As its name suggests, Edgewater enjoys lakefront views on the North Side of Chicago, six miles above the Loop. The area is bounded by Foster Avenue, Devon Avenue, Ravenswood Avenue, and Lake Michigan. The neighborhood is home to several beaches, enjoyed by locals in warmer months.
Edgewater began as its own suburban township, but it was annexed by the city of Chicago in 1889. Around that time, the area was developed as a summer retreat for the city’s elite. Today, it retains much of that vacation charm in warmer months.
Thanks to its pastoral lakefront location, Edgewater is home to many picturesque restaurants. The Waterfront Cafe, for example, is housed in a landmark coach house along Lake Michigan and is open seasonally for outdoor dining. The neighborhood is also home to an eclectic span of cuisines, including Ehtopian, vegan restaurants, Indian, and Korean. You can also get some pretty good Southern food, brunch, and farm to table.
Roam the Bryn Mawr Historical District to spot many early 20th-century styles in Edgewater. Old-fashioned lampposts line the street from Sheridan to broadway. Be sure to see the Edgewater Presbyterian Church, built in 1926. It features ornate carvings by sculptor Emil Zettler.
The best shopping in Edgewater can be found in Andersonville, called the “shop local capital of Chicago.” Start at Clark Street and Foster Avenue and work your way north to browse an array of locally owned boutiques chock-full of housewares, clothing, and jewelry. Vintage collectors will love Andersonville Galleria, home to three floors of more than 50 vendors selling vintage wares as well as artwork, giftware, and accessories.
Andersonville is also known for its Swedish heritage, so be sure to enjoy the area’s quaint restaurants and bakeries. You can also pop into the Swedish American Museum to learn about the district’s immigrant heritage.
Raven Theatre has been Edgewater’s outpost for live theater since 1983. Today, it has two cozy stages on the corner of Clark and Granville that host an array of classic American productions. Enjoy old favorites like A Few Good Men and Death of a Salesman, as well as contemporary pieces that touch on modern experiences. The theater also offers classes and camps for children and hosts performances at area schools.
Edgewater Festivals & Events
The Edgewater Arts Festival is a much anticipated event in the community each fall. Held at the end of September, the festival highlights an array of local artists along Granville Avenue between Broadway & Sheridan.
Edgewater Parks & Beaches
In the summertime, the best attractions in Edgewater are the beaches. The area is home to two long stretches of sandy beach: Kathy Osterman Beach and Foster Beach. Kathy Osterman Beach, technically located in the northernmost tip of Lincoln Park, boasts a silver LEED-certified beach house with a comfort station and WiFi access. It also has an array of concession areas and is a natural area for migratory birds.
To the south, Foster Beach has a beach house with concessions, bike rentals, and restroom facilities. At the northeast end of the beach, the area houses a popular dog beach loved by pet owners in the neighborhood.