Chicago/Lakeview-North Center

Travel Guide North America USA Midwestern United States Illinois Chicago Chicago/Lakeview-North Center

edit

Introduction

Lakeview has the lion's share of Chicago's nightlife, starting with Wrigleyville, home of the Chicago Cubs and major players in the city's theater and music scenes, and Boystown, one of the largest and most vibrant LGBT communities in the United States. Down the street from both is the Belmont strip, where teen punks flock to shop and show off in the Dunkin' Donuts parking lot. Further west are the neighborhoods of North Center, Roscoe Village and St. Ben's, which have fun, laid-back bars and restaurants.

For many years, Lakeview was so far away from the action that opening a saloon on Clark Street was a considered a peaceful retirement for convicted ex-politicians in Chicago. With the expansion of the elevated train system, however, that changed rapidly, and with the 1914 construction of Weeghman Park, later to be known as Wrigley Field, Lakeview became the capital of the North Side. The Chicago Cubs, also known as the most dominant baseball franchise of the 19th century, took up residence at Wrigley and commenced the hundred-year lack of success that made them famous. Other teams have slumps, but the Cubs were beyond compare, tormenting their fans with a hundred years of near-misses, late collapses, and abject futility that is unrivaled in American professional sports. The curse finally came to an end, though: in 2016 they won their first championship in over a century. But win or lose, Game Day is always a joy in Wrigleyville. As the last franchise in baseball to install stadium lights for night games, the Cubs' schedule still features more early afternoon starts than any other team in the league, and the sun-soaked ivy walls of Wrigley Field are a pleasure no matter what the score. Today, it's a rare thing in America: a genuine neighborhood ballpark, surrounded by streets that amplify the Cubs fandom into frenzy on game day. As a nightlife destination, Wrigleyville also supports the Metro, one of Chicago's foremost rock venues, and other great ones like Schuba's, Martyrs', and The Vic. The storefront theater scene also thrives here.

But there's more to Lakeview than Wrigleyville. A short walk east is Boystown, home of a cheerful, lively LGBT community and a great destination for anyone who enjoys high-energy nightlife. It's also home to the massive annual Pride Parade in June. Roscoe Village is west of Wrigley, and is popular with older gay couples and young people lured in by fashionable boutiques and the promise of a sunny day at one of the many sidewalk cafes on Southport, not to mention Chicago's premier movie revival house, the Music Box. And Lakeview embraces its inner dive bar in North Center, full of converted warehouses, quality bowling alleys and cheap beer without the jocks.

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

Horner Park, 2741 W Montrose Ave, ☏ +1-773-478-3499. Great big wonderful park with plenty of softball fields, football and soccer fields, basketball and tennis courts, trees, and a nice walking path. The leafy surroundings make it a great place for the annual pumpkin patch in the fall.
Wunders Cemetery, 3963 N Clark St (Sheridan Red Line), ☏ +1-773-525-4038. Overshadowed by the magnificent Graceland Cemetery across the street in Uptown, the smaller, slightly overgrown Wunders was established in 1859 and features some intriguing monuments, with more of a forgotten-by-time atmosphere than its more famous neighbor. A third cemetery, Jewish Graceland, is directly south. Free.
Annoyance Theater & Bar, 851 W Belmont Ave (Belmont CTA), ☏ +1-773-697-9693. The Annoyance began with the long-running Co-ed Prison Sluts, which set the tone for what followed: fun, original shows with equal parts ironic kitsch and cheerful shock, led by Mick Napier, who directed some of Second City's best shows. The Annoyance is also one of the major training centers for comedy students in Chicago. Tickets $5-15.
Music Box, 3733 N Southport Ave (Southport Brown Line), ☏ +1-773-871-6604. Evening shows on weekdays, matinees and midnight movies on weekends. Chicago's foremost source of cinematic delight, with two screens for classic and world-premiere independent movies and the occasional mini-festival. Tickets $8.25-9.25.
Timber Lanes, 1851 W Irving Park Rd (Irving Park Brown Line), ☏ +1-773-549-9770. M-F 11AM-2AM, Sa 3PM-3AM, Su 1PM-2AM. If you like to sample the bowling culture of any city you visit, this is a fine choice; there are eight well-kept lanes, a cash bar, a good jukebox, and a few references to The Big Lebowski. Might be wise to call ahead for availability in the early evening, though, as there are a few leagues. $2-2.50 per game, except F-Sa at night, when it's $20/hour per lane.
Wrigley Field, 1060 W Addision St (Addison Red Line), ☏ +1-773-404-2827. Ernie Banks, Harry Caray, the 1908 champs, and the 2016 champs; yes, this is the home of the Chicago Cubs, the North Side's beloved baseball team. Among ballparks, only Fenway in Boston can match the old-time beauty of Wrigley and its famous ivy-covered walls. If you'd like to see Wrigley without attending a game, tours are occasionally offered ($25). Tickets can be as low as $8 for 'value dates', but the prize seats in the bleachers are usually $32, and certain dates wind up in scalpers' hands long before regular folks get a shot at them. 'Associations' host 'guests' on the rooftops around Wrigley, usually with unlimited beer and burgers, for upwards of $100.

