Nestled on the northern end of the city is a charming miniature village onto itself known as Andersonville. What was originally almost exclusively a Swedish neighborhood is now home to one of the most concentrated areas of local shops, restaurants and activities in the city. Whether you want to spend the entire day there or just an hour or two you will find yourself more than charmed by this little chain-free enclave.
As with all great Chicago neighborhoods, Andersonville is best explored on foot. Here are a few ideas to take up your day.
The Swedish American Museum
The Swedish American Museum is often considered the epicenter of Andersonville and for good reason. This little museum is both informative and fun for anyone who visits. It also has a children’s museum that explores the path of immigrants to America and has hands-on exhibits for kiddos of all ages. With admission at $4 for adults and $3 for children it’s easily one of the best bangs for your buck in Chicago!
5211 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640
There are so many wonderful brunch restaurants in Andersonville it’s hard to recommend just one. Here are a few perpetual favorites that are all super family-friendly and are sure to delight.
Svea – Helping keep Andersonville true to its Swedish roots (try the Swedish pancakes with lingonberries!). Be sure to arrive with a completely empty stomach because you might not want to eat again for two days after.
5236 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640
m.henry – Classic brunch fare with an extensive bakery and carry-out menu. BYOB.
5707 N. Clark, Chicago, IL 60660
Bongo Room – The most insanely wonderful pancakes you’ll ever find with some fantastic drink options as well.
5022 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640
A Taste of Heaven – A perfectly low-key yet perfectly delicious stop that will make everyone divinely happy. Equally delicious for both sweet and savory brunch!
5401 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640
Women and Children First Bookstore
This independent bookstore has one of the most robust children’s literature sections in the city that sits alongside almost any other title, with special attention to diversity and women writers. All are welcome here and they host a children’s storytime every Wednesday from 10:30-11 a.m. for children ages 2-5 ($1 suggested donation).
5233 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL 60640
If you’re lucky enough to run into the Puppet Bike in Andersonville, you will want to tell everyone you know about it. It’s as simple as it sounds: a portable puppet theater attached to a bicycle. However, its simplicity is part of its overabundance of charm. Children of all ages will dance along with the puppets and music and your love of the neighborhood will only grow exponentially.
First Slice Pie Café
After all the walking, shopping, puppet-watching and museum-attending be sure to treat yourself to some of the most delicious pie known to man at First Slice Pie Café. I have come to terms with the fact that I will never become an adequate pie baker because no pie I can make from scratch will ever measure up to one from First Slice. For the record: I’m okay with that.
5357 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60640
For more information or ideas be sure to check out the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce site.