Lifestyle, Shops

How to Spend a Day on Damen Ave.

Bucktown is an increasingly popular neighborhood for Chicagoans to reside  — and to shop, dine, and explore.

Nestled between Wicker Park and Logan Square neighborhoods, Bucktown has its own established vibe with a variety of things to do and experience. The paramount street in Bucktown is Damen Avenue, where several shops and restaurants are centralized. Given the amount of attractions and businesses in the neighborhood, you could easily spend an entire day (and night) along Damen Avenue. Bookmark this list now for your next visit to Bucktown.

 

Here are 10+ things to do along Damen Avenue…

 

Stan’s Donuts

Start your morning with Stan’s. Whether you choose a standard glaze or specialty concoction, Stan’s donuts are beloved in Chicago — served best with La Colombe coffee. (Stan’s Donuts, 1560 N. Damen Avenue)

The Dailey Method

Work up a sweat at The Dailey Method, a barre studio located on Damen. The class focuses on building a strong, lean, sculpted body, and even works to improve and align posture. (The Dailey Method, 1714 N. Damen Avenue)

Pistil & Vine

Stop and smell the roses — literally. Pistil & Vine is a top Chicago florist, with a boutique storefront located on Damen. All arrangements are truly custom, sourcing flowers in a variety of colors and textures. (Pistil & Vine, 1924 N. Damen Avenue)

YellowKorner Gallery

Pop into an art gallery, YellowKorner, and browse a range of professional photography on display and for sale. The gallery focuses on architecture, nature, and fashion, with pieces starting around $100 into a few thousand dollars. (YellowKorner, 1721 N. Damen Avenue)

Diptyque

Diptyque is a luxury candle and fragrance brand, with a beautiful boutique located on Damen. Based in Paris, Diptyque is known for high quality and iconic scents, perfect for a housewarming gift or personal indulgence. (Diptyque, 1645 N. Damen Avenue)

Goddess & Grocer

Refuel at Goddess and Grocer, a local favorite for fresh and delicious eats, from breakfast to dessert. Stop in for salads, sandwiches, soups and more, available to grab-and-go or to enjoy on the 2nd story rooftop. (Goddess and Grocer, 1649 N. Damen Avenue)

606 Trail

Hit the 606 Trail, a new 2.7-mile-long elevated path dedicated for biking, running and strolling. Set above city streets, the 606 offers green space and links four diverse city neighborhoods, with access points to six different parks. (The 606, access at Damen & Churchill) 

Mindy’s

Indulge your sweet tooth at Hot Chocolate, a restaurant and dessert bar serving American fare, cocktails, sweets, ice cream and, of course: hot chocolate. (Hot Chocolate, 1747 N. Damen Avenue)

Zazazoo Salon

Pamper yourself with a manicure or pedicure at Zazazoo, a top-rated nail salon in Chicago. The interior is bright and modern, offering BYOB and an impressive array of polish colors. (Zazazoo Nail Salon, 1842 N. Damen Avenue)

“Love” Street Art

Snap a photo in front of the “Love” street mural, located at 1873 N. Damen. Created by artist Matthew Hoffman, the backdrop has been a popular location for Instagram pictures among Chicago bloggers (like Jennifer Lake, seen above), plus locals and visitors. (Love Wall, 1873 N. Damen Avenue)

1952 1/2 Liquorette

Step inside 1952 1/2 Liquorette and you’ll find Southern-inspired bourbon drinks and cocktails in chic digs. Sip craft creations like a Negroni, Old Fashioned or Southern whiskey sour. (1952 1/2 Liquorette, 1952 N. Damen Avenue)

Coast

Coast offers a contemporary and lively setting to enjoy fresh, quality sushi and Japanese dishes. Both sushi connoisseurs and novices alike will find the menu appealing — plus, the spot is BYOB. (Coast, 2045 N. Damen Avenue)

 

Want even more? For late night fun, head around the corner to Lottie’s Pub (since 1934) and local favorite Piece Pizza.

 

 

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Lifestyle, Shops

How to Spend a Day on Oak Street

Los Angeles has Rodeo Drive, New York has 5th Avenue… and Chicago has Oak Street.

As our city’s premier luxury shopping district, Oak Street is located in the Gold Coast neighborhood and home to numerous luxury fashion brands and establishments. While the actual street is a relatively short, “Oak Street” also designates the surrounding area including Rush Street and Walton Street. Here you’ll find such spots as Agent Provocateur, Giorgio Armani, Christian Louboutin, Dior, Harry Winston, Hermès, Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, Versace and more.

 

Here are 10+ things to do along Oak Street…

 

Petit Margeaux

Begin your morning at Petit Margeaux, a newly-opened French cafe at the lobby level of Waldorf Astoria. Indulge in a pastry or croissant, with coffee, of course. (Petit Margeaux, 11 E. Walton Place)

Athleta

Get your fitness on at Athleta. Check out events and classes at the Oak Street location, as well as a well-stocked collection of activewear and athleisure for sale. (Athleta, 101 E. Oak Street)

Blow by Blow

Refresh at Blow by Blow, a hip salon destination along Oak Street. Pamper your tresses with a blowout or even a color touch-up. (Blow by Blow, 67 E. Oak Street)

Barneys

Head to Barneys, where the department store flagship in Chicago is located at 15 E. Oak. Shop a variety of designer goods, from men’s and women’s fashion, accessories, beauty and home. (Barneys, 15 E. Oak Street)

Cafe Spiaggia

Stop for lunch at Cafe Spiaggia, a local favorite offering Italian fare by a master chef team. The marble-clad interior is stylish and sophisticated, just as you’d expect from the Gold Coast district. (Cafe Spiaggia, 980 N. Michigan Avenue)

Oak Street Beach

Catch a breath of fresh air and stroll along Oak Street Beach, one of Chicago’s best beaches. It’s an iconic gathering spot, framed by Lake Michigan and the skyscrapers of downtown Chicago. (Oak Street Beach)

Fig & Olive

Visit Fig & Olive for happy hour, where you’ll find specialty cocktails, shared plates, crostinis and wine specials from 4-7:00p weekdays. Take a seat at the bar, lounge or reserve a table on the outdoor terrace. (Fig & Olive, 104 E. Oak Street)

Razny Jewelers

Step inside Razny Jewelers to browse a collection of luxury jewelry and watches. Ladies, try on diamonds, and gentlemen: there’s Rolex for you. (Razny Jewelers, 109 E. Oak Street)

Del Frisco’s

Dine at Del Frisco’s, one of Chicago’s best steakhouses. Beyond steak, Del Frisco’s offers seafood and traditional fare — occupying three floors of the historic Esquire Theater on Oak Street. (Del Frisco’s, 58 E. Oak Street)

Waldorf Astoria

Rest at Waldorf Astoria, located steps from the heart of Oak Street. The luxury hotel offers a variety of rooms and suites, a signature spa, and fine dining. (Waldorf Astoria Chicago, 11 E. Walton Place)

 

How would you spend a day on Oak Street?

 

 

 

Featured cover photo: Jennifer Ibe from Cranberry Tantrums | @cranberrytantrums

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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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