Lincoln Square is a sprawling community area on the North Side of Chicago. It encompasses several smaller neighborhoods, including Ravenswood Gardens, Budlong Woods and Bowmanville. The area was first settled by German immigrants in the 1840s, who developed a farming community and then a pickling operation.
Today, the neighborhood is still heavily influenced by its German heritage, with businesses like Merz Apothecary and Bavarian beer hall Huettenbar. Of course, there are many other worldly influences impacting the area today—from French to Thai. There’s also a great assortment of independent boutiques for shopping, an 100-year-old theater, and a folk music hall.
Lincoln Square Restaurants
When visiting the charming Lincoln Square neighborhood, be sure to enjoy one of the many eateries honoring the area’s German roots. There’s the Chicago Brauhaus, Pannenkoeken Cafe, and Huettenbar. Or course, there’s an array of fine dining and international cuisine to enjoy as well—everything from a classic French bistro to the famous Gene’s Sausage Shop & Delicatessen.
Lincoln Square Tourist Attractions
There’s lots to do in this family-friendly neighborhood, including an afternoon of creating at Lillstreet Art Center. Or you can see some of the oldest graves in Chicago at the Rosehill Cemetery and Mausoleum. Founded in 1859, it includes resting places from every war in American history, including the Revolutionary War. Or, learn about the area’s roots at the DANK Haus German American Cultural Center, with rotating displays on history and art.
Lincoln Square Shopping
Lincoln Square and Ravenswood is home to an array of fun shops and independently owned boutiques. There’s home decor stores, an adorable Book Cellar, and fashion boutiques. Find gifts and novelties at Enjoy: An Urban General Store and Quake Collectibles, or dig through vinyl at Laurie’s Planet Of Sound. Of course, there’s the century-old, family-owned Merz Apothecary, home to natural soaps, candles, homeopathic remedies, and teas.
Lincoln Square Theater
This neighborhood has a unique theater scene. Its famous Old Town School of Folk Music is known for cultivating young talent. There’s also Davis Theater, a historic movie palace that has just gotten a facelift.
Lincoln Square Festivals & Events
Lincoln Square’s Giddings Plaza hosts many a concert and cultural celebration in the nabe. The area is known for its Ravenswood Run 5K, May Fest, summer concert series, and Poetry Fest. Of course, there’s a German-American Fest, Fall Apple Fest, and Friends of the Craft Beer Festival—which all offer a nod to the area’s heritage. In the winter, visitors flock to enjoy the Christmas Tree lighting in the Square.
Lincoln Square Parks
Lincoln Square is privy to a lot of green space. The largest is Winnemac Park, covering more than 40 acres. It includes several school campuses and the Jorndt Field Athletic Complex. There’s also Welles Park, containing a community center, pool, gym, and fitness center. River Park also has a community pool and a popular splash pad for summer fun.