10 reasons to take the Green Line stop to Harlem

In my opinion, there are a hundred reasons to take the Green line to Harlem. From rich cultural experiences to shopping and dining that rivals any city hub, Oak Park will meet and exceed your expectations from a quick solo trip to an extended family staycation. Located just 10 miles west of the Chicago loop, downtown Oak Park is a refreshingly quick escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. 

Here are 10 reasons to jump on the Green Line and take it to the final stop: Harlem. 

Cultural escape 

Frank Lloyd Wright homes – Tour the homes designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Oak Park has the largest collection of Wright-designed structures in the world, including his private residence and living quarters which have just recently been open to the public. 

Hemingway birthplace and museum – Oak Park was home to one of the most important authors to ever live. Built in 1890, it was the first home in Oak Park to have electricity. His home still stands, and down the street is a museum filled with childhood photos and early writings. 

Dining culture and breweries

Citrine – Mediterranean and American Cuisine to rival any top city hot spot

Little Gem Restaurant – Intimate and cozy European eatery

Lake Street Kitchen – Casual restaurant with good food and a large bar area

Hemmingway’s Bistro – Serves French dishes with fresh Midwestern ingredients

Lea French Street Food – French-inspired fast and casual restaurant

Maya Del Sol – Mexican meals and drinks in a stylish setting

Beer Shop – Combination bar and craft beer shop serving donuts on the weekend

Two Brothers Brewing – Craft beers and high-end pub fare

Oak Park Brewing & Hamburger Mary’s – What’s better than burgers and beer? 

Munch Vegetarian – Vegan and vegetarian comfort foods

Cooper’s Hawk – Just opened! Winery and restaurant

*I feel obligated here to note that I can’t possibly list all of the incredible dining experiences in Oak Park. This is by all means, a short list. I encourage you to stop in any of these places, and countless more you’ll pass that should be on this list. Please note any favorites I may have missed in the comments below.

Divvy bikes

As you will find out, Oak Park has a lot to offer. In order to cover more ground, you may want to consider hopping on a Divvy bicycle. Conveniently located on several major streets, consider renting one for the day. You’ll be happy you did!

Cafes and bakeries

Spilt Milk – Homemade pies and pastries

Sugar Fixe – Gourmet French pastry shop

Live Cafe and workspace – Coffee, salads, sandwiches and a community workspace

Courageous Bakery – Cupcakes for Courage’s cafe offers various breakfast and lunch options


Scoville Square Park is located just outside the public library, and is perfect for a picnic, people watching, or taking the kids steps away to a playground. 


With free events happening every day, the Oak Park Public Library is a beautiful retreat for yourself or the whole family. 


Careful Peach – Gifting and specialty home decor with a European focus

Lively Athletics – Fashionable athletic and lifestyle apparel 

Nora’s Shoes & Manouche– Effortless style in both footwear and fashion

Sanem’s – A trendy and classical-chic women’s fashion boutique

16 Suitcases – Fun juniors and women’s clothing, accessories and gifts

Sugarcup Trading – An über stylish baby and kids fashion boutique

Trends Consignment – Women’s pre-owned fashions and accessories

Two Story Farmhouse – A uniquely curated home, gifts and fashion “farmhouse”

Farmers’ Market

Every Saturday enjoy locally grown produce, baked goods and live music. I would also be doing you an injustice if I failed to mention the freshly made donuts. Hours are 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., so come early to get first pick! 

Thursday Night Out 

Through Aug. 31 from 5-9 p.m. every Thursday night, you can enjoy a taste of Oak Park. If dining al fresco, entertainment for the kids, and live music sounds like a fun night out, jump on the Green Line with the whole family for a friendly and tasty night out. 

Signature events

From cultural celebrations of the arts, wine festivals, the MicroBrew Review and Oaktoberfest, there is a special event for everyone. Check the calendar and plan your next trip to Oak Park! 

If you’re thinking about visiting Oak Park? Plan your trip here. Want to stay the night? Visit here for accommodations. 

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