With one of the most culturally diverse zip codes in Chicago, Rogers Park is a neighborhood with unique charm that few realize is just a short train ride from downtown. Nestled between Northwestern University and Loyola Chicago, this north side community is home to over 80 spoken languages, two miles of beach front real estate and enough quirky coffee shops to open a cappuccino foam art gallery.
To start any morning or evening off with a good cup of coffee is essential, and at Ellipsis Coffee House you can do just that. Located on the corner of Lakewood and Devon, this place is a new addition to the neighborhood and already has a list of regulars. Owners Chris and Meghan Zimmerman opened the shop with the goal of empowering their clientele to learn more about coffee and educate them about the process. The Pinterest-inspired drawers as shelves on the wall, the charming baked goods from Lovely Bake shop and the warm feel of red accent walls make this café one that is worth the morning routine.
For a more hearty meal in a place that promises to nourish the mind and the body, the Heartland Café is just off of the Morse Red Line stop. The vegan-friendly dining establishment is coupled with a stage for local artists to perform and connected to a shop that features organic products and local crafts. The Heartland Café has been a quintessential part of making Rogers Park what it is for 36 years, from the culture, the creativity and the tight-knit community that run – and visit – Heartland.
Just around the corner, you’ll find the Red Line Tap, but if you aren’t paying attention you might miss it. Nestled between old brick storefronts, Red Line Tap draws a crowd that is unmistakably Rogers Park – college students who come out for $1 night on Wednesdays, local musicians and DJs who perform every weeknight. Oh, and Rogers Park veterans who’ve seen the neighborhood evolve over the past several decades. You’re never in for a dull night, no matter the day of the week.
If you’re feeling more along the lines of going out but wanting to drink beer and play a board game with friends, Norse Bar is just a few blocks away. Located on Clark and Devon, this dive bar is a unique find, with a bookshelf of board games to play. This is a great spot for any sporting event. Norse offers 12 different beers on tap, and is a cozy, friendly and quirky place to enjoy a drink (and maybe play some Cards Against Humanity).
When visiting Chicago, or when looking for a fascinating, fun change of pace for locals, Rogers Park is absolutely worth the trek north.
This article was originally posted on ChooseChicago Blog on June 25, 2013.