Rogers Parks Hidden Gems: Amazing Shops & Restaurants Under the Radar
When people are talking about hot spots on Chicago’s northside, you hear the neighborhoods “Andersonville” and “Edgewater” thrown around. But can we hear a little commotion for the deeply underrated neighborhood of Rogers Park? Essentially the most northern neighborhood of Chicago, Rogers Park is a seriously slept on area with a ton of rich culture and community life. From restaurants to shops to theatres and more, here is our shortlist of the best and most underrated places to go and things to do in Rogers Park.
This restaurant is on every list of must-visit places in Rogers Park, so it would be criminal not to include it. Boasting the best Ethiopian restaurant in the city, Ethiopian Diamond will fulfill every expectation you have for them and more. Many websites rave about their menu, according to Timeout.com their Ethiopian delicacies that can be found no where else in the city.
“The ground beef in the sambusa is livened with peppers, making the timid potato-and-carrot variety pale in comparison. Vegetables shine in the entrées, particularly in the two types of split peas: the rich yet tame alicha and the spicy wat, both stewed to melt-in-your-mouth perfection and served with injera bread. Fat and bones abound, but don’t let that stop you from gnawing on the kay wat, beef cubes simmered in the “diamond sauce,” a gingery, cumin-laced red sauce with a nice chili kick.”
Located between Glenlake and Hood Ave, write this palace down because you don’t want to forget about it. Check out their hours and menu here.
Glenwood Sunday Market
Another Chicago Farmers market to put on your calendar, but this one takes the cake as one of the most visited in the city. Although far from downtown, Rogers Park is a neighborhood rich with community and hosts tons of events throughout the year, and one of the area’s favorites is the Glenwood Market. Nearing the end of its run, the market is open June through October and happens every Sunday. The Glenwood Market is a super fun way to spend any Sunday, from shops to bakeries, meat stands, homemade jellies, crafted gifts, and more.
Keep this theatre in the back of your mind for when shows will once again be in full swing, but Lifeline theatre is an absolute classic location in Rogers Park, and no list is complete without mentioning it. Timeout.com gives the rundown, saying “ Lifeline has occupied this 99-seat theater (a converted ComEd substation) since 1985. The company exclusively produces original—and sometimes staggeringly inventive—literary adaptations, with a three-play mainstage season and a three-play KidSeries.” For families and adults alike, this theatre plans their year of shows around it being accessible and fun for all. Currently they have been producing audio recordings of literary works and are featuring a weekly episode of Sense and Sensibility. Tune in to catch the episodes and keep up with what’s to come on their website.
The Oasis Tavern
The best place to be when it’s peak Football season is The Oasis Tavern. A staple of Rogers Park, the classic tavern style bar is a hot spot for all things sports.
“ The Bears season is best expressed by a poster of a three-year-old wearing a Bears sweater and flipping the bird in this conversation-friendly oasis in Rogers Park. Swinging saloon doors open into a vast room where a miniature Dale Earnhardt Jr. No. 8 car revolves in a slow orbit over the Formica bar, and pretzel rods in big bowls on the bar beckon the adventurous. Tuck a pint, grab a pack of cigs to go and walk a block or so to Giordano’s to pick up your nightcap pizza.” Timeout.com makes it sound like a place everyone would love.
With classic bar food and the ability to make whatever drink you’re craving, this place is on everyone’s list. Even their website says so – “a friendly neighborhood tavern … Some call us a Rogers Park institution … but you can call us “the O” … we’re open late and have great drink specials!”
The Glenwood is a stellar restaurant with fun vibes residing in Rogers Park. A playground for 20 and 30-year-olds, this place is as much a bar as a restaurant and the neighborhood hot spot on the weekend. They specialize in the best cooked and fried up bar food paired with a cool sports bar vibe with an excellent tap list. Timeout.com describes it with – “At first glance, this place looks like your typical yuppie sports bar, but the vastly male clientele, plum and ochre walls adorned with abstract art, and Kylie Minogue soundtrack reveals it to be Rogers Park’s straightest-acting gay bar. It’s also dog-friendly and offers a nice selection of retro cocktails like sidecars and lime rickeys.” Check out their menu and hours here!