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(Photo via  Curbed Chicago)

 

Visiting Chicago? If you’ve already been to the Bean, museums and Navy Pier, try something new and step off the beaten path and into one of the city’s 77 unique neighborhoods.

Each has one-of-a-kind places to shop, eat and explore. Need a little guidance? No problem.

This weeks spotlight: Uptown

 

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(Map via Lucid Reality)

Summary: Take the Red Line north of the Loop, Lakeview and Wrigley Field, and you’ll find a wonderfully historic, yet up-and-coming neighborhood. Uptown was favored by the 20th century mobsters, but it’s now known as a melting pot of various Asian cultures, and offers one heck of a music scene.

 

Music and Excursions

 

Green Mill | 4802 N. Broadway

Today, this music hall offers jazz and poetry performances, but back in the day, it was a favorite hangout of the notorious mobster Al Capone. Go for a performance and take a seat in Capone’s favorite booth — directly west of the short end of the bar.

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Montrose Beach | 4400 N. Lake Shore Drive

Running trails, volleyball courts, white sand, blue water, a dog beach and free parking! The beach offers all you need for a relaxing day in the city. Check out the The Dock for lunch, dinner or a quick drink.

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Little Saigon | 1118 W. Argyle Ave.

AKA New Chinatown or Little Vietnam, come experience this densely concentrated culture of Vietnamese, Chinese, Cambodian, Laotian and Thai restaurants and shops along Argyle Street — it’s all right off the Red Line’s Argyle stop.

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Aragon Entertainment Center | 1106 W. Lawrence Ave.

This 90-year-old music hall hosts a number of rock shows, boxing matches and even some Spanish and Vietnamese language shows. The Aragon also starred in “Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Check out its show schedule to see a modern act inside a piece of history.

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(Photo via ChiTown Events)

 

Food and Drink

 

Tweet | 5020 N. Sheridan Road

A favorite brunch spot that offers extensive options for gluten-free diners. You’ll start the experience with a complimentary bowl of breakfast bread and fruit From there, how you fill your plate is up to you, but the pumpkin pancakes, crab cake benedict and breakfast burritos are crowd favorites. Oh, and cash only!

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(Middle Photo via Will Z.)

Carmela’s | 1206 W. Lawrence Ave.

This very, very cozy little taqueria produces some of the most authentic tacos in the city! These classic tacos and burritos may be cheap, but there’s no skimping on flavor. Tip: get the guac and try the salsa before you pour it on — it got a kick!

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Tank Noodle | 4953-55 N. Broadway  

This is a local favorite with lots of hype — but it lives up to its reputation. With over 200 menu items, the menu has every rice, noodle, roll, pho, app, meat, and anything Vietnamese you can think of.

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Demera | 4801 N. Broadway

A truly authentic Ethiopian restaurant in the heart of the neighborhood. If this is your first stab at Ethiopian cuisine, order a sambusa sampler, and one of the family style samplers — you’ll get a little taste of everything. Plus, Demera roasts its own Ethiopian coffee beans — a must have!

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Pho 777 | 1065 .W Argyle St.

Specializing in North Vietnamese dishes, this pho spot brings some unique dishes to pair with classic pho bowls. Try the Bun Ca, Bun Cha Ha Noi or Cha Ca La vong if you’re looking for something from the north. Or, classic pho can hit the spot.

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(Photos via Francis R. and Alika S.)

 

42 Grams | 4662 N. Broadway

Looking for a fine-dining experience in Uptown? This is it. This BOYB, Michelin star, chef-driven establishment offers a multi-course meal that feels like a dinner party at a friend’s house. Reserve a seat at the chef’s counter to see your meal created, and chat with Chef Jake.

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Agami | 4712 N. Broadway A great place for a date, drinks and some killer sushi! The “Tuna Gone Wild,” “Chicago Bulls,” “Green Dragon” and the special “Agami Volcano” are among the favorites here.

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The Reservoir | 844 W. Montrose Ave.

A warm, wood-paneled bar with classic black leather booths makes this a great place to hang with friends or enjoy a game. Try the lamb burger, calamari or the chicken club. They also serve a killer brunch if you are in the area on weekends.

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*All photos credited to company websites except when noted.