Top 6 Gay Bars in Chicago To Experience Nightlife

The gay bars in Chicago are a blast. Boystown is the city’s official Gayborhood with LGBTQ-friendly bars, clubs, and restaurants invading nearly all the storefronts. The city has an energetic gay bar scene, and that too for decades. There is a reason why so many young gay people travel to Chicago and never leave. However, Chicago’s gay community exists far beyond the Lakeview enclave, along with some fantastic gay bars. 

In addition, from butch lesbian dives to loud shore dance parties, the places mentioned below have a unique range of LGBTQ beer gardens all over the town. Though many gay nightclubs do not open until evening, there are few LGBTQ-friendly clubs with afternoon hours where you can stroll in, order a cocktail, and just chill. 

A drag might pass through the crowd, preparing for the evening party guests, but these places are good to grab a glass of wine with some friends for most of the part. Hence, without any further ado, let’s get into this blog post to find out some of the best gay bars in Chicago.

List of Gay Bars In Chicago

Below we’ve listed a few of the most visited gay bars in Chicago. So, if you are new to Chicago and want to experience a different nightlife, you must see in few of these clubs for a great time.


Big Chicks


Not a big fan of Boystown? Ignore the stand-and-model parade and drop by this tossed Uptown saloon. Michelle Fire, the community matriarch, serves tasty meals to sunburned boys and girls. This lively and colorful place is a part of the LGBTQ meeting place, part of an art gallery. In addition, the walls are painted with the owner’s selection of photos and paintings, which also include some renowned names like Diane Arbus.

You can also relish the free Sunday night buffet and themed dance parties. Besides, the rest of the week offers tons of drinks and food like buck burgers on Mondays. 

Location: 5024 N Sheridan Rd-Chicago

Contact:  773-728-5511

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Roscoe’s Tavern

The welcoming Roscoe’s Tavern is situated in the Northalsted essential. The spot has been a go-to for many local LGBTQ groups for more than thirty years now. This well-established landmark has a dance floor, an outdoor patio, multiple bars, and all the Lady Gaga that you seek; therefore, this Boystown gay restaurant offers several things to the table. Also, their drink specials are famous in the area with $15 to $17 cocktail jars, $1 miller lite on Sundays, and $5 shots and bombs each day.

Additionally, Roscoe’s is also a preferable place for visits by past and current RuPaul’s Drag Race personalities. Finally, if you are looking for a grand old time, this is the perfect place to go. The other famous events you can enjoy here are the themed dance nights, dueling and pianos, and karaoke entertained by legendary Chicago cabaret Honey West. This place also offers quiet hours on weekends in the early afternoon.

Furthermore, on weekends, bring cash for a cover; credit cards are accepted once inside. Prepare for a mix of drag and dancing performances from some of Chicago’s most popular performers, or even enter a drag contest yourself. Additionally, Thursday Stardust night is the hotspot for nightlife creativity. Gays and goths are most welcome, but there is something for almost everyone in Berlin.

Location: 954 W Belmont Ave Chicago

Contact: 773-348-4975

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Not an alcohol person? Try one of these finest places to enjoy High Tea in Chicago


Sidetrack – The Best Gay Bars In Chicago


Sidetrack is generally regarded as the king of Chicago’s gay bars. It was opened in 1982 and is famous for its sprawling design, including six big rooms and a beautiful rooftop deck. Space can fit more than 1000 party animals, equipped with giant video screens playing classic and new music videos and an unlimited supply of boozy drinks. Also, the owners are community activists who assisted in the passage of local anti-discrimination legislation in the 1980s. 

Aside from this, many boys reach out to perform at Sidetrack as it has multiple lounge areas on different levels, outdoor spaces, and dance floors. The great thing about this beer bar is that there is no cover charge and the drink menu here is one of the most impressive, with a decent wine and beer list.

