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Moving to Chicago from NYC. Need tips.

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My wife and I are relocating to Chicago in a week. We are both 27. Going from Gramercy Park in Manhattan to right around Wood and Chicago Ave. Walking around the neighborhood, it seemed like lots of Mexican places, so that's exciting, we both like Mexican.

Any other pro tips for the area? Neighborhood hotspots? Great bars or brunch spots? Favorites for takeout?

Thanks new neighbors!

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  1. Welcome! Just a few suggestions - Arami for sushi, ATavola for Italian, Hoosier Mama for pie, West Town Bakery or Flo for brunch, Roots for pizza/beer, Chickpea for Middle Eastern, Bar Deville for cocktails. Good luck w the move!

    2 Replies
    1. re: chunker

      I've heard good things from friends about Bar Deville.

      Also, technically, what is the name for the neighborhood i'm living in? We are just south of Chicago Ave. Is it still Ukrainian Village?

      1. re: jboxface

        Yes it's still Ukrainian Village. Other neighborhoods very close to you are West Town and Wicker Park.

    2. Black Dog has some of the best gelato in the city -- and routinely offer day-old pints for a decent discount. Ruxbin and Mott Street are worth checking out, too, for dinner. SmallBar on Division Street has a nice brunch menu (I would give it a pass for dinner, though - over-priced). Lots of bars all along Division Street, too, depending on what kind of bar you want. Violet Hour and Big Star is a fun 1-2 combination. Further Northwest and you're in Bucktown -- Hot Chocolate, Le Bouchon, The Bristol, Map Room, Belly Shack and Irazu all come to mind.

      1. If you get a hankering for eastern style pizza, go to Piece in Wicker Park for New Haven style pizza and craft beer.

        1. Try Mexique for somewhat higher-end Mexican (similar to the Bayless places), and Cafe Central for inexpensive, storefront Puerto Rican cuisine. Also try Habana Libre for its Cuban cuisine; I've found them to be very inconsistent recently, but they have delivered in the past. You're also near one of the better vegetarian restaurants in Chicago, Green Zebra.

          And, just across the expressway, you'll find Big Shoulders Cafe, for a taste of one of our independent coffee roasters.