How to Have the Best Day Ever in Wicker Park

Remember when Josh Hartnett and Diane Kruger starred in a movie called Wicker Park? Neither do we. Those two words bring to mind one thing and one thing only: our favorite Chicago neighborhood where all our favorite places reside. Here’s how to spend a perfect day there.

Our 7 Favorite Boutiques in Wicker Park

girls dancing studio
Sterling Sanders

Start The Day With Dance

You’ve got that “just gotta dance” itch…but it’s 10 a.m. (aka not a dance floor open). The solution: MaZi Dance Fitness. Whether you choose Zi Cardio or B-Girl Hip Hop, you’ll learn some new moves (and get a serious workout).

1564 N. Damen Ave.; 773-278-9600 or

doves chicago burger forks
Dove’s Luncheonette/Facebook

Two Words: Breakfast Cemita

A hearty workout calls for a hearty meal. Luckily, Dove’s Luncheonette is almost directly across the street from MaZi. Grab a seat at the counter and chow down on the breakfast cemita, stacked with green chili chicken sausage, scrambled eggs, Muenster cheese and smoked pepper aioli.

1545 N. Damen Ave.; 773-645-4060 or

wicker park green trees
Wicker Park - Chicago Parks District/Facebook

People-watch (by Which We Mean Dog-watch) In The Park

Time to digest that one epic breakfast sandwich and those two four cups of coffee. We recommend a stroll through the lovely park that gives this neighborhood its name. People-watching is normally our favorite sport, but in this park it’s all about the dog-watching. OMG, is that a Bernedoodle?

1425 N. Damen Ave.; 312-742-7553 or

books shelves wood
Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co./Facebook

Bookstore Crawl, Anyone?

The stroll continues down Milwaukee Avenue, where you’ll find not one but three of our favorite bookstores. Between Myopic Bookstore's three stories of hard-to-find vintage books, Volumes Bookcafe’s curated selection of the best new titles and The Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co.'s inspiring chapbooks penned by Chicago Public School students (it’s the storefront of literacy organization 826CHI), there’s an endless trove to search.

1276-1564 N. Milwaukee Ave.

clothes closet rack plant

Stop And Shop At Penelope’s

As the afternoon progresses, your thoughts naturally drift to evening plans. We fully support seeking motivation in the form of a new outfit from Penelope’s. The neighborhood staple stocks all our favorite cult brands: A.P.C., Sessun, Won Hundred… chances are, you’ll find something for tomorrow night, too.

1913 W. Division St.; 773-395-2351 or

pretzel table chips salad
Hot Chocolate Chicago/Facebook

Dinner (and Don’t Forget Dessert) At Mindy’s Hot Chocolate

This is one hot chocolate we crave no matter the weather. That’s because Mindy’s menu features sophisticated twists on our favorite comfort foods, like the pot roast sandwich with Gruyère, onion jam and horseradish cream. But please, save room for dessert because the banana brioche bread pudding, carrot cake cheesecake and endless cookies are not to be missed.

1747 N. Damen Ave.; 773-489-1747 or

people walking chicago bridge
Mike Linksvayer/Flickr

Walk It Off On The 606

The perfect way to cap an amazing day (and a decadent meal) is with a relaxing walk home. From the public artworks to the unique views (is that Rick Bayless’s house?), this converted train track is our favorite way to wind home.

312-742-4622 or

amanda nyren

Writer, yogi, mom to about a dozen houseplants

A lifelong Chicago resident, Amanda started covering the local scene for PureWow in 2016. She's a freelance writer and content strategist.