Top

edit

Events and Festivals

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

Top

edit

Getting There

By Train

The CTA Red Line makes stops in Lakeview (Belmont) and Wrigleyville (Addison, Sheridan). The Brown Line, further west, connects with the Red Line at Belmont, and makes additional stops in Lakeview (Diversey, Wellington, Southport), Roscoe Village (Paulina), and North Center (Addison, Irving Park). All but Sheridan are wheelchair accessible. The Purple Line from the Loop and Evanston also stops at Belmont during weekday rush hours.

By Car

Lake Shore Drive has an exit at Belmont. Beware of driving on Clark Street on weekends and during Cubs games, though. The taxis are a menace and the drunks are drawn to the middle of the street like flies to lights. You'll go nowhere fast and see Chicago at its worst in slow-motion.

By Bus

8 Halsted travels through Boystown. A poll named this the worst bus route in the city. It's late when it shows up and goes nowhere fast.
9 Ashland is an all-night route. Overnight service only runs between 95th and the North/Clark Red Line stop.
22 Clark runs the length of the north side, but it slows to a crawl through Wrigleyville, particularly on weekends and on days of Cubs games. It runs all night long.
36 Broadway comes in from Uptown and carries on to the Loop.
49 Western runs all night through most of the city and hits the Belmont/Western intersection, near which is the best of the Roscoe Village nightlife.
76 Diversey runs east/west on Diversey, the border between Lincoln Park and Lakeview, and continues to Logan Square.
77 Belmont runs all night and connects Roscoe Village with the Belmont Red/Brown Line stop and Boystown.
80 Irving Park runs most of the east/west length of the city, connecting with the Brown Line in North Center and the Sheridan Red Line.
152 Addison travels east/west through the edge of Boystown, Wrigleyville, and on to North Center.

Top

edit

Eat

It's not until you reach the high-end that Lakeview dining becomes especially memorable, but there are plenty of quick, reliable places. Most importantly, a lot of them are open late — this is probably the best place in the city to grab a bite after midnight.

