With the release of our 2016–2017 Chicago Neighborhood Maps, we’re sure you’re eager to explore the city. Here are some of the favorite neighborhoods.
You might consider Eric Loughlin, concierge at theWit Hotel, a bit biased being that he lives in Wicker Park, but his insight is invaluable in exploring this character-filled neighborhood. Food is definitely a highlight for Wicker Park. When the Buffalo native considers Lillie’s Q to have the best wings in Chicago you know it’s a must-try barbecue spot. Loughlin even shares a literal hidden lounge with his favorite craft-cocktail bar Bordel, which is tucked above Black Bull. For sweets don’t miss Stan’s Donuts and Coffee where Loughlin recommends the banana Nutella pocket. For shopping, grab designer shoes at City Soles, consignment threads at Buffalo Exchange, and quality denim at Mildblend Supply Co. If you want to work off some of the eating and shopping head a couple of blocks north of North Avenue and bike or walk The 606 trail, which stretches 2.7 miles across other Chicago neighborhoods.
Corporate concierge Akilah Perry can’t get enough of Hyde Park. A great way to get there is to bike down the Lakefront Trail and start your exploring at Promontory Point, the peninsula designed by Prairie School landscape architect Alfred Caldwell, where you’ll get a unique view of the city. Head into Hyde Park and get some of the freshest streetwear at Sir and Madame, owned and operated by Hyde Park natives Brian and Autumn Merritt, where they offer a classic style with a twist. After all that biking and shopping grab some authentic Jamaican food at Ja’ Grill where you can get some flavorful jerk chicken, curry goat, and red snapper while sipping on a tropical cocktail.
It may be a small section in West Town but Ukrainian Village does pack a lot in. For Kimberly Turner, assistant general manager at Hosteling International, it starts with the food. At Roots Pizza the focus is all about handmade food starting with the dark-roasted malt used for their crusts to the sausages made in the kitchen. If it’s hot out don’t skip out on Black Dog Gelato where chef Jessica Oloroso offers unique flavors like blueberry french toast, blood orange sorbet, Mexican hot chocolate, and whiskey bacon. If you’re looking for unique souvenirs head to Paperish Mess where they sell works from over 100 independent artists. There is something for everyone here whether it be tie bars with maps of the city, beautiful prints of tableaus, or just a cute poster of two foxes playing a guitar and autoharp. For some more culture, don’t miss the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art. What started as a place to highlight the many contemporary Ukrainian artists in the 1970s has become an alternative modern art museum that has added works from artists from the U.S., Lithuania, and Poland. Although it houses an extensive permanent collection and rotating exhibits, what sets it apart are the films, musical performances, gallery talks, and literary events.