Additionally, Sidetrack’s famous frozen cocktails are a must-try for a relishing experience. Just dance, belt out a few pop songs, or sit back and simply bask in the scenic beauty of the city. 

Location: 3349 N Halsted St Chicago 60657

Contact: 773-477-9189

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Jeffery Pub

The Jeffery Pub is one of the oldest gay bars in Chicago, also the only black-owned LGBTQ bar in the city. The bar is situated on the South Shore and is home to excellent cocktails and drag shows. The owner of the Jeffery Pub also had the passion for beginning Chicago’s first black and gay-owned sports bar, which he currently postponed due to Covid-19. 

Furthermore, this place is most visited by the regulars. However, the entry process here is a little daunting; you must be buzzed in and then stopped and searched. But it is all worth it for the strong drinks and a welcoming LGBTQ atmosphere.

This pub has given some of Chicago’s top American-African drag queens and frequently hosts drag shows many nights a week. The crowd grooves hip-hop to disco to house music, while the drinks remain strong and inexpensive. Do not miss their live entertainment, including lively dance, silky soul Sundays, and karaoke nights if you ever plan to visit Jeffery. 

Location: 7041 S Jeffery Ave Chicago 60649

Contact: 773-363-8555

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You might also look to know about SOHO House Chicago, a dynamic restaurant in the city.


Kit Kat Lounge


Don’t worry if you have no idea who Marilyn and Joan are. Prepare to be entertained by the black-and-white Hollywood glamour movies and performances by female imitators of Hollywood icons at this slick nightspot. If you visit Kit Kat Lounge, you will grab a drag show here, and you will also get a top-notch seat for it. This high-end lesbian and gay lounge or bar in Chicago is moderately small, and the queens here slide between booths with complete ease. 

Cosy over, this 20-year-old feast club is a prominent place for many bachelorette and partygoers; once you visit, you’ll understand why. There is also an extensive brunch and dinner menu alongside hundreds of martini strong drink choices.

So this is an ideal place whenever you want to be amused in comfort. Besides, chef Joann Witherell prepares scrumptious dishes like Southern fried chicken with cayenne maple waffles and bacon-truffle mac and cheese. So whenever you plan to hit up the Kit Kat Lounge, you will undoubtedly have a classy experience. 

Location: 3700 N Halsted St Chicago 60613

Contact: 773-525-1111

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You might also wish to visit Provare Chicago, for an Italian fine dining experience.


Marty’s Martini Gay Bar In Chicago

If your idea of a great time is a night with candlelight, a glass of wine, and sade spinning on vinyl, then you will find a home in Marty’s Martini Bar. It is one of the most remarkable and fabulous gay bars in Chicago. The club manages to be comfortable, cozy, and luxurious all at once. Marty’s has made a reputation for itself, and all thanks to its welcoming vibe, fantastic service, and not to forget their stellar cocktails.

Furthermore, this elegant, small cocktail joint is the ideal remedy for weariness from the Boystown scene. The bar is home to Toulouse-Lautrec posters, vested bartenders, and a fabulous wooden bar, Marty’s old-school aura sets perfectly with its modern cocktail list. The high-end Andersonville martini area consumes olives and white wine faster than a steakhouse. Grab a corner seat inside the dimly lit restaurant, or you can head outside on the gorgeous patio. Both ways, you will have a top-notch experience. Of course, their martinis are a must-try but do watch out as these martinis’ pours are heavy. 

Location: 1511 W Balmoral Ave Chicago 60640

Contact: 773-561-6425

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To Conclude

These finest gay bars in Chicago offer a lot more than just the nightlife; their warm and welcoming vibes are no doubt outstanding. You can simply choose any of these bars to relish the different experience but do not forget to check out their contact and website for more information like opening hours. So, step outside and see the diverse and vibrant LGBTQ world!

Also Checkout – Wicker Park Bars, Lincoln Park Bars. Want to go out shopping? Check out H-mart Chicago.

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