am i the only one that gets giddy when i drive into the city? maybe it's because i'm a new(er) driver or a lover of adventures but i can't help it. every time i see the skyline my heart skips a beat. it's a good problem to have i guess.

my cousins were recently in town, and being the spontaneous bodies we are, we decided to hop on a train and explore one of the city's most artsy areas: wicker park. it was 10:45 am and we decided to take the 11:05 train. crazy, but we made it! while on our way, i decided to create a guide to the city i love so much, so that you could feel the love as well! welcome to episode 1 of THE LOLLY PROJECT'S CHICAGO GUIDE, featuring the amazing wicker park!

i've laid out a basic itinerary sharing where we went and what we did, and further in the post i've gone in depth about each spot!


  1. grab an uber (thanks to my cousin wesley's free ride!) and head to antique taco for lunch.
  2. walk to reckless records and browse 'til heart's content.
  3. pause for some improptu mural shots. (#ABMlovesmurals amiright?)
  4. continue down the street to eskell gifts.
  5. hop on some divvy bikes and ride to stan's donuts.
  6. order approximately 9 donuts and cry because they're so good. 
  7. walk to tom's roasting co. and marine layer.
  8. call an uber for pickup and return to union station.

ANTIQUE TACO 1360 N milwaukee st.

i almost cried tears of joy when we pulled up to this place, just ask my cousins katie or wesley, or my sister claire. after a hasty google search for good lunch restaurants in wicker park, we decided to take a shot at this seemingly cool taco place. and boy am in glad we did. it's the cutest, most artsy, little taco place i've ever seen! they also have an event space above the restaurant! right inside the door, there's a whole wall lined with cute gifts and souvenirs you can buy, like t-shirts and washi tape!

there was a good crowd seated when we arrived, which was at about 12:30. you order before sitting, and we had no wait. after ordering, you move to the opposite wall and fill your own waters in mason jars, grab your own silverware + cloth napkin, and choose a table. (they have outdoor seating too!)

once our food was delivered to the table (and we had taken enough pictures) we dug right in, and were pretty speechless. all four of us had ordered a different type of taco, and they each were amazing. just look at those photos! they have lots of options besides tacos, and the drink selections vary between alcoholic and non. we each ordered a blueberry agua fresca. they were gone in the first five minutes. #noshame. parting was a sweet sorrow. we'll definitely be back.


RECKLESS RECORDS 1532  N milwaukee st.

RR is literally a two-minute walk down the street from antique taco! i had heard of this place a few times before, and when i realized it was so close to antique we had to stop. not only do they have thousands of records, but they also have dvd's, cd's, you name it! it was so fun to thumb through all the albums and find the coolest cover art, song titles, and old records. my sister found one recorded years and years ago in the la scala opera house in milan, where she had just watched an opera two weeks ago! you can purchase and sell records here - it's defiently worth a visit if you're a media lover.


ESKELL GIFTS 1509 N milwaukee st.

unfortunately i didn't snap any pictures on the inside (there's some footage in the video), but take my word - it's like anthro meets urban meets city boutique. along with the best gifts, eskell sells really cute clothing, sunnies, and pretty much everything under the chic sun. i sadly didn't buy anything, but tons of stuff caught my eye! i'm making it a priority to stop at eskell and buy at least one thing. you can't go wrong with anything in that store!


let me just give a disclaimer on divvy bikes, lots of people like riding them, but after renting them on our adventure, i'm not a huge fan. (i'll attempt to give an unbiased review) the deal is, you rent a bike for $7 and it basically gives you a 24 hour pass to ride the bike anywhere. but there's a confusing catch - you have to check in the bike at a divvy station every 30 minutes. meaning if you want to take an hour long ride from point a to point b, you have to stop your ride and check in at a divvy station in the middle of your ride and at the end. (did you get that?) there's a lot more explaining on the website!


STAN'S DONUTS  1560 N damen ave.

i'd been longing to try a donut from stan's, and was thrilled when i found out they had a location in wicker park! after returning our bikes, we ordered some donuts and i once again may or may not have shed a tear because THEY WERE SO GOOD. they also have a whole wall of rainbow colored kitchenaid stand mixers. i got a chocolate peanut butter-filled donut, my sister got a shark week donut, my cousin katie got a classic chocolate-with-sprinkles and my cousin wesley got an old fashioned glazed. (not to mention we got a while 1/2 dozen more) not only does stan's have donuts, but they have coffee (intellegensia!!) and gelato. my mouth is watering just thinking about it. so good!


TOM'S ROASTING CO.  1611 N damen ave. 

my sister stopped in for a quick minute to grab a cappuccino. it's so cute in there! thy've got the whole coffee shop vibe down, with subtle merchandise displays. the coffee was served right away and it was delicious!


MARINE LAYER  1646 N damen ave.

i stepped in to marine layer for a quick peek inside. it's very california-beach-vibes. straight of the coast of miami! they have a trademark of the super-soft tee shirt, and they're very true to their word! all the clothes were super cute and the sales people are very kind! 



a little tip i learned from my friend - always drive with uberBLACK. it's a bit safer and granted, slightly more expensive, but you get a private driver that is constantly tracked by the uber headquarters. you can also get great insider city tips from the drivers - their favorite places, the coolest hidden spots, and more!


i hope you enjoyed the first episode of TLP'S chicago guide and are starting to love this city as much as i do. it's pretty great. stay tuned for episode 2! -m