Word of Mouth: Wrigleyville, Chicago

Fresh fare, sophisticated hotels and more in the iconic baseball neighborhood

Chicago‘s Wrigleyville, home to the iconic ivy-colored Wrigley Field, is a haven for baseball fans—with plenty of sports bars and BBQ spots. Yet more and more, the area is expanding beyond its classic Americana reputation. Sophisticated hotels, albeit with a nod to baseball’s impact, have opened with more kinds of travelers in mind. From boutique markets to restaurants focusing on fresh and seasonal fare, this pocket of Lake View has plenty to offer those less sports-minded.

Courtesy of Robin Subar

Union Full Board

The house specialty at Union Full Board may be Detroit-style pizza, but vegetarians will be pleasantly surprised to see so many green options—from the salads that can hold their own as a main to the generously sized veggie hot plates. Housed in the WheelHouse Hotel, the restaurant is located just a stroll downstairs from the hotel’s cocktail bar, Tinkers to Evers. Named for the poem that honors Cubs players Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and Frank Chance, the bar offers craft cocktails late into the night.

Courtesy of Hotel Zachary

Hotel Zachary

The one-year-old Hotel Zachary is a welcome addition to Wrigleyville’s accommodation options. Drawing inspiration from the nearby baseball field and the vision of native Chicagoan and architect Zachary Taylor Davis, baseball references are scattered throughout the 173-room hotel—though it avoids feeling like a memorabilia store. The leather bellboy caps are a well-executed nod to past uniforms while the touches of green act as the perfect foil to the ever-present views of Wrigley Field. Dining at Hotel Zachary is a contemporary take on sports fare with upscale twists on classics like their lobster corndog and soft pretzel with sriracha pimento cheese and beer mustard, while the afternoon tea feels downright decadent after a day of ballgames and beers.

Courtesy of Dutch & Docs

Dutch & Docs

More views of Wrigley Stadium are on the menu at neighborhood joint Dutch & Docs. This split-level eatery is the bright and airy opposite to the dimly lit, sticky floored sports bar stereotype. Chef Chris Pandel and Boka Restaurant Group offer up brunch and lunch classics in a sunlight-drenched space. The blue patterned tableware and the walls of windows paired with the ample spread of sandwiches create an almost picnic-like ambiance that feels appropriate for game day excitement.

Courtesy of Foxtrot Market

Foxtrot Market

Technically in Southport, but a leisurely ten minute walk from the stadium, Foxtrot Market is the one stop shop for a grab and go mission. This upscale market offers a curated selection of drinks, small bites, and even giftable items. From Jeni’s Ice Cream to Topo Chico, you’ll be able to find your specialty brand favorite here. Grab and go, have it delivered, or just sit at the spacious high tops and devour a breakfast sandwich and nitro cold brew for the perfect pre-game energy boost.

Courtesy of Two Penny Blue

Two Penny Blue

From accessories to homewares to painted vintage denim, Two Penny Blue is a boldly designed store owned by Marie Whitney—who is incidentally married to the President of Baseball Operations for the Cubs. The shop has a specific focus on blazers, and for good reason: with each jacket purchased, they donate a school uniform to young women and girls in various African countries.

Hero image courtesy of Hotel Zachary