The 5 Best LGBT Bars
A’ville and B’town residents flock to this Uptown hipster dive’s dance floor on the weekends. Cure your hangover with a Sunday brunch and Bloody Mary next door at partner establishment Tweet.
Find it: 5024 N. Sheridan Rd., 773-728-5511, bigchicks.com
A far cry from its rowdy neighbor Hydrate, this intimate bar serves up impressive signature cocktails well worth the probable wait for a seat. The diverse clientele and helpful bartenders make non-Boystowners feel more than welcome.
Find it: 3452 N. Halsted St., 773-975-9244, elixirchicago.com
If you can find the unassuming stairwell off Michigan Avenue leading up to this tiny taproom that delights in its own seediness, be ready for (super) stiff drinks, blaring pop tunes, and a mixed crowd of middle-aged professionals and young boozers looking for a cheap highball.
Find it: 157 E. Ohio St., 312-923-9536
A neighborhood mainstay for 30 years, sleek, multilevel Sidetrack boasts a busy summer roof deck that buzzes with drunken camaraderie every show-tunes-themed night. Don’t let the cavernous rooms fool you—they get packed.
Find it: 3349 N. Halsted St., 773-477-9189, sidetrackchicago.com
T’s Bar & Restaurant (Closed)
Above-par food and daily beer specials distinguish T’s—sister to the Glenwood and Sidecar—as the go-to haunt for Andersonville’s lesbian community, but Gs, Bs, Ts, and more are welcome at this self-described “bar for everyone.”
Find it: 5025 N. Clark St. , 773-784-6000, tsbarchicago.com
Photograph: Christine Forster