Artsy, loud, and hip in its very own non-conformist way
A diverse mishmash of locals converges, making the area rife with change and attractive to those who seek something different. Rich in culture and family friendly in nature, Wicker Park has a certain independent quirkiness that makes the neighborhood a popular destination for many. Always buzzing, the area is action packed and lively, never staying quiet for too long. Travel by foot at night is safe and Damen and Milwaukee, the main thoroughfares of the neighborhood are full of people walking and biking at all hours. The side streets are more residential in nature, but still well traveled.
Wicker Park and Bucktown lie north and west of the center of downtown. They sit on the West side of 90/94 and to the West of the North Brach of the Chicago River. Wicker Park is bounded to the North by North Avenue, or Bloomingdale Ave. depending on who you ask, to the south by Division Street, to the east by Ashland Avenue and to the west by Western Avenue. Wicker Park and Bucktown are both about a ten minute el ride away from the loop via the blue line, as well as a short distance from Ukrainian Village, Roscoe Village, Lincoln Park and Logan Square.
Landmarks & Scenes:
Wicker Park got its name from brothers Charles and Joel Wicker in 1870. The developers strolled into town, designating four acres of green space to become the park that is now a household name, and developed the rest.
Wicker Park has made a name for itself in the food world. The area is unique in its collection of restaurants and bars in that you will find everything from three dollar tacos to thirty dollar entrees, fancy craft cocktails prepared by a mixologist to PBR on draft served by a friendly bartender. Hit up Big Star where the tacos are top notch, and so are the margs. This place is hipster times a thousand and then lit on fire. Fill your belly with queso fresco and a delicious margarita, and be thankful that you are smarter than the rest of them and ignored the skinny jeans rule.
A weekend spent shopping the amazing retail scene that is Wicker Park/Bucktown will have you walking away with some one of a kind loot. With a penchant for small businesses, big names are slowly making their way to the neighborhood, but they don't dominate and they never will.
Grab dinner and a glass of wine at Blue Star Bistro and Wine Bar, a lovely hidden gem in the neighborhood. Follow it up by catching a show at The Double Door or check out a performance at the Chopin Theater.
Sports & Outdoors:
Milwaukee Ave plays host to countless fests, farmers markets, garden walks, and outdoor yoga classes throughout the year, including Wicker Park Fest. A mile of street venders, with food, home goods, drinks, and bands play throughout the day. There is no shortage of fresh air options in Wicker Park.
Arts & Culture:
Countless galleries dot the area keeping the artistic creed of the community alive and well and places like the Red Square Spa on Division Street, a Turkish style bathhouse, a tanning bed area, a restaurant, and even a café, keep the funk of the neighborhood intact.
With great outdoor space and tons of activities, there is always something for children.