Bobtail Ice Cream Company, 2951 N Broadway St, ☏ +1-773-880-7372. Oct-Mar: Su-Th 11AM-10PM, F Sa 11AM-11PM; Apr-Sep: Su-Th 11AM-11PM, F Sa 11AM-midnight. Terrific locally-made ice cream at half the price of Cold Stone. $3-6.
Joy's Noodles and Rice, 3257 N Broadway St, ☏ +1-773-327-8330. Su-Th 11AM-9:30PM, F Sa 11AM-10:30PM. Long standing Thai food restaurant on Broadway in Boystown. Numerous noodle, curry, and rice dishes at a very affordable price. BYOB, so stop at Treasure Islando before hand and get a nice bottle of wine to go with your meal. Good price on lunch specials, or use it as a great meal to start your night out on the town. $8.50-11.
Melrose Restaurant, 3233 N Broadway St, ☏ +1-773-327-2060. 24 hours. Open around the clock and always busy, the Melrose is a diner of modest culinary aspirations (burgers, omelettes) but it's right at the center of Boystown whether it's time for brunch or long past time to sleep. $7-9.
Nookie's Tree, 3334 N Halsted St, ☏ +1-773-248-9888. Su-Th 7AM-midnight, F Sa all night. Casual, unpretentious diner that has been in Boystown for a long time. It's great for brunch, late-nights on weekends, and people-watching. $9-14.
Pick Me Up Cafe, 3408 N Clark St (Belmont Red Line, walk until you hit Clark, and head northbound), ☏ +1-773-248-6613. M-Th 11AM-2AM, F 11AM-4AM, Sa 8AM-5AM, Su 8AM-2AM. Best known for being open late when you're too drunk to go anywhere else, this vegan friendly cafe has a variety of food from Mexican to pizza, and a nice selection of desserts. $5-15.
Penny's Noodle Shop, 950 W Diversey Pkwy (Diversey Brown Line), ☏ +1-773-281-8222. M-Th 11AM-10PM, F Sa 11AM-10:30PM. If you're looking for fast food, Penny's serves delicious Thai/Asian food and charges less than McDonald's. $4-8.
Salt n' Pepper Diner, 3537 N Clark St (Addison Red Line), ☏ +1-773-883-9800. M-Th 7AM-10PM, F Sa 7AM-midnight, Su 7AM-4PM. This Wrigleyville greasy spoon has typical diner fare, but done in a way that makes it uniquely Chicago. The burgers are excellent, and so is the service. Lunch under $9.
Satay, 936 W Diversey Pkwy (Diversey Brown Line), ☏ +1-773-477-0100. Tu-Th 11AM-10PM, F Sa 11AM-11PM, Su M 4PM-10PM. Decent Thai, Chinese, and Japanese food directly under the Diversey station. (It's never too loud, though.) The menu is surprisingly long for the size of the place, and they tend to do tofu notably well. $7-11.
Tac Quick Thai Kitchen, 3930 N Sheridan Rd (Sheridan Red Line), ☏ +1-773-327-5253. M W-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 11AM-9:30PM. Good casual Thai food has been somewhat of a challenge in many parts of Chicago. This new BYO has succeeded when many other Thai restaurants have failed. Menu is available in both English and Thai. $7-14.
Angelina's Ristorante, 3561 N Broadway St, ☏ +1-773-935-5933. M-Th 5:30PM-10PM, F Sa 5:30PM-11PM, Su brunch 10:30AM-3PM and 5:30PM-10PM. High-end Italian cuisine with a charming, intimate vibe. The pumpkin ravioli is a knockout. $14-25.
Ann Sather, 929 W Belmont Ave (Belmont CTA), ☏ +1-773-348-2378. M-F 7AM-3PM, Sa Su 7AM-4PM. This Swedish standby is a can't-miss for one of the city's best breakfasts, served all day, including warm, fresh-baked cinnamon rolls dripping with sugary icing. Now a bona-fide chainlet with five locations around Chicago, but try the nicely renovated 50-year-old Belmont branch. $10-14.
Cesar's Restaurant, 3166 N Clark St (Belmont CTA), ☏ +1-773-248-2835. M-Th 11AM-11PM, F Sa 11AM-midnight, Su noon-8PM. Mind-blowing margaritas and Mexican food at a price that practically demands over-indulgence. There's another location nearby at 2924 N Broadway. $9-14 for a meal, although the sky's the limit with the margaritas.
