Boystown named best gay neighborhood in the world

Thu. January 2, 2014 10:32 AM by News Staff

chicago pride parade, 2013

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Chicago's Boystown voted most 'Incomparable Gay Neighborhood'

Chicago's Boystown neighborhood has been voted best gay neighborhood in the world, beating areas in other cities like The Mission in San Francisco, New York City's Chelsea and communities in Barcelona and Madrid.

Readers of the LGBT travel magazine and website,, voted in the Out Traveler Awards 2013, which included 18 categories. Boystown took top honors for 'Incomparable Gay Neighborhood.'

"Sometimes when you live somewhere, you get used to all the great things around you, and forget how lucky you are," Scarlet Bar and Taverna 750 owner Paul Cannella told "When tourists come to town, they always leave happy."

Editors of the Los Angeles-based publication noted Boystown is home to one of the largest Pride celebrations (over 1 million spectators attended the Chicago Pride Parade in 2012), the Market Days street festival and Illinois recent legalization of same-sex marriage as several reasons for the win.

In addition to the annual Chicago Pride Parade, which takes place the last Sunday in June, the Northalsted Business Alliance (NHBA) hosts Pride Fest and Northalsted Market Days, which are annual street festivals that bring thousands of people to the neighborhood.

"We have incredible businesses, very diverse and accepting residents, and we're working on a ton of new initiatives for the neighborhood that folks are gonna love," added Cannella, who also serves as a board member of the NHBA Executive Committee. 

Situated just southeast of Wrigleyville on the North Side of Chicago, Boystown is the first officially recognized gay village in the United States and remains home to Chicago's visible and active gay and lesbian community.

In August, Lakeview, which encompasses Boystown, was named one of the nations's top neighborhoods by Money Magazine

"Coupled with the Money Magazine award, this is the cherry on top," joked Cannella. 

Other categories in the Out Traveler Awards included 'Most Decadent Destination Party', White Party; 'Hottest Gay Beach', Ipanema in Rio De Janeiro; and 'Best Hotel Chain', Kimpton. is owned by Here Media, parent company of The Advocate and Out magazines. 

Read the full list of winners on