NFT Chicago DePaul / Wrightwood / Sheffield

DePaul / Wrightwood / Sheffield

College students rule the scene with DePaul University's central location, filling the neighborhood with fun-filled late nights and early morning walks-of-shame, while still maintaining a vibrant academic environment for both students and residents (consider the free DePaul Art Museum). Less raucous areas have an upscale collection of restaurants and boutiques for those who can afford to live on the charming tree-lined residential streets.

Facets runs a slate of obscure art-house films and rents DVDs as well. For music, The Hideout draws Bloodshot Records fans with its basement rec-room ambience and Lincoln Hall brings musical acts into the heart of the neighborhood. Aging punk rockers tipple a vast array of spirits at See more.

>Delilah's. Armitage Avenue boasts a variety of boutiques.


This Neighborhood Featured in...
Kitchen of Dreams

By Jill Jaracz
The equipage of the kitchen: the stockpile of the heart. Do you have what it takes to furnish your cooking space? Join Jill Jaracz on a culinary voyage 'twixt Oriental crockery and mass-produced Swedish stuff, as Jill prepares to lavish you with the secret of her sparkling kitchen: the addresses of the stores she patronizes, and some suggestions. Get ready to cook something. I hope it's tasty and doesn't take til 3 am. I hate that.

Beer: English for Beer.

By Jill Jaracz
Beer: It may be the world's most popular alcoholic beverage but that doesn't mean you have to be democratic about it. From cask-conditioned to microbrewed, let Jill Jaracz show you a whole new world of fermented yeast.


On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Tatyana Zaprudskaya
Photo:  Tatyana Zaprudskaya

John's Place
Two words come to mind when describing John’s Place: kids and food. This cozy two room restaurant tends to feel like Lincoln Park’s resident day care, particularly on weekends when it is dominated by swarms of moms and unruly kids running wild. As for the food part, it is healthy and simple comfort fare. The salads are delicious and cater to a wide range of palates: the signature and eclectic John's Salad with smoky bacon, pungent goat cheese, and sweet dried cherries, its spicier counterpart the Southwestern Salad (the Chipotle Ranch is amazing), and the zesty Rose's Curry Chicken Salad with apples and pita. Two other notable and heartier mentions are the Los Alamos Chili and sweet potato fries. Despite its reputation for kid friendliness, John's also services grown-ups with an extensive wine collection and nightly drink specials. On Tuesdays they have half-price bottles of wine, Wednesdays $4 House Margaritas, and Thursdays $4 glasses of wine. Closed Mondays. Word to the wise, save a little room to venture next door to Sweet Mandy B’s for dessert.

Posted By:  Euphenia Cheng
Photo:  Euphenia Cheng

Sweets & Savories
Sweets and Savories might appears to be a bit pricey, but I assure you that the food is worth every dime. Their prix-fixe brunch is the best way to truly experience this restaurant. It comes with your choice of Bloody Mary, Screwdriver, Mimosa, or Wine. The first course was a plateful of Zante Currant Scones, Chocolate Espresso Muffins, Sweets Rolls, Lemon Loaf, and Palmiers. They also give you a grapefruit that comes with a little shot glass of San Pellegrino Bitter. When you're done with your grapefruit, you pour the bitter in it. This was amazing. My main course was incredibly rich and tasty--a huge chunk of Lobster meat with roasted red potatoes and eggs over easy smothered in Hollandaise sauce. True brunch love.

Posted By:  Jamie Smith
Photo:  Jamie Smith

Ringo isn't the only restaurant in the city to offer unlimited sushi, but it is one of the few that matches quantity with quality. For $22 a person, you can eat all that you care to--which, for me, is all that I can.  They technically only offer this deal on Monday nights, but you can find a coupon on their website which allows you to order off the all you can eat menu any night except Friday or Saturday. Best of all, Ringo is BYOB. They only take reservations for large parties and the small restaurant fills up quickly, so you'll want to arrive early or late if you're planning on showing up on Monday or on the weekend.

