West Town, Chicago Places

Part of our Chicago travel guide; our list of the best things to see in West Town, including Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Reckless Records and Dusty Groove America.
  • The best place in West Town Chicago: Steppenwolf Theatre Company

    Steppenwolf Theatre Company

    1650 N Halsted St
    Box office M-Sa 11AM-5PM, Su 1-5PM. Tickets from $40. The creation of John Malkovich, Gary Sinise, and many others, Steppenwolf features cutting-edge theater and doesn't trade on the famous name, offering both original material and incisive re-stagings of classic plays (like a terrific recent production of The Crucible). Unlike Second City, the famous alumni of Steppenwolf make occasional returns to the stage as their schedules allow.
    Lincoln Park food nearby
  • Reckless Records

    Reckless Records

    1532 N Milwaukee Ave
    M-Sa 10AM-10PM, Su 10AM-8PM. Hipster music shop with plenty to sell and no particular interest in selling it to you (there's a reason High Fidelity was set here). Zines and vinyl spruce up the CDs and DVDs.
    West Town
  • Dusty Groove America

    Dusty Groove America

    1120 N Ashland Ave
    This record store is regarded as one of the best in the country for R&B, soul, and jazz.
    West Town
  • Smoke Daddy

    Smoke Daddy

    1804 W Division St
    Su-W 11:30AM-11PM, Th-Sa 11:30AM-1AM. $12-24. Jazz, swing, bluegrass and BBQ on Division. Smoke Daddy has live music seven nights a week, with big sandwiches and huge rib platters. They offer a BBQ Veggie sandwich if you're trying to coerce a vegetarian friend to come along.
    West Town
  • Kokorokoko

    Kokorokoko

    1112 N Ashland Ave
    M-Sa 12PM-8PM, Su 12PM-6PM. Men's and women's vintage clothing from the 80s-90s.
    West Town
  • Alcala's Western Wear

    Alcala's Western Wear

    1733 W Chicago Ave
    M,Th-Sa 9:30AM-7PM, Tu-W 9:30AM-6PM, Su 9:30AM-5PM. One perfectly reasonable reaction to the trendy fashion in Wicker Park is to go country. Alcala's has been in the neighborhood for a long time, back when the Mexican cowboy look ruled the local scene. The big, family-owned store has a ton of leather boots & jackets, not to mention 5,000 hats.
    West Town
  • The Boring Store

    The Boring Store

    1331 N Milwaukee Ave
    M-Th noon-6PM, F-Su 11AM-5PM. Most certainly not a secret-agent supply store, as the Chris Ware signs take pains to stress. Inside, proceeds from the sale of perfectly normal items like cough silencers support a non-profit writing/tutoring center for kids founded by Dave Eggers of McSweeney's fame.
    West Town
  • Bongo Room

    Bongo Room

    1470 N Milwaukee Ave
    M-F 8AM-2:30PM, Sa-Su 9AM-2PM. Great breakfast, with two stars: the design-your-own omelets and the big, delicious praline banana pancakes.
    West Town
  • Penny's Noodle Shop

    Penny's Noodle Shop

    1542 N Damen Ave
    Su, Tu-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-10:30PM, M closed. $6-8. Excellent Southeast Asian dishes and cheap for such large portions.
    West Town
  • Empty Bottle

    Empty Bottle

    1035 N Western Ave
    M-W 5PM-2AM, Th-F 3PM-3AM, Sa-12PM-3AM, Su 12PM-2AM. $10-15, Mondays free. To Chicago as the Knitting Factory is to NYC, the Empty Bottle hosts a mix of touring indie-rock veterans, local bands, and occasional appearances by American and Dutch avant-garde jazz. The sound and the room are OK at best, but the people who work here (and their great taste in music) make it exceptional. They also program events in Logan Square and Portage Park, among others. If you're hungry before a show, step next door to Bite (see Eat).
    West Town
  • Double Door

    Double Door

    1572 N Milwaukee Ave
    M-F 8PM-2AM, Sa 8PM-3AM. $3-20. No music venue in Chicago has a better location than the Double Door, right at the six corners of Wicker Park and the Damen train stop. The sound system is good, too. It's run by the owners of the Metro in Lakeview, which means that the roster of bands can seem like the Metro's leftovers — jam bands, local bands, and the occasional 90s alt-rock refugee.
    West Town
  • The Hideout

    The Hideout

    1354 W Wabansia Ave
    Tu 7PM-2AM, W-F 4PM-2AM, Sa 7PM-3AM. One of the finest drinking and hollering establishments in the U.S., the Hideout hosts the best in alt-folk, bluegrass, Americana and just plain hillbilly music. The place is a bit hard to find, hidden as it is next to the city's main north-side refueling station for garbage trucks, but it's more than worth the trouble. Of special interest to old-timey fans is the regular Tuesday night appearance of Devil in a Woodpile.
    Lincoln Park
  • Subterranean

    Subterranean

    2011 W North Ave
    M 7PM-2AM, Tu-F 6PM-2AM, Sa 7PM-3AM, Su 8PM-2AM. Cover usually $5. A laid-back club with diverse music and crowd. DJs spin in the lounge and indie rock appears in the Cabaret. Drinks are worth the price, and there's a bonus: once you stumble outside, you're surrounded by great after-hours dive eateries.
    West Town
  • Subterranean

