Lincoln Square is a popular Chicago neighborhood filled with everything a visitor or long-term resident could possibly want. The entertaining area of Chicago offers transportation, events, dining, entertainment, education, green space, and shopping, making it well worth your time to explore it and see what it has to offer.
Founded in the 1850s, Lincoln Square – known then as “Celeryville” or “Pickletown” – was initially occupied by farmers who traveled down Lincoln Avenue selling their harvest. When the “L” was brought into the area in 1907, Lincoln Square experienced a housing boom as people who wanted to live in the area and commute downtown began moving in. It is funny how some things haven’t changed. The presence of the area’s Swiss, German and English roots can still be felt throughout the main square and surrounding streets.
Lincoln Square is accessible by the Brown Line stops at Damen, Western and Rockwell. The heart of Lincoln square is only three miles from the Edens (I-94) and Kennedy (I-90) expressways. The area is also accessible by the #11 (Lincoln), #49 (Western), #50 (Damen), #81 (Lawrence) and #78 (Montrose) bus routes. Lincoln Square is an accessible neighborhood, and it’s very easy for commuters and residents to get around by public or private transit.
The many special events hosted in Lincoln Square are sure to delight residents and guests alike. The Square Roots Festival, Oktoberfest, Apple Fest, Winter Brew, and concerts at Wells Park and Giddings Plaza are just a few of the events featured in the neighborhood every year. One could spend paragraphs raving about other special events at Sulzer Library, Old Town School of Folk Music, and Dank Haus, but this entry can’t go on forever.
In between events, Lincoln Square is home to some of the best dining in the city. A variety of styles and cultures are represented in the cuisine available in the neighborhood, and for special nights out, there are also two fine dining restaurants – Elizabeth and Goosefoot – that are Michelin-starred and nationally-recognized for their culinary achievements. Other excellent options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner include Due Lire (Italian), Café Selmarie (American) , Gather, Fork (American), Warbler (American), Bistro Campagne (French), Pannenkoekan (Dutch), Red Lion (English), Luella’s Southern Kitchen (Southern), Isla Pilipina (Filipino), Nhu Lan (Banh Mi), Kibek Jolu (Kyrgyz), and Sushi Tokoroko (Japanes). These businesses are sure to surpass expectations and delight the palette.
If restaurants have a wait or the neighborhood events haven’t started yet, take refuge in one of the many bars or cafes Lincoln Square has to offer. Coffee or tea can be found at Oromo Café, Baker Miller, Beans & Bagels, Book Cellar, or The Grind. All of these establishments offer drinks and snacks to relax or pass the time, but if you’re looking for something stronger, try visiting Huttenbar, Richochets, Grafton Pub, The Sixth, Rockwell’s, Gideon Wells, or Gene’s Rooftop for a beer or mixed drink and a charming ambiance.
What distinguishes Lincoln Square from other excellent Chicago neighborhoods, however, are its unique businesses that offer relatively rare opportunities for entertainment and leisure. At the Old Town School of Folk Music, Dank Haus, Sulzer Library and The Davis Movie Theater, guests can see movies, take classes, enjoy concerts, indulge in their love of reading, and much more. These establishments offer several activities a month, so there’s sure to be something for everyone.
Even more exciting are the amenities of Well’s Park and Giddings Plaza. Wells Park is a large public space with a field house that offers swimming, sports, and classes through the park district. The fields hold concerts, playgrounds, tennis courts, and sports fields where a variety of activities can be observed.
Giddings Plaza is the name of the square inside the pedestrian friendly strip of Lincoln and is considered the heart of Lincoln Square. This plaza hosts weekly concerts during the summer, regular visits from musicians, and is great for people-watching. The plaza is also near the summer and fall farmers’ market that occurs twice a week.
On top of everything else that there is to see and do in Lincoln Square, the area also boasts amazing, locally-owned shops – some of the very best in the city. Merz Apothecary has all your needs for grooming, bath oils, homeopathic medicines, vitamins and much more. Gene’s Sausage Shop is a European market that has outstanding food, products, and a summer rooftop that offers food and beer. Other business that make a trip to Lincoln Square worthwhile include Enjoy, An Urban General Store, Planet Access Company Store, Timeless Toys, Savory Spice Shop, Laurie’s Planet of Sound, and Uncle Dan’s The Great Outdoor Store. This is a mere sampling of the shops in Lincoln Square, so it’s worth exploring the area to find other stores that might of be of interest.
Lincoln Square has it all: accessibility, fun activities, great dining, wonderful outdoor locations, and nightlife. Come explore this amazing Chicago neighborhood or make it your new home.