Itinerary

Spend A Day Exploring Andersonville, Chicago’s Best-Kept Secret

by Amanda Svachula

posted on February 17, 2019

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After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, Swedes flocked to Clark Street, establishing Andersonville as a Scandinavian enclave. Since then, the neighborhood has diversified, but remains prideful of its Swedish roots, celebrating each year with Midsommarfest, a street festival where locals don floral crowns and Viking hats. Now also home to a thriving LGBTQ community, this north-side neighborhood is one of the city’s best-kept secrets, boasting quirky independent shops, excellent brunch spots, and ample charm. Follow this itinerary for a glimpse of what makes it great.

This reasonably priced BYOB brunch spot is perfect for when you're craving well-presented takes on classics like pancakes and bacon, and it provides options for carnivores and vegans alike. This location can get crowded on weekends; plan accordingly.

Checkout: Huevos borrachos, fried egg sandwich, lemon-raspberry brioche French toast

Photo courtesy: miamigirlwalking

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Walking Distance

1.00 miles

Fascinating and fun, this museum's exhibits and programs feature original artifacts from butter churns to fine art, celebrating Swedish life and culture in the US. Kids love milking the fake cows in the replica of a century-old Swedish farmhouse.

Photo courtesy: Swedish American Museum

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Walking Distance

0.07 miles

This unpretentious bookshop prides itself on being all-inclusive, with special focus on independent feminist and children's literature. Check the website for frequent public events including book launch parties, poetry readings, and live music.

Photo courtesy: wcfbook

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Walking Distance

0.04 miles

A favorite shopping spot for the Etsy set, this eclectic shared space features four floors of work from over 90 different start-up designers. Mostly clothing, jewelry and decorations here, but a rotating selection means there's always something new.

Photo courtesy: Andersonville Galleria

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Walking Distance

0.08 miles

Take the whole family on tour through the Marvel and DC universes at AlleyCat Comics. Situated at the end of a Clark Street gangway, this Andersonville staple stocks kid-friendly reads as well as new releases, back issues, trades and graphic novels.

Photo courtesy: Alley Cat Comics

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Walking Distance

0.26 miles

This Belgian-inspired 21-and-older spot is the definition of a gastropub. They boast 68 taps. They serve confit chicken wings and a fancy take on pb&j. The industrial, tin-ceilinged space is often packed and the energy's high. Make a night of it.

Checkout: PEI mussels with frites and aioli, duck reuben with cranberry cream cheese spread

Photo courtesy: thehopleaf

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Walking Distance

0.06 miles

Breads that this family-owned Chicago grocery sells are handmade with pure, fresh ingredients, and baked in brick ovens. Savory hand pies stuffed with meat or vegetables and cheese keep folks coming back to shop the well-stocked metal shelves.

Checkout: Pie stuffed with spinach and feta cheese, homemade hummus, spicy baba ganoush, tafton, pistachio and walnut baklava

Photo courtesy: foodieluster

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