Chicago neighborhood Lincoln Square is full of incredible food, culture and constant entertainment. Take classes or enjoy a concert series at the legendary Old Town School of Folk Music, the nation’s largest independent arts school. Stop by the DANK Haus German American Cultural Center, dedicated to preserving and promoting German culture, heritage and language.
Attend an outdoor concert at the gazebo in Welles Park or swim a few laps at the indoor fitness center. See a movie at the Davis Theater and grab a bowl of frozen yogurt afterwards at Yogurt Square. Pick up some homemade smoked sausage or other Polish delicacies at Gene’s Sausage Shop and Delicatessen. Fill up a growler or drink a beer in the garden at Half Acre Beer Co.
Compared to other Chicago neighborhoods, street parking in Lincoln Square is simple. The square itself is lined with metered parking and a separate parking lot for overflow cars. Residential parking permits means you’ll rarely have to struggle to find a spot for the night. The Western Brown line “L” stop makes it easy to get downtown or to O’Hare or Midway airports. Major streets like Lawrence, Foster, and Western have expansive bus routes with regular pickups so you can get to the beach or the suburbs.
Lincoln Square offers almost every type of cuisine you could dream of. The 1920’s Buenos Aires Inspired ARTANGO Bar & Steakhouse complements Argentinian dining with tango dancing. For Greek try Barba Yianni’s right next door. Or the Famous Dutch Pancake House across the street. Luella’s Southern Kitchen, Taco In A Bag, Roots Handmade Pizza, Chubby Wieners, Pho’s Spicier Thai Cuisine, Garcia’s, Essence of India and Miku Sushi are just a few of the restaurants within a few blocks of the square.
There’s never a shortage of fun things to do, or taste, in the refreshing neighborhood of Lincoln Square.
Ravenswood is a neighborhood on the North Side of Chicago that is a hodgepodge of multicolored Victorian homes, repurposed industrial manufacturing buildings, art centers and breweries. The area was designed in the 19th century to be Chicago’s first commuter suburb, and was annexed to the city in the late 1800s with the addition of much-needed infrastructure.
Ravenswood, which includes the home of Chicago’s current mayor, Rahm Emanuel, is known for its “Industrial Corridor” — a stretch of Ravenswood Avenue bisected by the Metra’s railroad tracks — that is now a hub for the community’s creative minds.
You can find a variety of great eats in Ravenswood, from Maiden Voyage Cafe, which sources its food locally, to Glenn’s Diner, reputed for its voluminous selection of fresh seafood and its entertaining cereal display behind the bar. The neighborhood also features “Malt Row,” a two-mile stretch that includes the first Michelin-starred brewpub, Band of Bohemia, and Koval Distillery, which in 2008 became the first distillery to open in Chicago since the mid-1800s.
A little-known area gem is the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum archives, which houses scientific collections, staff offices and workstations, functioning as a counterpart to the full-fledged museum that is located in Lincoln Park.
Ravenswood is also one of Chicago’s most accessible neighborhoods through public transit, with a self-named Metra station and conveniently located CTA Brown Line stops at Montrose and Damen. To supplement getting around by train, the CTA also has the #81 Lawrence bus, which stops at the major train stations on Lawrence, and the #50 Damen bus, which can take you into the city’s medical district. There’s also bike lanes that run down Damen and Lawrence Avenues, connecting conveniently to allow cyclists easy access to major thoroughfares.
You’re likely to find something you fall in love with in Ravenswood, removed just enough from the heart of the city to give you the sense of an intimate residential community, but with easy enough access to the rest of Chicago that you’ll stay connected to the entire area.