5 Reasons Wicker Park Is The Place To Be In Chicago

5 Reasons Wicker Park Is The Place To Be In Chicago

The guide to fully experiencing Wicker Park
98
views

One of my favorite pastimes includes adventuring around the beautiful city of Chicago. Every time that I think that I’ve gotten familiar with one the many nationhood’s, I take a wrong turn and find myself in a whole new area that I wasn’t aware of. And with every nationhood comes a unique culture that I crave to experience.

Among my many adventures, I have had some of the best in Wicker Park, where the outcome of gentrification is so completely apparent. And while at the expense of many, something truly incredible did come out of it. A neighborhood bursting with unbelievable culture and life.

To many, Wicker Park is the nationhood of hipsters and vegans, however to me it is just another section of Chicago that is defined by the culture of its people. So I would encourage everyone in the Chicago land area to set a day aside for the sole purpose of adventuring around Wicker Park. And if you do decide to go on this little adventure, then these are some of the places you have to go to, in order to fully experience Wicker Park.

1. The Coffee Shops

If you know anything about me at all, then you should know that coffee consumes about 60% of my life and 99.99% of my daily liquid consumption. With that in mind, it was imperative for me to learn more about Wicker Park’s coffee scene, and let me just tell you, it didn’t fail to impress.

One of my favorite things in the world is sitting in one of Wicker Parks many little coffee shops with a perfectly roasted cup of black coffee and a good book. It is the only way that I know how to relax, and possibly a game changer for you. The first coffee shop that I would recommend (and my favorite) would be The Wormhole Café. The second you walk through the doors, you are sure to notice the back to the future car hanging on the wall, and the incredible aroma. And while I am a loyal black coffee drinker, when I am at The Wormhole, I always indulge in the Peanut Butter Koopa Troopa (which is literally one of the best cups of coffee I have ever had). Some other shops that are close runner ups would be The Dollop, Bru (incredible smoothies), Buzz Killer Espresso, and Volume Bookcafe (a bookstore and a café… I mean come on).

2. Thrifting

Wicker Park thrift stores are like the Tiffanies of thrift stores. And by that I mean that the clothes are so nice, that the items are actually regularly price, and could be mistaken as brand new. So while the whole concept of “going thrifting” is slightly inappropriate for this situation, it is still one of my favorite things to do. And if you are struggling to keep up with ever changing fashion trends, then you can just walk into any thrift store in Wicker Park and everything that is in that store is guaranteed to be the coolest thing right now.

With that being said I find some to be better than others, and The Buffalo Exchange to be the absolute best. While extremely small in square feet, The Wicker Park Buffalo Exchange is overflowing with style. I have found some of my absolute favorite pieces of clothing there, and judging by the outrageous amounts of people in there at all times, I wouldn’t just say it’s not just my belief. And If you manage to come out of the Buffalo Exchange with any money at all, you should head right over to Crossroads Trading co. and Ragstock.

3. Bookstores

I have searched the city of Chicago for the most incredible book stores, and while some of my favorites are scattered around the city, Myopic Books will always be up there. If not for the great selection of books, then for the simple fact that every inch of that shop is occupied by numerous books. There are little cave like hallways that are just wide enough for one person to walk down, and those hallways are literally create by huge book cases. And if that isn’t cool enough for you, then the fact that I have gotten lost in the maze of floor to ceiling book cases should do it for you.

I have truly never seen so many books packed into a space in my life. After checking out this gem of shop, you should head over to volumes Bookcafe (mentioned earlier), and enjoy the marvelous combination of literature and caffeine. And if you haven’t got a headache from all the caffeine and reading, you should stop by Quimby’s Bookstore, for perhaps the quirkiest experience of your life.

4. Food, Food, Food

I really should dedicate a whole article to Wicker Park food, but for today Im going to have to keep it short. Now please do keeping mind that I have been to almost all of the cheaper options, but haven’t really gotten to try anything over about $15. So if you aren’t a college student, I wouldn’t limit yourself to this list. When you go to Wicker you have to get a donut from Stan’s, and I would recommend the one with the most calories. And if you do check out Stan’s, then please make sure to appreciate the colorful Kitchenette mixers that line the walls as art.

