"Chicago" by Carl Sandburg

Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders

-excerpt from the poem "Chicago" by Carl Sandburg (1916)

Chicago Skyline

Chicago Skyline
The Chicago Skyline from a Near West Side highrise

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


The Breakdown
Belmont Avenue serves as the main artery through Avondale.
An overview: It’s easy to say one neighborhood or another is the “next hot Chicago neighborhood”. Hell, we’ve even alluded to it in previous posts.  But if you had to put your money down on the next haven for young professionals, hipsters that are neither young nor professional, small plate restaurants featuring twelve kinds of pork belly, and the latest 200+ microbrew tavern that seats 12 comfortably, Avondale is your best bet.  We say all the aforementioned in jest, we love all those things (even the hipsters), and Avondale is starting to get them.  It’s essentially the one remaining north side neighborhood that hasn’t truly gentrified, but it’s well on its way.

Avondale the look and feel of a Logan Square or Humboldt Park, historic beauty and urban grit living side-by-side.  It’s diverse, featuring a predominantly Hispanic contingent, but also carrying a growing young white population mixed with an older European populace.  Avondale’s residential streets are also an interesting blend of housing stock.  You will often find a North Side-esque two-flat next door to a South Side-esque bungalow.

It’s not yet made to be on a postcard, but Avondale has its charms.  The neighborhood is certainly accessible via public transit, which will help it grow as a destination for young residents and visitors alike.  And even if you haven’t heard of Avondale, there’s a good chance that you’ve been at an establishment there…and were told that you were in Logan Square.  As you’ll see below though, a handful of Chicago favorites are located in Avondale.  So now you have no excuse to not visit, even though you now realize you probably already have.

Note: Just…can’t…help…but feel like we’re missing something.  Ahhhhh yes, Hot Doug’s!  Yes, Hot Doug’s is in Avondale.  No, we did not review it for this blog for the simple fact that it’s been a long while since we’ve eaten there, and we did not want to have to wait in line two hours like last time to write this entry.  That being said, our feelings are wildly mixed between “totally not worth it” (Laura) and “TOTALLY worth it…if you’re willing to wait in line for two hours” (Michael).  Let your tolerance for lines make the decision for you.