3 Great Chicago Neighborhoods to Explore
A 70-foot monument, grassy parks and 2.5 miles of leafy boulevards belie Logan Square's artistic, passionate personality. Adjacent to hip Bucktown on Chicago's North Side, edgy Logan Square's mash-up identity blends rich Chicago history with ethnic and economic diversity—and really cool shopping. Churches reflect the neighborhood's Norwegian heritage. Restored gray stone mansions coexist with taco stands, corner grocers, and graffiti alley art that could hold its own in a contemporary gallery.
Start exploring at the Illinois Centennial Monument, designed by Henry Bacon, who crafted the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Logan Boulevard and Kedzie and Milwaukee avenues radiate like wheel spokes from the memorial. Artists, musicians and young families lunch at Lula Cafe, known for its farm-to-table dishes. Nearby is whimsical toy store Play; around the bend, independent, eclectic shops tuck between coffeehouses and ethnic bakeries.
Along Milwaukee Avenue, the main commercial strip, the neighborhood's artsy vibe thrives at the new Arts Center Logan Square/Avondale. Foodies flock to wine bar Telegraph, Revolution Brewing Company and Latin-fusion restaurant D'Noche. Each summer, more than 300 artists, musicians and performers showcase their work during the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival.
Even with all that's new, neighborhood treasures survive. Margie's Candies, opened in 1921, still dishes hot fudge sundaes in svelte silver gravy boats. That's a part of Logan Square that no one wants to change. -- Kit Bernardi
Pictured: The Illinois Centennial Monument anchors Logan Square.