Things to do in Lincoln Park this weekend!
Just north of Chicago’s historic Gold Coast neighborhood along the shore of Lake Michigan is one of the Windy City’s most enchanting enclaves: Lincoln Park. It is home to the Steppenwolf and Second City theaters, the Lincoln Park Zoo, North Avenue Beach, and scores of must-visit restaurants and shops. Lincoln Park has attracted a wave of young professionals and families in recent years who are drawn by the diverse mix of amenities, cultural attractions, and beautifully preserved turn-of-the-century architecture. All these great qualities make the area a joy to visit, even for a day and a half.
Breakfast: Eleven Lincoln Park | 2301 North Clark Street
Start your day at local hotspot Eleven Lincoln Park, where the Black and White French Toast made with braided challah bread is a favorite among regulars. The interior is an Instagram-worthy homage to the golden age of Jewish delis and soda fountains, a motif that owner Brad Rubin hopes makes patrons feel right at home. Choose from classic offerings like corned beef sandwiches or bagels and lox, or opt for something a bit lighter like a protein scramble or a veggie Cobb salad. Either way, you’ll leave Eleven Lincoln Park fortified for your next adventure.
Lincoln Park Cultural Center | 2045 North Lincoln Park West
A tour of the Lincoln Park neighborhood is not complete without a visit to the very spot for which it’s named, verdant Lincoln Park bordering Lake Michigan. The 1,200-acre oasis, named after Abraham Lincoln, is filled with attractions ranging from the Chicago History Museum to the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool to the famed Lincoln Park Zoo, where outdoor sculpture tours in the gardens are offered in nice weather. The Farm-in-the-Zoo area gives city kids an up-close look at what gardening is really like, while the Edible Garden provides tasty evidence. The Zoo’s resident red panda cubs have just recently made their debut, and over a dozen different animal habitats and special installations are designed to engage and educate visitors of all ages.
Bricks | 1909 North Lincoln Avenue
Lincoln Park suffers no shortage of exceptional pizza places, and in Chicago, where crust connoisseurship is serious business, the stakes are high. Bricks, a favorite of locals, offers not only a unique variety of pizza options but also a sophisticated array of appetizers and a surprising selection of wine and beer choices, plus salads and classic Italian sandwiches. It’s a great place to stop for lunch so you can refuel for some fun retail therapy.
Aaron’s Apothecary | 2338 North Clark Street
No stranger to luxury retail, Lincoln Park offers a surprising mix of marquee names and high-end independent boutiques. A must-stop during your afternoon of shopping is Aaron’s Apothecary. Harkening back to the days when pharmacies could actually be described as glamourous, Aaron’s strives to combine elegance and touches of luxury with all the staples that a modern drug store offers. In addition to an impressive array of bath and body products, fragrances, and cosmetics, Aaron’s has a section of charming “curiosities.” Here you’ll find unique items such as whimsical Jonathan Adler coasters and kitchenware to creative Fornasetti candles and incense boxes. If you’re looking for a unique gift or just want to be entertained, don’t miss this gem.
Alinea | 1723 N Halsted St
On the very high end of dinner restaurant choices in Lincoln Park is Alinea. Known as not only the best restaurant in all of Chicago, Alinea is on the short list for one of the best restaurants in the nation. Menu items here change with the season and are known to play with textures, temperatures, and presentations. The art that arrives on your plate is almost too beautiful to eat, but regulars will tell you to dig in, as dinner at Alinea is always an unforgettable sensory experience. It also requires reservations months in advance, so be sure to plan ahead.
North Pond | 2610 North Cannon Drive
A more affordable choice for dinner is North Pond, a restaurant located steps away from the North Pond in Lincoln Park. Chef Bruce Sherman updates the menu regularly to keep his guests’ palates refreshed with seasonal dishes made from locally sourced, organic ingredients.
Kingston Mines | 2548 North Halsted Street
At Kingston Mines you can choose from not one, but two live blues performances that are staged in separate rooms and feature local bands as well as visiting acts. Get ready for a late, late night as this historical venue keeps the music playing until 4 a.m., seven days a week.
Toast | 746 West Webster Avenue
After catching some sleep to recover from a long day and late night in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, continue your adventure with a visit to Toast on West Webster Ave. This local favorite serves up traditional breakfast items in remarkably irresistible ways. Their Mexican chocolate-filled French toast and highly rated coffee will delight and re-energize you.
Dave’s Records | 2604 North Clark Street
Dave’s records on Clark is vinyl from floor to ceiling – the sign on the door says “no CDs,” and they’re not kidding. You may not have brought your record player with you on this trip, but you’ll rarely see a store with such a unique collection of favorites and rarities.
Lunch Options | North Clark Street
Cap off your tour of Lincoln Park with a lunch of your choice at one of the numerous eateries near Dave’s Records on North Clark Street. Options range from delicious traditional stand-bys such as burgers and beer at Dunlays on Clark or sandwiches at Frances’ Deli to “Korean fusion fast food” at Del Seoul or unique Mexican-Caribbean fare at Tarascas International.
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