I’m back this week with another segment of the Chicago Neighborhood Guide. Today I will be writing about my neighborhood – Oak Park. Though technically not in Chicago, Oak Park is about 8 miles west of downtown and borders the Austin neighborhood.
Oak Park is often referred to as a “city suburb” because even though it is technically a suburb of Chicago, it very much has a city feel. Oak Park has several different “downtown” areas and is easily accessed via the CTA Green Line and Blue Line as well as the Metra. Oak Park also borders Forest Park which has a great downtown area of restaurants and bars.
Kevin and I have lived in Oak Park for five years and have recently fallen in love with it all over again. Oak Park has a lot of great things to offer so today I am rounding up some of my favorites for you.
Best Coffee Shop: Counter Coffee 7324 W. Madison, Forest Park
Counter Coffee serves Intelligentsia Coffee due to their direct trade policy. They also offer tons of gluten free pastries as well as Glazed and Infused Donuts on the weekend.
Best Ice Cream: Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor 7347 W. Madison, Forest Park
Brown Cow serves delicious homemade ice cream, root beer, pies, cakes, and other yummy desserts. They were even named one of the top 12 ice cream places in America by U.S. News.
Best Healthy Spot: Live Fresko 136 N. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park
Live Fresko serves homemade strained Greek yogurt bowls, smoothies, fresh juices, and quinoa bowls. It’s a great alternative to ice cream and frozen yogurt.
Best Breakfast: Buzz Cafe 905 S. Lombard, Oak Park
Buzz Cafe is located in the Oak Park Arts District and showcases local art and music throughout the restaurant. They serve Metropolis Coffee and specialize in locally sourced, organic, vegan, and vegetarian foods.
Best Bakery: Sugar Fixe Patisserie 119 N. Marion St., Oak Park
This adorable bake shop serves homemade French pastries like macarons, eclairs, and croissants.
Best Unique Dining Experience: Eyrie 128 N. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park
Eyrie is a student run restaurant through the Robert Morris University culinary program. You can read all about it in my review here.
Best Local Bar: Poor Phil’s 139 S. Marion St., Oak Park
Poor Phil’s has over 70 bottles and 36 draft beers and has the best lobster roll and oysters around!
Here is a list of some of our other favorite places that are unique to Oak Park:
Marion Street Cheese Market – An artisan and farmstead cheese market and Bistro.
Carnivore – A farm-to-table meat and fish shop.
Sugar Beet Co-op – A community owned grocery store providing fresh, local, and organic produce. This is set to open in June 2015.
Oak Park Farmer’s Market – This is open May through October and is my favorite thing about the summer!
Lake Street Theatre – A charming old movie theatre with the ticket office still outside.
Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio – There are several different tours offered and throughout the summer you will always see tour groups with their headsets on walking around the Frank Lloyd Wright District.
As you can see, Oak Park has so much to offer and is a great place to raise a family with their excellent school systems. It is a 25 minute train ride to downtown Chicago or a 15 minute drive with no traffic.
You can read about some of my other Oak Park/Forest Park restaurant reviews here: