Shops

Top 10 Grocery Stores in Chicago

We took a look at the grocery stores that get the most traffic. Will this change with competitors like peapod and instacart on the rise?

#1 Jewel-Osco • 424 W Division St

Right off Division Street, wedged between Clybourn and Sedgwick, this Jewel-Osco is one of the finest in the city. You’ll spot incomparable clearance sections throughout the store, and with the new Saturday Morning Samplers, you’ll never have to worry about them running out as the service desk is more than delighted to offer you a substitute or a rain check.

#2 Mariano’s New City • 1500 N Clybourn Ave

A new edition to Lincoln Park, on a corner of the New City project, this large, two-story Mariano’s is full of midday free samples and “Free Friday” downloads. Free Parking is readily available, and you can always expect fresh foods. It doesn’t hurt that the cashiers are some of the nicest, and most helpful cashiers around town.

#3 Old World Market • 5129 North Broadway Street

Get your fresh meat, fish, poultry, you name it, all at a low cost to you. On the fringe of Uptown, the World Market has been featured on ABC 7 Chicago and has been a staple in the community for a while now. Lines are long at the meat counter, but the lines move fast, and the butchers are charming.

#4 Treasure Island Foods • 75 W Elm St

Calling all veggie lovers—fresh veggies, a zesty salad bar, and a hot food bar is all at your disposal if you stop by for visit. This Treasure Islands is in the heart of the Gold Coast located on Elm street off Clark street. In the winter time, you can even pick up a Christmas tree or two found outside in the front of the store.

#5 Trader Joe’s • 1840 N Clybourn Ave

Who knew all your healthy-conscious and natural eats could be so affordable? Free parking comes as a plus for this already optimal-choice grocery store. Buy a large bag of sweet potato tortilla chips for less than $2, and bring your recyclable bag to make the most of your trip to this Clybourn stop.

#6 Whole Food’s Market (AMAZON) • 1550 N Kingsbury St

Granted, Whole Food’s is a bit pricey, but with Amazon’s recent buy, its future looks a whole lot cheaper. Besides, there’s much to enjoy about the overall ambiance of this super-large location. From trickling across a plethora of free samples to grabbing lunch and a beverage at one of the exquisite eats, one could easily spend a few hours here. There’s also free parking and friendly, (sometimes hippie,) staffers.

#7 Stanley’s Fresh Fruits and Vegetables • 1558 N Elston Ave

This grocer has got to have some of the best deals on high quality fruits and vegetables in the city. Picture two containers of strawberries for just $0.98, and red bell peppers at $0.39/lb. The store is neatly organized and their customer service is efficient as it is bilingual.

#8 Devon Market • 1440 W Devon Ave

Shopping at this market feels like hopping on a light aircraft and travelling around Eastern Europe, while playing your favorite radio station. There’s a great selection of fresh fruits and veggies, regular discounts on sushi and alcohol, and if you happen to be a current member of Loyola University, you’re in for a student discount.

#9 Jewel-Osco • 550 N State St

#10 ALDI • 1836 N Clybourn Ave

 

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Drink, Eat, Events, Get The List, Life, Neighborhood Guide, Shop

The Top 10 Things To Do And See In Uptown Chicago

Many Chicago neighborhoods come close, but not many surpass the rich and culturally colorful history of Uptown. From things to do, bites to eat, and places you ought to see, here is a simple guide to some highlights of Uptown.

Beauty House Beauty Supply • 1041 W Wilson Ave

Look no further: anything you’ve been looking for, here is where you’re going to find it. This Uptown cosmetic shop is perhaps the finest beauty house in the city. Hair enthusiast and product junkies alike will find that this long-time staple is like a candy shop. Bags are checked in at the front door, and if you’re using a plastic card, your purchase must total $10 and onward. But, beyond that, there are endless aisles full of all your hair, hair care, skin, nails, and jewelry needs.

The Godfather’s Famous Pizza • 1265 W Wilson Ave

Another best in the city, “Godfather’s Pizza” is too mouth-watering for words. They’ve got stuffed pizzas, and puffed pizzas, pan pizzas, and thin crust pizzas, right on Wilson Avenue. There’s an eclectic menu full of other classic Italian bites, delivering to nearly 30 of Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods for only $2.50.

Green Mill Cocktail Lounge • 4802 N Broadway St

Nothing sounds sweeter than a cocktail lounge with connections to Chicago mob history. It’s been around since 1907, and can be seen in movies such as Thief (1981), Soul Food (1997),  and High Fidelity (2000) to name a few. While you won’t catch Al Capone sitting in his favorite booth, or Jack McGurn’s men literally being cutthroat, you will find the sweet jazz and blues and poetry performances incredible. Get in early, because this place has a tendency to fill up.

