A guide of what to do in Lakeview, Chicago. This large neighborhood includes the smaller neighborhoods of both Wrigleyville, the Southport Corridor, and Boystown and runs beside Lake Michigan.
When I first moved to Chicago I lived in Lakeview. This neighborhood is one of my favorites. It’s residential and has a neighborhood feel, yet there are still lots of restaurants, shops, and things to do.
Where is Lakeview?
Lakeview is located directly above Lincoln Park. Lakeview is the area between Lake Michigan to the east, Ravenswood Avenue to the west, Diversey Parkway to the south, and Irving Park Road to the north. Lakeview is a large neighborhood and it includes the smaller neighborhoods of Boystown and Wrigleyville.
Getting to Lakeview
The easiest way to get to Lakeview is to take the el. Both the Brown/Purple and Red Lines run through Lakeview. The Diversey, Wellington, Belmont, Southport, Addison (there are two separate stops with this name), Paulina, Sheridan, and Irving Park stops are all in Lakeview.
Let me warn you about the Purple Line:
The train line that can be confusing is the Purple Line which runs on the same tracks and makes the same stops as the Brown Line up until Belmont. The purple line stops at Belmont, then it skips two stops and makes at stop at Wilson. Then from Wilson this train runs express to Evanston – the town north of Chicago skipping 9 stops. You probably don’t want to accidentally end up in Evanston. To continue north get off at Belmont and take the Red Line, to continue west get off at Belmont and take the Brown Line.
What to do in Lakeview
See a Cubs Game
The Chicago Cubs finally broke the Curse of the Billy Goat in 2016 when they finally won the World Series for the first time in 71 years. Visiting Wrigley Field, which opened in 1914, is a bucket list item for baseball fans and Chicagoans. Ticket prices and availability can be depend on the time of year and how well the Cubs are playing.
Tour Wrigley Field
Guided tours of Wrigley Field are available and take visitors to the press box, Cub’s clubhouse, visitor’s clubhouse, and dugout. And you get a chance to step on the field.
Green City Market at Gallagher Way
Gallagher Way is the park beside Wrigley Field and in the summer a farmer’s market takes place there on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
A bar/restaurant located in an old Schlitz brewery that hosts emerging bands and comedians.
A theater with a diverse program of comedy, dance, musical, dramatic, and other performances.
Chicago’s largest park runs along the eastern border of Lakeview. This section of the park includes Belmont Harbor, tennis courts, a bird sanctuary, an archery range, and a golf course.
A historic movie theater that specializes in art-house and repertory cinema. The theater hosts events like drink-a-longs where guests drink along to a movie while following specific rules.
The Vic is my favorite concert venue in Chicago. It’s small and intimate but still gets great acts and it’s so easy to get to by taking the el. I’ve seen Glen Hansard and Ingrid Michaelson here.
Brew & View
When The Vic isn’t hosting concerts, they host Brew & View, double features of movies that have just left theaters. The bar is open for Brew & View so get a beer and watch some movies.
This regional theater produces new theater work at the 299-seat Victory Gardens Biograph Theater.
Comedy Clubs in Lakeview
A stand up comedy club that hosts big name comedians like Dave Chappelle, Kevin Nealon, and Whitney Cummings plus lots of group shows.
An improv and sketch comedy theater that has a variety of shows to choose from, including a drinking show.
This theater is the home of the ComedySportz improv group. Their signature show is a 90 minute interactive show where two teams complete for laughs.
You can see improv and sketch comedy in addition to theatrical shows here. They host improv Sundays and free open mic nights.
One of their shows is the Dick Wolf Special Improv Unit and another is Matt Damon Improv. What more do you need to know?
Annual Events in Lakeview
I wanted to share information on annual events in Lakeview, yet I realize that some of these events may be rescheduled or cancelled in 2020. Please click the links to find more up to date information.
The Chicago Pride Parade takes place along Halsted Street in Boystown on the last Sunday in June and draws a massive crowd. The weekend before the parade, a pre-Parade street festivals with vendors and live music takes place in Boystown.
This massive weekend-long street festival takes place in August in Boystown and features art, craft, and food vendors plus 5 stages of live music. It is one of the largest LBGTQ+ events in Chicago.
This is a street festival and a garden walk that takes place in mid-July. Over 80 beautiful gardens are opened up to the public as part of a self-guided tour. The street festival includes activities for kids, food vendors, and live music.
Sponsored by Sam Adams, Lakeview Taco Fest takes place in September and involves local restaurants competing for the title of “Best Taco”.
In addition to a summertime farmers market, the park at Gallagher Way hosts movie nights, yoga classes, concerts, and more.
Winterfest at Gallagher Way
In 2019 a Winterfest with an ice skating rink and a Christkindlmarket took over the park for several months. I believe that this will be an annual event although there isn’t much information online.
Where to Eat in Lakeview
This cafe/specialty grocer serves breakfast and lunch and is one of my favorite spots for brunch. They are known for their cupcake pancakes, bread pudding pancakes, egg dishes, and baked goods.
A family friendly restaurant with a Midwestern inspired menu with items like burgers and wood roasted meats.
A Mexican restaurant that serves lunch, dinner, and brunch located just beside the Southport Brown Line stop. I love the chicken enchiladas. In the warmer months you can dine outside on the large patio in the back.
Panes Bread Cafe
A little sandwich shop that makes some of the best sandwiches around.
A restaurant serving up a mix of Chinese and Thai cuisine, it’s one of my favorite spots for Asian food in Chicago.
Oberweis Ice Cream
Oberweis Dairy is a major Midwestern dairy and their ice cream is wonderful. Their shop in Lakeview sells scoops of ice cream and indulgent sundaes.
A BYOB Latin American steak house with affordable prices this restaurant accommodates groups well.
Ann Sather’s giant cinnamon rolls that come as a breakfast side dish are an iconic Chicago food. The restaurant has two locations in Lakeview, one in Boystown and one just off the Belmont stop.
The popular taco joint has a location beside Wrigley Field. Big Star is known for its laid back vibe, honky tonk music, pitchers of strong margaritas, perfect guacamole, and exceptional tacos.
The Chicago Tribune names their pizza the #1 deep dish in Chicago. They offer full deep dish and thin crust pizzas plus both are available by the slice (this is a bit of a rarity in Chicago).
A neighborhood Italian spot with great pizzas and pastas. They have great daily specials like buy one get one free pizzas on Wednesdays.
Located in Boystown, this gastropub has a British inspired menu and a cozy atmosphere with fireplaces and shelves filled with books.
Great Thai food can be hard to find in Chicago. Andy’s Thai Kitchen is wonderful and has a big mix of rice dishes, curries, and noddle dishes on the menu.
This diner in Boystown has been meat free since ’83. They are known for things like their vegan milkshakes, veggie burgers, and brunch. It’s loved by both vegetarians and meat-eaters.
An Italian restaurant serving homemade rustic cuisine. I love the homemade pastas and the weekend brunch. Mia Francesca’s has many locations, but this is the first and it’s filled with charm.
A pizzeria that specializes in thin crust cooked in an 800-degree coal-fired oven. It’s definitely one of the best pizzas in the city.
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