Ahhh, finally fall! Crisp, cozy and refreshing – the perfect time to explore the neighborhood. Broadway is buzzing with tons of restaurants and shops you simply cannot miss, and the best part? All the businesses mentioned below accept the Lakeview East Gift Card, which can be used at nearly 200 businesses in Lakeview East.
But wait, it gets even better: every year, the Chamber holds a special promotion called Giver’s Gift where if you bring in $300 of receipts from the neighborhood you get a free $50 Lakeview East Gift card. Learn more about Giver’s Gift here, and check out the complete list of participating merchants here.
Come along with us as we spend the day giving you the inside scoop of local places that are an absolute must!
3123 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657
East Lakeview is in love with Intelligentsia, and rightfully so. The staff here is friendly and warm, taking your order down, getting to know you, and always crafting your drink with care. The baristas are highly trained, well-versed, and meticulous masters of making every sip perfect.
Coffee enthusiasts can rejoice in the exquisite variety of brews available, and generous portion sizes. Choose roasts from Colombia, Nicaragua, and Ethiopia, just to name a few. Intelligentsia sources beans from all over the world to bring patrons unique flavors and blends. Each blend has been carefully selected by Intelligentsia’s team of coffee connoisseurs to ensure the highest possible quality.
Stop in for a frothy, delicious latte if you are craving something warm and creamy or try an herbal tea if you’re eager to see the talented baristas brew your drink lavishly right in front of you. They can personally show you the correct preparation technique, fill you in on exact steeping times, and deliver a presentation that will make your tea kettle scream with jealousy.
The space is sleek, open and comfortable. Natural light floods the front area where you can grab a table and get down to business. Sit by the window to indulge in watching passersby, dive into a good book, or catch up with an old friend. The back invites collaboration and creativity with large tables and lots of space to spread out and get work done.
If you’re staying for more than a quick cup of joe, Intelligentsia is steadily adding some fresh food options to their menu so you can sink into your seat without getting hungry. Hot empanadas on Sunday and Monday from Nini’s Deli, and delectable quiche from Floriole Café and Bakery. Keep an eye out for more menu items, which are sure to be added sooner than later, all of which will be fresh from other local businesses.
Now that you’re properly caffeinated, let’s head to Wheat’s End for the most important meal of the day!
2873 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657
Three words: gluten-free heaven. Order anything off the menu without fear. Everything is gluten free and carefully prepared to avoid cross contamination. Wheat’s End does all this while creating tasty, fresh and filling dishes that will make your taste buds tingle.
Local favorites include spicy chicken and waffles, eggs benedict, classic waffles and pancakes, and the 48-hour short rib.
The pancakes are big, hearty and will start your day off on a sweet note, while the spicy chicken and waffles bring the heat. They’re so popular that they’ll soon be featured on WGN’s “Chicago’s Best”! The 48-hour short rib is delightfully tender and comes with eggs however you like em’ and a creamy, zingy, homemade Hollandaise sauce.
Want something small instead? Order up a warm biscuit with honey butter. In plain or cheddar chive, they are an all-the-time favorite. Trust your gut. At Wheat’s End, every choice is a good one!
This spot is small and homey, and the staff is super friendly, caring and conscientious of dietary adjustments. When you walk in, the hostesses greet you on the spot. You can expect longer wait times in the morning and shorter wait times as the day goes on. If you’re alone or in a pair, you can usually slip into a window seat rather quickly.
But, the best time to go is right when it opens, or well after the morning rush around 1 p.m. or so. They close at 3pm, so be sure to plan ahead for morning breakfast or mid-afternoon brunch.
After a nourishing brunch, walk just a few steps away for a rejuvenating spa experience at BodyBrite!
TREAT YO’ SELF
2949 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657
If you’ve never spoiled yourself with a facial before, you’re overdue. No need to make the trek downtown— BodyBrite is a MedSpa smack dab in Lakeview East!
BodyBrite offers a variety of unisex skin care treatments such as organic facials, Botox, microdermabrasion, and laser hair removal. They use quality products and their prices simply cannot be beat. An additional bonus is that they always offer free skin consultations to help you find the best treatment for you.
