On a scale of 1 to 10, I am not a hipster. There are days, though (say, once every seven years), that I wish I was cool enough to fall into the category.
Every seven years, hipsters’ stars align, and 420, Record Store Day, and Earth Day all fall on the same weekend.
This is not year seven. However, as fate would have it, this past Saturday did happen to be 420 and Record Store Day. I decided to head down to Wicker Park after my Earth Day service project at the local Forest Preserve to celebrate appropriately.
Wicker Park, in a nutshell (a locally-grown, sustainable, organic, socially conscious nutshell) is the bourgeois hipster capital of Chicago. Wicker hipsters are the ones who wear the cardigan that they found at a mobile home garage sale in the Walmart parking lot, thrown over the $160 flannel they just picked up at Nordstrom. The hipsters who park their Volvo’s in the parking garage and then grab their grandpa’s old bike off the rack to ride the rest of the way down the street to the coffee shop where they pull their iPhone 5 out of their vintage bag to Instagram a picture of their $6.00 cappuccino. Those hipsters. Those ones I wish I was every seven years, or so.
Here are a few of my favorite places to eat while I hipster-watch in Wicker:
- Glazed & Infused was recently mentioned in Saveur Magazine as one of the top donut spots in the entire United States of America. Obviously Brock and I had to verify the ranking. B was not pleased with his findings.
But that window menu was enough to convince me that Saveur was correct in their rankings, so I took the risk and brought a visiting friend next time I was in Wicker.
- Fortunately for B, Big Star was open.
In fact, the walk up window was even open. Please note that when Chicago advertises “seasonal” on their OPEN sign, you know you have a 13% chance of the particular day you show up being “in season”.
Big Star is a whiskey and taco joint in the heart of Wicker that is open until some ridiculous hour, like 3:00am. Need I say more to convince you of it’s awesomeness? Okay, how about this:
- Covo Gyro Market–I’m going to be really honest here. If I hadn’t been with my kid who happens to be crazy about gyros, I would have admired Covo’s cool lights from the sidewalk as I walked right by. I’m not typically a fan of the carnivorous carvings thrown on a swollen tortilla.
In fact, as we stood in line and I watched the meat shavings being slapped on the pitas, I passed when it came my turn to order. But then I snuck a bite of B’s gyro. And another. Damn, that thing was delicious. And can we talk about how they serve sweet potato fries with a marshmallow dipping sauce??
The menu boasts of it’s all-natural, organic, street-wise ingredients. I mean, duh. They cater to the bourgeois hipsters.
- I was recently explaining to a friend the reasons I like to adventure alone. Flying solo gives me the freedom to go where I want, when I want, for as long as I want. I can order what I want…and not share.I discovered The Bongo Room while out adventuring on my own one day last year. It quickly became a favorite.
On the occasion that I’m wanting someone to talk to but still not wanting to share, I ask for the table by these guys:
- I think my new favorite place to play with my bourgeois hipster friends in Wicker, though, would have to be Bangers & Lace.
I recently discovered this place with a friend–and I didn’t even care that I had to share my food.
The next time my hipster friends’ stars align (third weekend in April, 2019), you’ll know where to find me.