Posted By:  Raf Miastkowski
Photo:  Raf Miastkowski

Amato's Pizza
Formerly Rizatta's, this neighborhood pizza joint is a step above Pizza Hut for those looking to cater the big game or merely drop in for a slice. Salads, subs, sandwiches, pasta, and calzones are available in all sorts of flavors and varieties, ensuring dining options for even the pickiest eater. The thin crust pizza is the real draw at Amato's, with a crust that's not too crispy but still able to sustain gobs of gooey cheese. The pepperoni also straddles a similar balance, tangy but not slamming your taste buds into submission. It's pizza. It's good. What else can you ask for? This is a great spot to grab a tasty slice before heading out on a tour of the nearby Goose Island Brewery.

Posted By:  Elissa Pociask
Photo:  Elissa Pociask

Only the devil could look at a mini burger and not smile. It takes no more than a glance at a plate from Minnie's to make a person want to try every option on their pint-sized menu, from the 2" sandwiches to the tiny shakes, to the one-gulp beers. Aside from the sheer aesthetic pleasure of the cuisine, Minnie's scores major points for its convenience factors. Even if it's 3am and you're simultaneously starving, stuck with a friend who just ate, and babysitting a 4-year-old who won't go to sleep unless you find him a tuna melt, Minnie's has the answer. The little bites offer something for every palate and creed, from pulled pork to brie & jam, and nothing will inflate you with such kingly autonomy as ordering 6 and popping them back like M&Ms.

Posted By:  Nina Williams
Photo:  Nina Williams

A beautifully hidden, underground spot in the heart of Lincoln Park’s boutique arena houses a variety of well-made garments by local Ukrainian-born designer Vika Brown. She also happens to own this boutique, but carries several other designers including apparel designer Orlando Espinosa and local Brazilian handbag designer, Diego Rocha. One can feel a definite appreciation for fine fabrics and impeccable quality present in many of the objects available for purchase. There are also several pieces of jewelry created by local designers, which were handpicked by Vika herself. Interested in treating yourself to something beautiful? Go ahead and treat yourself to a day at Eclectica.

Posted By:  Annie Anderson
Photo:  Annie Anderson

The Hideout
Nestled along the Elston Avenue industrial strip, The Hideout is the kind of place you want everyone and no one to know about. Exiled in its own warm glow of dingy glory, it’s situated in a ramshackle house at the end of a pot-holed street. Indeed, driving down Wabansia toward the glowing Old Style sign is a bit reminiscent of all those spooky alley scenes in “Adventures in Babysitting.” But fear not; take a note from Chris Parker, the kidsitter in said film, and proceed. Poetry readings and folks-gone-buck dance parties go down within these wood-paneled walls, in this house-bar, which—did I mention?—is right next to a semi tractor-trailer gas station. The Hideout’s front “yard,” composed of concrete and smokers’ benches, offers a killer view of the city skyline. Much like the knockout look at local talent—djs Life During Wartime and Major Taylor, the bluegrass band Devil in a Woodpile, The Dollar Store reading series, to name but a few—The Hideout offers inside.

Posted By:  Max Grinnell

The Hideout
Complimentary Drambuie-infused cocktails and hors d'oeuvres at the Hideout? That's a damn fine combo, and if you throw in DJ Andrew Andrew, The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, and Gabriel Kahane, that's a recipe for a fine, fine, Tuesday night out. Things are going to get started around 7 pm, but feel free to show up early to get a head start on your drinking…or maybe you haven't stopped since the day before Thanksgiving? Oh yeah, did I mention the free schwag? There will be gift bags as well, so make sure to get there early. You'll need to RSVP for this event here, but it's painless and free. So all you need to decide is whether you'll have a Rusty Nail or a Loch Lomond…probably both, right?

Posted By:  Bathsheba Birman
Photo:  Bathsheba Birman

Webster's Wine Bar
Got wine? Unwind with a flight and a friend at this fifth annual music, storytelling, and vino series. Hear 54 original first person tales from local actors and writers grouped by nightly themes such as “Inappropriate Behavior,” “Fight the Power,” and “Learning from Strangers.” Performers include the fest’s own storytelling development director Megan Stielstra, Time Out Chicago’s Jonathan Messinger, author Sam Weller, and Reading Under the Influence’s Julia Borcherts, Mandy Snyder, and Rob Duffer. Each reader is accompanied by a pour from participating wineries and musical guests round out the mix. Performances run every Thursday-Sunday from April 26-May 13. Doors open at 6:45 pm; stories begin around 7:45 pm. Tickets are $15 at Salud.