Each staff member takes particular care to make each client feel comfortable, and each treatment is tailored specifically for your skin type. All the estheticians are experienced, qualified and professional.
If you’re new to facials, think about trying the Organicspa Signature Facial. The esthetician will begin the treatment by moisturizing followed by microdermabrasion to remove any dead skin and prep the face. The cooling hydration mask applied towards the end of the facial is the ultimate refresh. The esthetician will then give you a light hand, shoulder and neck massage, and finish the treatment by applying a soothing moisturizer to lock in all that luxurious hydration. When you leave, your skin will be soft and supple, and your body (and mind!) will feel totally relaxed. It’s 45 minutes of pure, self-care bliss!
Follow BodyBrite on Instagram and Facebook to check out they’re current specials and offers. They always offer free consultations and usually have amazing introductory deals for new clients. Find out more information at https://www.facebook.com/bodybritechicago/
Follow them on Instagram: https://instagram.com/bodybritechicago?igshid=11x6ix7ocqf8g
After your relaxing facial, it’s time to stroll through the charming shops right around the corner.
Looking for adorable gifts that are hilarious, cute and one-of-a-kind? You must check out Foursided and Inkling!
2939 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657
Foursided on Broadway specializes in custom framing, so you can bring your treasured memorabilia, special art pieces, or personal collections to them with confidence. They make it easy to frame, maintain, and enjoy your most special memories for years to come.
Be sure to check out their Chicago souvenirs called “States and Love”. They’re the perfect way to show Mom and Dad you haven’t forgotten about them after you’ve moved away to the big city, and they also make excellent gifts for grandmas, grandpas, and friends from back home. Foursided can make you your very own “State and Love” in about an hour. While you wait, feel free to peruse the hilarious birthday cards, giggle at quirky magnets, and marvel at the festive holiday décor. Foursided will certainly keep you on your toes with all their unique items!
Find their popular “Super Tiny Lucky Cats” on the counter near the register. They are adorable tiny kitties waiting to bring you some good luck. Easy to string onto a bracelet, keep in your pocket, or give as a small gift. Vintage mood rings are another groovy favorite in the store. The newest trend is picking up a Grab Bag before you check out. They contain fun mystery items that will make you laugh, smile and come back for more!
Foursided works with Etsy and local artists to bring you all of the goodies they have to offer. This is definitely a place to shop around, whether by yourself or with friends – everyone can take home a fun piece of Chicago!
2917 1/2 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657
Another must-see shop that is cute, unique and full of treasures!
Inkling is filled beautiful handmade jewelry and local indie art, with eye-catching cards made by local artists lining the walls. Witty, funny and memorable, you will have trouble deciding which ones to take home.
Regulars love the large posters that make for charming wall décor. Grab a poster kit on your way out to go along with your wall art—they make hanging up your poster a breeze!
Not only does Inkling carry Chicago souvenirs, gifts, and memorabilia, they also have a plethora of items meant to bring uplifting and positive energy into your home.
Inkling is one of the few places in the neighborhood where you can pick up handmade incense, dried sage smudge sticks, and Palo Santo sticks. They also carry a wide variety of essential oils, soy candles, and plenty more to help you clear out any negativity that might be lingering around your home.
Locals also can’t get enough of the DIY Terrarium Bar. That’s right—they have a build-your-own terrarium bar! Create your own magical, mini greenhouse with a variety of air plants, crystals, moss, and even sea urchins! Worried your thumb isn’t green enough? They’re equally as elegant and charming as they are to care for. A win-win for any busy-body who still loves having an earthy vibe at home.
After all that shopping, you’re sure to have worked up an appetite. Head to Crisp for some of the freshest, hottest and tastiest fried chicken around.
2940 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657
Utter the word “Crisp” in Lakeview, and eyes light up. Mouths water. Bellies grumble. There’s a resounding swoon of, “OMG Crisp is soooo good!” People who have never been, must go. Those who have already been, are certain to go again.
This authentic Korean joint on right on Broadway is creating a lot of sizzle in the neighborhood. It’s small, friendly, and chill, but most importantly, the food is out-of-this-world delicious. Your favorite songs will be bumpin’ in the background while you chow down on some finger-lickin’ good eats.
