There?s a reason Toronto was chosen for the role of body double for Queer As Folk. Hot bars, hot boys (and girls!), and no shortage of social enthusiasm keep Canada?s hottest gay city sizzling -- no matter how low temperatures drop outside.
Woody's (465-467 Church St; 416-972-0887) is a labyrinthine complex of five bars famed from Queer As Folk. It attracts the after-work crowd and has nightly events such as the "Best Chest Contest." Another famed QAF venue is the throbbing Fly NiteClub (8 Gloucester St; 416-410-5426), the 10,000-square-foot dance emporium that served as the original Babylon for the gay series. Gay folks also frequent super-club Circa, a mixed straight/gay venue in the predominantly hetero Entertainment District.
Visitors will find Chicago's nightlife scene refreshingly less aggressive and style-conscious than New York's or L.A.'s. The majority of gay bars are in Boystown (Lakeview) on North Halsted Street, or farther north in Andersonville.
Sidetrack (3349 N. Halsted St.; 773-477-9189) is a video bar specializing in theme nights ('70s & '80s; show tunes; comedy night), and is busy most every night of the week. It's by far the most popular gay bar in Chicago. Roscoe's (3354 N. Halsted St.; 773-281-3355) is the stomping ground for a wide-eyed and barely legal set of young gays. Circuit (3641 N. Halsted St.; 773-325-2233) is Boystown's largest dance space, with 3D glitter-effect flooring and a young dance crowd. The city?s freshest, hippest hotspots are Scarlet (3320 N. Halsted St; 773-348-1053), a chic red and exposed brick drinking den; and sleek Minibar (3341 N. Halsted St; 773-871-6227), home to the city?s stand and model set.