Two well-restored historic districts in Edgewater offer a glimpse of Chicago at the turn of the 20th century. The Bryn Mawr Historic District features Art Deco and Tudor Revival architecture, while a cluster of 1890s residences are well preserved in the Lakewood Balmoral Historic District. The 18-mile Lakefront Bike Path terminates in Edgewater, by the popular Foster Avenue and Kathy Osterman Beaches. The thriving Andersonville neighborhood comprises the northern part of Edgewater.
Edgewater is a sprawling area with almost suburban amenities, such as wider streets, spacious yards, and friendly neighbors. It is bounded by Lake Michigan, Foster, Ravenswood, and Devon. Andersonville and Edgewater Glen part of Edgewater Neighborhood.
Edgewater is a unique neighborhood that once served as a vacation spot for Chicago’s elite. Located along the shores of Lake Michigan, Edgewater stretches west to Ravenswood Avenue and is bordered by Devon Avenue to the north and Foster Avenue to the south. The residents of this multicultural neighborhood have a diverse background and collectively speak more than 57 different languages. Edgewater is just 15 minutes from the excitement of downtown Chicago and the glamour of Michigan Avenue, but the community has plenty to offer as well.
Local businesses include ethnic restaurants and shops, bookstores and boutiques, gourmet groceries and eateries, spas and health clubs, and religious centers for all faiths. Chicago’s Chinatown district is also located in the heart of Edgewater along Argyle Street, running from Sheridan to Broadway.
Edgewater is one of the city’s more interesting neighborhoods — yet few people, even in Chicago, think of it as a neighborhood at all.
Once considered part of the Uptown neighborhood to its south, Edgewater, for a variety of reasons, spun off on its own in 1980. By that time, its single best-known attraction, the once-glamorous Edgewater Beach Hotel (at Sheridan Road and Berwyn Avenue), had been demolished, and the view of the Lake Michigan waterfront was on its way to being barricaded behind a succession of high-rise apartment buildings.
When visitors came to enjoy the area, they went to Andersonville, which, though technically within Edgewater’s boundaries along Clark Street, had (and continues to have) its own identity; or directly to the Lake Michigan beaches at Hollywood or Foster Avenue without giving the neighborhood another thought.
Even with the beaches and Andersonville still drawing crowds, Edgewater is slowly establishing its own reputation as a community of theaters, restaurants, pleasing residential areas and an architectural legacy.
It’s home to two architecture-based historic districts, both on the National Register.
The Bryn Mawr Historic District (Bryn Mawr Avenue from Sheridan to Broadway Avenue) comprises commercial and residential buildings including the castle-like Manor House (1908) and the flamingo-pink Edgewater Beach Apartments (1928). The latter’s architectural style mimics the namesake hotel that stood next door, a favorite stop for celebrities and the powerful (Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Eisenhower were among its guests) before it was torn down in the late 1960s.
A short walk west, the Lakewood Balmoral Historic District (Bryn Mawr Avenue to the north, Broadway the east, Foster Avenue to the south and Glenwood Avenue to the west) is primarily a concentration of residences, many dating to the 1890s, that together make this one of Chicago’s more timeless communities and a lovely place for a leisurely stroll.
Within easy strolling distance is a diversity of restaurants that’s boggling even for a diverse Chicago neighborhood. To Andersonville’s famously eclectic stretch of Clark Street (Algerian, Italian, Swedish, Persian and more), add Broadway and its feeder streets. It’s home to the city’s only Laotian restaurant, Sabai-Dee (Broadway at Balmoral Avenue), whose featured dishes sound Thai but aren’t quite. A few blocks north in the Bryn Mawr Historic District are two interesting “little” restaurants — The Little India and That Little Mexican Cafe. Another “little” — a diner, the Little Corner Restaurant — is further north, on Broadway. Also on Broadway are several Ethiopian restaurants whose food (try the yebeg tibs be berbere) isn’t as mysterious as it may sound (the menu translates yebeg tibs be berbere as “spicy stewed lamb”).