The Chicago Diner, 3411 N Halsted St, ☏ +1-773-935-6696. M-Th 11AM-10PM, F 11AM-11PM, Sa 10AM-11PM, Su 10AM-10PM. A restaurant serving vegetarian-only food on Chicago's north side, the Diner's emphasis on quality — and its vegan shakes, which it proudly describes as "the shiznit" — has kept it around for more than 30 years. $11-16, but $5.99 veggie brunch is offered until 3:30PM.
Chilam Balam, 3023 N Broadway St (Belmont CTA), ☏ +1-773-296-6901. Tu-Th 5PM-10PM, F Sa 5PM-11PM, Su M closed. Cash only BYO creative Mexican joint with a continuous line out the door for dinner. Known for fresh ingredients, moles, and small plates. $14-30.
La Creperie, 2845 N Clark St (Diversey Brown Line), ☏ +1-773-528-9050. Tu-F 11:30AM-11PM, Sa 11AM-11PM, Su 11AM-9:30PM. Big, tasty crepes for breakfast, dinner, and dessert, with plenty of wine and beer. The outdoor seating is especially nice. $8-14.
Laschet's Inn, 2119 W Irving Park Rd (Irving Park Brown Line), ☏ +1-773-478-7915. Kitchen Tu-Th 2PM-10:30PM, F Sa noon-10:30PM, Su noon-10PM; tavern M 4PM-2AM, Tu-Th 2PM-2AM, F Su noon-2AM, Sa noon-3AM. It began as a tavern, but now has a full kitchen for German food and meaty dinner specials. $7-20.
Mixteco Grill, 1601 W Montrose Ave, ☏ +1-773-868-1601. Tu-Th 5PM-10PM, F Sa 5PM-11PM, Su 5PM-9PM. Someone finally figured out a historically cursed location. Excellent pollo en mole and other unique Mexican entrees in a slightly cramped setting. BYO. Friendly service once you sit down, but be patient with the host staff. Reservations recommended. $18-30.
New Tokyo, 3139 N Broadway St, ☏ +1-773-248-1193. Noon-10:30PM daily. A small, unpretentious sushi joint at the edge of Boystown, and BYOB as a bonus. The menu has a good variety for budget and taste. $10-16.
Que Rico!. M-Th 5PM-11PM, F-Su noon-10PM. Great Mexican/Argentinean food with comfortable indoor and outdoor seating that can turns one hour into three before you ever think to look at your watch. $14-22. edit 2814 N Southport Ave, ☏ +1 773-975-7436.
2301 W Roscoe, Roscoe Village, ☏ +1 773 248-7426.
Mia Francesca, 3311 N Clark St (Belmont CTA), ☏ +1-773-281-3310. Dinner M-Th 5PM-10PM, F 5PM-11PM, Sa 3PM-11PM, Su 3PM-10PM; brunch Sa Su 10AM-3PM. The original location for Mia Francesca's fine Italian dining, and the best — it's noisy, crowded, and not the place for an intimate meal, but Mia's has great pasta & fish, and offers a very Chicago atmosphere of hustle & bustle. $18-30.
Tango Sur, 3763 N Southport Ave (Southport Brown Line), ☏ +1-773-477-5466. M-Th 5PM-10:30PM, F 5PM-11:30PM, Sa 3PM-11:30PM, Su noon-10:30PM. Argentinean steakhouse with fantastic beef. There are a few side dishes like empanadas and a good dessert menu, but the beef is the star attraction. It's BYOB. $20-30.
Turquoise Restaurant, 2147 W Roscoe St, ☏ +1-773-549-3523. M-Th 11AM-11PM, F Sa 11AM-midnight, Su 9AM-10PM. Extensive menu of fresh seafood, Mediterranean, and vegetarian specialties. Plenty of fruity and exotic drinks and lounging space on offer, too. $18-26.
Yoshi's Cafe, 3257 N Halsted St (Belmont CTA), ☏ +1-773-248-6160. Tu-Th 5PM-10:30PM, F Sa 5PM-11PM, Su 11AM-2:30PM and 5PM-9:30PM. Yoshi himself is a constant presence at the enormously popular local hangout. At times it seems as though half the restaurant knows Yoshi personally. Seasonal, creative entrees representing cuisine that stretches far from just an Asian influence. Nice, well-priced wine list as well. $32-80, Th fixed price: $25.

