City Guide / Chicago

Chicago Neighborhood Guide: Lincoln Park

By Kailey Hansen | Oct 18, 2021
Lincoln Park neighborhood in Chicago

Located just a few blocks outside of Downtown Chicago lies a trendy neighborhood filled with quaint, tree-lined streets and gorgeous, historic homes. Lincoln Park is one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city, no doubt due to its close proximity to Lake Michigan and downtown, as well as its unique blend of being a residential area yet still distinctly urban.

Here, you’ll stroll along charming streets filled with bustling patios, eclectic local businesses, and upscale brunches, as well as a diverse array of arts and culture hotspots. Plus, Lincoln Park is home to some of the best dining experiences in the city! 

If you’re thinking about moving to Lincoln Park, here’s what you need to know!

Where to eat in Lincoln Park

Start your weekend off right with brunch at Blue Door Farm Stand, a local favorite that offers farm-to-table dishes in a cute, rustic-chic setting. Need a little midday snack? Head to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and say goodbye to the traditional chocolate or vanilla flavors. This ice creamery boasts unique concoctions including brown butter almond brittle, brambleberry crisp, wildberry lavender, and gooey butter cake.

Pizza lovers can chill with friends at Homeslice, a relaxed restaurant garnered with twinkling lights and tons of pizza options (including gluten-free.) If thin crust won’t do, Pequod’s is the place to be, with some of the best Chicago-style deep dish pizza in the city. Adventurous eaters can also reserve a spot at Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Company, where pizzas are served inside out in what many deem a “pizza-pot-pie.”

Travel the world through delicious cuisine, starting with Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!, the Lincoln Park staple serving Spanish tapas, sangria, and an unbeatable atmosphere. Enjoy Greek fare at the iconic Athenian Room, or have a date night at the upscale French bistro, Mon Ami Gabi.

This neighborhood is also home to the renowned Alinea restaurant, Chicago’s only dining experience with three Michelin stars. 

Where to get groceries in Lincoln Park 

From shopping organic to finding fresh produce, Lincoln Park has grocery stores scattered throughout. Visit Whole Foods, Mariano’s, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, Trader Joe’s, or Aldi to stock your fridge. You can also shop small by grabbing groceries at Carnival Foods.

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Where to get coffee in Lincoln Park

There’s no better area to enjoy a walk to a coffee shop. In addition to the multitude of Starbucks locations, there are plenty of independent cafes perfect for catching that caffeine buzz, hanging out with a friend, or setting up shop for the workday. 

Colectivo Coffee reigns supreme, with one of its few locations established on Clark Street. La Colombe and Printer’s Row Coffee Co. offer great vibes and are just a few of the other coffee shops available.

If your coffee craving comes with a sweet tooth, head to Firecakes Donuts or Beacon Donuts for your morning latte and pastry combo.

Outdoor attractions in Lincoln Park

Spend a day outdoors exploring the Lincoln Park Zoo, a popular Chicago destination with free admission. There’s more nature within the city at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and the Lincoln Park Conservatory, both of which celebrate and educate on plants and the great outdoors.

Lincoln Park also lives up to its name with several spacious parks offering a calm oasis in the middle of an urban neighborhood. Visit Oz Park to see sculptures inspired by “The Wizard Of Oz,” or Lincoln Park itself, located right near Lake Michigan.

Warmer days can be spent at one of the best beaches in Chicago, North Avenue Beach. This sandy lakeside oasis is ideal for relaxing, biking, swimming, and more. Golfers (or mini golfers) can also enjoy a day out at the beautiful Diversey Driving Range

Local gyms in Lincoln Park

This affluent area of Chicago is full of residents who value an active lifestyle. Not only is it an easy neighborhood to travel by foot, but plenty of premier fitness clubs, boutique studios, and gyms live in this part of the city. Try out Lincoln Park Athletic Club, located in a renovated industrial space, if you want the true Lincoln Park experience.

Studio Three offers interval workouts, yoga classes, and cycling all under one roof. Shred415 will have you sweating with high-intensity, calorie-burning workouts, and AIR® Aerial Fitness guides visitors through aerial yoga and pilates. 

You can also find a large selection of standard gyms, such as XSport Fitness as well.

Live music and nightlife in Lincoln Park

Second City, one of the best comedy clubs in Chicago, is one of the neighborhood’s most iconic offerings. Countless celebrities have studied at The Second City training center, including Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Steve Carell, and Mike Myers. The venue offers classes ranging from improv to standup to writing, and hosts a series of fun comedy shows, too. 

Just a couple of blocks away is another historic Lincoln Park Staple: the Steppenwolf Theatre.Known for its out-of-the-box plays (and for featuring a number of TV actors since being founded in 1974), this theatre hosts great productions for those interested in the performing arts. Lincoln Park is also home to the local theatre company, Victory Gardens, and music venue Lincoln Hall.

If you enjoy live music and the art of a good cocktail, there are plenty of hotspots you’ll want to visit. The most renowned is Kingston Mines, the world-famous nightclub with live blues music. You can also jam out at Schubas Tavern or at the Green Mill (which is just a quick “L” ride away) if jazz is more your style.

Movie and TV fanatics will love spending a Saturday night out at Replay, an arcade bar that rotates pop culture themes (from “Schitt’s Creek” to “Harry Potter” to “Game of Thrones”) in its decor and drink menu. 

Start the evening with Irish music and eats at The Galway Arms, then head to J9 Wine Bar for a glass of merlot in a cozy setting. If you want to take your wine drinking to the next level, visit the Lincoln Hotel and order a drink from The J. Parker rooftop.

Transportation in Lincoln Park

Quick access to Downtown Chicago makes for easy public transit in Lincoln Park. It’s an extremely walkable neighborhood and one with plenty of CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) options for residents. Load a balance to your Ventra card and simply swipe to hop on the bus or the “L” subway train, both of which can take you anywhere in the city. For those looking to venture to suburbia (or even to select Chicago neighborhoods), the Metra Railway stations are located mere blocks away.

During your commute, you can also enjoy the scenery of Lincoln Park by snagging a Divvy rental bike from one of the stations throughout the neighborhood.

Honorable mentions in Lincoln Park 

History buffs will have a field day at the Chicago History Museum located in Lincoln Park. Exhibits range from “Remembering Dr. King,” chronicling the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, to “City On Fire,” showcasing details of the great Chicago fire in 1871. 

Land a great apartment in Lincoln Park

If you like the idea of moving to Lincoln Park, Landing offers fully furnished apartments with flexible lease terms, concierge services, seamless transfers, and all the amenities you need. Browse our available apartments in Lincoln Park or contact us to learn more about how Landing works.

Still looking for the right Chicago neighborhood for you? Browse our other Chicago neighborhood guides, including:

Kailey Hansen

Kailey Hansen is a freelance writer and communications professional based in the land of deep-dish pizza. She has lived in both the city and the suburbs of Chicago and enjoys writing about the amazing things the Windy City has to offer. When she's not dishing about the best places to grab a slice of deep-dish, you can find her writing (and obsessing) about binge-worthy TV shows for BuzzFeed and why cats are the best (and absolutely outlandish creatures) for Rover's blog, The Dog People.