Montrose Beach

The beach of Uptown, and a superbly popular beach for beach-goers,  there’s plenty of fun in the sun to be had. Wind up playing volleyball, or sitting under an umbrella, enjoy the complimentary WiFi. There are concession stands, kayak rentals, water-sport rentals like jet-skis, and plans had been made for a simulated wave pool. There’s even a fenced-off dog beach for a man and his best friend to play.

Black Ensemble Theater Company •  4450 N Clark Street

This theater company is at the epicenter of productions involving Black-American culture. You’ll enjoy musicals celebrating infamous black musicians and performers like Marvin Gaye, Jackie Wilson, and Billie Holiday. One of the greatest aspects of this company is the role it plays in contributing to Chicago’s emerging Theater Town image. The company once performed at 4520 North Beacon Street, but have been performing in this new state of the art 50,000-square-foot Cultural Center since November 18, 2011.

West Argyle Street Historic District

Once a suburb called “Argyle Park,” and now Chicago’s first and only shared street, Asia on Argyle is just that. There’s a hodgepodge of Vietnamese, Chinese, Camboadian, Laotian, and Thai restaurants, bakeries and shops. Window shop and find duck roasting before your eyes. You’ll probably want to stop by Lao Sze Chuan and try the dry chili chicken while you’re there.

Wilson Red Line Uptown Station

While the Popeye’s is more of a throwback, and renovation of the Wilson Red line stop is already underway, the stone infrastructure of the Uptown Station will still remain in its architectural greatness. If you’ve traveled in and around Uptown during the past several decades, this station will always hold some sort of significance to you and bring you that good ole’ nostalgia.

 

Racial Reconciliation Mural • N Sheridan Rd & W Sunnyside Ave

The Unique Thrift Store on Sheridan is now something of the past, but for now, the mural along the wall of the building still stands. The mural has a rich history, which you can check out here, and is filled with symbolism and messages of faith. Completed in the mid-1990s, this art is worth taking a look at before anything could possibly happen to it.

Aragon Ballroom • 1106 W Lawrence Ave

The most awe-fulfilling factor that makes Uptown one of the greatest communities to ever grace Chicago is it’s very rich history. Not so long ago, people would flock to the ballroom from all over the city and surrounding suburbs, to partake in dance, concerts, and a melee of other uses. It was built in a Moorish architectural style, where the interior resembled a Spanish village, earning the Spanish name of “Aragon.” Today, the venue has continued to be used as the hot spot for concerts, live-recordings, and other events.

Riviera Theatre • 4746 N Racine Ave

This concert venue that fits about 2,500 people was built in 1917 at the intersection of Lawrence, Broadway and Racine. At one point, in the late 1980’s, it was a private nightclub. Since 2006, it’s been owned by Jam Productions. This June, catch Future Islands and Portugal. The ManBlack Daniels and Electric Guest in concert.

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Life

Top 20 Black-Owned Restaurants You Want To Visit

The temperatures outside are climbing, and summer is certainly underway, but nothing says a Chi-summer like the munchies. We’ve compiled the perfect list to satiate that hunger, consisting of the top must-see black-owned restaurants on the premise of their originality, zesty food, and positive reviews. From soul vegetarian food to that juicy all-American cuisine, it’s needless to say, you’re going to find a taste of it all on this list.

Ms. Biscuit 5431 S Wabash Avenue

Walk into Ms. Biscuits and you’ll be walking out singing the Cheers theme song—”Where everybody knows your name”—because that’s just how things work here. And to mention the great food; here you’ll get your diner fix along with the namesake dish of grilled biscuits and gravy!

Mikkey’s Retro Grill 5319 S Hyde Park Blvd

Here comes Mikkey’s, whipping up salmon, turkey and veggie burgers in a neighborhood where you’ll find a “vegetarian, pescatarian, meatatarian and a vegan all on the same block,” according to the owner, Erik Nance. But of course, a retro shack like this comes with a menu of burgers, waffle fries, shakes and sundaes. Also, we recommend checking out Nance and his contributions to the Chicago community.

Sweet Maple Café 1339 W Taylor St 

In this quaint, brick building, have breakfast or lunch, whenever you step-into Sweet Maple Cafe—and when we say lunch, we mean the kind that reaches the soul and puts you right to sleep.