Top

edit

Drink

Boystown

The nightlife in Boystown may be the best in Chicago. It's wild, uninhibited and just plain fun, regardless of sexual orientation. Most of the action is on Halsted/Broadway between Addison and Belmont.

Charlie's, 3726 N Broadway St, ☏ +1-773-871-8887. Su-F 3PM-4AM, Sa 3PM-5AM. Late night dance bar and a great place for the after hours party, although they play country for the early crowd before midnight on weeknights or 2AM on the weekends. Karaoke hits on Sunday and Thursday.
The Closet, 3325 N Broadway St, ☏ +1-773-477-8533. M-F 2PM-4AM, Sa noon-5AM, Su noon-4AM. Forgive the pun if you can — this lesbian dive bar is another great after hours destination and the place to go for hook-up attempts that drag late into the night. It's open a lot earlier in the day than most Boystown spots and usually has sports or music videos on by day.
Cocktail, 3359 N Halsted St, ☏ +1-773-477-1420. Su-F 4PM-2AM, Sa 4PM-3AM. A small, fashionable bar that anyone can walk right into for a drink at the bar or a dance among the eye candy at the back.
Hydrate, 3458 N Halsted St, ☏ +1-773-975-9244. Su-F 8PM-4AM, Sa 8PM-5AM. Inheritor of the space formerly owned by the infamous Manhole, Hydrate is now the ultimate dance club to See-and-Be-Seen on Halsted. On a night out in Boystown, everybody winds up here at one point or another. Cover $10-20, depending on DJ and event.
Roscoe's, 3356 N Halsted St, ☏ +1-773-281-3355. M-Th 3PM-2AM, F 2PM-2AM, Sa 1PM-3AM, Su 1PM-2AM. Roscoe's is a multi-purpose bar — by night, there are good drink specials and a great dance floor, but by day, you'll find a relaxed neighborhood bar with artwork by local artists and a sidewalk cafe (in the summer) for lunch.
Sidetrack, 3349 N Halsted St, ☏ +1-773-477-9189. Su-F 3PM-2AM, Sa 3PM-3AM. A large, stylish, multi-room bar that makes a great place to start the night, with slushy drinks and showtunes on a big screen. (Sundays are sing-along nights.) Gay or straight (but predominantly gay), this is one of the best bars in Chicago.

Wrigleyville

There is a watering hole for just about every personality type in Wrigleyville, particularly if you venture off the Clark Street drag near the ballpark. If you're here for a Cubs home game, rest assured that you'll be surrounded by thousands of merry Cubs fans and a world that desires nothing more than to put beer in your hands; on the downside, you'll be surrounded by thousands of Cubs fans and a world that desires nothing more than to spill beer on you, so get comfortable with sharing personal space with strangers. If you're drinking well into the night, choose wisely; as the evening wears on, a few of the bars on Clark turn into half-eaten piles of rancid nachos and the city's ripest gathering ground for date rape statistics.

