Today is a bittersweet day. Mike and I are packing up our lives and leaving behind the first condo we bought together 3 years ago. We’ve had some great times in this condo and Lakeview and the Southport Corridor have treated us well. We’re not moving very far, only to Lincoln Park, but it’s a move nonetheless. We’ve had some pretty epic get togethers with friends and family that I’m sure our neighbors remember well; our kitchen counter as seen a lot of butter and phyllo on our Greek cooking days and a lot of smoked meat and fireball whiskey when our friends get together. We also got engaged and then married while living here, so although we’re excited for things to come, it’s still a little bit sad thinking of all the memories we’re leaving behind. So rather than leaving them all behind, I’m going to keep a few alive here and also give you my version of The Complete Guide to Lakeview – all the places we love in our first Chicago ‘hood! If there’s anywhere I’m forgetting, make sure to add it to the comments below!
Best Thin Crust – Michael’s 4091 N. Broadway St. Ok, so Michael’s is technically in Uptown, but they deliver to Lakeview so I’m counting it because I love it. They’ve perfected the ratio of crust:cheese:sauce and I love that the sauce has some sweetness to it – sausage and giardiniera are my go-to toppings.
Best Late Night – Dimo’s 3463 N. Clark St. There is not much better than a slice of Dimo’s Mac ‘n Cheese or BBQ Chicken Bacon Ranch pizza after a night on the town. Leftovers the morning after are an added bonus.
Best Fast – Blaze 953 W. Belmont Ave. Recently opened and immediately popular. Their assembly-line style pizzas that are ready to eat in 180 seconds are as delicious as they are convenient. Don’t forget a glass of Blood Orange Lemonade and a S’more Pie.
Honorable Mention – D’agostino’s 1351 W. Addison St. A close runner-up to Michael’s for my favorite thin crust. Their super thin and crispy crust and sauce with a subtle sweetness always satisfies.
Best Facial – Absolute Precision Skin Care 1421 W. Belmont Ave. Kelly and Kimberly are the only ladies I trust with my pores!
Best Hair – Jane Roberts Salon 1404 W. Belmont Ave. Samantha is my girl, and until I leave Chicago I’ll be making the trip back to see her at Jane Roberts.
Best Nails – Spa Spot 3125 N. Lincoln Ave. Not all nail salons are created equal. Heat packs for your shoulders, paraffin wax, and a quickie shoulder massage are all included in a pedicure here.
Best Finishing Salon – Goldplaited 2803 N. Sheffield Ave. For all your blow-out and makeup application needs, sisters Mal & Co have created the perfect destination, complete with complimentary champagne.
M2 3527 N. Southport Ave. For all your accessory needs, there is no better place than M2. Looking for a cute, inexpensive necklace to go with that outfit you want to wear tonight? M2 has you covered!
Blue Mercury 3512 N. Southport Ave. Beauty lovers heaven! With great brands like Kiehl’s, NARS, Bobbi Brown, and many others, you’ll have no problem finding an excuse to fish out your wallet here.
Inkling 2917 1/2 N. Broadway St. Cute, unique gifts with a little touch of Chicago.
Waxman Candles 3044 N. Lincoln Ave. In case you weren’t sure, you’ll find a whole lotta candles here.
With Grace 1914 W. Cornelia Ave. Paper, paper, paper, and more super cute paper.
Spencer’s Jolly Posh 3755 N. Southport Ave. For the British and Irish lovers out there – try the bangers, bring home some tea.
Two-sided/Foursided 2958 N. Clark St. and 2939 N. Broadway St. If you’re looking to have something framed (four-sided) or find a unique greeting card or gift, these sister stores have you covered.
Jeni’s Spendid Ice Cream 3404 N. Southport Ave. When Jeni’s opened on Southport last fall I knew I was in trouble. Their Salted Caramel and Black Coffee flavors are straight-up addicting, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Scooter’s Frozen Custard 1658 W. Belmont Ave. A waffle cone with a scoop of chocolate and a scoop of vanilla from Scooter’s is probably my favorite frozen treat, ever. What can I say, I’m a sucker for frozen custard.
Bobtail Ice Cream 2951 N. Broadway St. Gotta show some love for East Lakeview ice cream as well. Bobtail’s Cubby Crunch is my go-to.
Bittersweet 1114 W. Belmont Ave. Beautiful pastries line the display cases in Bittersweet and they’re almost too pretty to eat….almost.
Higgins’ Tavern 3259 N. Racine Ave. Neighborhood dives are my jam, and Higgins is an all-time favorite. This is our version of Cheers, where everyone knows your name.
The Green Lady 3328 N. Lincoln Ave. If you’re looking for an impressive line-up of craft beers, look no further than The Green Lady. Darts, a jukebox, and a laid-back atmosphere make this the perfect spot for a relaxed night out.
Guthrie’s 1300 W. Addison St. Board games! A great spot to chill out and entertain your competitive spirit.
Delilah’s 2771 N. Lincoln Ave. Dark and awesome, the perfect spot for the whiskey lover in your life. Rumor is Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain met here…
Headquarters Beercade 2833 N. Sheffield Ave. Craft cocktails + free old-school arcade games, need I say more?
Northdown Cafe & Taproom 3244 N. Lincoln Ave. Great food and great beers made Northdown a regular stop for us. Lots of vegan choices for all the veggies out there.
Ukai 1059 W. Belmont Ave. Not only is Ukai our go-to sushi spot in the ‘hood, it’s our go-to sushi spot in Chicago. The Crunchy Spicy Tuna, Godzilla, Hawks, and Bears rolls are our favs.
Tango Sur 3763 N. Southport Ave. MEAT! Lots of delicious meat and an intimate atmosphere put Tango Sur at the top of our list for special nights out. The Pork Chop, El Filet, or Lomo Relleno are my tried and true favorites.
