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Neo-Futurists perform the Infinite Wrench
Photograph: Joe Mazza

The best attractions and things to do in Andersonville, Chicago

Andersonville boasts museums, galleries, theaters and comic shops along the Clark Street corridor.

Zach Long
Edited by
Zach Long
Written by
Samantha Nelson
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Just west of Edgewater and north of Uptown, Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood embraces its history while offering plenty of things to do that reflect contemporary life in the area. Andersonville has thrived in recent years, thanks to its mix of natural beauty, independent stores, local theaters and a burgeoning dining scene (we have some favorite Andersonville restaurants). Walk down Clark Street and you'll find one of Chicago's best record stores, a thrift shop packed with bargains and a beloved Chicago plant shop. If you want to find out what makes it one of the best Chicago neighborhoods, plan a visit and check out the sheer variety of things to do in Andersonville.

RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to Andersonville, Chicago

Attractions in Andersonville, Chicago

  • Shopping
  • Bookstores
  • Andersonville

At the end of a gangway between a Starbucks and a Potbelly on Clark Street, this small but popular shop has been meeting Andersonville's comics shop needs since 2011. AlleyCat offers new comics, trades and graphic novels plus a small collection of back issues. You’ll also find board games, manga, mugs, figurines and other collectibles, plus a sizable section of kid-friendly books. The staff is approachable and highly knowledgeable, quick to offer solid recommendations for anyone interested in comics culture.

  • Shopping
  • Arts, crafts & hobbies
  • Andersonville

Kind of like a year-round art fair stocked with good from all sorts of local makers, the Andersonville Galleria packs a huge selection of art, clothing, candles, jewelry and furniture into a two-story storefront. You'll find the work of more than 100 different vendors on display—it's a bit of a maze (especially on the split-level second floor) so don't be afraid to explore.

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  • Shopping
  • Thrift stores
  • Andersonville
  • price 1 of 4

Shop for a good cause at Brown Elephant, which boasts resale shops in Andersonville, Lakeview and Oak Park. All of the proceeds support Howard Brown Health’s efforts to provide care to the LGBTQ community and the uninsured and underinsured. The organization also provides onsite HIV and STI testing at the shop every Wednesday and some Saturdays. Clean out your closet and pack a box to donate, then drop it off and browse their selection of vintage clothing and home decor.

Cheetah Gym Andersonville
  • Sports and fitness
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Andersonville
  • price 2 of 4

This neighborhood gym features an array of virtual and in-person classes, like cycling, Barre, Pilates and WERQ (a dance fitness class set to pop and hip hop tunes), along with a wide range of equipment. Membership gets you community discounts at local businesses. The gym also offers personal training and nutrition help. Check out sibling spot Yoga Tree studio next door if you want to level up your practice.

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  • Nightlife
  • Uptown
  • price 2 of 4

After a few years in residence at Uptown Underground, proprietor and prestidigitator Joey Cranford cut the ribbon on a new dedicated magic venue in Andersonville, with three performance spaces including the front bar, the Blackstone Cabaret mainstage and the intimate 654 Club. Look for a variety of shows, with kid-friendly matinees on Sundays.

  • Health and beauty
  • Uptown
  • price 1 of 4

This charming little barber shop offers a quick and simple menu of hair grooming services for men that has become a go-to for many in Andersonville and nearby. Make an appointment for a quick neck clean-up or beard trim and you’ll be looking sharp and ready to head back out the door in five minutes. Esquire also gives hot lather shaves with a straight razor, one of the most under-utilized services that not all barbershops are willing to give.

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  • Shopping
  • Flower shops
  • Edgewater

For more than 40 years, the family-owned Gethsemane Garden Center has brought in customers throughout the Chicago area with its huge selection of plants and everything you need to grow them. The store's knowledgeable staff will help you pick flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables that will thrive in your space. You can also find a huge variety of decorative items to improve your outdoor space, such as fountains and patio furniture, plus decorative gourds, firewood and Christmas trees in the fall and winter.

