Chicago’s hidden gems: Pick Me Up Cafe, Uncharted Books and The Shift
If you’re searching for that special, out-of-the way experience that represents this great city, we’ve got you covered
Pick Me Up Cafe
If there were ever a place I would want to be considered a “regular,” it would be Pick Me Up Café. With it’s inviting, relaxed atmosphere and wide variety of food, the quaint Wrigleyville restaurant holds its own among the mass of sports bars and pizza joints in the neighborhood.
No matter what time of day it is, Pick Me Up has you covered. The extensive breakfast menu offers egg dishes aplenty and delectable sweets, pancakes and French toast. Their garlic chicken sandwich and “Cuppy Bear” burrito are proud staples if you’re there at the lunch or dinner hour, and many vegan and vegetarian options are available as well.
The smallish space, crowded booths and colorful, quirky decorations make it plenty cozy. Tables have everything from Star Wars pictures to food from The Muppets on them, and the walls showcase the work of local artists.
“I’m not sure I will ever get tired of Pick Me Up,” says frequent customer Deanna Miera. “They play good music and serve great food. The late hours are a plus too.”
Pick Me Up Café is located at 3408 N. Clark in Wrigleyville.
— Scott Hartge
Logan Square’s Uncharted Books is described by employees as “a community space.” The eclectic shop is primarily a used bookstore, but throughout its two years, it also has developed into a venue for reading, writing, socializing, special events and the occasional author appearance.
Milwaukee Avenue shoppers might initially discover Uncharted by way of Ramona, a white dog usually spotted just inside the storefront window. In tune with the shop’s neighborly ambiance, Ramona is friendly and welcoming, further engaging patrons.
Uncharted aims for a sense of inclusivity by serving as the area’s only general-interest bookstore. The wide array of genres and quirky decor invite book lovers of all kinds to read, purchase and even contribute their own books during the store’s buying hours.
Even if you’re not buying or selling, you’re welcome to make use of the store’s roomy interior. Adorned with tables, chairs, friendly conversation and occasionally a soothing indie record, Uncharted is as much of a local hangout as it is a neighborhood bookstore.
Uncharted Books is located at 2630 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Logan Square. www.UnchartedBooks.com
— Maddy Bourque
The Shift is a newly launched, independently owned co-working and community space providing the north side of Chicago with a cool and comfortable place to work or study.
“Shifters” enjoy productivity boosting amenities like fast wi-fi, free and unlimited Metropolis coffee, tea, snacks from local bakeries, a free meeting room, and a color printer — quite the upgrade from the crowded cafe or stale library (without the increase in price).
The Shift also sports a full event calendar with fun and affordable classes, activities, and social events to get you connected to your neighbors and industry professionals.
The Shift is located at 4101 N. Broadway between Lakeview and Uptown. www.TheShiftChicago.com