by Fernanda DeSouza
posted on December 19, 2018
Wicker Park is nothing short of a hip enclave these days. It attracts people from all walks of life, including young professionals and artists, and not to mention, is home to one of the city’s most iconic landmarks, the Flatiron Arts Building. Pop into countless boutiques for unique gifts (there’s a little something for everybody) before gorging on massive amounts of tacos and Prohibition-cocktails.
Photo Courtesy: janicebeverly
Good morning Chicago! For a good breakfast, you’ll want to snag a stool at the counter of this adorable spot on N. Damen Ave. Think top-tier Tex-Mex fare amid wood-paneled walls lined with Chicago photography and a 1970s soundtrack—and if you’re feeling boozy so early in the morning, there’s enough mezcal and tequila to satiate / quench your thirst. If you’re saving the chicken fried chicken for lunch or dinner, opt for the chuleta de puerco (that’s coffee rubbed pork chops) or the buttermilk pancakes to get you ready for the day ahead.
Chicken fried chicken, smoked brisket with avocado buttermilk puree, pickled watermelon radish, red onion and habanero lime vinaigrette.
Photo Courtesy: asraigarden
Wicker Park is chock-full of unique boutiques and this is definitely one of the coolest. Asrai Garden is anything but your average flower shop. This verdant store sells bold and unique floral arrangements along with handmade gifts, home goods, and jewelry and accessories from local artists in a vintage apothecary-esque setting. Definitely make it your first stop post-breakfast, and even if you’re not ready to buy a bouquet, it’s worth checking out.
Photo Courtesy: ambiscuit
A quick stop at this old manufacturing plant-turned-gallery, and you’ll have checked a huge Wicker Park must-do off your bucket list. This arts wonderland features artist studios, live performances and art events including First Fridays, where the entire building turns into a giant art party full of workshops. Snag a picture for the ‘gram!
Photo Courtesy: moonvoyage
Meander back south on N. Damen Ave. to the next boutique—but be warned: you might just fall in love with it. Moon Voyage sells fashion-forward women’s clothing and accessories as well as charming home and beauty products. The boho-chic store stocks a wide range of labels - including international ones – you may leave with one of everything
Photo Courtesy: shoppenelopes
Shopping might not ever be a high-ranking date idea, but the quality men's, women's, and kids' clothing at this airy boutique makes it more than plausible. Expect to fall for the dreamy European labels, quirky accessories, and stylish home goods.
Photo Courtesy: chicagofoodauthority
You’re probably in desperate need for a pick-me-up caffeine fix right about now. Caffe Streets has got your back. But who says you have to be a coffee aficionado to enjoy pour over coffee? You don't. Forego the afternoon crash and visit this modern and eclectic cafe for a bold cup of Joe and an addictive pastry to accompany you while you head to your next stylish spot.
Pour Over, Cortado, Seasonal Lattes, Time Machine Cold Pressed Organic Juices, Sausage & Mozzarella Croissant, Strawberry & Basil Scone
Photo Courtesy: bigstarchicago
Congratulate yourself for a job well done and money well spent with tacos! If you're a taco fiend or single barrel bourbon lover, hurry and nab a patio seat at this gas station-turned-taqueria. Order a few taco plates (don't forget the chips and guac), while you sip a margarita and enjoy the honky-tonk vibes.
Taco al pastor, taco de panza, Elijah Craig single barrel old fashioned
Get boozy the classy way at the Violet Hour. You’ll wanna dress to the nines before entering this cocktail bar though, and here’s why: with lush curtains, high stools and bartenders in suspenders, The Violet Hour oozes speakeasy-era glamour. The cocktails, however, are modern with amaros, mezcal and housemade bitters. If you’re still hungry after Big Star, make a meal of focaccia and stuffed dates. If not, stick to nursing a fancy drink instead.
Yellow Rose of Texas, Pajama boy, Goodnight Stan, Got Cha, Forlorn Road
Photo Courtesy: bordelchicago
Bring the night to a close with a bang. Bordel is no typical speakeasy—it's sexier. Fuel up on craft drinks and modern bites inside the bordello-inspired lounge, then turn your attention to the entertainment that comes in the form of racy vaudevillians, sultry cabarets, and live music. It’ll make your day in Wicker Park one to remember.
Bananas Foster old fashioned, Purple Fizz, Paella, Tapas
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