Explore My Neighboorhood: Lakeview

We've commissioned our dear friend, Lauren Braun, with the task of creating our first ever neighborhood guide. A Illinois native (and grad), Lakeview resident, and self-proclaimed Windy City enthusiast - who better to round-up some of her local favorites? Lauren and I worked together at Paper Source and became fast friends. She's got a keen eye for design, killer handwriting and is one of the most genuine/thoughtful people we know. Thanks for sharing your neighborhood favorites with us!

Tell us a little more about you...

I love cooking and entertaining, making personalized google maps and drawing greeting cards.

How long have you lived in the neighborhood?

Just about 4 years.

Favorite place to eat {a nice dinner}?

MFK - This tiny basement level restaurant features Spanish seaside inspired small plates. Everything on the menu is fresh and delicious from ceviche to scallops.

Image via mfkrestaurant.com

Best takeout?

Pho’s Hot and Spicy Thai Cuisine - I’ve tried over 25 Thai restaurants in Chicago and can say with strong conviction that Pho’s Hot and Spicy tops the charts! Watch out, even their mild is hot, hot, hot! If you’re up for a challenge, visit the restaurant and try a spice level of 5 or higher (max 20). If successfully completed, your meal is free and they will put your picture on the wall!

Cozy/relaxing place to meet friends?

5411 Empanadas. The best unique place to meet a friend, especially if you’re in the mood for a delicious Argentinian snack too. 5411 Empanadas is the best! Originally a food truck, they opened a tiny modern shop with just a few seats to serve their authentic empanadas.  Made to order, the menu has a tasty empanada for every palate. My favorite - the caramelized onion and parmesan. Bonus, in the summer they have great seating on their side patio! 

Image via Chicagomag.com

Coffee shop with a great vibe?

Heritage Bicycle General Store - This combination coffee and bike repair shop is a Lakeview gem! Welcoming and cozy with rustic wood Americana decor. Enjoy a delicious pastry, coffee and even get your bike tuned up all in one stop.

Image via Anna Zajac

Favorite local shops or boutiques for weekend wandering?

Foursided Card + Gift - It’s hard for me to walk past Foursided every day on my commute and not stop in. Their eclectic selection of curated handmade greeting cards, local and regional art, prints, and gifts is top notch! The store is packed with merchandise so no matter how many times I go, there’s always something new to find!

Best local bar?

Guthrie’s Tavern- Nothing says neighborhood like Guthrie’s, a cozy wooden tavern with a laid back eclectic feel. Best part is that they proudly have every board game imaginable for you to play while you visit. Guthrie’s encourages ordering in, with a metal pail filled with takeout menus to help you decide what to eat.

Added bonus - favorite ice cream place?

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream on Southport. One of my all time favorite foods is ice cream so my go-to Lakeview neighborhood list wouldn’t be complete without Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. Outstanding and unique flavors paired with the shop’s bright and charming decor make this ice cream shop #1. My top flavors are brambleberry crisp and lemon buttermilk frozen yogurt. You really can’t go wrong, and the best part is they will let you try as many samples as you’d like without any judgement. 

Images via Jenis.com 

P.S. Click here for Lauren's Lakeview map, with all her curated favorites! 

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