>Honorable Mention

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I feel like there are some adorable businesses, placed in areas that don’t get a great deal of foot traffic, but should certainly deserve to be mentioned.
In the Humboldt Park area of Chicago, we tend to see a great deal of convenient stores, discount stores, and car repair shops. There’s nothing terribly lovely about the overall look of the area. The park is pretty in the summer, but there is certainly an overly-spoken rule about it not being the safest of places after dark.
The greatest, and most charming, feature of Humboldt Park is that everyone seems to know everyone. There are many families, friendly neighbors, and yards! Yes….I said ‘yards’; something that’s sort of unheard of in the city.
In the past few years I’ve noticed a few new businesses sprouting up around the area. With the neighborhood having so many families, it’s nice to finally have things like a coffee shop, a bakery, or a toy store. There are a few places that I consider to be awesome in every way, and although I hesitate to inform the rest of the city about my fantastic little secret local business loves, I feel like they REALLY deserve to be mentioned.

 Humboldt Park Favorites…..

The Knockbox Cafe
This place is fantastic! The owners are the greatest, the coffee and tea selection is wonderful, and their sandwiches are fancy but won’t put you in the poor house. The place is never overly crowded and has a really adorable look to it. They have always-changing art displayed on the walls as well. If you’re a local artist, this would be a great place to show off your work! It’s a totally sweet date spot and if you’re considering hosting a small reception or event, I’m certain that they will rent the space out for a reasonable price.

 
This cute little shop just opened! This little place is owned by a young lady named Neeka Allsup. She offers up a large variety of art (paintings, bronze sculptures, pop-surrealism, low brow, photography, prints), along with awesome retro toys! The greatest part about this joint is that she is trying to bring arts back into this community. She offers art classes and gives kids in the area a chance to be super creative! It’s simply adorable!

What a classy joint! This place not only provides some of the swankiest drinks, but also has some yummy food options. It’s a very cozy, romantic place to go on a date. Rootstock has a very rustic look and feel to it and has been a labor of love from 3 former Webster Wine Bar employees who decided to open a small space in Humboldt Park. I have been there a few times and every time is better than the next.

 
This little diner is only open from 8am-3pm daily….but if you can manage to climb out of bed at a reasonable hour on the weekend, this restaurant is quite charming. If you wait until 11am on the weekend, you might get trapped waiting outside with every bike-riding hipster in the city, but earlier or later will surely get you seated immediately. Brace yourself, the food is pretty awesome. They offer a ‘Quiche of the Day’ and a ‘Trucker Bowl’ breakfast for those with larger appetites. It’s a small space that draws a big crowd. This may be largely due to the fact that they are not only offering a great meal at a reasonable price, but they are basically the only place doing it in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. Check them out!

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