Batter and Berries 2748 N Lincoln Ave

If the name isn’t delicious enough? This cafe has you covered with creative pancakes, omelets & other breakfast eats, and it’s melee of sandwiches and lunch. Then there’s also the excitement of the 68-seat breakfast nooks and the mosaic-tiled tables, crafted by the owners themselves.

Original Soul Vegetarian 203 E 75th St

You’ve got your vegetarian and vegan foods, and then you’ve got your vegetarian and vegan southern/soul foods with health and spice, and everything nice, because that’s what real foods are made of. With a juice bar and local art works to show, the longevity of this hub speaks for itself.

The Bronzeville Jerk Shack 5055 S Prairie Ave

If you find yourself in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood, and craving a menu centered around jerk, chicken and pork, freshly made to order, stop by the Jerk Shack. You’ll also be able to get a couple complementary sides and an assortment of island sweets.

Sip and Savor 5301 S Hyde Park – 528 E 43rd Street – 9920 S Western Ave

With three locations and the latter recently opening in Beverly, Sip and Savor is your grandiose coffee shop with music entertainment. Like the others, this place is for all patrons to come and mingle, read ans sip, write and type—well, we’re sure you get it by now.

CheSa’s Gluten Tootin Free Food Truck

This food truck is extremely special, not only because it’s pink and cuddly, but also because it specializes in a gluten free menu, with salad, rice and pasta bowls. Now that you’ll catch the truck back in the streets as great weather says hello, go and get your bowls served with chicken, shrimp or as vegetarian style.

Ja’Grill Harper court, 1510 E Harper Ct

Hello to Mr. President Obama’s Chciago neighborhood of Hyde Park, Ja’Grill is cooking up curries, jerks & other Jamaican specialties in a very upscale-casual space that has a lounge and, yes—weekend DJs.

Truth Italian 56 E Pershing Rd

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The truth is, Truth! is a five-star cuisine, offering dishes like ravioli Florentine, marinated grilled lamb chops, and more. This is an Italian affair to the T.

Mr. Brown’s Lounge 2301 W Chicago Ave

For one, this is just a very beautifully, zesty spot from head to toe, entangled in a casual setting of reggae album art and DJs. You can tell that it was truly designed with “vibe” with all the Caribbean cooking and tropical drinks.

5 Loaves Eatery 405 E 75th St

Currency Exchange Café 305 E Garfield Blvd

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The cafe has a very unique design that was completely birthed from re-purposed materials and includes the original hand-painted signs of the currency exchange that formally inhabited the space. Did we mention there is a library? Serves a mix of American, Mexican & Filipino food.

Brown Sugar Bakery 328 E 75th St

Calling all sweet tooth’s: if a fix of Brown Sugar’s baked goods, sweat treats and custom cakes won’t do it, what will? If you check in on Yelp, you get a free cupcake. We recommend the caramel cake and the peach cobbler.

Akhirah’s Praline Candy 1845 S State St

Praline candy, beignets, and freshly roasted coffee…right in the South Loop. This is your run to French Quarter style coffee shop that brings New Orleans inspired treats up north to Chicago.

Peach’s Restaurant 4652 S King Dr

Just your breakfast all day, casual diner, peach coffee, duck bacon, and bourbon compote spot.

Vee-Vee’s African Restaurant 6232 N Broadway St

You may have spotted Vee-Vee’s at the Taste of Chicago a few times, but you can find their mainstay in the Edgewater neighborhood. Red beans and rice with jerk chicken, the jollof rice, the plantains, the goat; Vee-Vee’s is one of the best West African/Caribbean restaurants you’ll find in Chicago.

Luella‘s Southern Kitchen 4609 N Lincoln Ave

From the outside, Luella’s is a simple storefront in a narrow space. But the inside is as spectacular as they come. Find traditional southern favorites and a BYOB policy in Lincoln Square.

Norman’s Bistro 1001 E 43rd

What are you going to dive into at Norman’s Bistro? For appetizers, (get it?) this high-end eatery is recognized by locals as one of Chicago’s bests and the top restaurants in the Hyde Park and Kenwood area. There’s American Creole Cuisine with a Brazilian Flair, and an exquisite dessert menu with an elaborate wine bar and wine list.

Zberry 1368 E 53rd St

Your self-serve frozen yogurt shop with great yogurt selections that change frequently, and a super-awesome toppings bar. This too is right in Hyde Park, and promises to help you cool down in the scorching summer days ahead.

 

 

 

 

 

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