Clockwise from top left: Optimo Fine Hats, Givins Castle, Cork & Kerry, and Beverly Bakery & Cafe. For more photos, launch the gallery »
For the first time since 2009, revelers will pilgrimage to Beverly for the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 11 (see southsideirishparade.org). But during the event’s two-year hiatus, we found plenty of other reasons to embrace the city’s southwesternmost neighborhood. Established in the 1830s as Washington Heights, Beverly began to draw Irish settlers in the 1870s and was annexed by Chicago in 1914. With its glacier-carved hills and small-town charm, you could almost forget you were in the city—if it weren’t for the parking meters.
BEVERLY BAKERY & CAFE
 Jim and Jean Marie Quigley call their café the only Chicago coffee roaster south of Bridgeport, and the bragging rights don’t stop there: The spot sells 22 different types of coffee by the cup and the pound. 10528 S. Western Ave.; 773-238-5580, beverlycoffeeroasters.com
CORK & KERRY
 Most of Beverly is dry, but the west side of Western Avenue is home to a handful of Irish pubs. We especially warmed up to this tap’s heated enclosed patio. 10614 S. Western Ave.; 773-445-2675, corkandkerrychicago.com
 Before housing the Beverly Unitarian Church, this 19th-century manor was a private home and girls’ etiquette school. A documentary screening March 11 at the Chicago History Museum details the building’s past. Sunday services begin at 10:30 a.m. 10244 S. Longwood Dr.; 773-233-7080, beverlyunitarian.org
JIMMY JAMM SWEET POTATO PIES
 Every menu item at this family-run bakery and café involves one not-so-secret ingredient, from the chicken-stuffed sweet potatoes to the sweet potato ice cream. 1844 W. 95th St.; 773-779-9105
 When it opened in 2006, this bistro brought seasonal dining to Beverly, and the menu still changes every two weeks. Spring highlights include halibut with baby leeks and Jerusalem artichokes and a Friday fish fry through April 6. 10352 S. Western Ave.; 773-445-5632, kodabistro.com
OPTIMO FINE HATS
 This 20-year-old mainstay is filled to the brim with men’s dress hats in styles such as the LaSalle, the Dearborn, and—in a nod to one famous client—the John Lee Hooker. A retail-only location opened in the Monadnock Building in January, but this is the place to watch—and smell the wax—as each topper is crafted by hand. 10215 S. Western Ave.; 773-238-2999, optimohats.com
ORIGINAL RAINBOW CONE
 Three generations of the Sapp clan have scooped ice cream into this shop’s five-layer cones. Locals line up for the seasonal reopening, usually the first weekend in March; call for updates. 9233 S. Western Ave.; 773-238-7075, www.rainbowcone.com
TOP NOTCH BEEFBURGERS
 The recipe here is simple: burgers, nearly all less than five bucks a pop, made hot and fresh by the same family since 1942. 2116 W. 95th St.; 773-445-7218
THE JOHN H. VANDERPOEL ART ASSOCIATION
 Named for a School of the Art Institute instructor (1857–1911), this collection is a who’s who of Chicago painters. An exhibit of works by the former Chicago Tribune illustrator Judy Anderson opens April 1. Ridge Park Field House, 9625 S. Longwood Dr.; 773-779-0007, vanderpoelartmuseum.org
FOUR WAYS TO GO IRISH
Watch foreign films that don’t need subtitles at the Chicago Irish Film Festival, March 2 to 7 at the Beverly Arts Center  (2407 W. 111th St.; 773-445-3838, chicagoirishfilmfestival.com). . . . Head back to BAC March 9 to 11 for the South Side Irish Family Festival. . . . On March 15, concoct delectable dishes with Guinness in one of several Irish-inspired cooking classes at Beverly’s Pantry  (1907 W. 103rd St.; 773-238-8550, beverlyspantry.com). . . . On March 16, try corned beef and cabbage at Cafe 103  (1909 W. 103rd St.; 773-238-5115, cafe103.com).
ON THE HORIZON
The Beverly Hills/Morgan Park Home Tour, on May 20, provides peeks inside five private residences built by the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, Daniel Burnham, and Walter Burley Griffin. Tickets are $25 to $30; for info, bapa.org.
Photography: Travis Roozée