A Squared: City Walk #28: Lincoln Square

Monday, September 24, 2012

City Walk #28: Lincoln Square

This weekend in Chicago was my favorite kind-- chilly and sunny (perfect fall weather!) with very little on our To Do List.  We're doing some traveling next weekend so we decided to keep this one low key to save our energy (and funds) for our upcoming trip.  I love a good walk in the fall weather and with nothing to do on Sunday, we got up and decided to venture north to Lincoln Square-- one of my favorite neighborhoods that is just far enough away from downtown that we don't get there all that often. 

Before we started the official City Walk we stopped for brunch a little bit south of Lincoln Square.  Sola is a fantastic restaurant that we were introduced to a few years ago when Alex was working at an architecture firm that did a lot of restaurant design.  They designed Sola before he joined the firm, but had a close relationship to the owner so we had the oppportunity to dine there a few times and it's always good-- especially brunch though!  They call it New American food, but there is a definite Hawaiian influence on the menu at Sola (which now holds an even more special place in my heart after our honeymoon).  I had a delicious omelet with bacon and pears and Alex ordered an enormous "upside down" banana pancake.  The highlight of brunch at Sola (for us, at least) is always the creative mimosas (Blood Orange for him, Pineapple Passionfruit for me) and the malasadas-- Portuguese style donuts served with raspberry sauce and hot fudge.  I don't even like donuts, but I LOVE these.  Totally amazing!




City Walk #28: Lincoln Square

After we were sufficiently stuffed, we decided it was best that we walk to the starting point of the Lincoln Square City Walk instead of taking the train one stop.  The Walk begins on N. Lincoln Ave. just north of Montrose Ave.  Lincoln Square has a really cute neighborhood feel-- it's the old German section of town so there are still a bunch of brauhauses and bakeries around, but it's also become a more family-focused neighborhood too.

The first stop on the list is the Bad Dog Tavern [1].  We would have stopped in for a drink, but I could barely walk after brunch so we just passed by.  I love their slogan: Come. Sit. Stay.  Immediately following that is the Old Town School of Folk Music [2] which has spaces on either side of Lincoln Ave.  It's a famous school here in Chicago where all different kinds of music and dance classes and performances are held.




Nerd alert!  The next building was featured on the City Walk because of its architectural significance.  #4611 N. Lincoln Ave. [3]  was designed by acclaimed architect Louis Sullivan in 1922.  There is some really beautiful terra-cotta work all around the two doorways and black and white tiling that spells out "Krause"-- there's some more German influence right there.  Today the building houses a more modern marketing and design firm.




Walking a little further up the street, we finally reached the arch that formally welcomes you to the Lincoln Square neighborhood.  This is more of the official "square" of Lincoln Square, a narrow interior street lined with shops and cafes and a fountain.  It's adorable.




Once we walked past the arch the first stop is one of my favorites-- Merz Apothecary [4].  They actually have a counter inside of the big Macy's down on State Street (where I sometimes get lost on my lunch break) and I love looking at all of the pretty things they sell.  It's like an old fashioned European pharmacy-- they sell great soaps, lotions, and herbal products.






On the same side of the street as Merz were two more shops to see on our Walk.  The first store-- Traipse [5] no longer exists and a consignment shop and boutique is there in its place.  Right next door is De'o Fave'nte [6], an interesting place that apparently sells imported products and has some really funky hats and creepy mannequin hats in the front window.


Across the street was another great store called Enjoy [7].  I love this place!  They describe themselves as an "urban general store" and they sell tons of unique gifts and great Chicago-themed (and non-cheesy items).  If I weren't trying to be frugal in preparation for our weekend away I could have done some serious damage there.  Following that we worked our way toward the fountain and next door was Cafe Selmare [8], a cute little cafe with a huge outdoor patio and the Book Cellar [9] across the street.  It's bookstore meets wine bar, but we arrived too early in the day to check it out.  I am making a mental note to come back when they are open though.



I love this neighborhood and there were tons of cool things to see, but honestly, my favorite part of our Lincoln Square walk wasn't even on the card.  Once we finished up I noticed a giant cow and some German flags and decided I needed to check this place out.  Gene's Sausage Shop is a really cool old fashioned German butcher shop/deli/market with amazing products-- a huge variety of fresh meats (including some really gross things like headcheese and pork chops in gelatin. Ew.), homemade pierogies and dumplings, imported candy, and pastries like the plum kuchen that my Oma used to make.  It's probably a good thing that we don't live closer to Lincoln Square, otherwise I'd be hanging out at Gene's every weekend!








No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...