The Captain Morgan Club, at 1060 W Addison, is attached to Wrigley Field. Non-ticket holders may enter and imbibe to their hearts’ content while watching the game on TV. Ticket holders will find a separate entrance to the ballpark inside the bar that circumvents the chaotic Sheffield entrance right next door. It's open 10AM-10PM Su-Th; 10AM-11PM F-Sa.
Bernie's Tavern, 3664 N Clark St, ☏ +1-773-525-1898. Su-F 10AM-2AM, Sa 8AM-3AM. One of the most popular bars with locals and out-of-towners alike. The rather small inside bar opens to a large back patio. Crowd has gotten younger the past few years, but you'll still find fans from ages 20 to 90 having a good time. edit
The Ginger Man, 3740 N Clark St (Addison Red Line), ☏ +1-773-549-2050. M-F 3PM-2AM, Sa noon-3AM, Su noon-2AM. Guaranteed the only bar in Wrigleyville with Joy Division and Public Enemy on the jukebox. If you want a beer after a Cubs game and you don't want to be surrounded by frat boys, this is the place. Next to the Metro and Smart Bar.
Goose Island, 3535 N Clark St, ☏ +1-773-832-9040. M-W 4PM-11PM, Th 4PM-midnight, F 4PM-2AM, Sa 11AM-2AM, Su 11AM-11PM. As the name suggests, you can drink the full range of the local Goose Island microbrews here, and it's reasonably spacious by Wrigleyville standards. Tasty food, too.
Guthrie's Tavern, 1300 W Addison Ave, ☏ +1-773-477-2900. M-Th 5PM-2AM, F 4PM-2AM, Sa 2PM-3PM, Su 2PM-2AM. Cozy neighborhood bar known for its extensive collection of board games and bottled wines. It's a local favorite that escapes most of the obnoxious behavior found down the street.
Murphy’s Bleachers, 3655 N Sheffield Ave, ☏ +1-773-281-5356. Su-F 9AM-2PM, Sa 9AM-3AM. Granddaddy bar for all bleacher bums. Get there early if you want one of the coveted outside tables. It's always packed on game days; expect to pay $5 for a can of domestic beer. In the off-season, Murphy's turns into a rather cozy neighborhood bar.
Nisei Lounge, 3439 N Sheffield Ave, ☏ +1-773-525-0557. Su Tu-F 11AM-2AM, Sa 11AM-3AM, M 6PM-2AM; open at 11AM on game days. Local cult favorite with an interesting Japanese backstory. No sushi here; just a great bar with a few pool tables.
Piano Man, 3801 N Clark St, ☏ +1-773-868-9611. Su-F 11AM-2AM, Sa 8AM-3AM; may be sporadically closed during the week in the off season. Popular local bar that has no piano, just a jukebox. Neighbors want to keep this place a secret, but the word has gotten out.
Sluggers, 3540 N Clark St, ☏ +1-773-248-0055. 10AM-2AM on all Cubs home game days, otherwise: M-Th 3PM-2AM, F Su 11AM-2AM, Sa 11AM-3AM; Piano Bar F 8PM-2AM, Sa 8PM-3AM. Home away from home for suburbanites. Packed on game days; some say too packed. Sing to your heart’s content with the piano guys upstairs or get out your pent-up aggression from another Cubs’ heartbreaking loss in the batting cages.
Trace, 3714 N Clark St, ☏ +1-773-477-3400. Su-F 5PM-4AM, Sa 5PM-4AM; 4PM-4AM for all Cubs night games; open two hours prior to home games. Less overtly sports-focused than its neighbors. Great place if you are thirsty at 3AM.
Uncommon Ground, 3800 N Clark St, ☏ +1-773-929-3680. Su-Th 9AM-11PM, F Sa 9AM-midnight. It's almost unbelievable that such a lovely, relaxed bar/cafe is this close to Wrigley, but there it is. Evenings see a full schedule of acoustic music with a full bar of beer, cocktails, and wine, while organic breakfast, lunch and dinner are served all day, and two fireplaces await in the winter. Uncommon Ground also hosts the annual Jeff Buckley Festival, now in its tenth year, in honor of the singer's legendary 1994 performance there.
Yak-Zies Bar & Grill, 3710 N Clark St, ☏ +1-773-525-9200. Su-F 11AM-2AM; Sa 11AM-3AM. Surprisingly good food at this cash-only joint. Owners will put just about any sport that’s televised anywhere on at least one TV if asked. Cornell vs. Harvard Men’s Ice Hockey anyone?

Others

Lakeview bars may get a bad name from the roiling mess on Clark Street, but there are actually several great places to drink within range of Wrigley.

404 Wine Bar, 2852 N Southport Ave (76 Diversey or 9 Ashland bus), ☏ +1-773-404-5886. M-F 5PM-2AM, Sa 5PM-3AM. Comfortable atmosphere and a wide variety of wines. It may not be the first thing you think of when you think about a wine bar, but they serve a chicken pot pie that is delicious. It's connected to Jack's next door, which is more of a sports bar.
Beat Kitchen, 2100 W Belmont Ave (77 Belmont or 50 Damen bus), ☏ +1-773-281-4444. M-Th 4PM-2AM, F 11:30AM-2AM, Sa 11:30AM-3AM, Su 11:30AM-2AM. There's beer and late-night food in the quiet front room, but the Beat Kitchen is worthy of recognition as one of the best venues in the city outside of Wicker Park for double or triple bills of excellent, little-known local and touring bands. Tuesdays are set aside for the Chicago Underground Comedy stand-up showcase.
Hungry Brain, 2319 W Belmont Ave (77 Belmont or 49 Western bus), ☏ +1-773-935-2118. Tu-Su 8PM-2AM. There's a lot to like at this small Roscoe Village bar: a few pinball and arcade machines, the sense of being in someone's comfortable basement (with beer), and the Sunday night (10PM) Transmission series for improvisational and experimental jazz.
Jake's Pub, 2932 N Clark St (Wellington Brown Line), ☏ +1-773-248-3318. M-F 3PM-2AM, Sa noon-3AM, Su noon-2AM. A good place to recover from shopping binges at the Century Shopping Centre and its neighbors (see Buy). Jake's has a good beer selection and dependable jukebox. Dogs are not only welcome — they're encouraged.
Katerina's, 1920 W Irving Park Rd (Irving Park Brown Line), ☏ +1-773-348-7592. M-F 5PM-2AM, Sa 5PM-3AM. A small and intimate setting for jazz, funk, blues, and Greek music most nights, and poetry, performance and movies when there isn't music. Southern European cuisine served along with the drinks. Alas, Katerina's is closing at the end of June 2014. A new music and art venue is slated to take over the space.
The Long Room, 1612 W Irving Park Rd (Irving Park Brown Line), ☏ +1-773-665-4500. M-F 5PM-2AM, Sa 5PM-3AM, Su 7PM-2AM. A low-lit neighborhood lounge with a casual atmosphere worth settling into for a while — and, yes, it's a very long room.
Resi's Bierstube, 2034 W Irving Park Rd (Irving Park Brown Line), ☏ +1-773-472-1749. 3PM-2AM daily. A fine old-fashioned brauhaus, with high marks for the music, the beer garden, and the ambiance. Food on offer from the kitchen (closed Mondays) includes sausages and schnitzel, of course.
Ten Cat Tavern, 3931 N Ashland Ave (Irving Park Brown Line), ☏ +1-773-935-5377. Su-F 3PM-2AM, Sa 3PM-3AM. The kitty on the sign is cradling a ten-ball because there's pool to be played here, but in most other respects, this is someone's apartment that happens to have a bar in it (and a pretty good backyard).

