A guide to the Lincoln Park neighborhood in Chicago

The Lincoln Park area is home to Chicago’s largest public park. It also provides year-round fun, culture, food, and shopping for both locals and visitors. The difficulty in organizing a day to visit Lincoln Park is whittling down your options for what to do. This can range from strolling around the Lincoln Park Zoo to shopping on Armitage Avenue or seeing a late-night performance.

Whether you’re looking for a day of family fun with your kids or a day out with pals, Lincoln Park has plenty of activities all year. Also, the neighborhood is simple to access. Its location is conveniently located just north of downtown. This is a guide to experiencing this beloved Chicago neighborhood in only 24 hours.

Accommodation near Lincoln Park 

Consider staying the night at one of the distinctive hotels in the area. That way you can wake up and begin discovering everything that Lincoln Park has to offer right away. Hotel Versey is a small hotel that pays respect to Chicago monuments and history through local art and quirky decor. This centrally located hotel on the boundary of Lakeview and Lincoln Park provides visitors with unique access to two dynamic neighborhoods.

Nearby are the cool and hip The Hotel Lincoln. This has one of the best rooftop bars in the area as well as panoramic views of Lake Michigan and the city’s famous cityscape. Hire a bike from the hotel and explore Lincoln Park’s verdant surroundings.

Grab some brunch to start your day.

The neighborhood’s abundance of restaurants and coffee shops contributes to Lincoln Park’s allure. For a location where summer lasts all year, check out Summer House Santa Monica. Its weekend brunch menu’s Cali-Mex selections, hearth-fired dishes, and airy ambiance make it a fantastic way to start the day. In a hurry ? Then simply v isit the bakery counter and purchase a coffee and a pastry.

Additional options in the area include the weekend brunch at the Willow Room. This offers a snug option with satisfying menu items. Likewise, the neighborhood institution Batter & Berries is well-known for its French toast flight. The restaurant is also BYOB, and its changing chef’s specials are designed to highlight seasonal flavors and ingredients.

Visit the Lincoln Park Zoo

The Lincoln Park Zoo, which opened its doors in 1868, is one of the nation’s oldest zoos. The free zoo features animals from all around the world and entertaining seasonal activities like Craft Brews at the Zoo and ZooLights. There are also cutting-edge exhibits like the newly renovated Lion House.

Without spending some time at the neighborhood’s eponymous park, a trip to Lincoln Park would be incomplete. The vast lakeside park features:

Well maintained gardens and a lot of open natural space
Lincoln Park Conservatory
Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool
The North Pond Nature Sanctuary
A beautiful piece of the Lakefront Trail

Experience local culture

Families can also visit the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum inside Lincoln Park. See the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven, the museum’s well-known greenhouse with  over 40 species of 1,000 free-flying butterflies.

Check out fascinating exhibits about pivotal times in local history at the Chicago History Museum. See photographs from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s time in Chicago. Ride in the city’s first “L” car and look at the remnants of the Great Chicago Fire, and more.

Steppenwolf Theatre in Lincoln Park has received widespread praise for its innovative and compelling live shows. The Steppenwolf Theater features a recently refurbished site and a regularly changing lineup of productions. They can range from upbeat and personal to subversive and contentious.

Plan your visit to Wrightwood 659, created by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Tadao Ando, for a dose of both art and architecture. His distinctive concrete forms and poetic use of natural light have revitalized the 1920s structure, which now houses challenging art exhibitions.

Go shopping on Armitage Avenue

There are few things more fun than doing a little window shopping on this beautiful street. Get ideal personalized gift for friends or family at All She Wrote, treat yourself to a brand-new handcrafted leather bag from Laudi Vidni, or go on a treasure hunt at the women’s store Art Effect.

Need a boost? La Colombe Coffee Roasters serves up great coffee and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is known for its inventive flavors.

Best restaurants

The choice of where to eat dinner in Lincoln Park may be the most difficult one you have to make all day. The abundance of local restaurants will quench any dinnertime appetites, regardless of your preferred cuisine or setting.

The place to go for a fun-filled night of fondue is Geja’s Café. This charming eatery is renowned for its rich Swiss gruyere cheese fondue.

The Michelin-starred restaurant Galit serves a multi-course meal of exquisite Middle Eastern food.

Paella, Spanish tapas, and pitchers of sangria are among the popular offerings at Café Ba-Ba-Reeba; the ideal location for a taste of Spain in the middle of Chicago.

Authentic Indian and Pakistani food may be found at Tandoor Char House, which is owned and operated by two brothers who are revitalizing old family recipes.

The Michelin-starred Esmé restaurant shares a location with Bar Esmé. Sit down at the bar and marvel at the contemporary food and expertly made cocktails.

Homeslice offers fantastic pizza, a fun environment, a large drink menu, and a picturesque patio.

Chez Moi offers French classics in a classic setting with a friendly atmosphere.

Finish the night in style

Wrap up your stay in Lincoln Park at theiO Theater for a night of improv comedy. Every night will be distinctive from the one before it thanks to the the rotating lineup of themed improv shows.

Kingston Mines is a no-frills blues nightclub in Lincoln Park that hosts live music and is open till four in the morning. Listen to blues bands all night long on two stages. There is also a comprehensive menu for food and beverages.

Check out the schedule for Park West, the main concert venue in Lincoln Park, before you go. Comedians, musicians, and others perform in the facility, which is entirely indoors.