If you are still in need of some sweets after Stan’s, then you have to go to Jeni’s Ice Cream Shop. As you approach Jeni’s there will be a line out of the door (guaranteed), but it is so worth it once you get inside. I would highly recommend getting their 4 scoop option in a bowl, that way you can try four of their dozens of flavors. And If you are not looking for ice-cream or donuts, then I can’t help you. Just kidding, I would recommend the big star, it is right next to the park itself and is always completely packed.

5. The Little Things

There are a few places that don’t fall under any of these categories that you should definitely check out. One of my all-time favorite places in Wicker Park is Sprout Home. It is a cute little flower shop that has classes on terrarium making and the best succulents around. Overall it just has a really pleasing aesthetic, and is necessary for the Wicker experience. And lastly I would highly recommend you check out the Wicker Park itself (actual park) and the tire art installation in Wicker that is titled “Brick House”.

To conclude this little Wicker Park guide, I would like to express how important it is for everyone to step outside of their comfort zones and experience the culture around them. This one just so happens to be about an hour away for most and will open your eyes to a lifestyle that perhaps you aren’t used to.

Cover Image Credit: How I Travel

Popular Right Now

8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
43908
views

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Sweet Potatoes Are The Most Underrated Vegetable Of All Time

Everything you need to know about the pieces of edible gold we call "sweet potatoes" and why they will always perish over any plain old potato.

268
views

The potato. The heart of the American food industry. A versatile vegetable crop soaked in grease that brings us some of our favorite appetizers and sides. From french fries, to curly fries, to tater tots, to baked potatoes, to hash browns, this hallowed vegetable has become the Johnny Depp of the vegetable family. Now, we are all aware that the configurations of potatoes are limitless, but we commonly disregard the potato's delicious and neglected brother: the sweet potato. I, a credible food connoisseur and highly experienced eater, am here to tell you why you are missing out on a world of flavor if you choose to dismiss the beloved sweet potato and its many entities.

Let me first start this tirade by proving to you my credibility...I, too, once believed that regular french fries were better than sweet potato fries. I scoffed at the idea of choosing those ridiculous orange sticks over my tried-and-true plain boys. I could not be convinced that any sweetness should impede on my savory snacks.

These were dark times.

It was not until a mere month ago that my mind was changed forever.

It was a sunny (scary) Sunday morning, and my pounding head led me on a mission to indulge myself in the finest breakfast foods. I entered my favorite breakfast diner, Angelo's, and waited anxiously for my waiter to stroll over. She filled our water cups and asked if we wanted to start with any appetizers. Before my stingy self could even decline the offer, my best friend ordered a round of sweet potato fries for the table and the waiter scurried away. I stared blankly at her for a solid minute. I could not wrap my head around the concept of munching on sweet potato fries at 8 in the morning. She just stared back and said, "Trust me." Suddenly, a tray of blood orange sticks and a mysterious tan sauce appeared in front of my face. As much as I wanted to ponder the morality of this decision, the hunger began to take over, and I shoved one of the fries into my mouth.

In an instant, it was as if time and space had lost all meaning. When my teeth hit the fry, the perfectly crusted outer shell crunched softly making a sound much like your foot crushing a dried leaf. The now exposed inside of the fry was the perfect blend of mush and warmth that felt like your mouth was receiving a hug. The flavor...unbelievable. It didn't take me long to realize that this wasn't a fry — this was a culinary experience. This fry single-handedly blew the roof off of any predisposed ideas I had about American cuisine.

I am well aware that my fry experience cannot be simulated again by any average food-goer, but I challenge you, the reader of this article, to get out there and enjoy a sweet potato in any form. Stray from your basic fries or tater tots and dabble in a sweet treat which will undoubtedly bring you flavorful satisfaction.

Related Content

Facebook Comments