North Center / Roscoe Village, Chicago.
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With its tree-lined streets and pretty single-family homes, Roscoe Village caters to a slightly older crowd, as well as an ever-growing presence of young families who want a place with a mellower edge to call home.

As such, Roscoe is the kind of neighborhood where vegans have their own dedicated restaurants and customers order a “flight of pancakes” for summer breakfast. Yes, there’s a Starbuck’s or two, but most people bike to it.

Liquor-based establishments tend to be of the wine bar or pub variety, though there are a few cool little dives and bumping live music venues hidden in the mix, and the best place to find both is to stick to the main drag of Roscoe Street or south along Belmont Avenue.

North Center, meanwhile, is home to many families priced out of nearby Lakeview and Lincoln Park. It’s a neighborhood where dusty bowling alleys and ubiquitous Chicago diners are still king, and where several German taverns cater to the kind of folks who want a beer the size of a Buick.

North’s greatest concentration of nighttime action can be found on or near the intersection of Irving Park Road and Lincoln Avenue, where the neighborhood seamlessly blends into Lakeview.

Anyone in the area in June will want to check out Ribfest, which draws bands, barbecue, and tons of people to this normally docile part of town, while Retro on Roscoe in August finds the main drag overflowing with artisans, antique vendors, cool merchants, and live entertainment on three main stages.

Regular weekends throughout the year do bring crowds, but the area is seldom overrun, just the way residents want it.

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Where to Go in North Center / Roscoe Village

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