Best Of Chicago

Guide To: Wicker Park

July 2, 2011 6:00 AM

View Comments
Intersection of Milwaukee, Damen and North Avenue (credit:

Intersection of Milwaukee, Damen and North Avenue (credit:

Walk out onto a sidewalk in this neighborhood without looking, and there’s a pretty strong chance you will get run over by a stroller. No longer just for tattooed hipsters, this area has turned into one of Chicago’s most vibrant, family friendly neighborhoods. Take a stroll down Division Street between Paulina and Leavitt, and you’ll find plenty of shopping, dining and activities for people of all ages.

buildingblocks Guide To: Wicker Park

(credit: Todd McHenry)


Building Blocks Toy Store
2130 W. Division Street, Chicago
Mon.–Fri. 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Sat. 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sun. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

If you are looking for something for the kids then look no further than Building Blocks Toy Store. This local independent toy store is loaded with the best quality toys, games, puzzles and more. The selection is huge, and you’ll find quality products and top brands like Haba, Plan Toys, Playmobil, Alex Toys, Kettler Trikes and Bruder Trucks. Owner Katherine O’Henry and her staff are incredibly knowledgeable and friendly, so if you need help finding what you need they’ll take good care of you. And every Friday through August 26th, you can stop in between 3-5pm and get creative with free Craft Fridays.

himage s17 Guide To: Wicker Park

(credit: Milk and honey café.com)


Milk & Honey Cafe
1920 W. Division Street, Chicago
Mon.–Fri. 7 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sat. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sun. 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

This casual spot has something for everyone. The menu here is casual and delicious, specializing in sandwiches, salads and pastries. The outdoor patio is a perfect place to park your family, enjoy lunch and do some people watching – and don’t forget to grab dessert before you go! It’s not a dinner spot though, and it’s open only until 4pm on Sundays through Fridays, and until 5pm on Saturdays.

caffe gelato5 Guide To: Wicker Park

(credit: Caffe Gelato)


Caffe Gelato
2034 W Division Street, Chicago
Sun.–Thur. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Fri. & Sat. 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

On a hot summer day, this is the Wicker Park go-to spot for a cold, tasty treat. Caffe Gelato makes their gelato fresh, and you’ll satisfy your whole group with a wide assortment of flavors including chocolate hazelnut, pistachio, tiramisu and stracciatella. The fresh pastries, including cannoli, and small grocery selection might even make you feel like you’ve momentarily stepped right into Italy. Eat inside, or take your treat out to the sidewalk, where plenty of tables and chairs are set up in the summertime.

crust pizza chicago Guide To: Wicker Park

(credit: Crust Pizza)


2056 W Division St., Chicago
Sun.-Thur. 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
Fri. & Sat. 11:30 a.m.-midnight

This isn’t your ordinary pizza joint! Fresh ingredients are used to create a delicious menu of flat breads, appetizers, salads and sandwiches, as well as the signature wood-fired, organic pizzas. The plain cheese pizza is available for kids under 12 only, so prepare to be adventurous. There are plenty of sophisticated pizza choices for mom and dad, including Grilled Eggplant Pizza, Shrimp Arabiatta Pizza and Stuffed BBQ Brisket Pizza. And mushroom lovers, don’t miss the Shroom Pizza with woodland mushrooms, spinach and goat cheese. Don’t run off if the outdoor seating looks full – in addition to outside seating in front, there’s also an outdoor patio in the back.

wp 302 Guide To: Wicker Park



Wicker Park
1425 N. Damen Ave.

If you are spending the day with the kiddos and need to take a break and get some pent up energy out of their systems, take a turn going north onto Damen and walk about 3 blocks to Wicker Park. This is the neighborhood’s largest park, and has equipment for both big and little kids, including a separate play area for the tiniest tots. In the summer, two bears spray water and provide a break from the heat. There’s plenty of shady spots available, so if you’re hungry you can bring a lunch and have a picnic in the park. And Sunday mornings from 8am – 2pm, you can enjoy a fresh farmer’s market and pick up some fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers and other treats.

Sue Zeiler is the founder of, which launched in 2001 and is the Chicago area’s leading online resource for local parents. Her mission is to find the best family events, activities and destinations for Chicago area families.
View Comments
  • Jim Hamilton

    Chicago is turning into one huge cesspool of criminals, put a fence around it and take away their right to vote.
    By the way.
    Hi there Chicago it’s me from down state illinois. Hows the anti gun laws working out for ya. When will you idiots up there wake up and see your anti carry laws only dis arm the law abiding guys and keep the bad guys with their guns safer?
    Like hell take my family to Chicago for family fun. Getting them all killed in a drive up like so many others I read about doesn’t sound like fun to me oh yeah and in Chicago the criminals carry guns but I can’t hahaha NO THANK YOU CHICAGO!

    Rahm is more worried about getting those cameras to work so he can catch you hurrying home from the restaurants to use the bathroom than to clean up the cesspool. Why aren’t those cameras watching the neighborhood instead of working people running behind to get to works license plates. Running behind because of the big potholes in the road lord knows they have created more danger than going 5 mile an hour over has.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live