black Pride events. They also host some of the Neverland parties several times each year.
Hydrate (3458 N Halsted) crushingly packed, cruisy dance club, young, fashionable, attractive crowd and staff, hot dancers, male revues and contests, blackout parties, drag shows, cabaret, theme nights, and Manhole special events.
Kit Kat Lounge and Supper Club (3700 N Halsted St), diva martini and cocktail lounge, starters, dinner entrees, champagne brunch.
Little Jim's (3501 N Halsted) early or late-nights, after all the others have closed, men's drinking and cruising bar, cheap drinks.
Lucky Horseshoe Lounge (3169 N Halsted), Chicago's only every-night rotation of erotic male dancers, on stage, on bars, and mingling. Holidays always celebrated in style, and if porn stars are in town they usually show up here.
Manhandler (1948 N Halsted) men's cruise bar halfway from Boystown to Downtown, very active patio and backroom, especially in the later hours.
Metro (3730 N Clark), live concert and party venue, special gay events and performances; cocktail lounge. They also host some of the Neverland parties several times each year.
North End (3733 N Halsted) Chicago's original gay sports bar, neighborhood tavern, ports video and TV games, pool tables, dart boards, athletic crowd. Bar-sponsored football, water polo, darts, bowling, softball, and volleyball teams, porn stars headline special events.
Progress Bar (3359 N Halsted), new concept design lounge, nightly themes, weekend DJs, mixed crowd, craft beers/ales, impressive liquor/cocktails selection, drag; great window on Halsted. Former Cocktail site.
Replay (3439 N Halsted), arcade bar with retro video games and pinball machines, 25-tap local draft and craft beers, country music nights, drag shows, sports on TV. Was Bucks.
Roscoe's (3356 N Halsted) popular Boystown center video bar complex, intense dance area, fireplace lounge and pub, drag shows, karaoke, patio and sidewalk restaurant, constant stream of events.
Scarlet (3320 N Halsted) rich decor, small, pleasant escape from Boystown crush. Rotating events include local artists, independent film, top name DJs, comedy and theme parties.
Shakers on Clark (3160 N Clark) small neighborhood cocktail bar with karaoke nights, darts tournaments, WiFi access, mixed gay-friendly crowd. Formerly the 3160/ Annex.
Sidetrack (3349 N Halsted) spacious video bar compex, many rooms and ambiences, inside and out. Central big-screen video bar, laughing and singing crowd, queer and eclectic fare from amazing archives. Show tunes Sunday, Monday favorites, Thursdayscomedy. Special events, biggest, most diverse crowd in Chicago. Valet parking too.
Smart Bar (3730 N Clark St), small mixed late-hour weekend dance club, at concert venue Metro.
SX Chicago, (738 N Clark; Near North), last Saturdays monthly urban, HipHop dance parties, Blatino, Urbano and Black Pride events, sexy go-go dancers and guest porn stars.
Wangs (3317 N. Broadway), mixed crowd, low lights, martinis, DJs, "temple to music" live music and performances, dance floor.
CLOSED: Circuit (3641 N Halsted), dance club; Halsted's Bar & Grill + Lark (3441 N Halsted St), gay bar & grill; Spin (800 W Belmont), dance club, amateur strip; Manhole (3210 N Halsted), men's fetish dance club; Minibar (3341 N Halsted), gay lounge, dance club; Seven (3206 N Halsted St), dancing/ drag, Latin nights, go-gos, porn stars.
Bars & clubs: Northside to Andersonville & Westside
Andersonville Brewing (5402 N Clark St), sports bar/ brew pub, the big games, on-site beer brews, 40 more bottled/ draft beers and ciders. Hamburger Mary’s kitchen big burgers, salads, sandwiches, snacks, entrees and deserts.
Atmosphere (5355 N Clark), cocktail bar, cabaret shows, theme parties, Thursday to Saturday male strippers.
Big Chicks (5024 N Sheridan), local bar and restaurant for all, patio, trivia games, theme nights, Sunday buffets, guest DJs. Bear Den at Big Chicks every Thursday night.
The Call (1547 W Bryn Mawr), nightly video, dance and party bar, pop and retro music; home-inspired entertainment, drag shows, country dance nights, happy hour movie Mondays, TV events, performances, singer tributes.
Davenport's Piano Bar (1383 N Milwaukee, Wicker Park), mostly straight but gay-friendly piano and cabaret bar with student discounts.
Granville Anvil (1137 W Granville), men's dive bar, opens early at 9am for the dedicated regulars.
Hamburger Mary's/ Mary's Attic (5400 N Clark), street-level restaurant/ gay bar, Wednesday and Sunday MaryOke, weekend DJs, theatre productions, musical acts, special events; private parties.
Hopleaf (5148 N. Clark), mosly straigh but gay-friendly bar with kitchen, known for their Belgian ale selection.
In Fine Spirits (5420 N Clark), wine bar, mostly straight but diverse and gay-friendly crowd.
