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Best cup of tea

Food & Drink, Ravenswood No Comments »

Ch’ava Cafe
You can go to Russian Tea Time for an experience, the Drake for aperitifs and white-gloved pomp and circumstance, any number of tea shops in Chicago for a decent cuppa but you will not find a more singular devotion to the leaf that is brewed than at Ravenswood’s Ch’ava. Year after year, owner Rich Park has quietly but unapologetically been brewing a selection of teas, mostly from Kilogram Tea (neé Intelligentsia) but also a handpicked selection from small farms, second to none. This isn’t to mention the coffee and artisanal soups and sandwiches—but we digress.
4656 North Clark, (773)942-6763,

Best of Chicago 2013

Best Flinstonian roast meat presentation

Food & Drink, Ravenswood No Comments »

Crispy Pata at Isla
This gigantor bone-in pork knuckle has a tender, crunchy-skinned flesh that’s juicy to the bone and is served with a nice vinegary dipping sauce that serves as a nice lubricant to slide what might otherwise stick to your ribs down in to your happy stomach.

Isla, 2501 West Lawrence, (773)271-2988,

Best of Chicago 2012

Best living legend in the magic world who is Armenian and runs his own magic shop

Goods & Services, Ravenswood 1 Comment »

Mr. Ash

Ashod Baboorian, more commonly known as Mr. Ash, returns to his native Armenia every other year to entertain underprivileged children. At home in Chicago, he’s said “abracadabra” to rooms full of revelers and tables full of diners. Mr. Ash sells disappearing coin, dancing rope and diminishing card tricks at his Ravenswood shop. You’ll find more magic tricks and gag gifts  than silk scarves in a magic top hat. For an amazing experience, ask Mr. Ash to demo a magic trick right at his shop for you.

Ash’s Magic Shop
4955 North Western

Best of Chicago 2011

Best place to buy fashionable t-shirts

Audience Choice, Lakeview, Old Town, Ravenswood, Ukrainian Village No Comments »

Cityblue Apparel & Denim

If it’s an authentic, cool tee you want, there’s no better spot to shop than Cityblue Apparel & Denim in Old Town. The perfect blend of fashion, art and rock ‘n’ roll, Cityblue oozes cool from every pore of its drywall. Whether it’s a classic lightweight solid tee that you’re after or something with a little more edge, you’re sure to find it at Cityblue: The faces and logos of rock legends such as David Bowie and The Beatles emblazon their fair share of cotton here. Offering styles for both men and women, Cityblue can also set you up with, what else? Denim. Find the perfect pair of jeans to wear with your new tee or change up your look with a great denim jacket.

1444 North Wells

Audience choice:

3011 North Broadway

4043 North Ravenswood

1905 West Division

Best of Chicago 2010

Best church for getting your pets blessed

Goods & Services, Ravenswood No Comments »

All Saints’ Episcopal Church

Duck in with your pet for the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, which falls on October 4. On a Sunday right before that date, Reverend Bonnie Perry blesses the animals at an annual service. Each caretaker presents their precious pet, and the reverend dabs water on the animal and says a prayer. Be prepared to hear a cacophony of barking and meowing throughout the service.

4550 North Hermitage

Best of Chicago 2010

Best new tourist attraction

Audience Choice, City Life, Ravenswood No Comments »

Blago’s house

One of the most colorful Chicago memories of the last year was when reporters ambushed our former governor on the steps of his own house, just as he walked outside for a jog on a frigid winter’s afternoon. Even the image of him in his black running suit began popping up stenciled all over the city. Blago’s home—at 2934 West Sunnyside in the Ravenswood neighborhood—has become a destination spot for both those who want a tangible, realistic image to go with their own personal concepts of Chicago corruption, as well as those who are just looking for a laugh. “Oh! Those are the steps!” A light chuckle. “Wait. Is that really an American flag on his front porch?”

Best of Chicago 2009

Best lunchtime fish special

Food & Drink, Ravenswood No Comments »

Glenn’s Diner

When Guy Fieri, the Food Network host with reviews as bold as his spiky bleached blond hair, pulls his red convertible up to your restaurant, you know you’re doing something right. On his show “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,” the road taster showcased a Ravenswood seafood diner that carries sixteen different varieties of fresh fish every day. “First Catch” lunch fish specials at Glenn’s Diner have included a half-pound of pan-fried fish, (tilapia, perch, catfish or brook trout), roasted red potatoes, fresh veggies, soup and side salad. The rolled-back price, $13.95, reflects the place’s spirit. “We’re kind of old school,” says owner Glenn Fahlstrom.

1820 West Montrose

Best of Chicago 2009

Best example of DIY creativity gone global

Goods & Services, Ravenswood No Comments »


Started with just $1,000 by Jake Nickell and Jacob DeHart in 2000, the online t-shirt company known as Threadless has become an overnight phenomenon with a devoted community that allows members to submit creative t-shirt designs that are voted on with cash prizes for winning designs. In recent years, the company has added wall graphics, artist prints and kids apparel, and expanded to its first retail store.

3011 N. Broadway
(773) 525-8640
1260 W. Madison

Best of Chicago 2008

Best neighborhood jeweler

Goods & Services, Ravenswood No Comments »

Stanley Brown Jewelist

Four years after the Cubs won their last World Series—yes, that long ago—a high-quality neighborhood jeweler opened. Stanley Brown Jewelist repairs watches and sells a unique collection of rings, necklaces and brooches. But the cool thing is that they custom-design jewelry, and will take your dream from sketch to cast to finished piece. They’ll also appraise and engrave your pieces. And if you look friendly, the two resident dogs, German Shepherd Nicky and Belgian Malinois Peanut, may stand up and put their paws on the counter to greet you.

4751 N. Lincoln

Best of Chicago 2008

Best new pancake house

Food & Drink, Ravenswood No Comments »

Pannenkoeken Café

Feast on plate-sized Dutch pancakes that resemble crepes. Bacon and havarti cheese, apple cinnamon and hazelnut and chocolate banana are some of the best combinations that Pannenkoeken Café serves. The delicacies are swimmingly good with syrup, and some come with whipped cream too. Folks have discovered the place, so call ahead for weekend reservations for one of the less than a dozen tables.

4757 N. Western

Best of Chicago 2008