Once an unassuming working-class neighborhood, the spirit of Wrigleyville change in 1914. It was that year its namesake ballpark, Wrigley Field, was built to host the Chicago Whales baseball team. (That’s right, the Cubs didn’t come around until 1916.) Today, the Lakeview neighborhood is a major tourist hub in the city. Of course, it swells with activity when the Cubs play at home.
Even if the team is away, the nabe is jam-packed with cool pubs, sports bars, and baseball-themed gift shops. You can also take a tour of the stadium when the Chicago Cubs aren’t playing.
Of course, you can go to the stadium and enjoy a hot dog, but this nabe has a lot more to offer when it comes to culinary delights. Try the Instagram-famous pepperoni and whipped ricotta pie at Coalfire Southport, or opt for Detroit-style pizza at Union Full Board. Of course, the area also has international restaurants including Argentenian and Mexican, as well as classic steak and seafood joints. Not a meat eater? Enjoy the mostly vegetarian menu at Uncommon Ground.
Thanks to its proximity to the ballpark, Wrigleyville is one of few North Side nabes to offer much in the way of accommodations. There are several boutique hotels with trendy and luxe digs. Try The Wheelhouse Hotel or Hotel Zachary at Gallagher Way, named after the architect who designed Wrigley Field.
Tourist Attractions and Tours
No question, the biggest attraction here is Wrigley Field itself. It is one of the oldest ballparks in the U.S., and in recent years, the Cubs themselves have been quite the draw. Too late to score tickets? You can also enjoy the game from one of the Wrigley Rooftops, converted apartment rooftops surrounding the field. These admissions often run higher than game tickets themselves, but you can enjoy without the crowds and with as much beer and food as you can consume.
Even if you aren’t a baseball fan, the official Wrigley Field Tour offers an exciting piece of Chicago history. You can see the press box, view the Cubs’ dugout, and even walk out onto the field itself.
Wrigleyville is home to an array of low-brick buildings and residential homes. The coolest aspect of these buildings are their converted rooftops—where you can purchase a spot to watch the game from above.
No shock here—the shopping in Wrigleyville is largely sports themed. There’s Clark Street Sports, stocked with gear supporting all Chicago teams. There’s also Strange Cargo, where you can grab an array of custom T-shirts and knock-off sports gear. For the real stuff, Wrigleyville Sports has all the apparel for you to outfit yourself before the game.
Outside the ballpark itself, the newly developed Gallagher Way green space offers lots of family-friendly fun. In the summer, it hosts many movie screenings, fitness classes, concert series, and a local farmers market. In colder months, the park serves as a skating rink and all-around winter wonderland.