Ravenswood is a neighborhood within the Lincoln Square community area in Chicago. It is bound by Montrose Ave on the South, Lawrence Ave on the North, Clark St on the East, and Damen Ave on the West. Within this area are many historic single-family homes, tree-line streets, and the Metra train corridor. This corridor has been nicknamed “Malt Row” for the breweries and distilleries that have popped up in the last decade including the Michelin-star rated Band of Bohemia, Begyle, Dovetail, Empirical, Koval Distillery, and Spiteful. Ravenswood is also very focused in the arts, with an annual Art Crawl featuring galleries and makers studios and puts a focus on the Lillstreet Art Center which offers educational programs for children and adults. Ravenswood is a unique Chicago neighborhood with active communities and close access to transportation both within the city and into the surrounding suburbs.
Lady Louise is our landlady and mascot. She also happens to be an adorable French Bulldog. Follow along for her quintessntial guide to exploring Ravenswood.
Where to Eat
- Glenn’s Diner 1820 W Montrose Ave — Diner classics + fresh seafood = everyday food full of flavor. Seafood is their passion as they carry more kinds of fresh fish than any other restaurant in Chicago and their cuts are delicious. If seafood isn’t your thing, they also have a legendary selection of breakfast cereal.
- Band of Bohemia 4710 N Ravenswood — An imaginative New American restaurant and the first brewpub to receive a Michelin star. Eclectic and warm environment with talented staff to make sure you have an excellent meal and evening.
- Luella’s Southern Kitchen 4609 N Lincoln Ave — Named after the Chef’s great-grandmother whose passion inspired their southern-style meals. Comfort food doesn’t get better than their Lobster Mac and Cheese or Buttermilk Fried Chicken and it’s easy to enjoy your food in the laid-back atmosphere.
- Spacca Napoli Pizzeria 1769 W Sunnyside Ave — Enjoy Neapolitan extra-thin crust pizza loved by neighborhood residents and visitors alike. Many fans rave about the Burrata that is shipped in from Italy early in the week and can be sold out before the weekend even begins! On warm nights you can even enjoy your ‘za on their lovely patio.
- Over Easy Cafe 4943 N Damen Ave — Cozy breakfast place known for its delicious eats as well as legendary weekend lines. While you might have to wait a beat to sit down for Sunday brunch, the cafe offers free coffee to those waiting in line, and the wait is well worth it. BYOB breakfast is the best kind of breakfast.
Where to Drink
- The Northman 4337 N Lincoln Ave — Cider fans rejoice! Unique and lengthy selection of ciders with a knowledgeable staff to explain and recommend their favorites. Cozy & Chill atmosphere with a nice selection of foods and cheeses to pair with drinks.
- The Victor Bar 4011 N Damen Ave — Intimate old-timey bar featuring outstanding cocktails. As a nod to Paris, the 35 seated bar has leather benches, candlelit tables, exposed brick, and vintage flair. Hidden northside gem!
- Gannon’s Pub 4264 N Lincoln Ave — The quintessential neighborhood pub that great for after-work drinks and catching the game. Locals keep returning for the daily pub specials like $5 all you can eat wings or $1 sliders. Friendly bartenders have turned visitors into regulars.
- Fountainhead 1970 W Montrose Ave — The founders aim to complete the finest beverage program in Chicago while not compromising on quality or value. Patrons who stop by are always impressed by the long list of great whiskies and other spirits that are presented by staff who knows what they’re talking about. The menu is small, as is the pub, but the food is very tasty. When the weather warms up you can even enjoy their rooftop beer garden.
- The Long Room 1612 W Irving Park — This friendly and authentic neighborhood spot was an early leader in the craft beer scene and they continue to evolve and grow their drink offerings. While sipping your drink and enjoying the vintage ambiance you can also get tasty bites from their house partner, The Biscuit Man. The cheese curds and fried pickles are out of this world. The Long Room treated us to a cocktail recipe documented on our series Local Sips.
