Situated between the Gold Coast and Lincoln Park is the quaint neighborhood of Old Town Chicago. It offers the best of both worlds: the warm, family-friendly neighborhood vibe of Lincoln Park mixed with the fancy fixtures of the Gold Coast. But once you visit Old Town Chicago a few times, you’ll clearly see its distinct personality. And in recent years, well-to-do residents and shop owners have lovingly transformed vintage and historic buildings into modern spaces to be admired.
Pomp & Circumstance
One of the newest entries along the popular Wells Street corridor is Pomp & Circumstance, a new American, farm-to-table concept with a 1960s theme. The owners have renovated its structure—a two-story, mid-century building—while keeping its original architecture and interior intact. The menus also pay homage to the past, but with several contemporary twists. Start off your evening with the bison tartare—an upturn to the traditional steak tartare—as a prelude to slow-roasted pot roast topped with root vegetables and “fizzled” onions. Round things out with a classic old fashioned or Tom Collins, or freshen up with a new favorite like the tequila-based watermelon cooler.
Cocoa + Co.
Another great new addition to the Old Town area is this gourmet sweet spot across the street from The Second City. If you’re looking to escape Old Town Chicago’s bustling bar scene, duck into Cocoa + Co. and treat yourself to a rich cup of coffee and a salted caramel brownie from the likes of award-winning pastry chef Gale Gand. The cheery boîte, which offers a few plush seats throughout the space, is also your hookup for artisan chocolates from all over the globe.
FlyBarre at Flywheel Chicago Old Town
If you feel the need to work off some of that chocolate, and you dig dance and strength training, you’ll obsess over the newest fitness sensation at the second location of Flywheel Chicago. Oh, it’s difficult all right, as you’ll lift light weights and participate in some Pilates-esque exercises, but all you have to do is let the music cranking out of the system help push you beyond your limits.
Plum Market showcases natural, organic, and artisan products, many of which are hard to find anywhere else in town. From apothecary goods to kids’ gifts, you can truly feel great about shopping here because you’re helping the environment. There’s also an interactive wine bar that features weekly wine and beer tastings and classes, so you can celebrate how good you’ve been with a sip of something new and fabulous.