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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Get The List

We Have The Scoop On The Best Italian Ice!

If you haven’t tried Italian ice, you’re missing out! Italian ice is very popular among many Chicagoan’s because Italian ice shops are everywhere!

In case you were wondering where the best Italian ice spots were, we’re here to help!

Check out the list of best Italian ice in Chicago below:

  • Annette’s Homemade Italian Ice – 924 W Armitage Ave.
  • Miko’s Italian Ice – 2234 N Sacramento Ave.
  • Mario’s Italian Lemonade – 1068 W Taylor St.
  • Carm’s Beef and Italian Ice – 1057 W Polk St.
  • Paciugo –  3241 N Broadway St.

Tell us about your favorite Italian ice flavor below! We love to try new things. Get out and enjoy some Italian ice. The weather is getting warm and it’s the perfect way to spend a hot summer day with friends and family.

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Eat, Get The List, Restaurants

Chicago’s Best New Eats for Spring 2018

Our friends at Tasting Table have rounded up the best new eats of Chicago for Spring 2018. And, of course, being Chicago, the food can range  as wide as All-American to a taste of Caribbean. The long winter months are almost inoperative, so let’s get ready now for several new and exciting eats.

 

Chicago’s Best New Restaurants for Spring 2018

From places that will serve Detroit-style pizza to spots slinging Chicago-style gyros, here’s where you’ll want to be eating

 

Winters in Chicago seem to last forever—and then, a little bit longer. So when spring finally does roll around, Second City dwellers couldn’t be happier—especially when the season brings with it a handful of exciting new restaurants and bars to experience. From ballpark-adjacent baked goods and beer to Caribbean vibes in Logan Square, here are six openings to get excited about.

Union Full Board and Tinker to Evers

For pizza, small plates and libations under one roof, it’s all about the Wheelhouse Hotel, a five-story property opening in Wrigleyville this spring. Fans of Union Pizza in Evanston can now get a taste of the team’s Detroit-inspired slices, in addition to surefire small plates like bruschetta, meatballs and salad. Cap it all off with a drink downstairs at Tinker to Evers, a tucked-away speakeasy lounge featuring an elevated portfolio of cocktails and local craft spirits.

Octavio Cantina & Kitchen

The team behind Lady Gregory’s and Wilde is at it again with this Andersonville opening, which will feature rustic, regional Mexican cuisine from chef Daniel Munoz. A dedication to local ingredients and bold flavors shows up in plates like the cochinita pibil, with slow-roasted pork, refried black beans and charred habanero, while tacos are served with chiles and potatoes and a medley of Baja fish varieties. Don’t miss the cocktails, including the mescal old-fashioned with Lapsang souchong tea and sweet grass smoke.

Fisk & Co.

Mussels and beer are the main event at this forthcoming Loop resto, where executive chef Austin Fausett will serve oysters on the half shell, hand-cut fries aplenty and steamed mussels with an array of fixings (from caramelized onions and nutmeg to Thai curry with coconut broth and coriander). Pair it all with drams from Melissa Carroll, whose selections will focus on Belgian-style and local brews.

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Chicagoans can fully embrace warmer months with this forthcoming Logan Square spot, which will pride itself on laid-back island vibes and a beverage program focused on traditional Caribbean drinks. Credit that to lead bartender and partner Alexandra Wright’s menu of culinary-driven cocktails, featuring a selection of native rums, small-batch gins, cachaça and tequila, alongside flavor boosters like exotic fresh fruits, in-house grown herbs and rare spices. It’s a good way to kick off the bar’s other specialty: dancing, thanks to a regular lineup of local live music and DJs.

West Town Bakery & Tap

The West Town and River North bakery is heading to Wrigleyville this April, when it will open within the brand-new Hotel Zachary. Expect the baked goods you know and love (i.e., those iconic cake balls and doughssants), along with an array of other fun additions, from stacked breakfast sandwiches to the spot’s own take on soft-serve. And then, of course, there’s the real buzz factor—a full cocktail program from bartender Nikki Allen that will feature sips like seasonal mimosas and the Wingie’s Bloody Mary, complete with a chocolate-dipped chicharrόn.

Piggie Smalls

Jimmy Bannos Jr. of The Purple Pig, Chicago’s beloved wine- bar and restaurant, is bringing his spin on Greek street food to the upcoming Wells St. Market. Once the 10,000-square-foot food hall opens in a few months, look out for Bannos’s spit-roasted souvlaki and a Chicago-style gyro that swaps lamb for rotisserie pork.

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