On a recent visit to Chicago, I was lucky enough to spend an afternoon in the historic Andersonville neighborhood. The neighborhood was founded by Swedish immigrants in the mid-1800s. Throughout the 20th century, many other ethnic groups made Andersonville their home, making it a culturally rich and eclectic area. Here are some recommendations for places to visit, shop and eat.
Swedish American Museum
Founded in 1976, the Swedish American Museum is one of the most recognizable Andersonville landmarks, thanks to the water tower painted with the Swedish flag that sits above it. The 24,000 square-foot museum houses a permanent exhibition entitled “The Dream of America – Immigration to Chicago,” a gallery space for rotating art exhibitions, the wonderful Brunk Children’s Museum of Immigration (an interactive exhibit geared for kids ages 2-12), a library, genealogy center and a delightful museum store.
This innovative clothing boutique carries collections from national independent designers, including some one-of-a-kind pieces. It’s a great place to grab something special to add to your wardrobe.
Larry Vodak’s popular homegoods shop is stocked with vintage furniture that he hunts down and restores, as well as funky, stylish home accessories. You may even spot famous designer Nate Berkus there.
This top-notch gastropub serves crowd pleasers like steak frites, gourmet burgers, and steamed mussels. Find the perfect beer (with over 300 to choose from, you should be able to!) to pair with your food and enjoy the stylishly laidback atmosphere.
Follow your nose to the delicious spiced meats and seafood dishes at Reza, an award-winning Persian restaurant with a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
Visit Andersonville’s most popular bakery to grab some quality European-style baked goods to go, or enjoy them on site with a complimentary cup of coffee. (Traveling with kids? They’ll love it!)
Photo: Mike Steele