Known for its absolutely beautiful skyline, the Windy City is definitely at the top of the list for tourists. Born and raised in Chicago, one of the things I love about this city is its diversity – in its people and neighborhoods. With so many vibrant neighborhoods to explore, the heart and the soul of the city not only lie in downtown, but within its many incredible neighborhoods. Living and traveling in Chicago is like an everyday adventure!
With endless new restaurants, boutiques, galleries, bakeries, and more to explore, there is never a boring day in a city as magnificent as Chicago! Have an entire weekend or day to do absolutely anything? Check out some of my favorite hoods in the city with the best places to visit!
1. Lincoln Park
Located on the North side of Chicago, this is a great area filled with fantastic restaurants and cute boutiques!
Molly’s Cupcakes: 2536 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL 60614
This cupcake shop sells some of the most delicious treats with many cupcake flavors to choose from! It is a cute cupcake shop with a very chill and inviting atmosphere with many friendly workers. The Ron Bennington, Kahlua, and Red Velvet are some of my favorite flavors!
Urban Outfitters Outlet: 2352 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL 60614
If you love UO the best location to splurge on is hands down the outlet in Lincoln Park. You will go absolutely crazy at their 50% off sales and would be tempted to buy the whole store!
Other locations to visit: Aloha Eats, Del Seoul, Vanille Patisserie & Steppenwolf Theatre
2. Wicker Park/Bucktown
Known for its eclectic and energetic style, Wicker Park is arguably the birthplace of “Hipster.” These two neighborhoods house some of the best music venues and is a definite nightlife environment.
Double Door: 1572 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL 60622
Love live music? This popular music venue brings out many performances by bands and artists from different musical styles.
Glazed & Infused: 1553 N. Damen Ave. Chicago, IL 60622
This doughnut joint has 5 Chicago locations that each serve fresh, yummy doughnuts with unique flavors such as Maple Bacon, Red Velvet, and Crème Brûlée.
Chicago is one of the most GLBT-friendly cities you’ll find and Boystown is by far one of the best to explore! It is a great community to display your Chicago pride and coming out to the annual Gay Pride Parade is a must every summer!
Locations to visit: Bonsai Bar & Lounge, Taverna 750, & Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club
4. Gold Coast
If you’re looking for a place with upscale boutiques, shops, and high-rise apartments, the Gold Coast is fantastic neighborhood to live in. Love anything and everything Marc Jacobs, Versace, Louis Vuitton, or Prada? Then this neighborhood is the perfect location for you!
More Cupcakes: 1 E. Delaware Place Chicago, IL 60611
This small dessert shop bakes some of the most sophisticated, classy cupcakes with a variety of flavor combinations that you’ll adore indulging in!
Whether it’s the night life, restaurants, the Cubs, or the access to the lake, this neighborhood is one of the best entertainment spots with something exciting always going on!
House of Sushi & Noodles: 1610 W. Belmont Chicago, IL 60657
If you’re obsessed with sushi like I am, this is the perfect place fulfill your craving! With so many delicious options to choose from, you will definitely get your money’s worth and leave satisfied! Must try sushi rolls: Caterpillar, Christmas, Snow Fuji, and Godzilla Maki.
Schuba’s Tavern: 3159 N. Southport Chicago, IL 60657
Having a girl’s night out and looking for a place to go? Schuba’s Tavern in Lakeview is a great concert venue/bar & grill to catch up and have fun with your girlies!
Other locations to visit: Fritz Pastry, Metro, and The Vic.
This neighborhood located on the Northeast side of Chicago may be small, but it is packed with many great restaurants and antique shops.
Calo Ristorante: 5343 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL 60640
Love Italian food? This restaurant has some of the best authentic Italian food and American dishes. Their pastas are delicious and the ribs are mouth-watering!
Presence: 5216 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL 60640
This fun clothing, jewelry, and accessory store offer a variety of clothes with a simple, yet eclectic vintage feel.
Other locations to visit: Hamburger Mary’s, A Taste of Heaven, & First Slice Pie Café
7. Lincoln Square
This North Side neighborhood has a German heritage with plenty of tasteful dining areas during the day and has many great bars and clubs for the nightlife environment.
Goosefoot: 2656 W. Lawerence Ave. Chicago, IL 60625
This Lincoln Square restaurant is definitely on the high end side and a bit pricy. If you’re looking for a more formal, classy restaurant to go out with your date, this is the perfect place to go to. Their menu is sophisticated and offers tons of tasty dishes.
Other locations to visit: Isla Pilipina, Over Easy Café, & Bistro Campagne