    Subterranean

    2011 W North Ave
    M 7PM-2AM, Tu-F 6PM-2AM, Sa 7PM-3AM, Su 8PM-2AM. Cover usually $5. A laid-back club with diverse music and crowd. DJs spin in the lounge and indie rock appears in the Cabaret. Drinks are worth the price, and there's a bonus: once you stumble outside, you're surrounded by great after-hours dive eateries.
    West Town
  • Piece Brewery & Pizzeria

    Piece Brewery & Pizzeria

    1927 W North Ave
    M-Th 11:30AM-1:30AM, F 11:30AM-2AM, Sa 11AM-3AM, Su 11AM-1AM. Thin-crust pizza and micro-brews. Live music most Fridays, karaoke on Thursdays at 9PM, and a recent sensation — live band karaoke on Saturdays at 11PM. The kitchen usually isn't open past 11:30PM or so, though.
    West Town
  • St Mary of the Angels Church

    St Mary of the Angels Church

    1850 N Hermitage Ave
    Masses M-F 7AM & 5:30PM, Sa 8AM &5PM, Su 8AM, 9:30AM Polish, 11AM, 12:30PM Spanish, 7:15PM; church hours M-F 8AM-4PM, Sa 8AM-6:30PM, Su 8AM-8:30PM. One of the city's most beautiful churches, this classic Polish Cathedral is now administered by the priests of the Opus Dei order of Catholicism.
    Lincoln Park food nearby
  • Boka

    Boka

    1729 N Halsted St
    Su-F 5PM-2AM, Sa 5PM-3AM. $50+. Another Charlie Trotter's alum runs this popular, trendy restaurant. You won't need formal dress, but you will need a reservation. The menu mixes Japanese, Mediterranean, European, and dang ol' Midwestern food without apparent self-consciousness. Plenty of seafood and a raw bar, too. Dinners are satisfying but light, making it the perfect place for a pre-show meal.
    Lincoln Park
  • Coalfire

    Coalfire

    1321 W Grand Ave
    Su,Tu-Th noon-10PM, F-Sa noon-11PM, M closed. Pizzas $13-18. In the pizza wars between Chicago-style, Brooklyn, Naples, and gourmet-trendy, Chicago of course wins. But the pizza wars are truly a fraud, overlooking pizza (more precisely, apizza) from the humbler city of New Haven, which may indeed may be the best of them all. Chicago's new coal-fired pizza oven serves some of the best apizza outside New Haven, and while it may seem irreverent to eat pizza from Connecticut while in Chicago, you'd honestly be hard pressed to do better.
    West Town
  • Franks 'n Dawgs

    Franks 'n Dawgs

    1863 N Clybourn Ave
    Tu-Th 11:30AM-7:30PM, F-Sa 11:30AM-9PM, Su 11:30AM-5PM. $11-22. Seasonal and local gourmet food presented in sausage form. Most sausages and accompaniments are made in-house; the menu varies frequently.
    Lincoln Park
  • Bite

    Bite

    1039 N Western Ave
    The food is all right (and vegan-friendly), but Bite is right next door to the Empty Bottle, perfect for a pre-show meal. (There will be lines, but they're never as bad as they look.) Alcohol can be brought over from the Empty Bottle's bar.
    West Town
  • Big Star

    Big Star

    1531 N Damen
    Tacos, Whiskey, Hillbilly Music...sounds like Heaven.
    West Town
  • Coalfire Pizza

    Coalfire Pizza

    1321 W Grand Ave
    Su,Tu-Th noon-10PM, F-Sa noon-11PM, M closed. Pizzas $13-18. In the pizza wars between Chicago-style, Brooklyn, Naples, and gourmet-trendy, Chicago of course wins. But the pizza wars are truly a fraud, overlooking pizza (more precisely, apizza) from the humbler city of New Haven, which may indeed may be the best of them all. Chicago's new coal-fired pizza oven serves some of the best apizza outside New Haven, and while it may seem irreverent to eat pizza from Connecticut while in Chicago, you'd honestly be hard pressed to do better.
    West Town
  • Japonais

    Japonais

    600 W Chicago Ave
    Japonais delivers a unique experience for guests - exceptional contemporary Japanese Cuisine and Sushi in an extraordinary setting.
    Near North Side
  • Sts Volodymyr & Olha Ukrainian Catholic Church

    2247 W Chicago Ave
    This huge, golden-domed, Ukrainian Catholic church has been a local landmark since its construction in 1973. The church was built during a brief neighborhood schism over a move to use the Gregorian instead of the Julian calendar. How to upstage a church modeled after Kiev's St Sophia's? Build one modeled after Istanbul's Hagia Sophia! It is well worth a visit to marvel at the magnificent interior and iconostasis. Even if you come by when it's closed, you can appreciate at the mosaic over the entrance depicting the baptism of the Ukrainians by the parish's namesake saints. Most masses in Ukrainian.
    West Town restaurants nearby
  • Silver Room

    1442 N Milwaukee Ave
    M-Sa 11AM-8PM, Su 11AM-6PM. Need a great gift for someone back home (or yourself)? Silver Room has cool stuff for men and women — good purses, hats, jewelry and accessories. The staff make shopping here a pleasure.
    West Town
  • Myopic Books

    1564 N Milwaukee Ave
    Justly beloved used book store with cats, clutter (80,000 books worth), and great hours. They occasionally host Experimental Music Mondays and poetry readings on Sundays, but with three floors, there's always a quiet corner.
    West Town
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EDIT THIS ITINERARY Our list of places in Chicago uses some content from Wikipedia and Wikivoyage.