You can grab your grub to-go or sit down and nosh with friends. It does get quite busy during the lunchtime and dinner rush, but the cashiers stay on their toes to keep the line moving fast.
Going solo? You might end up making some new friends while sitting at the family style tables. You can bond by daring each other to try “Allison’s Atomic Hot Sauce”—can you take the heat?
Let’s be clear: this is not your average fried chicken restaurant. Crisp is where you can fully unleash your inner carnivore, sink your teeth into a pile of wings, get messy, and smear some BBQ sauce across your face. It’s more than accepted, it’s actually encouraged. For those worried about appearances, don’t fret. They have large rolls of paper towel tactfully placed right in the middle of the table. You’ll probably continue to make new friends as you compete to see who has the taller stack of sauce-stained napkins at the end of the feast.
The sauces are all homemade, straight from Mom’s recipe book. Choose your own sauces when you order, but keep in mind you can easily experiment with the sauces on the table as you eat your way through the menu. The “Buddha” sauce is sweet, while “Allison’s Atomic Hot Sauce” mentioned before is the mystery mix everyone is curious about. Whatever way you want to spice up your food, your taste buds will be rewarded, surprised and satiated.
Chicken wings not your style? Don’t worry—the “Not So Common Crisp” chicken sandwich is also top-notch. If you want something less messy, the Buddha Bowls are a flavor-packed, fork-friendly option!
If you’re not diggin’ the meats or just want a different taste of Korean cuisine, order the Kimchi. It’s the Korean classic hidden gem on the menu. Authentic, real, and made from scratch straight from the family recipe, this Kimchi gives you a true taste of traditional flavor.
An impressive part of Crisp is the unmatched quality of the ingredients and finished dishes. This is fried chicken, but it’s freshly prepared. You won’t feel like a complete slug after eating your fair share of wings. The breading is light, the skin is crispy, and the meat is tender. After you eat Crisp, you can keep on keeping on with your day, no nap necessary. Is this real life? (Yes. Yes, it is.) Check out their menu here.
Crisp was beyond amazing, but if you’re anything like me, you’re already thinking about dinner… Where can I get some Mexican food?
3147 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657
Chicagoans are always looking for that perfect Mexican restaurant they can proudly proclaim as their “go-to” spot. Buena Vista hits the nail right on the head with family run, family owned and family recipes. A true taste of authentic Mexican cuisine, Buena Vista has been in the neighborhood 15 years and has attracted a strong group of aficionados. And, it’s BYOB!
Walking by, you’ll smell the enticing aroma of fresh spices and see people eating out on the patio (in the warmer months!), inside the restaurant and grabbing carry-out. Head inside and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a snapshot of Mexico with decorative paintings on the wall and vibrant music playing the background.
Aside from the food, Buena Vista is known for its friendliness. Members of the family are warm, caring and genuine. They run the entire show, taking orders and whipping up the menu, all while delivering a welcoming experience for every person that walks through the door. They’re truly sharing their homemade recipes and make everyone feel as if they’re surrounded by family for a hot, homecooked meal.
The menu features all your favorite dishes, appetizers, dinner, breakfast, a la carte options, and desserts. They’ll start you off right with warm tortilla chips and two types of authentic salsa while you decide your perfect plate.
Particularly popular items are the Enchiladas Mole and the Burrito Suizo. The mole is fresh and complements the enchiladas with a rich chili, chocolatey flavor. If you’ve never had mole before, Buena Vista is where you want to first try it. The spices in the sauce are well balanced, and the mole is evenly spread so you don’t lose the flavor of the enchiladas themselves. The Burrito Suizo is a true foodie’s dinner: a giant burrito jam packed with delicious meat and topped with your choice of cheese or mole. The beans and rice that accompany the dinner are fresh and tasty. All Buena Vista’s dinner options come in generous portions, so come hungry or plan on taking some home to enjoy the next day!
