For the artistically inclined, Ravenswood is a hub of creativity and talent. Filled with artist workshops and retail shops featuring handmade products, it is a beautiful place to be inspired by. It’s one of my favorite neighborhoods, and just walking around can be a pleasure. Here you can find refurbished industrial buildings and factories mixed with impressive victorian houses, all along tree-lined streets. When Ravenswood was first founded, it was advertised as a suburb outside the city, where people could relax and escape. Much of that sentiment never really went away and you can feel it. It’s a peaceful neighborhood filled with families, coffee shops, and artists. People truly and work and play within Ravenswood in way that just doesn’t happen anywhere else, creating a really unique community-driven atmosphere. Ravenswood has a “handmade” quality to it and it makes sense as so many local printmakers, iron workers, and beer brewers have settled here. Take a class at Lillstreet Art Center or just walk around to enjoy everything Ravenswood has to offer.
Lillstreet Art Center – 4401 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60640
If you love art and want flex your creativity, go to Lillstreet Art Center. They have so many classes from jewelry making to pottery to photography. Lillstreet is a staple in the community, where people work and make amazing things. They have artist residencies and features a gallery space as well. So take a class or two and maybe fall in love with a new craft.
Ravenswood Used Books – 2005 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
One of the many joys of going to a used bookstore is that you’ll never know what you’ll find. Filled with an enormous selection, Ravenswood Used Books is a small space but it never disappoints. So head over to get your book fix and support a local business.
River Valley Farmer’s Table – 1820 W Wilson Ave, Chicago, IL 60640
If you’ve ever been to one of the many Chicago farmer’s markets, you’ve probably seen River Valley’s table. They are a staple, always providing fresh and flavorful products. Their brick-and-mortar location is in Ravenswood and features a cafe so be sure to check them out.
Marmalade – 1969 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60613
I can’t say enough great things about this place. It’s a small, unassuming breakfast and lunch spot that you could easily miss driving or walking down the street. But don’t! They have some of the best biscuits and gravy that I’ve ever had and their service is really great. I’ve been coming for years and will continue to do so as long as they’ll support my biscuit habit.
Spacca Napoli Pizzeria – 1769 W Sunnyside Ave, Chicago, IL 60640
This is another casual restaurant that is truly underrated and will thoroughly surprise you. They have some of the best Neapolitan-style thin crust pizzas in the city. Beloved by Ravenswood, it has slowly been winning over the rest of the city. While you’ll likely have to wait for a seat, it’s absolutely worth it. Be sure to swing by during the summer months to really enjoy the space and atmosphere out on the patio.