Lakeview East is the section of Lake View east of North Halsted bordering Lake Michigan. The slice of Lakeview East between Halsted and Broadway is known colloquially as Boystown for its concentration of LGBT-friendly businesses, the Center-On-Halsted, gay bars, and the amazing brunch places that accompany the demographic. Apartments in the area are generally higher-rent, in mid-rise buildings, with many upscale lofts and condominiums available as well. Median rental cost is around $1,400 for a chic one-bedroom, although one can expect to pay considerably more for an apartment with a view of the lake or to be in the heart of the action.
The ‘Lake View’ name has been in use for the better part of two centuries, starting when the Lakeview House hotel was built in 1854. Much of the development of the Lake View area is owed to the comforts that Lake View East provides. After the Lake View Township was annexed to Chicago, and the real estate boom in the 1950’s, there was a yearning for identity among the neighborhoods of Lake View. Lakeview East especially desired distinction to protect its premium image that it has held since the Township’s formation. Boystown was formed within Lakeview East and is one of the oldest recognized gay villages in the nation. In 1973 the Gay Horizons foundation opened, was soon renamed Horizons Community Services, and would eventually become the largest LGBT community center in the Midwest.
Lakeview East is best known for its vibrant nightlife, brownstone walkups, and overall affluence. Gentrification and population shift transformed Lake View, pushing the more educated and wealthy residents to the east and south. Large businesses like Whole Foods have recently moved into the neighborhood as well as shopping centers, adding to the area’s prosperity. Rainbow flags are ubiquitous here and Boystown makes the area remarkably warm and friendly. Lakeview East is also known for its prominent Jewish population and three synagogues. There are multiple residential community organizations, including the Belmont Harbor Neighbors, and South East Lake View Neighbors, providing the area with a strong community atmosphere.
Check out the Lakeview Historic District to see the oldest parts of Chicago, including many original buildings form the original Lake View Township, dating back to the mid 19th century. Stop into Paciugo Gelato on Broadway beforehand for the area’s best frozen treats. Crisp is renowned for the Korean-American fusion take on fried chicken, it’s a do-not-miss. The Chicago Diner has all your vegetarian and vegan needs under control. If you’d like a little show with your food, the Kit-Kat Lounge & Supper Club’s drag show is certain to astound. For dessert, La Creperie makes crepes like you’ve never had. Dance it all off at Sidetrack or one of the other gay bars on Halsted. End your night, or start your day at Nookies Tree, featuring BYOB and brunch 24 hours a day.