Once a restaurant desert, Humboldt Park now hosts a concentrated hodgepodge of dining hotspots. Starting at the flourishing, Instagram-friendly corner at Augusta and California and branching out ever-so-slightly, you’ll find it all—from dawn til way-past-dusk.
Lovely lattes, Doughnut Vault donuts and a motif that’s somewhere between aviation museum and rustic cabin all make C.C. Ferns one of Chicago’s most wonderfully unique coffee shops. The cozy nook has all the essentials: comfy chairs, free WiFi and good tunes.
A successful food truck of the same name spawned this retro haunt in Humboldt Park. The grub is counter-service, and includes comfort food standbys like fried chicken sandwiches, burgers and shakes.
Dieting be damned at this sustainably sourced fried chicken shop. The bird is served either Nashville-style hot or pickle-brined, in both in sandwich and tender form. Beyond that, the counter-service joint with an unapologetically loud hip-hop soundtrack offers homemade buttermilk biscuits, green chile-flecked hushpuppies and frozen custard.
Joey G’s Mac & Cheese
The star of the show at this small-but-mighty shop is no mystery, and it comes in more than 20 variations—from straight-up cheesy to wacky twists like a gyros-laced mac. Wraps and hot sandwiches round out lunchy offerings; shakes and ice cream ensure a well-balanced meal.
The most idyllic neighborhood wine bar is one accessed via a quaint alleyway, decked out like someone’s tastefully designed living room and awash with affordable wines and beers. The above-and-beyond food menu doesn’t hurt, either.
From the ice cream cocktails and Boulevardiers to occasional burlesque performances, this cavernous bar from Brendan Sodikoff is a real blast from the past. Classic cocktail culture is alive and well here, with live music to keep things spirited.
All Damn Day
A salvaged soda fountain counter from the 1920’s anchors this retro-inspired, heartwarming bakery, which taps into nostalgic yesteryear with milkshakes, phosphates, pies and cookies. Savory fare is tasty, too, with options like quiche and egg sammies, and come lunch, a textbook tuna melt. It’s BYOB, so go ahead and spike that shake.
This effortlessly hip charmer is casual enough to stop in for a breakfast sandwich or croissant, but fancy enough for duck frites and date night. Make it your sun-drenched office for the day and belly up to the bar with a coffee. Segue into evening with a glass of French wine in-hand.