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Chicago - Around Town - Northside (part 2) - Shops

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Exploring Northside

Morning

Fuel up for the day at one of Lincoln Park’s favorite breakfast joints, Frances’ (2552 N. Clark St.), where they serve a wonderfully fluffy French toast. Afterwards, stroll east down Wrightwood Avenue, and you’ll pass the ornate Francis Dewes Mansion. Keep walking until you come to the Lincoln Park Zoo , where you can take a ride on the wild side on the African Safari motion simulator, complete with 3D visuals. Then see all the animals in person, before breaking for lunch with a view at Café Brauer, built in 1908 by Prairie School architect Dwight Perkins.

Afternoon

During warm weather, head to the lakefront along Fullerton Avenue where you can stroll, rent bikes, sunbathe, or even brave the ever-chilly Lake Michigan waters. In colder months, catch a bus (nos. 22 or 151) and immerse yourself in the exhibits at the Chicago Historical Society, or take a five-minute cab ride to Armitage/Halsted Shopping District for some classy retail therapy.

Evening

This part of town has an abundance of good eateries: hop the El four stops or cab it to try Mia Francesca’s , a lively Italian trattoria where the pasta dishes are big enough for two, and there’s an excellent wine list. Still going strong? Round off your day with a visit to Kingston Mines – just a short cab-ride away – to hear some of best blues that the city has to offer.

Shops

  1. Isabella Fine Lingerie

    This charming boutique has something silky, soft, and sexy for women whose sizes range from barely there to 44JJ. You’ll also find teddies, bustiers, pajamas, and nightgowns.

    • 1101 W. Webster St.

  2. Cynthia Rowley

    Internationally acclaimed clothing designer Cynthia Rowley grew up in Chicago, so it’s fitting that one of her upscale boutiques is here. Her collection of dresses, accessories, and separates is trendy and feminine.

    • 808 W. Armitage Ave.

    Cynthia Rowley
  3. Lori’s Designer Shoes

    Devoted shoe hounds flock to this Lincoln Park store for its hot styles at discounted prices. The floors and walls are stacked high with boxes for handy self-serve try-on access.

    • 824 W. Armitage Ave.

  4. Beatnix

    This store boasts the best supply of costumes and vintage gear in the city, including wigs, distinctive mod jewelry, and make-up, as well as day-to-day items.

    • 3400 N. Halsted St.

  5. Unabridged Bookstore

    Known for its large gay and lesbian section, this Boys Town bookstore also stocks books of all types, particularly kids’ and Spanish language books.

    • 3521 N. Broadway

  6. Hubba-Hubba

    Women appreciate this boutique for its romantic and flirty vintage fashions and jewelry. It also sells new items with a retro feel.

    • 3309 N. Clark St.

  7. The Leigh Gallery

    Set in the heart of Lakeview, this gallery provides an inviting setting for art suited to all tastes, from modern to old-school classic, watercolor to sculpture.

    • 3306 N. Halsted St.

  8. Barker & Meowsky

    Four-legged friends are the focus at this store. From ceramic dog bowls to catnip-filled toys, rhinestone-studded collars to cookie-shaped dog biscuits, this store is a pet’s best friend.

    • 1003 W. Armitage Ave.

    Barker & Meowsky
  9. Uncle Fun

    This toy store is especially fun for grownups who yearn to feel like a kid. You’ll find retro items like Mr. T coloring books, silly accessories like oversized sunglasses, and gag gifts like the tried-and-true whoopie cushion.

    • 1338 W. Belmont Ave

  10. American Apparel

    Simple, functional, and wildly popular, this manufacturer and retailer of clothing for men, women, kids, and dogs, which hails from Los Angeles, lays particular emphasis on well-made basics in bright colors and at reasonable prices.

    • 3126 N. Broadway

Most of these stores are open from at least 11am–7pm Mon–Sat & noon–5pm Sun, unless otherwise stated, and they all have DA.


Gay & Lesbian Bars & Clubs

  1. Circuit/Rehab

    At Circuit, men often dance shirtless to grinding house music. In contrast, the Rehab lounge bar is a sophisticated chill-out spot.

    • 3641 N. Halsted St.

    • Circuit: open Thu–Sun

    • Adm.

  2. The Closet

    This dance club attracts a mostly lesbian crowd, but gay men and straight couples also groove to R&B, rap, dance, and diva videos.

    • 3325 N. Broadway

  3. Roscoe’s Tavern

    A young, preppy set packs this neighborhood bar for its antique décor, cozy fireplace, poppy dance tunes, pool table, and, in summer, backyard beer garden.

    • 3356 N. Halsted St.

  4. Sidetrack

    Find some of the best cruising at this vast, four-room bar with more than two dozen video monitors that highlight a different theme (like show tunes or 1980s music) every night.

    • 3349 N. Halsted St.

  5. Spin

    One of Boys Town’s most diverse clubs: gay, lesbian, bi, and straight crowds mingle at this dance club and lounge.

    • 800 W. Belmont Ave

  6. Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club

    Martinis come in 52 flavors at this swanky spot, where female impersonators divert attention from significant others with their lip-synching talent.

    • 3700 N. Halsted St.

    • Closed Mon

    Kit Kat Lounge
  7. Berlin

    For 20 years, this edgy club has attracted every type from straight girls to drag queens. After midnight, the dance floor hits its peak, rocking with a stellar sound system and light show.

    • 954 W. Belmont Ave

  8. Cocktail

    This laid-back club is ideal for sipping must-try martinis, while Boys Town people-watching through wall-to-wall windows.

    • 3359 N. Halsted St.

  9. Gentry on Halsted

    Piano players and singers perform nightly for appreciative and participative audiences at this cabaret club.

    • 3320 N. Halsted St.

  10. Bucks Saloon

    A friendly, local bar (for boys and girls) where deer, elk, moose, and buck heads adorn the walls. The outdoor beer garden is wild in summer.

    • 3439 N. Halsted St.

    Bucks Saloon
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