Favorite Local Spots

I’ve always enjoyed immersing myself into the local business and food movements in our community – from enjoying the city’s localvore food scene, to shopping small neighborhood businesses, to serving on the Board of Directors for Chicago Market, a community co-op aiming to open on Chicago’s north side.  

So, in addition to helping you with real estate questions, I’m also a good source of information for discovering local gems within Chicago’s diverse array of neighborhoods. Below are a few of my favorites – add yours in the comments! 


Lincoln Square & Ravenswood 

  • Coffee shop: Groundswell Coffee Roasters, La Boulangerie
  • Boutique: Homesoul, Chopping Block, Enjoy, Savory Spice Shop
  • Bar: The Sixth, Gene’s Sausage 
  • Restaurant: Gather, Spacca Napoli, 
  • Bakery: Mekato’s Colombian Bakery 

North Center, Roscoe Village

  • Coffee shop: Ritual Coffee Shop
  • Boutique: Scratch Goods 
  • Bar: Fountainhead (especially the summer-time rooftop!)
  • RestaurantCafe El Tapatio
  • Ice cream: Scooter’s frozen custard

Southport Corridor & Wrigleyville

  • Coffee shop: Cafe Tola 
  • Boutique: US Apothecary 
  • Bar: Bodega Sur 
  • Restaurant: Coda di Volpe, Coalfire
  • Best brunch: Southport Grocery 
  • Other Attractions/Events: Park at Wrigley, Music Box Theater 

Edgewater, Uptown & Rogers Park 

  • Coffee shop: Kopi Cafe
  • Boutiques: Transistor, Galleria  
  • Bar: Income Tax 
  • Restaurant: Appellation 
  • Grocery: Tai Nam Food Market 
  • Summertime Gardening fix: Peterson Garden Project & Gethsemane Garden Center
  • Iconic tours: Frank Lloyd Wright Bach House

Avondale, Albany Park & Portage Park

  • Coffee shop: Portage Grounds 
  • Bar: Nitehawk
  • Restaurants: Honey Butter Fried Chicken, Old Irving Brewery

Bucktown, Wicker Park & Logan Square 

  • Coffee shop: La Colombe, Bang Bang Pie Shop
  • Boutique: Meraki Room Salon 
  • Bar / Live Music: Rosa’s Lounge 
  • Restaurant: Piece Pizza, Lula Cafe, Longman & Eagle, Owen & Engine 

Lincoln Park

  • Coffee shop: Floriole Cafe & Bakery
  • Bar: The Red Lion
  • Restaurant: Ada Street; Lito’s Empanadas
  • Other Attractions/Events: Green City Market; Local Foods

West Loop & Downtown

  • Coffee shop: Little Goat Diner & Bakery  
  • Bar: Cindys at Chicago Athletic Association 
  • Theater/Dance: Hubbard St Dance Company at Harris Theater
  • Restaurant/Food Stalls: Revival Food Hall, French Market
  • Attractions: Crown Fountain

Gold Coast, Streeterville & Old Town 

  • Coffee / Sweets: Vanille Patisserie
  • Restaurant: 3 Arts Club Cafe at Restoration Hardware  
  • Other Attractions/Events: iO Comedy Club  

Other favorites & great for out of town guests:

  • Water Taxi
  • Architecture Tour 
  • Helicopter Tour 
  • Drive to Prairie Fruits Farm in Champaign, IL (see Sunday Dinner Club)
  • Train to Milwaukee (must eat: La Merenda, Braise)

photo credits: 3 Arts Cafe, The Sixth, Cafe Tapatio, Blue Star Properties, Merkai Room, Eater, Chicago Reader


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