Lincoln Park Specialty
4703 N Lincoln Ave., Lincoln Square
Tired of almond milk? This is your place. This colorful little place gives the health-obsessed cafés of L.A. a serious run for their money when it comes to alternative creamers. Pistachios, pecans, hazelnuts, and coconuts are all soaked, pressed, blitzed, and strained for the perfect velvety, dairy-free latte. These nutty elixirs are spiked with all manner of adaptogens and superfoods (ashwagandha, moringa, maca, camu camu) for a supercharged, super healthy pick-me-up. The coconut Cubano—hot espresso poured over a teaspoon of coconut sugar—is the perfect marriage of syrupy sweetness and bitter heat.
924 W. Armitage Ave., Lincoln Park
This no-frills, walk-up window shop in Lincoln Park (with a small patio) is known in part for its wide range of Italian ice flavors (from lychee to pink lemonade and chocolate). But if Italian ice isn't your thing, the smoothies or ice cream concoctions here will do just fine.
Blue Door Farm Stand
2010 N. Halsted St., Lincoln Park
Part neighborhood café, part grocery, this Lincoln Park favorite is the definition of farm-to-table: All seasonal ingredients for the café and fresh produce for the market either come from the Blue Door farm, which is situated on what used to be Oprah’s property, or a number of other local purveyors. The eat-in menu has six grilled cheese varieties and a selection of craft beers while the small dry-goods section offers house-made pantry stockers and giftables from Chicago Candle Co., and goop-approved Murchison-Hume.
2207 N. Clybourn Ave., Lincoln Park
It’s kind of blasphemous to visit Chicago and not indulge in a deep-dish pizza, and the pan pies at Pequod’s (they’ve been churning them out since 1970) are the best money can buy. Sure the crust is simultaneously crispy and pillowy and the toppings bountiful, but it’s the extra layer of cheese between the dough and the pan that’s helped them stand the test of time.
1220 W. Webster Ave., Lincoln Park
To be accurate, this Lincoln Park spot is more bakery than anything else. Owners Sandra and Mathieu Holl are both pastry chefs by trade, and it shows: fresh, never boring desserts and snacks (avocado toast, breakfast sandwiches, salads) are available all day. At two floors-strong, it's also more spacious than one might expect, with plentiful tables, exposed brick walls, and huge windows that are kept ajar in the summer months for a welcome, not too distracting indoor/outdoor situation.
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