In-the-know Chicagoans have treasured Ukrainian Village for a long time, but this tiny ‘hood made headlines when real estate website Redfin named it America’s “Hottest Neighborhood of 2016.” So what’s making this corner of the city sizzle? We have a few guesses.
Not only is Whisk one of the friendliest brunch spots in the city, but it also hosts the most impressive Ron Swanson memorabilia collection you’ve ever seen (Parks& Rec FTW). The kids’ menu includes Mickey Mouse Pancakes and sandwiches with kid-appropriate names such as the “I Don’t Care,” the “I Don’t Know” and the “Whatever.” The funky and warm atmosphere, paired with scrumptious comfort food and an old-school soundtrack, is the best way to kickstart your day in the village. As Ron Swanson says, “There has never been a sadness that can’t be cured by breakfast food.” 2018 W. Chicago Ave.
No hot list for Ukrainian Village would be the right temperature without Black Dog Gelato to cool it down. This local fave has the goods for every season, with an ever-changing and refreshingly original selection of rich, creamy gelato. 859 N. Damen.
Beloved local coffee chain Dollop Coffee Co. has finally opened a bakery where you can eat their soft, flaky, handmade croissants every day, and it’s pretty much perfection. The bakeshop is as light and airy as the pastries, and it’s an idyllic spot to chill and people-watch while sipping Metropolis Coffee. 1000 N. Damen.
What better way to get to know the neighborhood than by immersing yourself in its culture and history? Luckily, Chicago has one of the largest Ukrainian museums in the country, and there’s no better time to visit than this fall, when the museum is hosting kid-friendly storytellers and artists. Check website for the event schedule. 2249 W. Superior St.
Once you’re caffeinated, head to Commercial Park to let the kids stretch their legs at any of the three charming, relaxed playlots that have slides, swings, splash pads, play structures and more. Check out the website for a park event schedule. 1845 W. Rice St.
This sweet boutique has the perfect gifts for every occasion, and mommas everywhere need to stock up. We won’t blame you for spending some extra time at the jewelry counter for a little something for yourself. 2559 W. Chicago Ave.
Pie is life, and Hoosier Mama Pie Company is as mouth-watering as a pie shop can be. Featured on Food Network, the little storefront is lovely, but the pies travel excellently as well, just in case you’re hankering for a picnic or a midnight snack after your day of insane family fun. 1618 1/2 Chicago Ave.
If you have a babe at home or even know someone with one, you need to check out Sprout. Warning: the precious collection of little clothes, toys and more will completely consume your attention for a while (and maybe give you baby fever). Fortunately, the store also has a playpen and changing table, so go ahead, lose yourself to cuteness. 1943 W. Division.
Finish your day off with a hearty, delicious dinner. Kids are going to love, and we mean love, Roots. The full menu, including all the top-notch pizza options and the uhh-mazing garlic monkey bread bites, is made in-house. And parents won’t mind the extensive craft drink menu, either. Win, win, garlic monkey win. 1924 W. Chicago Ave.