  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • Uptown
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When family comes to town (or you just want a low-key staycation), the Guesthouse Hotel is a charming base for exploring Andersonville or the North Side. Each room is a two- or three-bedroom suite with a kitchen (stocked with cookware and glasses), a balcony with a grill and a washer and dryer. While the hotel is located within a few blocks of excellent restaurants and bars (and each room comes with a helpful guide to the neighborhood offerings), you can also have ingredients delivered if you want to cook in the kitchen. For a real vacation, order meals from local spots, including Calo and Southport Grocery. The hotel has free Wi-Fi as well as a small gift shop with locally made products and a pantry stocked with local food and drink for late-night cravings.

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  • Shopping
  • Liquor stores
  • Andersonville
  • price 2 of 4

Expand your palate at In Fine Spirits, which offers free beer tastings on Fridays and wine samplings Wednesdays and Saturdays. The shop specializes in Midwestern craft beer and unusual wine varietals, with an emphasis on budget friendly bottles. You can take your education to the next level by joining the shop's wine club, bestowing members with two small batch bottles each month—plus information on how they’re made and suggestions for perfect pairings.

  • Art
  • Galleries
  • Uptown

The Las Manos Gallery's first start was in 1994 in Ravenswood, but the art gallery now operates as a storefront in Andersonville showcasing work by local and national artists. Special events and art openings are held in the courtyard when weather permits. Otherwise guests are welcome to amble in off the street, take a look around and take home a piece of art if they so wish.

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  • Theater
  • Interactive
  • Uptown
  • price 1 of 4

The small theater is home to The Infinite Wrench, Chicago’s longest running continuing show at three decades in counting. An innovative ensemble of writer-performers (known as the Neo Futurists) attempt to perform 30 mini-plays in 60 minutes while the audience shouts out the order. The selection of plays, performed at 10:30pm Saturday and 7pm Sunday changes every week and tickets are just $10. The theater hosts other special shows and performances throughout the year, including musicals, drag performances and more.

  • Shopping
  • Music and entertainment
  • Andersonville
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Sell your old records, CDs, cassettes and DVDs for cash or browse Rattleback’s collection of vinyl and more. Stop in regularly to check out their constantly shifting selection, which also spans books, posters, prints and vintage barware. If you’re looking to expand your musical knowledge, consider joining the Rattleback Record Club, which offers a new and used LP each month, chosen especially for you based on your musical tastes. Even if you’re not ready for that sort of commitment, the knowledgeable staff is always happy to make a recommendation.

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Swedish American Museum
  • Museums
  • History
  • Andersonville
  • price 1 of 4

Though the Swede life is a little harder to uncover in Chicago these days, a small but dedicated bastion of Scandinavian history and culture is alive and well in the Andersonville neighborhood. In close proximity to the few remaining Swedish shops and restaurants, the museum houses artifacts dating back to the mass immigration of Swedes to Chicago 200 years ago and features rotating exhibitions of contemporary Swedish artists’ work.

  • Shopping
  • Bookstores
  • Andersonville
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Women & Children First has been celebrating the power of books since 1979, moving to its current location in 1990. One of the largest feminist book stores in the country, it stocks more than 20,000 books by or about women alongside LGBTQIA+ literature and books for kids and teens. The store also organizes regular virtual author chats for adults and kids. Stop by for recommendations from their staff on everything from graphic novels to political theory.

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  • Shopping
  • Antiques
  • Uptown
  • price 2 of 4

Woolly Mammoth specializes in items that were, um, previously living? Or as they like to say, "resurrected from the past." You'll find vintage and antique taxidermy, plus lots of anatomy items, medical stuffs, skeletons, military and funerary items, art and so on. It's hard to say just what you'll find when you open the door, but one thing is for sure—it's always a ridiculously creepy-cool adventure.

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