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Located Northwest of downtown, Wicker Park is the creative center of the city, Chicago’s trend-setting neighborhood and home to artists, musicians, and writers. More recently, it has also become home to some of the city’s best chefs.
It’s hard not to feel the energy of the swarms of people shopping, rocking, biking and partying at this intersection of evolving Chicago.
Open one door and you’ll find an eclectic boutique clothing store, while the next will bring a vintage resale shop. You can still find a bookstore here (Myopic is among the city’s best) and even a record store (Reckless Records is still selling vinyl!).
Many of these shops and restaurants are tucked into historic buildings that date to the 1880s.
There are few options for hotels in Wicker Park, but At Home Inn Chicago does offer some great vacation rental apartments and condos right in the heart of the neighborhood. Choose from 2-bedroom vacation rentals in Bucktown to sprawling 4-bedroom Wicker Park apartment rentals, each near the center of the neighborhood.
Our apartments include everything you’ll need to enjoy an evening in, or just to use as a launching point for squeezing in as much as you can in one of the greatest neighborhoods in America.
OK, the “5” is a lie. We wanted to give you five, but there’s just so much we love in this neighborhood that we got carried away. Hit any of the places below, and you’ll be happy you did.
BIG STAR: That’s in all caps because it deserves it. Great bar, great tacos. Always - always - packed, and in the summer that includes a gorgeous streetside sun-soaked patio.
XOCO: Now this one is in all caps because that’s just how they do it, but it’s no less deserving. From famed chef Rick Bayless, one of the fathers of Chicago’s food renaisance.
Double Door: One of Chicago’s great music venues, the Double Door is located near the epicenter of Wicker Park where Milwaukee Ave. meets North and Damen. This grundgy venue has hosted the likes of The Killers, Kid Rock, and the Rolling Stones.
Subterranean: DJs on the first floor, rock and hip-hop upstairs.
Schwa: This is the restaurant Charlie Trotter chose to celebrate the closing of his legendary restaurant with a guest list of the nation’s most respected chefs. What we’re saying is, that means it’s good.
Uname Burger: New in 2014, this is the burger place everyone is raving about in a city where it's hard to find a bad burger.
The Bristol: On the edge of the Bucktown, you’ll find this cozy hot spot humming with energy and outstanding food.
Mindy's Hot Chocolate: Mindy Segall made her name on Top Chef, then earned a James Beard Award, and now continues to earn her stars at this fantastic eatery on Damen Ave.
Map Room: One of the city’s first bars to embrace the craft beer movement, this is a great place to meet friends, or work an afternoon away as you sample a huge selection of craft beer on draft and in bottle. They serve Intelligentsia Coffee to boot!
Violet Hour: Put your cell phone away, prepare to hunt for the door, and possibly wait in line...then enjoy the best and original Chicago craft cocktail bar.
For more, check out the RedEye’s Wicker Park guide.
If you want to get to the heart of the city to visit the museum campus, Millenium Park, Willis Tower, the Magnificent Mile, or Navy Pier, it’s easy to do via public transportation from Wicker Park.
Public transit in Chicago is excellent, and although the systems are easy to use, using the CTA website or Google Maps for trip planning is always a good idea. Google Maps is very accurate for Chicago Public Transit - it’s what we use.
A one-way train or bus fare is $2.25 per person. If you intend to use public transit multiple times throughout your trip, consider an unlimited 3 day or 7 day pass. These are available at any CVS Pharmacy or Walgreens.
On the CTA Blue Line, get off at one of the following stops:
Chicago: The Matchbox, Big Shoulders Coffee
Grand: The Dawson
Clark and Lake: Chicago Riverwalk, Chicago Architecture Foundation boat tours, Merchandise Mart, Goodman Theater, Chicago Theater
Washington: Pritzker Pavillion, Millenium Park, The Bean
Monroe: Art Institute of Chicago, Bank of America Theatre
Jackson: Art Institute of Chicago, Grant Park, Willis Tower, Rookery Building
LaSalle: Willis Tower
Clinton: Greek Town
Busses can be used to access a multitude of the Chicagoland area’s attractions, including Michigan Avenue. Google Maps has accurate directions for using the bus system.
You can usually flag down a cab quickly, but we also love Uber, a simple mobile app you can use to have a cab come right to your door. The app has clear pricing and allows you to split your fare with other riders.