Grab the red line or the #22 Clark bus and take it to the heart of Andersonville. Originally settled by Swedish immigrants, today its allure lies in the bustling LGBTQ community that lines Clark between Foster and Bryn Mawr.
When I first settled in Chicago five years ago, the friendliness and energy brought me to this part of the city. Over the past few years it's changed a bit, but for the most part it's maintained its charm. I've written about some suggestions I have but keep checking back. I'll make sure to detail some of the places in future posts.
Start your night off at any of the several dining establishments Andersonville has to offer. There's everything from pub grub at Hamburger Mary's (5400 N. Clark Street) and Lady Gregory's (5260 N. Clark Street) to more upscale dining at Antiprima (5316 N. Clark Street), Vincent (1475 W. Balmoral Avenue), and Jin Ju (5203 N Clark Street). Calo (5343 N. Clark Street) offers Italian cuisine in their established tradition.
When you're done with your eats, dance to the beats at Mary's Attic (5400 N. Clark Street) where house and techno music fill the upstairs club overlooking Clark Street. If you don't like to dance but like watching others, there's @mosphere (5355 N. Clark Street) where go go dancers provide entertainment Friday and Saturday nights. Head to the northern end of the 'hood to The Call (1547 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue), which regularly host theme nights.
If watering holes and conversation are more your style, try In Fine Spirits (5418 N. Clark Street). With an extensive wine and cocktail list, you may find yourself buying by the bottle, not the glass. Martinis at Marty's (1511 W. Balmoral Avenue) pack a punch and are guaranteed to make even the most uncoordinated person dance like a rockstar.
One of my favorite places is Simon's Tavern (5210 N Clark Street). A lone jukebox stands by the entry and spins indie tunes while patrons slug back pints of craft beers and the all too trendy PBRs. If you end up here, check out the mural on the north wall. Somebody was cut out of it. Rumor has it, it's an old Chicago gangster who ticked someone off.
The fun doesn't have end when the night does. Take a quick nap and gallop off to Big Jones (Cajun and Creole) (5347 N. Clark Street), Ann Sather (American and Swedish) (3415 N Broadway Street), or Svea (Swedish) (5236 N. Clark Street) for brunch. If you're feeling the post-night guilt, pick up a day pass to Cheetah Gym (5248 N. Clark Street) and repent for the previous twelve hours of eating and drinking.
No matter what you fancy, Andersonville is sure to satisfy at least one desire. So pack up and trek north!!!