Boystown: The Pride of Chicago

men marching in gay pride parade

Boystown is one of the largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities in the United States and it is proud of this status, as evidenced by its annual Gay Pride Festival and Parade. Not only does the community have this pride festival, but it has been doing very well during the recent recession. In the past few years, LGBT-owned businesses have been flourishing as Boystown has been thriving, with new nightclubs, hair salons, wine stores, vintage boutiques and even technology startups. It is really a great place to live.

According to, the median list price for homes near Boystown in the East Lakeview area is $275,000, which is up more than 13 percent year-over-year. Rent prices have also risen in the area over the last year, with the median rent list price hovering at $1,330 per month. Currently, there are 439 homes listed for sale in the area. While prices may be rising in the neighborhood, it is still an excellent place to call home thanks to everything Boystown has to offer.
Boystown has a variety of low-key but well-known restaurants that really pull the city together.

  • Wood.  Easily known as Boystown’s number one restaurant, this establishment is expensive but worth the splurge. They have a fantastic and delicious dinner menu that includes small plates, such as a Poached Lobster ‘Salad’; large plates, which includes Sauteed Duck Breast and Roasted California Sturgeon; and a charcuterie and cheese selection. In addition, the restaurant serves exceptional signature cocktails and has a mouth-watering brunch menu.
  • Taverna 750. Interested in taking a trip back in time for some old-school Italian? Taverna 750 is perfect for you. The dishes are all small and are meant to be shared among the whole table, meaning you get the opportunity to try a wide variety of foods at each visit. This restaurant is very affordable and perfect for brunch!
  • HB Restaurant. Home Bistro is an all-American restaurant that serves comfort food and is BYOB. NBC Chicago ranks it in the top 10 BYOB restaurants! It is the perfect place for a get-together with its very relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere.
  • Senza. Inspired by outdoor and up-scale European cafés, you will love its simplicity and sophistication. Senza’s website points out that it offers an “elegant yet casual fine dining experience.”
  • Jack’s on Halsted. This contemporary American bar and grill serves a range of cuisines, such as Asian, Mediterranean and New World.  Jack’s is passionate about two things, serving healthy, excellent food and being sensible about their prices. Sounds amazing!

As previously mentioned, Boystown is one of the largest LGBT communities in the United States, which makes sense as to why it is home to the famous Gay Pride Festival and Parade.  This year, the annual festival celebrates its 45th anniversary June 21 and 22, 2014. There will be a variety of activities to enjoy, including performances by Jennifer Hudson, Alex Newell, Mya, Betty Who, Kathy Sledge, Amber, Nikki Williams, Kacy Battaglia, GIRLBAND, and Carlito Olivero.  There are also a multitude of events offered during this festival, such as the Dance Off with Your Pants Off, the Annual Flag Day Beer Bust and BBQ, the After the Beach Party at Touché, and the Cram Fashion’s Pride Party.

Not only is there a festival, but there is the parade that goes along with it!  The 45th annual Gay Pride Parade will be on June 29, 2014. It starts at Montrose Avenue and Broadway in Uptown and ends near Diversy Parkway and Sheridan Road in Lincoln Park.  It is said that “the streets are lined 12 deep as 750,000 people cheer the contingents on and enjoy the show, culture and experience!”

Boystown is also home to the Center on Halsted, the Midwest’s largest center serving the LGBT community. The center offers support networks and programs that meet the needs of the LGBT youth, adults, seniors and families. In addition, the center hosts a variety of cultural events, such as lectures and performances.

To learn more about the Boystown neighborhood, click here. For more information on real estate in Chicago, click here.