Exploring Bucktown & Wicker Park

This dynamic area on Chicago’s northwest side is the home of some of the best food and shopping in the city. Here are some suggestions if you’re heading to Bucktown and Wicker Park.


For breakfast, try…

The Bongo Room

The creative courses dished up at this pancake house are worth the wait for a table. From a slew of sweet pancake and French toast options, like the red velvet pancakes, to more savory omelet fare, the Bongo Room is the place to go for a special and inventive breakfast.

Wander the neighborhood and check out…

Make Believe: Reactivating Vacant Spaces in WPB
The downturn in the economy has impacted all retail districts, but the WPB neighborhood association has found a way to reinvigorate vacant spaces. A selection of artists has turned empty storefronts into their own galleries, using the display windows to showcase their visions of the future of industry and commerce. Check out the new windows, then vote for your favorite online.
Through Oct. 29 / Milwaukee Ave., between Division St. and North Ave.

For a light lunch, swing by…

The Goddess and the Grocer
This upscale market offers delicious deli sandwiches, wraps, prepared foods and a salad bar for quick but satisfying eats. Splurge on a homemade cupcake or Jeni’s gourmet ice cream.

Do a little shopping at…

Wander up and down Milwaukee, Damen and North for oodles of independent and designer boutiques, including Marc by Marc Jacobs, BCBG, Urban Outfitters and Akira. Here are some of our other favorite stores:

Whether you need a special dress for an upcoming event or new jeans for fall, find some of the city’s best fashion at this mother/daughter-owned boutique. From Genetic Denim and Pedro Garcia booties to Thayer tops and Hanky Panky bras, Tangerine is filled with special and thoughtfully chosen pieces. Even better, the knowledgeable saleswomen can help you find the best fashions for you.


For twelve years, this independently owned boutique has been a style barometer, showcasing what’s hot and new in Chicago’s design world and beyond. The ever-evolving collection of handbags, jewelry, personal accessories and home furnishings makes Stitch a neighborhood fixture, and a one-stop shop for both the perfect gift and essentials for yourself.

Apartment Number 9
The only thing cooler than the clothes in this menswear boutique is the store itself. The selection is stylish without being overly trendy, and features popular labels like James Pierce, Rag and Bone, Band of Outsiders and Paul Smith.


Ready for dinner? Head down to…


This Argentine steakhouse from the folks behind Tango Sur serves up tasty empanadas and organic and grass-fed beef cuts, as well as a full bar of Latin libations and a rotating menu of seasonal cocktails. The industrial décor of exposed brick and pressed tin ceilings makes it the perfect capper for your day in the city.


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