Above:Live music at Schubas Tavern Photo: Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune
Not even three square miles, Lake View is one of Chicago’s most populous neighborhoods—though it may be better known for its subhoods, like Boystown and the pocket where a certain North Side baseball team plays. Nonetheless, these streets have plenty else worth crowing about, from an almost-hidden block of beautiful rowhouses to some of the city’s top music spots, including the iconic Metro, which has hosted many a bigtime show (from the Smashing Pumpkins to Chance the Rapper’s surprise gig during Lolla last year). This varied mix has earned Lake View a national reputation: A few years ago, Money magazine named it the third-best big-city neighborhood in the country.
1. Alta Vista Terrace
The 40 understated yet charming London-style rowhouses on the secluded “Street of 40 Doors” look small because, well, they are: The lots are a mere 24 by 40 feet.
2. Brundage Building
Avery Brundage, the only American to ever lead the International Olympic Committee, originally owned this junior version of New York’s Flatiron Building. It appears in the movies Straight Talk and Baby’s Day Out.
3. Music Box Theatre
A killer place to see an art flick (or a midnight showing of cult classic The Room), the theater now has its own bar, a back patio, and a redone sound system—and, yep, real butter on its popcorn.
4. Schubas Tavern
Inside: a gorgeous watering hole (note the lengthy mahogany bar) and concert venue. Outside: ornate brickwork punctuated by two Schlitz globes (the building used to house one of the brand’s breweries).
5. St. Alphonsus Church
Talk about rising from the ashes: This spectacular German Gothic church was dedicated in 1897, gutted by fire in 1950, reopened in 1952, and now, according to USA Today, hosts one of the top Oktoberfests in the country.
6. BabyDolls Boutique
It’s 50 percent for moms (awesome designer jewelry) and 50 percent for children (the cutest darn handmade clothes).
It’s like a perfectly chill coffee shop, except the menu boasts 350 beers (!!!) from all over the world, including the city’s largest selection of Chicago brews.
8. Belmont Army
Five levels of cool threads, from a skate shop in the basement to an embarrassment of vintage riches on the fourth floor.
9. Paulina Market
Foodies line up for beef tenderloin and Bosnian cevapcici from the oft-mustachioed butchers at this carnivore’s paradise.
10. Two Penny Blue
Do good and look good at this stylish boutique: With every ultracool tailored blazer you buy, the shop donates a school uniform to a girl in Africa.
Eat & Drink
Grab a table, order a raspberry and chocolate ganache tart, indulge, then get a German chocolate cake to go.
12. Ella Elli
Need a panacea for the never-ending parade of strollers on Southport? Get thee to this chic new eatery’s patio and order the elderflower gimlet with homemade lime cordial. There. Don’t you feel like an adult again?
13. Murphy’s Red Hots
Sometimes you just need a classic frank, and this joint makes a mean one—with 100 percent Vienna beef, of course.
14. New England Seafood Company Restaurant & Fish Market
Boston natives own the nautical-themed BYO spot and make some of the city’s best lobster rolls. Their secret: minimal mayo, a dash of paprika.
15. Tango Sur
Why go downtown for a $100 rib eye when you can get excellent Argentine grass-fed beef here?
August 2:Even if you didn’t get tickets to Lollapalooza, you can hang with the cool kids at the after-party at Smart Bar, featuring alt-rock heroes Spoon.
August 12 to 13:Hit the city’s largest and liveliest street fair when Northalsted Market Days opens its gates.
August 17:The Greatest Generation, a comedy podcast about Star Trek: The Next Generation, records live at Schubas Tavern.
August 23:Can’t think of a better place to watch The Blues Brothers than the new grassy area right outside Wrigley Field.
August 27 to October 15:Kokandy Productions puts its spin on the Tony Award–nominated musical Bonnie & Clyde at Theater Wit.
Did You Know?
The Metro hosted its first concert in 1982. The band: R.E.M.