“Just go for it,” says Maritu Tqkala, whose mother owns Ras Dashen (5846 N. Broadway Ave.) and does most of the cooking. “Just try it. Never be afraid to try new things.”
Add to that a few pubs on Broadway — Moody’s, the Double Bubble (aka “The Bubble”) and Hamilton’s — beloved by students from nearby Loyola University and less-nearby Northwestern University for their conviviality and burgers, and hunger is not an option in this neighborhood.
Neither is boredom. Raven Theatre (Clark and Granville Avenues) has been staging challenging stuff since 1983 and in its present home since 2002. Something improvisational and, therefore, unpredictable is usually on the bill at Neo-Futurists, on Ashland Avenue near Foster. Redtwist Theatre does big things in a compact space in the Bryn Mawr Historic District.
Dancers learn and develop their art at Joel Hall Dancers & Center, on Clark Street a couple of blocks south of Raven Theatre, and perform at various venues around the city; the Writers Workshop, Broadway at Berwyn, nurtures artists who sculpt with words.
And when visitors have their fill of food and culture — or before they partake — this is, after all, Edgewater. It’s called that for a reason. It may not always be easy to reach the beach, but it beckons.
Not sure where it is? Here’s an inside-Chicago tip: It’s always east.
- Location & Area
- Current Trends and Facts of Edgewater Chicago
- Anna Held Flower Shop and Soda Fountain Cafe
- Cotes du Rhone
- Deluxe Diner
- Ethiopian Diamond Restaurant
- Francesca’s at Bryn Mawr
- Hamilton’s Bar and Grill
- Little Corner Restaurant
- Little India Restaurant
- Metropolis Coffee
- Moody’s Pub
- More Dining
- Pressure Billiards & Cafe
- Ras Dashen
- Stella Espresso Co.
- That Little Mexican Cafe
- The Pumping Company
- True Nature Foods
- m. henrietta
Students in Edgewater attend classes in the Chicago Public Schools System, one of the nation’s top urban school districts. Nearby colleges and universities include Columbia College of Chicago, DePaul, Loyola University, Northeastern University Chicago and The University of Chicago.
The Edgewater real estate market is a unique mix of traditional and contemporary-style bungalows and Victorian and single-family homes. New high-rise apartments line Sheridan Road between Foster and Devon, offering scenic views of both the city and the lake. Side streets have two-, three- and four-story flats that have been completely remodeled and updated. These homes retain the character of a bygone era but have modern plumbing, new electrical systems and other upgrades.
One-bedroom condominiums and townhouses start in the mid-$100,000s for older units featuring garages, storage facilities and lake frontage. Prices range up to $300,000 and more for larger, newer two- or three-bedroom units with patios and basements. Single-family detached homes start around $250,000 and include garages, basements, and patios. Prices range up to $400,000 and more for beautiful multilevel estate properties that include walk-in closets, decks, porches, fenced yards, fireplaces and swimming pools.
The Edgewater Farmers Market takes place each weekend from June through November. Growers and producers from across the Midwest bring their best products and freshest produce to sell directly to the public. The Farmers Market is both fun and educational. Customers are encouraged to ask questions about how and where their food was grown, and producers welcome the interaction.
Although Edgewater is located north of downtown Chicago, it’s still close enough for residents to enjoy all the excitement the Windy City has to offer. The Chicago Jazz Festival is Chicago’s longest-running lakefront music event. The festival debuted in 1979 with the goal of honoring and celebrating jazz music throughout the city.
The Chicago Outdoor Film Festival, which is dedicated to former local film critic Gene Siskel, takes place at Grant Park. The outdoor theater experience includes a gigantic screen, state-of-the-art sound system and free admission.
Summer brings the Annual Taste of Chicago, which is also held at Grant Park and features some of the best food from around the city. From pretzels and roasted corn on the cob to Chicago-style hot dogs and deep-dish pizza, the event is guaranteed to satisfy every taste.
