Though not considered as trendy as the rapidly-changing adjacent neighborhoods of Roscoe Village and Logan Square, Chicago’s Avondale community was recently recognized as one the nation’s 10 hottest, need-to-visit ‘hoods by popular travel website Lonely Planet. And that seems to be exactly the point.
The article—which also highlights spots such as New York’s Sunset Park, Denver’s River North (RiNo), and Frelard in Seattle—focused primarily on up-and-coming areas where art, culture, food, and authenticity intersect.
Avondale’s inclusion references the neighborhood’s blue collar “scruffiness” and a relative lack of hipster pretension compared to its immediate surroundings. The area’s diverse food and beverage offerings also appear to have made a major impression on Lonely Planet writer Amy Zimmer:
A neighborhood where you can hit up a pierogi buffet (Red Apple Buffet), a theater giving equal time to kitty cats and Ionesco plays (Prop Thtr), and a streetwise Michelin-starred restaurant (Parachute) in one fell swoop? Yes, please.
Avondale offers no hotels or tourist sights. It’s mostly humble two-flat homes and the occasional smokestack or steeple popping up. But throughout this working-class beat on Chicago’s northwest side, groovy things are brewing. That’s literal in the case of Revolution Brewery, whose sprawling tap room makes hop fiends swoon. Within a few blocks, Kuma’s Corner grills hulking burgers with a side of heavy metal and Honey Butter Fried Chicken cooks a sweet-and-salty bird. Meanwhile, kielbasas waft from Milwaukee Ave, a hub for Chicago’s Polish community.
Get here soon though, because Avondale teeters on the edge. Hipster ‘hoods nibble at its borders, poised to spill over. And that may change its scruffy, artsy, lived-in magic.
With Avondale possibly on the brink of losing its charm, there’s no better time to explore this vibrant and historic North Side community. For additional information on this hot ‘hood, be sure to check out Curbed Chicago’s insider’s guide to Avondale.
- Hot ‘hoods in the US: 10 neighborhoods you need to visit [Lonely Planet]
- Avondale Named One Of Nation's 'Hottest, Up-And-Coming' Neighborhoods [DNAinfo]
- The People's Guide to Avondale, Chicago's Polish Village [Curbed Chicago]
- Previous Avondale coverage [Curbed Chicago]