- Spoken Cafe 1812 W Montrose Ave — Located just steps off the Montrose brown line, Spoken Cafe is beloved by its neighborhood regulars for it’s fresh coffee and homemade food. Both owners are from South Louisiana and their Cajun rooted are echoed through the menu. A fresh-baked bagel sandwich is the perfect pairing to a cup of coffee.
- The Perfect Cup 4700 N Damen Ave — This local spot has the perfect level of cozy to either meetup with a small group of people or curl up with a book. They offer a variety of sandwiches and pastries to accompany your beverage of choice. Located conveniently off of the Damen brown line.
- Groundswell Coffee Roasters 4839 N Damen Ave — Coffee enthusiasts rejoice in the excellent quality of caffeinated beverages and breakfast paninis. Modern airy interiors make this an excellent choice for an afternoon working session.
- First Slice 4401 N Ravenswood Ave — This Cafe was opened by Chef Mary Ellen Diaz who’s volunteering in soup kitchens inspired her to open her own cafe benefiting those in need. This cafe is a local gem for some of the best pie in the city! Fan favourites includes Michigan Sour Cherry, Apple, and Chocolate Peanut butter. They also have an extensive tea and coffee menu to pair with your treats. Located in the Lillstreet art center, stop in to check out their delicious pie and all the incredible programs and services they offer the community.
Things To Do in Ravenswood
The Chopping Block 4747 N Lincoln Ave — Classes are designed for the home cooks who don’t always have the time to nourish their passion for food. The instructors are not only professional chefs but excellent patient teachers. They have fun themed classes that focus on a specific dish or an entire regional cuisine. Whether you’re looking to sharpen up your knife skills or learn how to make a mean paella, The Chopping Block is the place to hone your craft.
- The Davis Theater 4614 N Lincoln Ave — Neighborhood movie theatre that focuses on community events. Directly connected is the Carbon Arc Bar & Board where you can get drinks and food to enjoy during the show. The theater was designed by Walter W. Alschlager, the architect who designed other famous 20th century buildings like the Uptown Broadway Building in Chicago and the Roxy Theater in New York City.
- Lillstreet Art Center 4401 N Ravenswood Ave — Community art center, gallery, and gift shop. Classes are taught in many disciplines working with paint, ceramics, metalwork, prints, textiles, and much more. Welcoming environment for both beginners and established artists alike.
- Chase Park 4701 N Ashland Ave — The community gathers at this park for after school programs as well as adult sport leagues in both indoor and outdoor activities. There’s a four-lane rubberized running track, two baseball fields, one football/soccer field, tennis courts, and a large playground area for kids to run around in.
Malt Row Ravenswood Ave — In 2017 this stretch of Ravenswood was nicknamed “Malt Row” as it quickly became a Chicago destination for local breweries and distilleries. Many of these establishments have fantastic taprooms as well as private or public tours. Here's a few favorite stops: Koval Distillery 5121 N Ravenswood — Koval is internationally recognized for there grain-forward liquors as they use unique and pure blends in their products. Dovetail Brewery 1800 W Belle Plaine Ave — Founders Hagen and Bill’s brewery is inspired by the European beers that bonded them when they met earning Master Brewer certifications from the Siebel Institute in Germany. They have solid brews and unique equipment. Begyle Brewing Company 1800 W Cuyler Ave — A neighborhood favorite hangout that was the first addition to Malt Row in 2012. They have great community programming like skeeball leagues, yoga sessions, and visits from local food trucks. Half Acre Beer Company 4257 N Lincoln Ave — Home to Chicago favorite IPA, Daisy Cutter, Half Acre is a pillar in the city’s beer scene and has plenty of unique libations to try out. Spiteful Brewing 2024 W Balmoral Ave — Two childhood hockey friends co-founded Spiteful in 2012 and gained a loyal following with its punchy flavors and branding. Double IPA fans will look no further than their Working For The Weekend Double IPA.
