around chicago // lincoln park.

Remember that little reader survey I asked for your help with at the beginning of the year? Well, the results were magical – as a strategist I’m a total data nerd and the insights from your answers have helped inspire new ideas and refine things as I set out to tackle big things in 2014. So thank you, for real. Thank you for taking the time to weigh in and give me your honest feedback. Without readers, this whole blogging thing would be a lot less fun & I truly value what you had to say.

With that all being said, one big recurring theme (and a big surprise for me, to be honest) in survey responses was more Chicago-related content. To show off my own city and weigh in on what life here is like, where some of my favorite spots are and give more glimpses into happenings around the Windy City. So meet the newest series, “Around Chicago” – my goal is to tap into the expertise of friends who live in Chicago’s various neighborhoods to show off their favorite places to eat, drink, shop and just enjoy the city from a local’s point of view.

First up is the lovely Lincoln Park, covered by Emily who lives & goes to school there:


// image via Briarwood Gallery

Where to…

  • Brunch: Toast // This hidden gem of a restaurant is the best place to get brunch any day of the week – with stuffed french toast as their go-to dish and a cozy atmosphere, it’s definitely a crowd-pleaser.
  • Shop: W. Armitage Ave. & N Halsted St. // Lincoln Park is the mecca of everything boutique, so shopping recommendations simply could not be narrowed down to one street. Armitage and Halsted have shops ranging from well-known brands (Lucky, lululemon, BCBG) to one-of-a-kind stores exclusive to the area. The best part about shopping here is that each place is different so there really is something for everyone, and there are plenty of places to pick up a snack between purchases!
  • Grab Coffee: The Bourgeois Pig // Located in a brownstone-turned-coffee shop on Fullerton Avenue, this walk-up has the best lattes in town. The mix of wooden furniture and French decor make you feel right at home. [Hint: the upstairs is divided into sections that can be great for groups or meetings]
  • Work Out: the running trail along Lakeshore Drive // There’s no better view for exercising than the skyline of Chicago, and with the path stretching over 18 miles, it can suit any type of runner.
  • People Watch: Oz Park // Nestled in between the bustle of the retail district and the sprawling grounds of the zoo, Oz Park is the perfect place to bring a picnic, catch some sun (when it’s here) and spend the day watching other park goers.
  • Eat Dinner: Bodega Bar De Tacos // As its name in Spanish hints, this restaurant is found in a dim basement – but don’t let that turn you away. Their gourmet tacos and homemade salsas are to-die for, especially when paired with a hand-crafted margarita.
  • Indulge: Sweet Mandy B’s // Famous for their cupcakes, this is the place for anyone with a sweet tooth. The shop itself is decorated whimsically and the freshly baked desserts range from pies to cookies and everything in between!

What are some of your favorite spots in Lincoln Park? Have you been to any of the places on Emily’s list? If you’re also a Chicagoan, which ‘hood do you call home?