What was known in the early 20th century as Little Poland, Bucktown is an artistic neighborhood on the west side of Chicago and one of the most fashionable neighborhoods in the city.
An afternoon in Bucktown is best spent perusing the upscale boutiques that dot the neighborhood. Bucktown hosts Akira-a fashion store for men and women that sells shoes, accessories, and clothing, which is the closest to a department store that Bucktown gets. Generally, the most frequented stores are independent, such as Viva La Femme women’s boutique and Odd Obsession music and DVD shop.
Chicagoans from every neighborhood journey to Bucktown for some of the hippest dining spots in the city. For a cup of coffee, head over to Ipsento on Western Avenue; but if a full meal is desired, then the Latin American food at Rosa De Lima and the Asian fusion Takashi are both notable Bucktown favorites. Sometimes, though, cooking at home is best, and if that is the case, then Cook Au Vin on Elston Street is the place for the best French cooking classes in the neighborhood.
Unsurprisingly, Bucktown has a vibrant art scene. Artists in Bucktown even have their own colony, known as Gallery Point. Stand out galleries in the area include Johnsonese Gallery on Armitage Avenue and the one-of-a-kind Revolution Tattoo & Art Gallery.
Keeping with its young reputation, Bucktown has a vibrant night scene. There are low-key bars, such as The Map Room on Hoyne Avenue. For beer from around the world, stop by Quencher’s Saloon on Western Avenue. There are an astounding variety of options available in Bucktown-ranging from wine bars such as Meritage Café & Wine Bar to dancing at Xscape on Fullerton Avenue.
Architecture ranges from antique-the hundred-year-old structures from Bucktown’s days as Little Poland-to the condominiums designed especially for the young professionals inhabiting the area. However, just because so many young people call Bucktown home doesn’t mean it isn’t the perfect place to raise a family. The reality, in fact, is quite the opposite. Bucktown hosts many detached single-family homes.
For family fun in Bucktown, visit the Bucktown Arts Fest in August and the Around the Coyote Festival, an art fair that takes place throughout Wicker Park and Bucktown every October. As of June, 2015 Bucktown is also home to the 606 or The Bloomingdale Trail, an elevated park and Chicago’s newest bike and walking path. The best methods of transportation in Bucktown are undoubtedly walking and bicycling. However, the neighborhood is also accessible by public transportation, and taxis are abundant.