“The Chile Relleno is absolutely delicious! I love that Buena Vista is small and BYOB!” – Velma, local Lakeview resident
An exciting plus is that Buena Vista is BYOB! Bring your favorite beverage to enjoy while chowing down on their amazing food. This place has everything you’re looking for a casual dinner with friends, family, or a solo date by yourself.
Buena Vista is a hot spot, so it gets pretty busy, especially for lunch, dinner, and on weekends. To beat the rush, try stopping in for a later dinner, early afternoon lunch, breakfast, or swing by on Sunday. They open slightly later Sundays, and the flow is a little more relaxed.
After dinner, it’s time for dessert and a show!
3308 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657
Dinner is done. Who wants ice cream?!
“I want Superman, but I haven’t been able to find since I moved.” – Every Michigander in Illinois
Midwestern transplants rejoice! Along with all the classic ice cream flavors, Windy City Sweets has Chicago-rarities Superman and Blue Moon! All their ice cream is farm fresh from a dairy farm along the Michigan/Wisconsin border. This is the real deal.
Windy City Sweets has waffle cones (dipped or classic), cups, banana splits, hot fudge sundaes, brownie sundaes, shakes, malts, and all-natural non-dairy smoothies (for dairy-free friends). And that’s just a taste.
If you are a hot fudge fan, you absolutely must try the hot fudge brownie sundae: a chocolatey brownie nestled at the bottom plus your choice of ice cream, topped with in-house made whipped cream, homemade hot fudge and a cherry on top. Must. Eat. Now.
Windy City Sweets not only has a fantastic selection of frozen delicacies, they have an endless amount of sweets. Relive the glory days of Warheads, Dots, Tootsie Roll Pops, Atomic Fireballs and Jawbreakers. Grab a “Nostalgia Time Capsule” where you can find pre-arranged candies from decades past. Perfect for gifts or reliving memories of your own!
You can also try something totally different like Jelly Babies and Wine Candy from the UK, or Sponge Candy that was popular during the Great Depression.
Late night cravings? Go for chocolate dipped graham crackers, peanut butter filled pretzels, chocolate turtles, or chocolate dipped Oreos.
One of the most impressive parts of Windy City Sweets is that they truly have something for everyone. They have a great selection of sugar free, vegan and vegetarian options, and have worked closely with the local Jewish community to create Kosher and Pareve items. They follow strict standards and have clearly labeled all items making it easy for everyone to enjoy a tasty treat.
Windy City Sweets is a gem in the neighborhood, whether you’re stocking up for the holidays, are craving an indulgent dessert, or looking for a friendly face who loves chocolate as much as you do, this store is sure to sweeten up your day in a snap.
Windy City Sweets gave us the sugar rush we needed just in time to catch a show at Laugh Factory!
3175 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657
If you haven’t been, you’ll only be upset you didn’t go sooner! Laugh Factory is great for dates, evenings out with friends, or a solo night when you just really need a good laugh.
Tons of now-famous names have performed right here in Lakeview East, and top-notch fresh talent is consistently coming through. Writers from SNL, Conan Obrien, Second City, and local comedians are regular performers. Celebrity guests are also known to pop by, surprising the audience with some extra laughs and bragging rights.
There are tons of shows to see, and very few you want to miss. They have a plethora of stand-up, interactive, and creative shows almost every day of the week.
Take a date (if you’re daring) or a good friend to “Drink, Date, Laugh”. This show is guaranteed to be a blast! Hosts come around and give audience members a sheet to fill out about their previous relationships. After filling it out, the hosts call on audience members and interview them out loud. If you thought your ex-partner was crazy, think again! The stories will make you feel relieved that someone only broke your heart, instead of all the other crazy stuff they could’ve done. At the end of the show, you’ll hoot and holler for your favorite audience member to win a prize. Looks like that loser ex you had (who stole your wallet and abandoned you at Lolla) finally paid off!
Find more shows and descriptions here. If you’re looking to jump the line (heads up: it can get pretty long), get VIP tickets. You won’t have to wait around and can be seated up to an hour before the show.
Laugh Factory is definitely a place to return for laughs, memories, and fun. After one night, you’ll be planning your next evening out, and inviting your friends along for the hilarious ride.