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A Weekend in North Center

If you ask an out-of-towner to name some neighborhoods in Chicago, they’ll probably mention Wrigleyville and the Gold Coast…maybe Lakeview or even Bucktown. Rarely will someone be able to call out North Center. Some city natives aren’t even aware of the cute neighborhood nestled between Lincoln Square and Andersonville—yet it’s bustling with commerce and potential.

Just off the Irving Park brown line stop you can walk west to enter North Center. Punctuated by pillars bearing its name on various corners, it is home to otherwise hidden gems and bears a quaint vibe not really found anywhere else in the city. If you’re interested in exploring it one weekend, here’s a suggested itinerary breakdown for a relaxing Saturday or Sunday:

Brunch at Port & Park

Your day in North Center can start off with a meal at the corner of Southport and Irving Park. Formerly known as SIP and under new ownership, the bistro got a makeover in 2019— transforming its speak easy style bar into a still retro but more colorful, midcentury vibe. The space encompasses two dining rooms and while the menu has undergone changes, the food hasn’t wavered. You can still get favorites like their chilaquiles then beignets for dessert.

Shopping at Hazel

Once you’ve fueled up on coffee and nosh, head over to Montrose and check out this high-end boutique & gift shop offering trendy clothing, jewelry (from local and international designers), home decor accessories, art prints, the best greeting cards and even fresh flowers. Hazel lends a truly signature retail experience.

Pro tip: They are expert gift wrappers!


Afternoon brews at The Globe Pub

Once you’ve snagged a new trademark item for your wardrobe or home, you’ll deserve a little respite at a casual, yet iconic neighborhood pub. Known for its dedication to airing soccer matches, the Globe is happy to host the viewing of any sporting event. With a full menu, and showing off a complete revamp done in 2018, this is a great spot to clank some mugs in honor of a win or just because.

Dinner at Sun Cho Ok

When it’s time to dine again, this home-style Korean favorite offers traditional cuisine with a branding that’s backed by 30 years of serving classic dishes like Mul NaengMyeon and tabletop cooking. Get there before the line forms!

Pick up a nightcap at Bottles & Cans

Before leaving your newfound neighborhood go-to and heading home to rave about all you’ve discovered, pop into Bottles & Cans to choose from an extensive and impressive collection of craft beers, wines and spirts—celebrating local, national and international vendors.

With its tree-lined streets filled with brick facades and inviting walk-ups, coupled with city energy where Damen, Irving Park and Lincoln intersect—North Center is a unique hybrid of urban and suburban living. Our team would be happy to walk you through real estate options in this beloved Chicago neighborhood, or any other area of interest.

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