The Chicago Air and Water Show is the largest free event of its kind in the United States. The show exhibits military and civilian airplanes and watercraft to more than 2 million participants, and it includes a performance by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds aerial team.
Professional sports dominate the Chicagoland area. Residents can cheer for baseball’s Chicago Cubs and White Sox, basketball’s Chicago Bulls, football’s Chicago Bears, hockey’s Chicago Blackhawks and soccer’s Chicago Fire. With so many teams to choose from, you’re guaranteed to have a favorite!
Location & Area
- North Boundary: 6400 N Devon
- South Boundary: 5600 N Bryn Mawr
- East Boundary: ~600 W Lake Michigan
- West Boundary: 1800 W Ravenswood Primary Zip Code: 60660
Current Trends and Facts of Edgewater Chicago
Edgewater is on Lake Michigan’s shoreline, giving its residents many opportunities for volleyball, biking, fishing and more, where residents participate in block parties to local politics Edgewater neighborhood residents have a quick a 10-minute drive via Lake Shore Drive to downtown Chicago. It also boasts excellent access to trains and public transportation. Loyola University is nearby. It is home to many distinct businesses and restaurants, a diverse mix of households and income levels, and a strong network of community-based organizations.
Berger Park Cultural Center
- Art & Architecture,
- Beaches & Pools,
- Cultural Centers,
- Parks & Gardens,
- Popular Attractions,
- Theater & Dance
Berger Park Cultural Center is a quaint historic landmark mansion boasting a variety cultural programs plus, a magnificent outdoor garden space along with breathtaking lake views.
6205 N. Sheridan Rd. | 773.761.0376
Broadway Armory Park
- Parks & Gardens,
- Sports & Recreation
Located along Broadway and Thorndale Avenues in the Edgewater neighborhood, Broadway Armory Park is the Chicago Park District’s largest indoor recreational facility.
5917 N. Broadway St. | 312.742.7502
City Lit Theater Company
- Theater & Dance
When founded in 1979, City Lit was the only theatre in the nation devoted to stage adaptations of literary material. Over 30 seasons, City Lit has explored fiction, non-fiction, poetry, biography, essays, and drama in performance, and presented a wide array of voices, from classic writers such as Mark Twain and Henry James to contemporary writers such as Alice Walker and Raymond Carver. Accessibility limitations. Please contact site for more information.
1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. | 773.292.3682
- Art & Architecture
This large-scale residence, one of the few historic “beach” homes never demolished, epitomizes the architectural style of architect George W. Maher, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright.
Free Admission | 5940 N. Sheridan Rd.
Edgewater Beach Apartments
- Historical Landmarks
The Edgewater Beach Apartments are on the same site and modeled after the Edgewater Beach Hotel, a glamorous hotel built in 1916. The style of giant pink beachfront hotel which was patronized by Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, and Franklin D. Roosevelt is mimicked closely by the Edgewater Beach Apartments.
Free Admission | 5555 N. Sheridan Rd. | 773.561.8500
Gerber/Hart Library was founded in 1981 and is the Chicago LGBT community’s library, archive and cultural center.
Free Admission | 1127 W. Granville Ave | 773-381-8030
Joel Hall Dancers & Center
- Theater & Dance
Founded in 1974, the Joel Hall Dancers are noted for their joyous blend of jazz, ballet, modern and ‘street’ dance called “urban jazz.” Come see their annual performances or enroll in a class.
5965 N. Clark St. | 773.293.0900
- Historical Landmarks
Built by Chicago architect and Edgewater citizen J.E.O Pidemore, the manor house is a historic relic of the upscale character which defined the area known now as the Bryn Mawr Historic District. The building itself is a beautiful three story brick house that bares a distinct resemblance to a medieval castle. The Manor house now is an apartment complex.
Free Admission | W. Kenmore Ave. & N. Bryn Mawr Ave.
