[Feature Photo: The Metra tracks running along Ravenswood serves as the gateway to Roscoe Village.]
Often referred to as “The Village in the City,” the Roscoe Village neighborhood achieves the lofty goal of small-town living in the middle of a major city. With a bustling “downtown’ surrounded by tree-lined picturesque residential streets and more stroller traffic than car traffic, Roscoe Village is an oasis for those wanting or needing to be near the amenities of the city, while maintaining that Mayberry feel.
Roscoe Village’s borders are Addison to the north, Belmont to the south, the Chicago River to the west, and Ravenswood to the east.
The central business district for Roscoe Village neighborhood is appropriately centered on Roscoe Street, the neighborhood’s namesake. Small locally owned boutiques, restaurants and cafes sit side-by-side with national brands like Starbuck’s, offering Roscoe Village residents a true community feel as well as a wide array of dining and shopping options. And a little farther afield, the Southport Corridor and Wrigley Field are easily walkable.
Just to the south of the neighborhood, Hamlin Park offers more than nine acres of green space. This little slice of Americana includes a dog park, tennis courts, a swimming pool, a playground and even a dance company in residence.
The Roscoe Village neighborhood also knows how to have fun. Every summer, Retro on Roscoe takes over for three fun-filled days of music, food, beer, and activities for the whole family. And the proceeds from the festival go right back into the community, allowing the local neighborhood group to fund community improvements and events all year round.
The tree-lined streets of Roscoe Village are primarily low-rise, filled with single-family homes and small condo and apartment buildings. Vintage and modern often exist side-by-side, but the overall look tends to favor the traditional small-town feel of the rest of the Village, with relatively affordable (compared to brick) frame homes predominating. A few larger loft buildings are sprinkled throughout as well, mostly focused on the formerly industrial area along Ravenswood on the east side of the neighborhood.
Volo Restaurant and Wine Bar: With a gorgeous patio nestled in the back and an extensive wine list, Volo offers contemporary small plates in a relaxed neighborhood atmosphere. Don’t miss their happy hour specials, like $1.00 oysters from 5-6PM.
Village Tap: A Roscoe Village staple since 1990, Village Tap offers an extensive beer list and a solid menu of pub-food staples. In warmer months, Roscoe Village residents and visitors also enjoy one of the best beer gardens in the city.
Turquoise Restaurant: For a more upscale dining experience, Roscoe Village residents turn to Turquoise, serving modern Turkish cuisine in a white-table-cloth setting.
Orange: Roscoe Villagers flock to the breakfast and lunch spot for creative and whimsical takes on breakfast staples. Be sure to try the “frushi,” fresh fruit in sushi form!
Piazza Bella: A Roscoe Village staple, Piazza Bella has been serving pizza and old-school Italian dishes for more than 20 years.
RoscoeBooks: What would a small town be without a local bookstore? RoscoeBooks fulfills this role in the Village, with an expertly curated selection and a relaxed environment in which to browse. They also regularly feature book signings and story time for kids.
Kickin’: All of those strollers in Roscoe Village have to come from somewhere, and this upscale maternity shop is there to outfit all of those moms-to-be, offering a curated collection for all occasions. Once the baby arrives, Kickin’ is ready to outfit the kids as well!
Originally established as “Riverview Neighbors” back in 1977, Roscoe Village Neighbors is one of the oldest and most influential neighborhood associations in Chicago. Best known for sponsoring Retro on Roscoe every summer, Roscoe Village Neighbors works year-round to serve the interests of Roscoe Village neighborhood residents. Roscoe Village businesses are also well-served by the Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce, working to ensure that the commercial corridor of Roscoe Village remains vibrant and successful.
While Roscoe Village may feel like a small town, it’s well-equipped to bring its residents to the heart of the city with ease. On the east end of the Village, the Addison and Paulina Brown Line stops offer convenient access to the Loop and other train lines, while the 50 Damen and 49 Western buses provide direct north/south transportation. For drivers, the highway lies just to the west of the neighborhood.
For those wanting all of the benefits of city life while retreating to a bucolic oasis, Roscoe Village may be the answer. Tree-lined streets, a quaint downtown and a seemingly endless parade of strollers give the Roscoe Village neighborhood a unique small-town feel even as the Chicago skyline looms in the background. If you’re interested in learning more, contact Ask Nagel – we know Roscoe Village!