Posted By:  Brian Diebold
Photo:  Brian Diebold

Red Lion Pub
Chicago’s very own Red Lion Pub is rich in history, tradition, and old-fashioned fun. Known as one of the city’s premier English Pubs, the Red Lion offers an authentic, decently priced menu along with a bevy of imported spirits in the form of scotches and beers. Originally built in 1882, the building was renovated in the ‘80s and renamed after John of Gaunt, a powerful 14th Century Englishman. More importantly is the typical belief around these parts that the place is actually haunted. According to legend, the building restorer John Cordwell’s father never received a proper burial. Ever since, he and a host of past patrons and people who have died in the building are said to roam this cool little pub on a nightly basis. I’ve never claimed to be a ghost buster. But I have encountered one scary circumstance in the dimly lit upstairs bar recently. Upon ordering one of their classic lagers, I noticed two minutes later…it was gone! This continued hour after hour until I was completely hammered. To this day I cannot tell which is scarier…the building, all the legends, or the ghost that kept making me drink all the beer! You decide.

Posted By:  Lisa Shames
Photo:  Lisa Shames

The way Jessica Goldman sees it, dancing is a whole lot more than just moving your feet. It’s also a way to promote poise, harness passion, and create positive energy. And she should know: Goldman studied dance for 15-plus years and was a Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader as well as a Chicago Luvabull. At All About Dance, the Lincoln Park dance studio she founded last year, she and her trained staff work with adults and children of all levels to bring out their inner Baryshnikovs, Madonnas or even Justin Timberlakes. Getting nervous even at the thought of putting on a leotard? Don’t. The emphasis of the classes—including jazz, ballet, hip hop, ballroom, and cardio striptease (no there isn’t a pole and no taking off your clothes in class isn’t an option. But at home, well, that’s up to you)—is on having fun and getting a workout. And with a number of the staff having logged in professional cheerleading hours, you can be sure their enthusiasm will help calm your worries.

Posted By:  Brian Diebold
Photo:  Brian Diebold

Not the typical seedy dive bar I am used to, the Grand Central is located in trendy Lincoln Park. Dragged unwillingly one night, I actually found this “hipper” bar to be quite comfortable as it offers a few surprises. If you can get past the fact that you will be bombarded by plasma TVs and the cheering of rabid sports fans, the Grand Central is a-ok. Monday nights offer a $2 burger and fries along with $3 Smirnoff cocktails. Imagine Mexican Fiesta night in the middle of Lincoln Park. That’s right…Tuesday nights offer $1 Tacos and $3 Dos Equis. Enough to turn any yuppie’s stomach and crowd the bathrooms to legendary proportions! But weekend afternoons are the real hit at Grand Central. A $6.99 buffet runs from 11-3 pm both days. With a $3 Bloody Mary Bar, $2 Coors Drafts, and all the football you can handle, the Grand Central has become my top pick for those wanting to impress their friends by saying that they too can hang in yuppie hell. Just don’t tell them I sent you! You may not get such a warm reception. At least not after my Tuesday bathroom ordeal! Ay Caramba!

Posted By:  Rick Karlin
Photo:  Rick Karlin

Finding used furniture at a Salvation Army is nothing new, but the Clybourn location, tucked at the back of a lot near the intersection of Clybourn, Elston, and Fullerton, is the spot where you’ll unearth finds that will have your friends green with envy. Once you explore this hidden gem, you'll swear off Ikea for good. Although, the SA doesn't offer meatballs. I recently found a hand-crafted solid wood breakfront cabinet for $20. If you haven’t got strong friends with a truck, have something lined up, they’ll only hold pieces 24 hours and there isn’t a delivery service. Still, after paying $30 to have the piece delivered and a few bucks for some sandpaper, stain, and paint, I have a great piece of furniture.

Posted By:  Lisa Shames
Photo:  Nicole Fields

Yeah, we’ve heard it a million times, too: Size doesn’t matter. While that’s not true for some things—sorry, boys—that does apply to Mint, a mini-me boutique filled to its pint-sized rafters with unique, artisan goods. “Local” and “sustainable” are terms normally only applied to restaurants, but they also can be used when describing this Lincoln Park boutique which features hand-crafted products—jewelry, bags, hats, clothing, stationery—from Midwest artists. How serious is Mint about its love-thy-neighbor policy? The first Friday of every month, it donates 10% of its total sales to a community charity. The 35-or-so featured designers change on a regular basis and aspiring crafters can try their luck with an online artisan application.

