A Perfect Winter Day in Wicker Park, Chicago

You’ve heard of the Magnificent Mile in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago. You can spend an entire day grabbing haute couture and reveling in some fine dining experiences there without even walking the entire length of the Mile.

But did you know that there’s another mile a bit further west where you can find tons of quirky boutiques, local couture, and amazing eats, all without the crowds of Michigan Ave?

Wicker Park is an easy ride from anywhere in the city, with amazing shopping right off the Damen Blue Line stop. Pop off the “L,” grab some coffee and donuts, tasty unique cuisine, and more, all within five or six blocks radius. It’s the perfect neighborhood for a cold winter trip.

  • Grab coffee at the Wormhole
  • Shop music at Reckless Records
  • Gobble down lunch at Antique Taco
  • Meet local authors at Volumes Book Café
  • Get chic at Una Mae’s Freak Boutique


Grab Some Coffee at the Wormhole

1462 N Milwaukee

For an 80’s nostalgic start to the day, drop in at the Wormhole for a cuppa. They’ve got cocoa, coffee, chai, and other beverages that will give you a kickstart of caffeine. Plus, there’s a real DeLorean perched at the back where you can snap a couple of photos and relive those memories of childhood with Doc Brown and Marty McFly while you sip.


Shop Music at Reckless Records

1379 N Milwaukee


Reckless Records Chicago
© 2019 Photo by Rita Pike


Once your engine is revving, you’ll be ready to grab some awesome music and movies at Reckless Records, a neighborhood favorite just a block away from your coffee stop.

When you walk into this place, you’ll find anything you’re looking for if it’s music related. Plus, they have DVDs at the back, some CDs tucked in here and there, and super friendly and knowledgeable staff.


Gobble Down Lunch at Antique Taco

1360 N Milwaukee

An hour of perusing LPs and EPs will get you ready for some of the most awesome tacos in Chicago. This “small but mighty” is a minority and woman owned business that lives up to your expectations of gourmet tacos – at a reasonable price to boot!

The Market Mushroom, Sweet Potato Poblano, and Garlic Shrimp taco are amazing. Or grab an Abuelita Poptart or some Habenero Popcorn to go for a walking snack to keep you warm.


Meet Local Authors at Volumes Book Café

1474 N Milwaukee


Volumes Book Café Chicago
© 2019 Photo by Rita Pike


Pop into the Volumes Book Café to check out books and merchandise created by local authors and artists. The owners are some amazing sisters who love books and bringing the community together through opening up their shop for local events, book signings, and more. They’ve partnered with a local bakery called Dollop and serve coffee from Chicago’s own favorite coffee roasters, Metropolis Coffee.

You can view their calendar ahead of time to plan your visit around the unique events they host.


Get Chic at Una Mae’s Freak Boutique

1528 N Milwaukee


Una Mae’s Freak Boutique Chicago
© 2019 Photo by Rita Pike


Finally, what day in Chicago would be complete without some new threads? Una Mae’s offers clothing for men and women, both contemporary and vintage, as well as home and apothecary goods. So, you’re covered on clothes for yourself and gifts to bring back home to the friends and family looking for some goodies from your travels.


Wicker Park: Your All-Day Neighborhood in 10 Blocks

Whether you’re looking for delectable tacos, vintage clothing, or local artisans, Wicker Park is the neighborhood to visit when you’re in Chicago. Grab a friend, a couple of bags – there’s a bag tax in Chicago – and some Ventra cards, and head out for an incredible day in an ever-intriguing neighborhood.


By: Rita Pike

Rita Juanita Pike is the granddaughter of aviatrix, Jerrie Mock, first woman to pilot an airplane around the world. Rita has taken inspiration from her grandmother’s life and flight and pursued many of her own dreams in theatre, podcasting, novel writing, and now writes on travel, pets, faith, and the arts. She’s happily married to Matt, and faithfully serves the very fluffy kitten queen, Lady Stardust. Follow along on her travel blog at True Budget Travel.


Interested in getting more information about Chicago's neighborhoods? Check back soon for Rita's Wicker Park itinerary travel guide.



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