Everyone is talking about Koda (10352 S. Western Ave.; 773-445-5632, kodabistro.com), one of the few Beverly restaurants that don't feature either an Italian or Irish menu. Koda's French classics were developed by Aaron Browning, a veteran of Everest and Brasserie Jo. (Chicago's dining critics give it the nod in this year's Best New Restaurants; the list begins on page 72.)
 The Beverly Arts Center of Chicago (2407 W. 111th St.; 773-445-3838, beverlyartscenter.org) continually surprises audiences with its diverse lineup of live music and kid-centric theatre. Even the film center-which shows a range of movies from classic to indie-rivals others across town. In May, check out sculpture by conceptual artist Mark Holmes and a staging of A Midsum-mer Night's Dream aimed at teens.
 In one afternoon you can take in a number of Beverly's architectural wonders. Favorites include the Givens House (pictured, 10244 S. Longwood Dr.), Frank Lloyd Wright's Raymond W. Evans House (9914 S. Longwood Dr.), Daniel Burnham's E. G. Howe House (10208 S. Wood St.), and Ridge Historical Society (10621 S. Seeley Ave.). On May 20th, you can peek inside a select group of private homes on the Beverly Area Planning Association's 37th Annual Home Tour, which leaves from the Beverly Arts Center. Tickets are $25 in advance.
 Top-Notch Beefburger Shop (2116 W. 95th St.; 773-445-7218) is a favorite neighborhood dive that serves up juicy burgers and thick shakes. For a healthier treat, opt for the smoothie bar down the block at Southtown Health Foods (2100 W. 95th St.; 773-233-1856, southtownhealthfoods.com).
 Beverly Records (11612 S. Western Ave.; 773-779-0066, beverlyrecords.com) is a vinyl collector's paradise, while Optimo Hats (10215 S. Western Ave.; 773-238-2999, optimohats.com) has become the must-stop shop for a custom fedora. Don't miss My Sisters' Knits (9907 S. Walden Pkwy.; 773-238-4555, mysistersknits.com), a cute storefront with a classroom in the back and "open knitting" gatherings the second Friday of every month.
 Beverly's Pantry (1907 W. 103rd St.; 773-238-8550, beverlyspantry.com) is the South Side's Chopping Block, and Let's Get Poppin' (11758 S. Western Ave.; 773-779-6132, letsgetpoppin.com) is Beverly's Garrett's.
 With designer labels like Nanette Lepore, Free People, and Poleci, the women's clothing boutique Ms. Priss (9915 S. Walden Pkwy.; 773-233-7747) boasts a vibe that's more Beverly Hills than Beverly Chicago.
 Bookie's Paperbacks & More (2419 W. 103rd St.; 773-239-1110, bookiespaperbacks.com) gives the Hyde Park bookstores a run for their money.
 The South Side's answer to the Old Town School of Folk Music, World Folk Music Company (1808 W. 103rd St.; 773-779-7059, worldfolkmusiccompany.com) offers live performances from legends such as Bonnie Koloc, and a store chock-full of Celtic and American-folk sheet music and recordings. On May 5th, catch country-rock chanteuse Maggie Brown; folksinger Mark Dvorak plays May 12th.
 Fans of the Original Rainbow Cone (9233 S. Western Ave.; 773-238-7075) speak reverently of its five-flavor cone, which includes chocolate, strawberry, pistachio, orange sherbet, and Palmer House (i.e., cherry-walnut blend) all at once.
FROM THE LOOP: Take the Dan Ryan (90/94) to I-57; exit I-57 at Halsted Street, and continue on frontage road to 99th Street. Or hop on the Metra Rock Island Line to 103rd Street.