Big & Little’s 1034 W. Belmont Ave. A very welcome new addition to the neighborhood – quick and delicious tacos, truffle fries, po’ boys, and more.
Southport Grocery 3552 N. Southport Ave. Don’t think about it – just order the Bread Pudding Pancakes. You’re welcome.
Harmony Grill 3159 N. Southport Ave. This little restaurant is attached to Schuba’s and is probably our most frequently visited brunch spot. Nice little outdoor patio and the food never disappoints. 2 thumbs up for their Bloody Mary as well.
Ann Sather 909 W. Belmont Ave. The most magnificent (and giant) cinnamon rolls you will ever eat.
Endgrain 1851 W. Addison A cute and very popular spot for brunch – their buttery biscuits are dabomb.com. Oh, and did I mention they have some ridiculous doughnuts??
Best Caffeine Fix
Heritage Bicycles 2959 N. Lincoln Ave. A coffee shop that doubles as a bike shop. A super cute spot to camp out, grab an iced coffee, and get a little work done. Make sure to treat yourself to one of their Snickerdoodle cookies.
Osmium 1117 W. Belmont Ave. This Dark Matter outpost just opened and is conveniently located on my way to the Red Line, so it has quickly become my go-to for a quick caffeine fix. Love their iced coffee and Mayan Mocha.
DAVIDsTEA 3530 N. Southport Ave. Tea seems to be the new “it” hot drink these days and DAVIDsTEA is my favorite.
Cafe Tola 3612 N. Southport Ave. You’ll find coffee and empanadas at this teeny tiny spot just north of Addison. Order a Spicy Mocha if you like a little heat with your chocolate and caffeine.
Corepower Yoga 3232 N. Lincoln Ave. One of several Corepower studios in the city, their Hot Power Fusion class leaves me sweaty and in touch with my Om.
Body R+D 2940 N. Lincoln Ave. This megaformer workout is the best way to get serious about toning up. A couple days after a workout at Body R+D you’ll be feeling muscles that you never knew were there.
Crossfit Defined 1235 W. Belmont Ave. If you’re ready to step up your workout game a notch, Crossfit Defined will have you pushing your limits in no time.
Best Al Fresco Drinking and Dining
Crosby’s Kitchen 3455 N. Southport Ave. Family friendly with a nice little patio primed for people watching along Southport. Not in the mood to make dinner? I carryout the Wrightwood Salad pretty often.
Fish Bar 2956 N. Southport Ave. A small space that packs a memorable punch. Order the Lobster Roll if you’re looking to splurge, if not the Satchmo Po’ Boy is the perfect stand-in.
Sheffield’s 3258 N. Sheffield Ave. Sheffield’s has BBQ and a patio that is always hoppin’, and a great beer list to boot.
Schoolyard Tavern 3258 N. Southport Ave. If Summer Shandy is in season, then it’s on tap at Schoolyard – and that’s why we love this place. Well, that and their delicious Queso.
Frasca Pizzeria + Wine Bar 3358 N. Paulina St. An all-around winner that never disappoints. Great wine, great pizzas, and don’t miss the bruschetta.
Best of the Rest
Best Mexican – El Mariachi 3906 N. Broadway St.
Best Wings – Crisp 2940 N. Broadway St. Seoul Sassy all the way!
Best Soup – Soupbox 2943 N. Broadway St. Their delicious soups got me through the Worst Winter Ever. The Lobster Bisque is sure to cure any winter woes.
Best Vegan – The Chicago Diner 3411 N. Halsted St.
Best Date Night – HB Home Bistro 3404 N. Halsted St.
Best Girls’ Night – Bottle & Bottega 2900 N. Lincoln Ave. Wine & painting, pure genius.
Best Thai – Pho’s Thai 3332 N. Lincoln Ave. No frills at this tiny hole-in-the-wall, but their Pad Thai is some of the best. (Also BYOB)
Best Burgers – DMK Burger Bar 2954 N. Sheffield Ave.
Best Fast Burgers – Burger Boss 3208 N. Southport Ave.
Best Brewery – DryHop 3155 N. Broadway St.
Best Fried Chicken Sandwich – The Roost 1467 W. Irving Park Rd. They started out as just a food truck and finally opened this brick and mortar earlier this year. The Spicy Chicken Sandwich on a biscuit (with pickles and chipotle sauce) is insanely good, and they also open at 9am for breakfast!
Best Sandwiches – Panes Bread Cafe 3002 N. Sheffield Ave.
Best Gyros – Gyros On The Spit 2826 N. Lincoln Ave.
Best Meat Market – Paulina Meat Market 3501 N. Lincoln Ave. You’ve never had jerky like Paulina’s homemade jerky – go for the cajun. Their pepper-crusted smoked pork tenderloin is also always a huge hit at parties.
Best Greek – Melanthios 3114 N. Broadway St.
Best Karaoke – Trader Todd’s 3216 N. Sheffield Ave. Anywhere that has “Nuthin’ But A G Thang” on their list of karaoke songs is a winner in my book. Their tiki theme makes it that much more interesting.
Best Lobster Roll – New England Seafood Company 3341 N. Lincoln Ave.
Best Hot Dogs – Murphy’s Red Hots 1211 W. Belmont Ave. Do not, I repeat do NOT order ketchup on your hotdog! (Only kind of kidding- they won’t say anything, but people will judge)
Best Chiropractor – Aligned Modern Health 3514 N. Southport Ave. Dr. Dever and team keep my aches and pains at bay, Aligned is so much more than your typical crack-and-go chiro.
What are your Lakeview favorites?? Share below in the comments!!