Time Out readers have spoken, and below are the venues they named their absolute favorite in Albany Park, Avondale, Bucktown, Irving Park, Jefferson Park, Logan Square, Old Irving and Portage Park. So the next time you’re on the Northwest Side and in need of food, drink or retail therapy, make a beeline for these places and you won’t go wrong.
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Part restaurant, whiskey bar, hotel, and pop-up doughnut and sausage shop, this Logan Square spot does just about everything. The food is approachable and the restaurant just snagged a Michelin star for the fifth year in a row. Longman is open from dawn until well past dusk, so you can enjoy buttery grits for breakfast in the morning, composed salads at lunch and finish your day with a chocolate Fernet milkshake nightcap.
Since it opened in 2010, Revolution Brewing has been a favorite spot for Logan Square residents. Revolution’s beer can be found virtually everywhere in the city, with tons of bars and restaurants with a tap line dedicated to the brewery. Its Milwaukee Avenue brewpub has a noticeable community vibe, with plenty of bike parking out front and rows of familiar faces at the bar.
If doughnuts and coffee make the ultimate pairing, then the combination of coffee and pie is a close second. At Bang Bang Pie, the kitchen’s crusty creations are the main attraction, but they’re complemented by coffee roasted at the nearby Gaslight Coffee. Don’t let the weekend lines scare you away—you owe it to yourself to sit down with a slice and a cup of joe at this Logan Square institution.
In spite of its name, you won’t find saw blades or power drills at this Logan Square shop, though you might be able to pick up the latest albums from Tool or Nine Inch Nails. Retaining the name of its former location (which now houses the Logan Arcade), Logan Hardware stocks new and used records in addition to refurbished turntables and stereo receivers. Make a purchase and your receipt will include a code that unlocks a nondescript door at the back of the store, giving you access to room filled with vintage pinball machines and arcade cabinets, all set to free play.
About time this place got some love. Sometimes, the best concerts are those where you know the folks onstage. The fact that Quenchers probably sports the most extensive beer selection of any rock club in the city helps, too. This fall, the music room was updated with a new stage and sound system, so that Logan Square garage act up there sounds pristinely scuzzy. Still, the joint is so casual and comfortable, it could have won with the old gear.
Located since 1994 in a 60-seat shoebox at the end of a gangway behind a Bucktown restaurant (and a couple of steps through its kitchen), Trap Door has become a vital producer of contemporary and experimental European work, and regularly tours its productions to Europe.