Top

edit

Sleep

Most visitors will feel comfortable staying here in terms of safety, and Lakeview is a better place to experience something of the real city than the retail isolation of the Near North. Given the boozy atmosphere, though, it's probably better for singles and young couples than families with kids in tow.

There are also a handful of budget and mid-range options just south of Boystown in Lincoln Park. Hotels are usually booked solid for the Pride Parade in June, so make reservations early or be ready to check in other areas.

Wrigley Hostel, 3514 N Sheffield Ave (Addison Red Line), ☏ +1-773-597-4471, ✉ info@wrigleyhostel.com. Very good hostel near Wrigley Field that is open 24 hours a day. Comfortable beds, free Wi-Fi, free breakfast and a common area with large screen TV and computers with Internet. Dorm beds $20+, private rooms $50+.
Old Chicago Inn, 3222 N Sheffield Ave (Belmont CTA), ☏ +1-773-816-2465. Reasonably priced bed and breakfast in a turn-of-the-century greystone building, not far from Wrigley Field and the nightlife on Belmont. Amenities include internet access in the lobby, continental breakfast, and a complimentary lunch or dinner at Trader Todd's restaurant/karaoke bar two doors south. Rooms from $99.
Villa Toscana Bed & Breakfast, 3447 N Halsted St (Addison Red Line), ☏ +1-773-404-2416, toll-free: +1-800-404-2643. Closest accommodations to Wrigley Field, in a turn-of-the-century building. Rooms from $99/$109 off- and on-season.
Best Western Hawthorn Terrace, 3434 N Broadway St (Addison Red Line), ☏ +1-773-244-3434. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. 83 rooms with wireless internet and a breakfast buffet. It's close enough to walk to Wrigley Field and the bars on Clark Street, but not close enough that you'll have to listen to them while you try to sleep. Rooms from $189.
City Suites Hotel, 933 W Belmont Ave (Belmont CTA), ☏ +1-773-404-3400, toll-free: +1-800-248-9108. Art Deco interiors and elegant furnishings, right next to the Belmont train station — so light sleepers may want to look elsewhere. Among the amenities are Wi-Fi, afternoon cookies, and access to Bally's Fitness Club. Rooms from $189.
Majestic Hotel, 528 W Brompton Ave (Belmont CTA), ☏ +1-773-404-3499, toll-free: +1-800-727-5108. Boutique hotel in a residential pocket, with olde worlde touches like poster beds and butler pantries. Similar amenities to the City Suites Hotel, which is under the same management. Rooms from $209.
The Willows Hotel, 555 W Surf St (Belmont CTA), ☏ +1-773-528-8400, toll-free: +1-800-787-3108. European decor in a city-designated landmark building, two blocks from the lake. Same management as the City Suites and Majestic hotels. Rooms from $179.

Top

edit

Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

Chicago/Lakeview-North Center Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Chicago/Lakeview-North Center

This is version 3. Last edited at 7:21 on Sep 23, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License