Shops in Ravenswood
- Merz Apothecary 4716 N Lincoln Ave — This natural remedy and personal-care establishment has been a fixture of the northside sine it’s original founder, Peter Merz, opened his doors in 1875. They have some of the best products that you won’t find at any other specialty store in Chicago. While the store can get busy at times, the customer service and knowledge is top notch.
- Mineralogy Jewelry Studio + Goods 1944 W Montrose Ave — Founder, Theresa, designs and creates special one-of-a-kind pieces that will be worn with love and passed on for generations. Her work is truly beautiful and is a local designer having received her BFA from The Art Institute of Chicago. If her beautiful creations aren’t incentive enough to check out the studio, for each piece of jewelry sold, the store will plant one tree. Customers agree that this is one of the top places in the city for custom jewelry.
- Ravenswood Used Books 2005 W Montrose Ave — A local shop, filled to its brim, for buying and selling used books. Explore long enough and you are guaranteed to find a unique treasure to bring home. Feel free to ask staff for recommendations, they won’t disappoint.
- Laurie’s Planet of Sound 4639 N Lincoln Ave — Never leave this record shop empty handed– the friendly staff will even order something if they don’t have it! Vinyl, 45’s, CD’s, DVD’s, pins, patches, and other goodies await.
Keep it Fresh with Dry Cleaners in Ravenswood
Friendly neighborhood dry cleaners with loyal clientele.
- Foremost Cleaners & Alterations 4701 N Damen
- Green King Cleaners 1706 W Lawrence Ave
- Montrose Cleaners 2004 W Montrose Ave
- H & M Cleaners 4547 N Western Ave
Working Out & Wellness
- One Key Yoga 4845 N Damen Ave — Uniquely offers a therapeutic approach yoga and a strong emphasis on applying yoga to wellness challenges. Regular practicers at the studio deeply and appreciate how invested the instructors are in every individual’s growth. Located right off the brown line and the metra northline.
- Urban Athlete 4710 N Ravenswood Ave — Whether you have your own routine, want a group class, or personal training, you can find a personalized program that really works. They’re rethinking the classic big box gym and making it more personal with more value.
- Movement Republic CrossFit 4526 N Ravenswood Ave — State-of-the-art equipment and a community that will continue to lift you up to reach your goals. All notions of Crossfit being intense and too competitive are put aside in the welcoming gym.
- Forteza Fitness, Physical Culture and Martial Arts 4437 N Ravenswood Ave — If the traditional gym workout doesn’t appeal to you then this might be the right studio for you to mix up your routine. They offer martial arts, swordsmanship, and boot camp conditioning for all levels. If you want to challenge yourself in unique and creative ways, look no further.
- Pure Barre 2309 W Lawrence Ave — Classes are total body, build muscles, and improve endurance. Intimidation need not require, as soon as you step in the door for your first class you greeted and the instructors are warm and welcoming. Instructors constantly switch up the routine to keep you on your toes and challenged.
Co-Working in Ravenswood
- Platform Coworking Ravenswood 4422 N Ravenswood Ave — Quiet office located on a tree lined street, choose from flexible seating options or long-term reserved spaces. Amenities include secure entry, printing, internet and utilities included, conference rooms, free coffee, and even an outdoor patio.
- Creative Club Chicago 4001 N Ravenswood #303-c — Industrial hub made for artists and content creators to connect and grow together. The club even has a shooting studio available for use.
Traditional grocery and specialty shops accessible by car or public transit.
- Mariano’s 1800 W Lawrence Ave
- Aldi 2431 W Montrose Ave
- Gene’s Sausage Shop and Delicatessen 4750 N Lincoln Ave — Local sausage market offering a plethora of meat varieties and long as other specialty imports.
You won't have to search far and wide to find top-notch healthcare for your furry companions.
- Lincoln Square Animal Hospital 4501 N Lincoln Ave — The clinic strives to offer the best customer service and avoid all traditional models of the vet. Their waiting room is vibrant and inviting, and most importantly they offer top medical care for your animals with an emphasis on education and prevention.
World-class medical care is never far away.
- Methodist Hospital of Chicago 5025 N Paulina St