Chicago Neighborhoods: Lincoln Square in the Fall

September 15, 2023

Lincoln Square is one of those Chicago neighborhoods that just feels welcoming and cozy – especially with crisp fall air and beautiful foliage! It was initially settled by German Americans and you can still see the European influences throughout the neighborhood. The main shopping and dining area literally has a cobblestone square surrounded by some of my favorite boutiques and restaurants. This Chicago community area also includes the Ravenswood and Bowmanville neighborhoods. The long-running Apple Fest is hosted by the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce and is one of my family’s favorite fall festivals!

Here’s the CGL guide on where to eat and shop, and what to do in Lincoln Square this fall!

Coffee & Breakfast

  • Cafe Selmarie – I have to mention Cafe Selmarie first since it’s a beloved bakery and cafe that is sadly closing in early 2024! The pastries and ambiance are divine. You have to go before they close!
  • Oromo Cafe – Turkish coffee, pastries, and brunch!
  • Bagel Miller – a newer spot in the square featuring Chicago-style bagels.

Activities & Outings

  • Shop small in Lincoln Square – There are so many fun boutiques to peruse in the Square. My favorites are Enjoy Chicago for eclectic gifts and housewares – plus they have great Chicago-themed merch, Raw Edge Shop for local artisan wares, Genevieve for classic and trending clothes, and The Book Cellar – a women-owned independent book store + wine cafe. Merz Apothecary has been around since 1875 and features unique wellness and beauty products.
  • Catch a show at Davis Theater – a first-run Chicago movie theater since 1917! It also has a bar and food!
  • See the leaves changing colors at West Ridge Nature Park, River Park, or Winnemac Park.
  • Hear live music at Old Town School of Folk Music – an iconic Chicago institution. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, the Chicago Latino Dance Festival, Bruce Cockburn, and Roseanne Cash are just some of the concerts playing this Fall!

Lunch, Brunch, & Snacks

  • Gene’s Sausage Shop & Delicatessen – Gene’s has a really cute rooftop, a deli + grocery store. They’ve been around since 1972!
  • The Bad Apple – They have one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. You can walk down the street to Welles Park afterward!
  • Vaca’s Creamery – yes, it’s vegan ice cream, and yes, it’s delicious!
  • The Warbler – American cuisine with a cute patio and open for lunch and dinner.


  • Caro Mio – a great BYOB Italian restaurant with huge portions. (We had our first Valentine’s date here!)
  • Gather – such a cute garden-like patio! Farm to table with a great Sunday brunch and dinner menu.
  • Spacca Napoli – one of the BEST places to get wood-fired oven pizza!


  • Gideon Welles – small patio, neighborhood spot with beers on tap and tasty burgers.
  • The Sixth Bar – cocktail bar with unique combinations.
  • Celebrate Oktoberfest with beer! Visit Malt Row and create your own brewery crawl in Ravenswood. Hop from brewery to brewery like Cultivate, Koval, and more!

Fall Events

Check out more here! Let me know if you visit or if I should any more places to the list! For more Fall in Chicago ideas, take a look at this!


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