Golden leaves, crisp air and ample excuses to eat pie. If that’s not reason enough to be a fan of fall in Chicago, try our list of seven things we love even more once jacket weather hits. Don’t worry: We didn’t forget the pie.
THE POND AT HUMBOLDT PARK
Walks around this west-side oasis take on a special beauty come late September. The trees are red and gold, and the cattails have turned to fluff (don’t ask us why). Yeah, it’s a little bittersweet, but we kinda love bittersweet.
1400 N. Sacramento Ave.; chicagoparkdistrict.com
THE GRILLED CHEESE AT 3 ARTS CLUB
Rainy fall day? Spend it noshing on truffled grilled cheese at Restoration Hardware’s gorgeous restaurant. If the pitter patter of rain on the domed skylight doesn’t show signs of slowing, consider it an excuse to enjoy a little shopping spree.
1300 N. Dearborn St.; 312-475-9116 or 3artsclubcafe.com
THE VIEW OF LINCOLN PARK FROM THE J. PARKER
Your favorite warm-weather hangout is just as amazing when temperatures start to dip. The blue of Lake Michigan pops against Lincoln Park’s golden leaves in a way that’s absolutely picture perfect. Best of all: It’s officially fall cocktail season.
1816 N. Clark St.; 312-254-4747 or jparkerchicago.com
THE BACKYARD AT BANG BANG PIE SHOP
Apple pie or pumpkin? How about both? We’d happily visit this charming backyard garden again and again once the leaves begin to fall. Grab a friend, a slice, a cup of coffee and a patch of sun (before it disappears for approximately a million years).
2015 N. California Ave.; 773-276-8888 or bangbangpie.com
THE OUTDOOR FIRE AT ELSKE
Elske’s outdoor fire is at its best when there’s a chill in the air. Cozy up with a glass of red as you await your table. We love the smell of the cedar logs—almost as much as we love finally sitting down to Elske’s roasted quail with walnut skordalia.
1350 W. Randolph St.; 312-733-1314 or elskerestaurant.com
THE HOMES ON ASTOR STREET
Whatever the season, historic Astor Street provides some of Chicago’s best real estate eye candy. But come October, the residents do their homes up in full Halloween regalia. There must be something in the local water supply because we’ve never encountered so many light-up skeletons in a single block.
Astor Street between North Avenue and Schiller Street
THE SHELVES AT MYOPIC BOOKS
Gray, gloomy days were made for Myopic Books. While the friendly staff are happy to make recommendations, they’ll also give you space to browse. So bring a list of your favorite authors and enjoy some literary loitering.
1564 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 773-862-4882 or myopicbookstore.com