Raven Theatre Company
- Theater & Dance
This important voice in regional theater focuses on American and world classics, produced in a midsized yet intimate theater space. Critically-acclaimed include:Death of a Salesman, Streetcar Named Desire, 12 Angry Men.
6157 N. Clark St. | 773.338.2177
- Theater & Dance
Redtwist Theatre focuses primarily on the very best contemporary drama in a uniquely intimate space (36-42 seats), with friendly hospitality, living room comfort, and a compelling brand of acting that is the signature style of Redtwist Theatre. Formerly Actors Workshop Theatre, Redtwist Theatre integrates innovative style with the exciting and risky.
1044 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. | 773.728.PLAY (7529)
Senn Playlot Park
- Parks & Gardens
Located at Clark St. & Ridge Ave., Senn Park features a sculpture of a young Abe Lincoln by Charles Keck, erected to commemorate a supposed stop on Abraham Lincoln’s campaign trail for the presidency in 1860.
Free Admission | 5887 N. Ridge Ave. | 312.742.7502
St. Ita Church
- Religious locations
St. Ita Church is one of the more active churches in the Edgewater community. It was founded in 1900 and was one of the first churches in the area to hold mass in Spanish. Its large, diverse congregation boasts members from all around the city.
Free Admission | 5500 N. Broadway Ave. | 773.561.5343
Steep Theatre Company
- Theater & Dance
Steep Theatre is a company of artists who explore ensemble-based “Everyman” theatre.
1115 W. Berywn Ave. | 312.458.0722
The Writers WorkSpace
- Other Attractions
This membership-only space provides the calm environment and tools to make any writer’s work flow more easily. Those interested in a membership are welcome to schedule an appointment for a complimentary work visit.
5443 N. Broadway Ave. | 773.907.0336
Anna Held Flower Shop and Soda Fountain Cafe
Enjoy old-fashioned and modern treats in this original 1927 Italian marble soda fountain. The aroma of homemade soups and fragrant flowers makes this a unique destination.
5557 N. Sheridan Rd. | 773.561.1940
Cotes du Rhone
Named after a French wine growing region, Cotes du Rhone is a fine dining, French BYOB. Chef Brian Moulton creates full-flavored food, with sauces made to order, in a romantic atmosphere.
5424 N. Broadway Ave. | 773.293.2683
A traditional diner option in Edgewater, enjoy this locale’s wide selection of entrees, including many healthy options, late hours (especially on weekends), and full bar.
6349 N. Clark St. | 773.743.8244
Ethiopian Diamond Restaurant
Featured on Check, Please! and Zagat rated, Ethiopian Diamond features traditional injera bread and a variety of vegetarian and meat dishes in a comfortable, elegant dining room.
6120 N. Broadway Ave. | 773.338.6100
Francesca’s at Bryn Mawr
Located on historic Bryn Mawr Ave., Francesca’s features a contemporary, casually sophisticated trattoria ambience and good rustic cooking.
1039 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. | 773.506.9261
Hamilton’s Bar and Grill
- American (Traditional)
Reminisce about college days at this large bar that is popular with students from nearby Loyola University. DJ and dancing on the weekend.
6341 N. Broadway Ave. | 773.764.8133
Little Corner Restaurant
This cash-only diner on Broadway is a great place to start your day in Edgewater. Popular with locals, enjoy the breakfast, hot coffee, and very reasonable prices.
5937 N. Broadway Ave. | 773.878.1834
Little India Restaurant
There is nothing little about the menu at this Indian fusion restaurant. With just a bite, tranport yourself from the Bryn Mawr Historic District to India.
1109 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. | 773.728.7012
Metropolis Coffee is a small batch artisan coffee roaster that has been in Edgewater since 2003. Its philosophy is to make the best coffee for those who drink it while respecting those who grow it.
1039 W. Granville Ave. | 773.764.0400
Moody’s Pub serves the “Best Burgers in Chicago,” according to critics at the Tribune and Sun-Times. Enjoy your burger by one of Moody’s fireplaces in the cozy, ski-themed dining room or by the patio.
