Things to do off the 606 at Walsh Park

At the eastern end of the Bloomingdale Trail, Walsh Park offers access to Bucktown and a Metra station
Walsh Park main
By Brent DiCrescenzo |
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The far eastern terminus of the 606 sits on the edge of the Wicker Park and Lincoln Park neighborhoods, steps from the Clybourn Metra station that can whisk you away to (or bring you in from) Evanston, far suburban Woodstock or Kenosha, Wisconsin. It's a heavily trafficked, somewhat industrial area, with the highway and a steelmill nearby, and a cluster of big box retail like Best Buy and Mariano's, but there are some hidden gems near Walsh Park. One of the best music venues in the city and one of the top 100 restaurants in Chicago are a short walk away.

RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to the 606

What to do off the 606 at Walsh Park

Restaurants, Contemporary American

Ada St.

icon-location-pin River West/West Town

Michael Kornick and David Morton (DMK Burger Bar, Fish Bar) teamed with chef Zoe Schor (L.A.’s Bouchon and Craft) for this hybrid cocktail bar–restaurant. The room is lovely, and so is the food. Schor’s deep-fried black-eyed peas are the perfect drinking snack, and her light touch with steak (dressed in nothing more than brown butter), salads and even doughnuts makes sense with the food-friendly cocktails coming from behind the bar.

Bucktown Pub
Photograph: Martha Williams
Bars, Pubs

Bucktown Pub

icon-location-pin Bucktown

At first glance, it didn’t seem any different from other dark-wood neighborhood taverns. But then we noticed the psychedelic posters lining the walls, the bottomless baskets of free popcorn and the old man in the corner laughing his ass off at nothing. Is this bar high?

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Photo: Julia Korol
Bars, Dive bars

Hideout

icon-location-pin River West/West Town

A ramshackle roadhouse of country-rock in an industrial stretch of the city wouldn't be complete without a few characters hanging out on the porch no matter the weather. Longtime local acts like Kelly Hogan and Devil in a Woodpile play inside, but the music can still be heard over the cracking of PBR cans out front. It can be difficult to reach this juke joint via public trans, but it is worth it for the cheap beer, live country-rock and DJs dropping nostalgia, from Prince to Devo.  

Kids eat free at Hollywood Grill.
Photograph: Martha Williams
Restaurants, Diners

Hollywood Grill

icon-location-pin Wicker Park

Does this nearly 20-year-old diner even have locks on its doors? It certainly doesn't need them: The colorful, retro spot feeds hungry (and, often, drunk) Wicker Parkers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Like many great diners, you can order breakfast, from french toast to chilaquiles, at any time. But the extensive menu has everything else you can imagine, too: salads, burgers, steaks, wraps, sandwiches, pie, cake and much more.

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Shopping, Markets and fairs

Stanley's

icon-location-pin River West/West Town

Anybody who says it's expensive to eat organic has never been to Stanley's. This fruit-and-veg market is crazy cheap—typical finds include a pound of organic carrots for a buck. You'll feel as if you're robbing the damn place. Sure, you've got about 48 hours to eat the produce before mushiness sets in, but that's just more reason to invite friends over for a feast.

Regarding the Just at Trap Door Theatre
Photograph: courtesy of Trap Door Theatre
Theater

Trap Door Theatre

icon-location-pin Bucktown

Nestled next to the highway, this small storefront theater specializes in productions of obscure work that you're not likely to see anywhere else. If your tastes veer toward the avant-garde or outlandish, you'll want to make a point of sitting down in front of this stage.

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Attractions, Parks and gardens

Walsh Park

icon-location-pin Wicker Park

Marking the eastern-most end of the 606, Walsh Park features an athletic field, basketball hoops, a playground with sandbox and a dog-friendly area. North of the trail, the park offers a new paved event plaza where guests can bring skateboards, rollerblades and bikes.

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