One of the great things about Andersonville is its commitment to small businesses. You’ll find shops and restaurants you’ve never experienced anywhere else. It can be a joy just to walk around Andersonville and take in the diversity, but here are five places that you should stop at if you do spend a day in the neighborhood.

(Photo Credit: Andersonville Galleria's Facebook)

(Photo Credit: Andersonville Galleria’s Facebook)

Andersonville Galleria
5247 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 878-8570

The Andersonville Galeria is composed of over 90 vendors, all small businesses, within one convenient market. You can find everything from artwork to food, apparel and home furnishings and, of course, gifts and treats. Even if you’re not looking to buy, stroll through the three-level marketplace and see the local talent at work. If you’re at all interested in local arts and crafts, it’s a must; if you’re looking for unique gifts for the holidays or anything else that may come up, you will find your one-of-a-kind items here.

First Slice Pie Cafe
5357 N. Ashland Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 275-4297

After a stroll through the Galleria, a stop for some sugary, caffeinated fuel may be necessary. Stop by First Slice Pie Cafe and chill in its casual, homey atmosphere. Have one of the amazing pie slices with a cappucino or have a full lunch. You won’t be disappointed. Feel extra altruistic by knowing that you’re supporting a business that also helps feed Chicago’s homeless. Pies are also available to order and bring home.

(Photo Credit:

(Photo Credit:

Swedish American Museum
5211 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 728-8111

Hone in on your Swedish history at the Swedish American Museum. Not only will you learn a great deal about the Swedish people who settled in Chicago, but you’ll also get to peruse artifacts and models of authentic Swedish clothing and other items. If you’re in a hurry, you can still get a good summary of the museum in less than an hour, but be sure to visit the gift shop for Swedish toys and gifts as well as inexpensive books. The museum can also be booked for private events. Have an intimate family reunion surrounded by art!

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Woolly Mammoth Antiques, Oddities and Resale
1513 W. Foster Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 989-3294

Get ready for a visit to one of the most interesting shops you’ve ever set foot into. The Woolly Mammoth has just about everything you can think of as well as several things you never knew existed. The owners and staff are very friendly and will happily show you anything you’re interested in, or chat with you about the origins of the store and its items. If you have a gift in mind, the shop’s employees will help you locate something appropriate. Not only that, but if you’re looking for something impossible to find and want the Woolly Mammoth to search for you, they’ll create a wish list for you and be on the lookout.

Hopleaf Bar
5148 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 334-9851

After a head filled with Swedish history and your imagination inspired by the Woolly Mammoth, the best place to stop for a refuel is the Hopleaf Bar. If you’re a craft beer fan, you won’t want to leave, as the Hopleaf has a selection from all over the country. The food is almost traditional, but with a twist (i.e. a duck rueben rather than just a plain old rueben sandwich). Prices are reasonable and there is something on the menu for everyone. It does get crowded on the weekends, so be aware that the noise level will rise above the ‘intimate talk’ ambiance.

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Meredith Lyons is an actor, competitive fighter and fitness instructor in Chicago who also owns an amazing cat named Jake. Meredith has been writing on Examiner as the Chicago Martial Arts Examiner since 2008. Her work can be found at