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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.