Posted By:  Lisa Shames
Photo:  Lisa Shames

Sweet Mandy B's
To call the staff at this desserts-only café perky would be an understatement. Imagine Keebler elves on crack and you get the picture. But if you were surrounded by homemade treats such as red velvet cupcakes, whoopee pies, butterscotch pudding, s’mores, chocolate gingerbread cookies, and raspberry bars, you probably would be too. The stained glass cupcake over the front door is a sign of what awaits you inside. The cornflower blue floors and pastel yellow and green walls add to the whimsical atmosphere, which isn‘t a bad thing. Really. Not convinced of the authenticity of the goods? Take a seat at the counter and you can watch the bakers in action. This place may be a diabetic’s vision of hell but for us it’s sugar-buzzed heaven.

Posted By:  Max Grinnell
Photo:  Max Grinnell

Metropolis Rotisseria & Annette's Italian Ice
Nestled within the heart of Lincoln Park, Annette’s is a most welcome change from the tony stores that that dominate the area around Armitage Street near the El tracks. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that other Italian ice stands in the city don’t pass muster, but Annette’s has a wide range of flavors, and if you can’t find something suitable, you might be better off licking the concrete. Prices range from 2 to 6 bucks, and they have the king of all frozen novelties, frozen bananas (with or without nuts). The place is cash only, and for my money, the mandarin orange or grapefruit ices make the top of the list.

Posted By:  Max Grinnell
Photo:  Max Grinnell

Cortland Street Drawbridge
“Trunnion bascule” is a phrase that doesn’t get bandied about much these days, but fortunately those in the know will not mistake those two words for an oh-so tragically hip emo band or something entirely more naughty. Of course, those with a penchant for bridge design will know that the trunnion bascule style of bridge construction was all the range in Chicago during the early 20th century. The grandfather (or grandmother, depending on your perspective) of these bridges is the Cortland Street Bridge, which makes its way across the north branch of the Chicago River. Built in 1902, the bridge is still surrounded by a number of industrial factory hold-outs, such as A. Finkl and Sons (the “world’s leading suppliers of forging die steels”) and Cometco. Visitors can take the Armitage (#73) bus to the bridge, or just walk along Cortland Street on their way into Bucktown. Ain’t much in the way of eat or drink directly around the bridge, but Bucktown and Lincoln Park are only a few blocks away.

Posted By:  David Rosenstock
Photo:  David Rosenstock

Metropolis Rotisseria & Annette's Italian Ice
If youre a leg or a breast person, stop on in at the Metropolis Rotisseria (a play on words? Rotisserie/ Cafeteria). I could eat their chicken sandwich tossed in pesto dressing and served on a multigrain roll every day of the week. Simple, unpretentious, adorned in black and white tile, a chicken shack next to the train tracks, if it weren't for the Kiehl's opening up across the street, it might actually feel like Chicago. Manning the register, it's always the same old guy who looks like he's been relocated by the Witness Protection Program. Buy a root beer and settle down on one of the wooden benches. It's perfect for people watching, if you like Real World knock-offs--young, tan, fit, vaguely blond, marching east and west as if on their way to NY and LA.

Posted By:  Kelly Pucci
Photo:  Kelly Pucci

The owners of Argo Tea say they want to do for tea “what Starbucks did for coffee.” Oh, god, let’s hope not. Yes, just like Starbucks, Argo splashes buckets of earth-tone paint all over its cafes and uses stacks of inventory as décor. The salads arrive pre-packaged and the pastries are, well, pasty. But while it is still a small company, quality tea is a priority. Choose from any of Argo’s 40 teas, served hot or cold, and you’ll get carefully blended, all-natural ingredients chockfull of anti-oxidants. If you’re in the Loop, stop by the newest Argo Tea for a signature drink like a Smootea or Tea Sparkle. But while Wicked plays at the Oriental Theatre next door, expect busloads of folks from the Land Beyond O’Hare to shatter Argo’s carefully cultivated tranquil atmosphere.

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Restaurants (22)
Nightlife (13)
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