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Northalsted (Boystown)

Why we love it

Northalsted (also known as Boystown) is one of the most country’s inclusive LGBTQ+ communities and the oldest officially recognized gay neighborhood in the United States. It’s known for its welcoming vibe, nonstop nightlife, LGBTQ-owned businesses, and excellent dining options. It’s also the center of some of Chicago’s most popular events and festivals.

Explore like a local

Northalsted Market Days
Northalsted Market Days, photo by Steven Koch, @northalsted & @gopride
  • Dance the night away at Sidetrack, whether it’s drag race Friday or Musical Monday.
  • Get sassy at Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club, where dinner is served with a tableside drag show.
  • Enjoy stylish dishes pulled from a wood-fired oven at Wood, a Michelin Bib Gourmand recipient.

Insider tips

Stroll the award-winning Legacy Walk, the world’s only outdoor LGBTQ history museum. Located on Halsted Street from Belmont Avenue to Grace Street, the Legacy Walk commemorates LGBTQ+ heroes and historical events with colorful monuments.

Along the way, stop into funky boutiques, cool vintage clothing stores, and independent shops that capture the casual, funky spirit of the neighborhood — CRAM Fashion, Unabridged Bookstore, Ragstock, and Reckless Records are just a few.

Come evening, the party never stops. Check out the local nightlife scene, where you’ll find karaoke parties, drag shows, dance floors, dive bars, and more. A few favorites include Roscoe’s, Hydrate, The Closet, and more.

The neighborhood is also the heart of the city’s annual Pride Month celebrations. The party starts at Pride Fest, with two days of music, food, dancing, drag queens, and more. The celebrations culminate with the famed Chicago Pride Parade, a spectacular procession that draws an estimated one million spectators each year. The pride doesn’t stop there — Northalsted Market Days in August is the largest street festival in the Midwest.

Chicago Greeter: free guided tours

Taste, shop and explore the neighborhoods with a friendly local as your guide. Explore rich histories, diverse cultural traditions and hidden treasures. See sides of the city you may not have adventured out to on your own, and take away a truly authentic Chicago experience. Greeter visits are customized based on your choice of neighborhoods, language and interests.

Request a tour with a Chicago Greeter

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