5910 N. Broadway Ave. | 773.275.2696
For more dining options, visit the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce (1210 W. Rosedale Ave.).
1210 W. Rosedale Ave.
Pressure Billiards & Cafe
A café with a full bar, featuring a stage for live performances. The adjoining room offers patrons a full billiards experience.
6318 N. Clark St. | 773.743.POOL (7665)
Named after the tallest mountain in Ethiopia, Ras Dashen has served up Ethiopian comfort food for over 9 years.
5846 N. Broadway Ave. | 773.506.9601
Stella Espresso Co.
- Food Retail: Coffee & Tea
A medium sized coffee house on Devon, Stella Espresso Co. has a relaxing vibe. A favorite hangout of area college students, it is a great place to people-watch while enjoying a delicious scone.
1259 W. Devon Ave. | 773.338.2005
That Little Mexican Cafe
In the heart of the Bryn Mawr Historic District, this Mexican café is a nice stop for a bite to eat before taking a stroll in this historic neighborhood.
1055 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. | 773.769.1004
The Pumping Company
The Pumping Company is a nice local bar that serves a wide variety of classic bar food. This sports bar suits both the local community and the nearby Loyola college crowd.
6157 N. Broadway Ave. | 773.465.9500
True Nature Foods
- Food Retail: Grocery
True Nature Foods, an all-natural food products store, has recently become part of a natural meat co-op, which allows its members to receive discounts and place orders for pick-up twice a month.
6034 N. Broadway Ave. | 773.465.6400
This cozy neighborhood café, known for innovative sandwiches, offers fair trade coffee, hot paninis and specialty ice cream and sweets. Enjoy the free wi-fi at this this perfect study or hang-out spot.
1036 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. | 773.334.8302
- American (Traditional),
- Breakfast & Brunch
m. henrietta adds an eclectic dinner menu of hearty American fare – much of it utilizing locally produced and organic ingredients – to the fluffy pancakes, egg sandwiches and breakfast classics that made m. henry, its brunch-only Andersonville sibling famous.
1133 W. Granville Ave. | 773.761.9700
Broadway Antique Market
With 75 dealers on 25,000 square feet, the Broadway Antique Market is Chicago’s largest antique mall. Like an antique department store, this place has every antique imaginable, from paper postcards and jewelry to appliances and furniture. Specializing in mid-century modern furniture and costume jewelry, there is also a wide selection of early 20th century art deco pieces.
Chicago | 773.743.5444
Chicagoland Games: Dice Dojo
- Hobby Shops
The largest game store in Chicago, customers will find a wide selection of games, a huge gaming space. The store often hosts free events, staying open until the last game is finished.
Chicago | 773.728.3656
Edgewater Antique Mall
- Furniture Stores,
- Home Decor
Every era in the 20th century is represented by interesting, hand-selected antiques and vintage pieces at the Edgewater Antique Mall, where 45 vendors deal in an ever-changing selection of furniture, accessories, adornments, decorative arts and other finds.
6314 N. Broadway | 773.262.2525
Gary’s Cycle Shop, Inc.
- Hobby Shops
Gary’s Cycle Shop is a small bike store that sells Schwinn, GT and Mongoose bikes. Family-owned since 1948, the knowlegeable staff and trusty equipment have earned Gary’s a loyal clientele.
Chicago | 773.743.4201
Gethsemane Garden Center
- Home & Garden
Gethsemane Garden Center provides the best variety and highest quality of flowers, plants, trees and shrubs, along with gifts and gardening products in its two-block-long neighborhood gardening center.
Chicago | 773.878.5915
Taste of Edgewater & Uptown
Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern, Swedish, West African – these are just some of the many cultures represented by the stellar dining scene in Edgewater and Uptown. Expand your culinary horizons on this globe-trotting food tour with Chicago Neighborhood Tours.
77 E. Randolph St. | 312.742.1190 (TTY: 312.744.2947)