February 10, 2016
Northwest of Chicago‘s downtown, Logan Square sees longtime family-run taquerias just steps from trendy new restaurants. It’s this mix of old and new that keeps things interesting for locals and visitors alike, and makes this neighbourhood one of the most exciting districts to explore. Though some of Logan’s most popular hangouts can be found clustered around its namesake square (where Milwaukee and Kedzie avenues meet Logan Boulevard), all corners of the neighbourhood are worth discovering. Take a look at our guide to what to see and do in Logan Square in Chicago.
In the dining department, it was farm-to-table pioneer Lula Cafe that put Logan Square on the map with expertly prepared seasonal produce and locally sourced meats. At Yusho, former Charlie Trotter’s chef Matthias Merges and his crew cook Asian street food-inspired bites. At always-packed Fat Rice, Portuguese flavours mingle with Chinese and Indian spices and preparations. And if you like Michelin-starred Longman & Eagle enough to stay the night, there’s a six-room inn upstairs.
Destination dining also worthy of your appetite includes newcomers Osteria Langhe for succulent Italian and Sink | Swim for whimsical seafood dishes. Choices run deep for vegetarians and vegans at Middle-Eastern stunner Masada, eclectic Ground Control, retro-inspired Chicago Diner and juice bar and plant-based cafe Owen & Alchemy.
If it’s quick and cheap eats you’re after, it’s hard to beat the tacos at L’Patron and pizza slices at Boiler Room (save room for the whiskey-infused soft-serve ice cream). At Johnny’s Grill, up-and-coming chef Sarah Jordan gave an old-school diner a new spin with craft cocktails and locally roasted coffee from Intelligentsia.
As the craft cocktail scene swelled in Chicago, Logan Square gained drink destinations such as Billy Sunday, Scofflaw and recent addition, Best Intentions. For a vacation in a glass, don’t miss Lost Lake, a tropical hideaway showcasing tiki drinks from renowned bartender Paul McGee.
If you’re looking for nightlife, check out live music on the Whistler‘s tiny stage, DJ sets at East Room or stand-up comedy at Cole’s Bar. Keep the party going at The Owl, which has a late-night license to pour until 4am (and 5am Saturdays), a good two hours after last call at other bars.
Bring your competitive spirit to the neighbourhood’s arcade bars, Logan Arcade and Emporium, or play free skeeball at Slippery Slope. When the weather turns warm, the patio at Parson’s Chicken & Fish draws Ping-Pong players and sun seekers sipping slushy cocktails.
Craft beer fans won’t want to miss Logan’s brewpub, Revolution Brewing, where bartenders pour beers such as Civil Unrest IPA and Bottom Up Wit from wooden taps carved into the shape of triumphant fists. Modern British-inspired pub Owen & Engine pours cask ales and The Radler channels a German beer hall with a modern twist.
When it comes to shopping, Logan Square’s boutique owners favour smaller, independent labels (so if it’s mainstream designers you’re after, try the Mag Mile instead). Department of Curiosities is a design studio and ethical clothing shop showcasing Jamie Hayes’ eco-friendly leather goods (under the label, Production Mode) and Gerry Quinton’s intricately crafted corsets and gowns (Morua Corsetry & Couture). Wolfbait & B-girls stocks locally made jewellery and clothing for ladies, while Meyvn stocks workwear, knitwear and clean-cut trainers for men.
Header image: Parson’s Chicken & Fish © Clayton Hauck
Virgin Atlantic operates direct flights to Chicago from London, making it easy to explore Logan Square on your next trip.
Have you been to Logan Square in Chicago? Where do you spend your time when you’re in town? Let us know in the comments section below.