Andersonville has long been one of my favorite Chicago neighborhoods. With its many independently owned shops and restaurants, this historically Swedish enclave in Edgewater has something of a small town feel to it and local charm in spades!
This past Friday the hubby and I headed to the area for Late Night Andersonville, an annual neighborhood event where shops, cafes and bakeries stay open an additional four hours for holiday festivities. Some stores have little treats laid out, or hot chocolate, while others have live music and Christmas carols. It’s like a more fun version of a pub crawl where you hop from store to store, enjoying special holiday deals while getting to support local business owners.
Here are a few of my favorite spots to find that perfect something for everyone on your Christmas list:
My first stop whenever I’m in the area (Christmastime or not) is Foursided. This awesome local chain is a frame shop with tons of vintage finds and specially curated decor, prints and stationary. There are two additional locations in the city, both in Lakeview, but the Andersonville store is definitely my favorite. Even my sister insists that we go here whenever she’s in town.
This little shop fills a very specific (if somewhat masculine) niche that you didn’t even realize you were missing until you walked through the door. Imagine a cozy log cabin with a crackling fire drenched in plaid and filled with antique treasures in nearly every square inch of space. That is Brimfield.
In addition to a reliably consistent collection of plaid housewares and decor (including a wall full of gorgeous and cozy blankets), there is always something new and interesting to find here. The shop itself is so much larger than it looks from the outside, and it’s a very easy place to lose track of time. Definitely don’t miss a look around this unique little spot.
Marguerite Gardens Florist
I first came in to this little shop on a freezing January day looking for some flowers to pull me and my apartment out of the winter blues and I was pleasantly surprised by how much more there was to find. Lovely candles, adorable little succulents and planters and beautiful handcrafted ornaments are just a few of the things you’ll find at Marguerite’s.
For Late Night Andersonville, they had a lovely spread of treats and we stayed for a few minutes to get warm and enjoy the live music.
Women & Children First
Hands down, this is one of the best independent bookstores in the city of Chicago and one of my favorite places to browse. With its feminist roots, a very knowledgeable staff, and an engaging series of book clubs and guest speakers, Women and Children first is a true community business. It’s also a great place to find something unexpected for the bookworm in your life.
Every time I’m here I seem to add at least a dozen titles to my mental checklist of books I want to read. And the staff recommendations tagged onto the shelves (and there are many) have led me to a myriad of books I might not have otherwise given a second look.
What many don’t realize, however, is that by indulging your sweet tooth at this little cafe, you are also helping to support people in your community who are in need. As a non-profit, First Slice has partnered with other local organizations, including Streetwise and The Crib, to feed up to 300 people who are homeless every week. They also have an awesome job training program, where individuals can re-build their skills and gain valuable work experience. How great is that?!
So if you love pie (and really, who doesn’t?) and you want to help your community, First Slice is definitely the place for you!
Have a favorite neighborhood haunt you’d like to share? Leave it in the comments below!