Jackhammer (6406 N Clark), diverse crowd upper bar for gay men and women, dance floor, patio. Downstairs basement Levi-leather/fetish and sex-charged Hole. Bear events, strippers, theme parties. Open to 4am nightly, 5am Saturdays.
Joie De Vine (1744 Balmoral), wine bar, arts crowd, mostly women.
Le Nocturn (4810 N Broadway), gay/mixed cocktail bar/lounge; American Food cafe, patio seating; events include Grizzly and Make Out parties.
Marty's (1511 W Balmoral Ave), often crowded chic gay martini bar, back patio relieves the crush. Martinis include: Pineapple-Upside-Down, Strawberry, Pomegranate, and Chocolate Mint.
Meeting House Tavern (5025 N Clark), Tuesday-Sunday gay/ mixed cocktail/ video bar, games, karaoke, theme nights; Hutch American Kitchen food orders.
Ravenwood Tavern (1829 W Montrose), mixed gay-friendly neighborhood/ sports bar near Montrose CTA stop; darts, jukebox, all are welcome. The former Scot's Bar.
Sofo Tap (4923 N Clark). neighborhood gay bar, pool table, movie nights and videos, DILF Nights for older guys and those who like them, bears, large dog-friendly beer garden/ patio.
Touché (6412 N Clark) leather/rubber/fetish men's bar with cheap beer, bear nights, fun contests and porn star events, dress-code and very active cruisy back rooms. Onyx Midwest leather events.
CLOSED: Crew Bar and Grill (4804 N Broadway), music and sports video bar/sidewalk cafe.
Bars & clubs: Downtown, Southside, Suburbs & Beyond
Baton Show Lounge (436 N Clark), first-rate drag shows for a mostly straight crowd. After 49 years, celebrating their last New Year's Eve on Clark St, December 31st, 2018.
La Cueva (4153 W 26th St, West Side), oldest USA Latino drag bar, macho vaqueros.
Club Krave (13126 Western Ave, Blue Island), mostly gay crowd in southern suburbs with male dancers, plus karaoke, bingo, pool games, bear nights, monthly drag shows, and other parties.
Club Escape (1530 E 75th St; Soutside), Friday, Saturday, Sunday, "Chicago's number one black alternative nightclub," low-price drinks.
Dick's R U Crazy (1221 E 150th St, Hammond IN), neighborhood gay and lesbian party bar, bingo, pool, free hot dogs Sundays.
InnExile (5758 W 65th) sociable neighborhood video bar in the Southwest, near Midway Airport, with free parking and Chicago Beef dancers on Fridays.
Maneuvers (118 E Jefferson St, Joliet), LGBT/ everyone welcome neighborhood bar for 33 years, weekend DJs, Latin nights, chili cook-offs. (Off our map).
Phoenix (1932 E. Higgins Rd, Elk Grove Village), gay/mixed suburban dance club, hot male go-go hunks Thursdays through Sundays, plus Latin Sundays.
Second Story Bar (157 E Ohio, Downtown), long-time downtown gay bar in area convenient to Magnificent Mile shoppers.
Saunas & sex spaces
Banana Video (4923 N Clark) adult gay video store with screening rooms and accessories.
Ram Bookstore (3511 N Halsted), adult magazines and DVDs, cruise maze, video booths with 'ventilation' -also with late night dance and play floor, with music DJs and light show.
Steamworks (3246 N Halsted), modern gay gym and sauna with all bathhouse amenities, video, internet and playspace facilities, live DJs. Guest porn star events, monthly Lights Out, Bear Hump, Bears, Baths and Beyond, events, plus CumUnion sex parties, second Mondays.
Two long-time gay Chicago institutions CLOSED recently.
Bijiou Theater (1349 Wells), the 24/7 men's porn heaven cinema, strip shows and action-filled garden closed after 45 years. Their website continues with online streams and vintage gay porn.
Man's Country (5017 N Clark), 24/7 grand old-style 1973-2017 gay bathhouse, famous for nude stripper/ porn star shows. Opened by local gay/ leather icon Chuck Renslow of Gold Coast, Chicago Eagle and IML fame, who died in June 2017. IML gatherings continue each Memorial Day Weekend.
For a list of 80 suggestions, see our restaurant listings section.
Ann Sather Restaurant (909 W Belmont), grand Swedish diner serving superb breakfast varieties of Eggs Benedict, omelets, wraps, pancakes and waffles; also lunch soups, salads and sandwiches plus justly famous cinnamon rolls. Additional locations: 1147 W Granville; 3415 N Broadway.
Bar Pastoral (2947 N Broadway St), relaxed neighborhood bistro and gourmet retail store, artisan cheeses, charcuterie meats, bakery, wines; Saturday and Sunday brunch.
Bistro 750 (750 W Cornelia), Mediterranean and global sharing plates, Saturday and Sunday brunch, bar with craft cocktails, wines; patio tables. Old Taverna and Cornelia's location.
