11 Sober LGBTQ+ Spaces in Chicago

When you think queer culture in Chicago, you may first think of the bars and clubs of Northalsted. However, LGBTQ+ people across the country have been taking an increasing interest in non-alcoholic spaces—and Chicago is home to numerous sober spaces and events for LGBTQ+ people, not to mention organizations and gathering spots where alcohol won’t be a focus. Chicago Social Butterflies rounded up 11 non-alcoholic options in the city. 

Do you run a sober space or event in Chicago that’s not included? Email events@chisocialbutterflies.com to let us know.

Anne’s Haven
5629 W. Irving Park Road

Geared towards women and nonbinary people of all identities, Anne’s Haven is a space to find community, create your own events or just hang out. Past programs have included women’s business events, yoga classes, study groups and more. If you’re looking for a dedicated queer space, the organization also hosts frequent events for queer folks.

Bendición Dry Bar
2540 W. Division St.

Located in Humboldt Park, Bendición Dry Bar brings sober activities to the West Side. Billed as “one of the first intentional Sober Social Community Spaces in Chicago,” it prides itself on providing a large variety of non-alcoholic beers, spirits, wines and seltzers. Most of its products come from women-, marginalized community-, or family-owned businesses. Benedición also hosts community events if you are looking for a more social aspect.

Brown Elephant
3020 N. Lincoln Ave., 5404 N. Clark St. and 217 Harrison St.

Looking for a fun day of thrifting? Head over to one of Brown Elephant’s three locations to fill all your needs for second-hand clothing, furniture, decor and more. As part of Howard Brown Health, all proceeds from the resale shop benefit LGBTQ+ healthcare and care for the un- or under-insured at Howard Brown Health. All locations also offer free HIV and STI screenings, as well.

Chicago Queer Contra 
656 W. Barry Ave.

Bars not your scene? Looking for a more active environment to meet folks? Come to Chicago Queer Contra dance club. “Contra dance” is an old New England folk dance tradition where dances are taught by a “caller” who “calls out” instructions throughout the dance. Classes are $0-10 on a sliding scale at the door, and no experience is required.

Eli Tea Bar
5507 N. Clark St.

This tea bar in Andersonville is a hub for casual queer events. Eli Tea Bar is a specialty tea shop with sober hours later in the day and a calendar for weekly events ranging from trivia to book clubs to open-mics. Some events even have built-in social time where folks are encouraged to meet new friends. 

Lez Get Together

Lez Get Together is similar to Queer Sober Social, but geared towards the lesbian community. Some past events have included yoga classes, holiday card-writing, and casual meet-ups with non-alcoholic drinks, snacks, and conversational activities. They’ve also hosted events that give back to the local community, such as bringing essential donations to Chicago’s migrant community. 

New Town Alano Club
3326 N. Ashland Ave.

For those who may be sober-curious, actively seeking recovery services or just interested in educational material, New Town Alano Club is a great place to find community along your journey—even hosting a specific LGBTQ outreach mission. With programs from traditional AA to Narcotics Anonymous and even “Recovery Dharma,” an addiction recovery program utilizing Buddhist principles, there’s a path for everyone. There are also volunteer opportunities for events and outreach, as well. 

Queer Sober Social

Queer Sober Social hosts events in person and virtually for queer people in Chicago. Events range from arcade games to general chit-chatting socials, and you can find their calendar on their website. With over 1,700 interested members on the group’s webpage, it’s a great way to connect with other queer people and make new friends. 

Two Hearted Queen
1201 N. Roscoe St.

This queer-owned coffeehouse opened in 2015 and has been serving the Lakeview community ever since. Open from 7 a.m.- 3 p.m. daily, it’s the perfect cozy place to grab a drink and hang out with friends, read a book or get some work done. If you’re a fan of the coffee, you can also purchase signature bean blends to take home. 

Unabridged Bookstore
3251 N. Broadway

Need a quiet, safe space for a more solitary day? Stop by Unabridged Bookstore in Lakeview. Opened in 1980, the store has prided itself on being Chicago’s go-to bookstore for LGBTQ+ literature. It also does work beyond the LGBTQ+ community, currently supporting Project AMOR to support the needs of Chicago’s migrants and local pro-choice organizations.

Women & Children First Bookstore
5233 N. Clark St.

Another great place to browse a wide variety of literature is Women & Children First. Opened in 1979, the bookstore boasts a varied selection from traditionally underrepresented voices. They also host author visits and other book-related events, so be sure to check out their website to find upcoming events.