Edgebrook is a quaint neighborhood on the far northwest side of the city. Four blocks across West Devon Avenue feature some wonderful, locally owned destinations. From a neighborhood anchor for more than 30 years to a crop of newcomers, here are my family’s favorites for a winter’s day out.
Edgebrook Coffee Shop & Diner
6322 N. Central Ave.
Start your day here. Around the corner from Devon on North Central is what looks like an unassuming little diner, but is actually home to some of the best breakfast food I’ve had in ages. The 700-square-foot restaurant, with original 1952 fixtures, was taken over by Chris Burrell almost two years ago. His passion for fresh flavor is evident in everything from the mouth-watering specials, like Strawberry Cream Cheese Stuffed Pancakes, to his meats, which are all made in-house.
On my recent visit, Larry Versola, who was there with his 4-year-old daughter, described the corn beef hash as “the best I’ve tried anywhere.” I ordered the Chicken Chorizo Hash, which was just the right level of spicy and not the least bit greasy. I couldn’t get enough of the Buddycake cornmeal pancake topped with fruit relish and savory pulled pork as well as the Mocha Pancakes. Kids can order half of anything they want on the menu. Just make sure to get there before they close at 1:30 p.m. and snag one of the 24 seats (no highchairs).
Local Goods Chicago
5354 W. Devon Ave.
Home to more than 100 local artisans, with a new pop-up section every month, this store boasts a variety of unique Chicago treasures. From handmade ornaments and coasters featuring local photography (hint: great teacher or grab bag presents), to ethnic spice blends based on Chicago neighborhoods that make exceptional hostess gifts, you’ll always find something creative and original.
My husband, who is not a big fan of shopping, immediately scoured this store and scored a photograph of a Field Museum dinosaur dressed in a Blackhawks jersey. Our kids raved about the handmade crayons and adorable stuffed animals. I bought some one-of-a-kind jewelry.
One Saturday morning a month, Local Goods Chicago offers drop-in craft workshops, like origami, ornament or snow globe decorating, for kids 6 and up. Check website for details.
This upscale women and children’s consignment shop is clean, spacious, well organized and totally kid friendly. Joanne Nusbaum, who originally opened the store in 1982 when she was a single mother, and is now a grandmother, understands the need to keep kids happy so parents can shop. Sticker projects and toys are on-hand so adults can peruse the merchandise, which starts with Gap and goes up to vintage and designer goods.
The best part, I thought, was new kids’ clothing samples from boutique brands. I nabbed several adorable dresses for my daughter at less than half the price of a department store. It also stocks great wholesale items like hair accessories, nail polishes and lip glosses. The lululemon section is a moms’ haven.
Ivy’s Burgers, Hot Dogs and Fries
5419 W. Devon Ave.
While I don’t typically take my brood to burger joints, Ivy’s is worth a visit. Quality, local ingredients are in every item from all-beef Black Angus hot dogs and hand-cut fries to free-range chicken and all-muscle beef. Tony, the friendly, hospitable owner, makes you feel right at home, and the reclaimed natural wood “tree tables” are fun to sit at.
It also offers exotic items like a Japanese Hot Dog, slathered in teriyaki sauce, seaweed salad and ginger, and I appreciate the healthier options, such as Greek Chicken, with homemade tzatziki, kalamata olives, tomatoes, feta cheese and fresh oregano. My husband says Ivy’s burgers top his list of bests. The Merkt’s Cheddar Fries were his favorite. Homer’s hand-dipped milkshakes are a hit with the kids.