Chicago Diner (3411 N Halsted) award-winning, mostly vegan meat-free meals, sandwiches, brunch, bakery; plus organic wines and beer, juice bar, margaritas and shakes.
Drew's on Halsted, formerly Jack's (3201 N Halsted), American contemporary bistro, burgers, gourmet pizzas, open seven nights for dinner with patio; Saturday and Sunday brunch with Mimosas and Bloody Mary specials.
Lark (3441 N Halsted), gay/mixed pub/video bar DJs, burgers, pizza, sandwiches, wraps; brunch benedicts, omelets, pancakes. Former Halsted’s Bar + Grill site.
Melrose Diner (3233 N Broadway), casual vibe, expansive menu, 24-hours/ always open, all-American diner, breakfast all the time; after bar closings rush.
Nookies Tree (3334 N Halsted), casual American no-nonsense/wholesome food, 7am-midnight Boystown restaurant/bar, 24-hour weekends. Before/ after-bars meeting place, quiet afternoons, hearty Sunday brunch. Also: Nookies Too, (2114 N Halsted); Old Town, 1746 N Wells; and Edgewater, 1100 W Bryn Mawr.
Orange (2413 N Clark + 2011 W Roscoe), fresh juice bar, breakfast, brunch and sandwich fare until 3pm every day. Orange flavored infused coffee specialities.
Stella's Diner (3042 N Broadway), good American no-frills diner food, soup, salads, sandwiches, milk shakes and more from a big menu, 7am to 10pm.
Whole Foods (3640 N Halsted), freshly prepared takeout meals and self-serve salads, at the Center on Halsted.
Crew Bar and Grill (4804 N Broadway) - CLOSED ("looking for a new home" - for some time now) - gay sports bar/ grill, weekend brunches with bloodies and bubbles, all-American burgers, wraps/ sandwiches, soups and salads.
Hamburger Mary's (5400 N Clark), 11:30am-11pm gay diner burgers/sandwiches and entrees, weekend brunch 10:30am-3pm. Sports on TV, trivia games, gong shows, karaoke, cabaret and live soaps, theater productions, music acts and special events in Mary's Attic.
Indie Cafe (5951 N Broadway, Edgewater), stellar restaurant and sushi bar serving spice authentic savory Thai soups and curries, simple Japanese cuisine, grilled meats, seafood, maki, teriyaki, noodles and rice; lunch specials.
M Henry (5707 N Clark), globally-inspired New American restaurant and bakery with healthy cuisine for breakfast from 7am, (8 on weekends) and lunch. Famous for blackberry bliss cakes.
Tweet (5020 N Sheridan), at Big Chick's, fresh, organic breakfast/lunch omelets, benedicts, pancakes, sandwiches, Saturday/Sunday brunch until 3pm; full bar, Monday-Friday grill menu, gluten-free options. Free WiFi.
Pizzeria Uno (29 E Ohio), Chicago's famed deep-dish pizza, since 1943. A classic, pleasantly different from the multitude it spawned. Pizzaria Due (619 N Wabash Ave) is just around the corner.
Shopping & services:
Brown Elephant Resale (3020 N Lincoln + 5404 N Clark), the Howard Brown Health Center second-hand shop with clothing, books, household goods, music; benefits gay and AIDS groups. Formerly on N Halsted.
Chicago Male (3418 N Halsted), salon and spa, haircuts, color and styling services for men and women; skin care, facials, waxing and body hair removal.
The Chicago Tattooing and Piercing Company (1017 W Belmont), gay-friendly, safe tattoo and body piercing studio.
Dude Undies (online store), designer brand men's underwear, thongs, boxers, singlets, jocks, swimwear, thermal undies, long and short sleeve T-shirts, tank tops, hoodies, and socks.
Leather 6410 (6410 N Clark), uptown leather and fetish boutique between Jackhammer and Touché, clothing and accessories, toys and gear, for men and women.
Tulip (3459 N Halsted), all-gender/ sexualities adult/ sex toy shop, BDSM gear, books and porn, intimate apparel,parties and workshops.
Unabridged Books (3251 N Broadway) has focused on gay and lesbian titles since 1980 with good general public selections too. From the latest issues of gay magazines to Children's classics they cover the spectrum.
Women and Children First (5233 N Clark), feminist/LGBT indie bookstore, knowledgeable staff, author readings.
CLOSED: The Alley (3221 N Clark), long-time Chicago institution, gifts/ oddities emporium and head shop, closed after Halloween 2018. Their online store now has discount-priced teeshirts, leather jackets, hoodies, jewelry and accessories.
Cheetah Gym (5248 N Clark), Andersonville's gay choice for workouts, strength and cardio, steamroom, internet café.
Fitness Formula Club (3228 N Halsted) gayest outpost in Lakeview with personal trainers, Bootcamp programs, aquatics, massage services, facials, martial arts, yoga and more.
Quads (3727 N Broadway), cheapest gay-friendly gym in Lakeview, cardio, strength and fitness, personal trainers.