Logan Square/Avondale secrets

Hidden bars, restaurants, historic spots and more.

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Photograph: Marina Makropoulos

The Double: An Urban Tavern

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Photograph: Marina Makropoulos

Cantarito cocktail at Taqueria Traspazada

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Photograph: Marina Makropoulos

Taqueria Traspazada

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Photograph: Ashlee Rezin

During WWII, the Logan Vistas apartment complex (2600 N Kedzie Blvd) was a haven for Scandinavian sailors on leave in Chicago.

Furtive food
The silver lining to Logan Square’s lack of big-box grocers is micro-chains like Wally’s Market (3256 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-736-1212), which caters to one of the ’hood’s niche populations—Eastern Europeans—with everything from smoked herring to gourmet chocolates, biscuits and cookies. Betcha can’t find two dozen types of mustard and a 20-foot-long pickle aisle at Jewel.

Everyone knows Tuesdays at Lula (2537 N Kedzie Blvd, 773-489-9554) are dark…except when they’re not. Check Lula’s Walls, a recurring reception to celebrate the beloved restaurant’s rotating art collection. These seasonal bashes—the next one’s April 17—have hors d’oeuvres prepped by Lula chefs; better yet, they’re free (with a cash bar) and the party’s never crowded (until you all read this, of course).

Taqueria Traspazada (3144 N California Ave, 773-539-4533) is the only place in a town full of Mexican food where you can get authentic sopa de albondigas—meatball soup with a meat-stock broth. Also unique to Traspazada? The Cantarito cocktail: tequila with orange, lime and grapefruit juices, topped with Squirt and served in a salted clay cup, just like in Jalisco.

Elusive entertainment
Having just celebrated its first birthday in December, the Double: An Urban Tavern (3545 W Fullerton Ave, 773-772-7000) is still flying under the radar. In addition to hawking a handful of craft beers (Tripel Karmeliet, anyone?), the quaint tavern boasts a peculiar list of beer cocktails under its tin ceiling. Belgian white ales with Chambord? We’ll try it.

Mysterious miscellanea
From the street, the Temple of Kriya Yoga (2414 N Kedzie Ave, 773-342-4600) looks as if it houses either a cult or a private club. Wrong on both counts: It’s a 33-year-old shrine to a spiritual yoga guru who preaches mental and physical awareness through body movement. (For the record, he’s an octogenarian who lives in India and doesn’t get to Chicago much.) Anyone’s welcome to hatha and restorative yoga classes ($12 on weekdays for 60-minute classes, $10 on Sundays for 90-minute classes) all week.

“His Divine Presence, Avatar Adi Da Samraj, appeared in the world to make a Supreme Revelation to humankind,” reads the website of the Adidam Midwest Center (3301 W Fullerton Ave, 773-661-0127). Yup, and he chose Logan Square to house his place of worship. This building is bursting with cultish images and literature, but the apartments on the upper levels house regular Joes. We think.

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