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Where to Dine, Shop & Play in One of Chicago's Most Charming 'Hoods
Neighborhood in Brief: Every notable Chicago neighborhood boasts a pulse. That's a street where the action is constant, from distinct aromas of various restaurants co-mingling in the air to foot and car traffic snarling from morning into late night. In Chinatown, it's Archer Avenue. The West Loop claims Randolph Street. And in Andersonville, it's all about Clark Street.
The neighborhood was dubbed as such when Swedish immigrant farmers migrated to the area in the mid-1850s. They built a strong foundation of businesses, residences, and cultural and religious institutions that left an impact for generations to come. The annual Midsommarfest event has been going on since the mid-1960s and keeps the Swedish culture alive. There is also the Swedish American Museum.
But in the last 10 to 15 years, Andersonville has experienced a significant spurt of growth and diversity. It's attracted a large LGBTQ community, many of whom left Lakeview in search of a quieter neighborhood. It also boasts other ethnic groups, who have opened many thriving businesses in the area.
Some may be explored during an ethnic food tour to Andersonville. And while the visitor will find several trend-focused restaurants, cocktail lounges and independent boutiques, the majority of establishments are quaint, family-friendly and cozy.
Andersonville is approximately 23 minutes from downtown Chicago hotels, and parking is challenging. Its boundaries are Magnolia Avenue to the east, Ravenswood Avenue to the west, Winnemac Avenue to the south and Victoria Street to the north.Continue to 2 of 6 below.
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Where To Stay
House 5863 Chicago Bed and Breakfast in Brief: The modern-styled B&B (check out additional B&Bs in Chicago) is on a quiet street directly off the bustling Clark Street action. There are five rooms from which to choose, and there is a cleaning lady who cleans daily. A fully-equipped kitchen offers continental style breakfast with all the basics to allow guests to serve themselves on their schedules. There is also a garden and deck.
Amenities: In addition to complimentary breakfast and snacks, there is free wifi.
Room Rates: Rooms range $147-$187 a night.
Parking: Street parking is available, but scarce.
Address: 5863 N. Glenwood Ave., 773-682-5217
Additional Hotels in the Area
Hotel LincolnContinue to 3 of 6 below.
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Where To Dine
Big Jones in Brief: We love Big Jones' perfectly crisp fried chicken that tastes like it came out the Deep South. Co-owned by the Indiana-born Chef Paul Fehribach, who has extensively traveled throughout the South to learn the roots of soul food, the restaurant is contemporary, but not so much that it will turn off traditionalists. Big Jones features brunch, lunch and dinner, with highlights such as the skillet cornbread, a smoked-and-smothered pork shoulder and shrimp and grits. There's a strong emphasis on whiskey, as well as cocktails. The menus are also seasonal.
Address: 5347 N. Clark St., 773-275-5725
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Bar OmbraContinue to 4 of 6 below.
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Where To Drink
Elixir Andersonville in Brief: The original Elixir is based in Lakeview. Identical to its predecessor, the Andersonville outpost serves craft cocktails, many of them original recipes made popular at the other location. The best part about the classic cocktail offerings is that guests may choose their favorite small-batch spirits. That includes the daiquiri, Manhattan and Old Fashioned. Elixir's setup is slick, modern and fun in an intimate setting, which means it's ideal for dates. There is a full menu of globally influenced share-able small bites, flatbreads, salads and larger plates. Highlights range from roast chicken to pasta.
Address: 1509 W. Balmoral Ave., 773-654-1751
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Atmosphere BarContinue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06
Where To Play
The Neo-Futurarium in Brief: The quirky experimental theater is best known for its long-running show, "Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind." It's been going on since the late 1980s, and has been a hit ever since. Of course, it's kept up with the times, updating every season to address current events.
Address: 5153 N. Ashland Ave., 773-878-4557
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06 of 06
Where To Shop
Andersonville Galleria in Brief: What's absolutely sweet about the Galleria is that it features all local vendors providing original products. They range from custom-designed violins and pet apparel to artwork and jewelry. It features more than 90 tenants for a unique shopping experience.
Address: 5247 N. Clark St., 773-878-8570
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