Weekend Getaways

Affordable Chicago

1 Green City Market

The Spread: Between May and October, the south end of Lincoln Park comes alive with sustainably minded farmers and producers every Wednesday and Saturday (the market moves indoors to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum during the winter). The 55 stalls—stocked year-round with everything from organic micro-greens to artisanal cheeses like butterkase—draw many of Chicago's best chefs. No less than Alice Waters—the high priestess of America's local culinary movement—has called Green City "the best sustainable market in the country."

Most Unusual Find: Grass-fed, hormone-free elk meat (sold as steaks, roasts, burger patties, and bratwurst-style sausages) from Hawks Hill Elk Ranch in Monticello, WI.

2 National Museum of Mexican Art

It’s only fitting that Chicago—home to the second-largest Mexican population in the United States—would have a world-class museum dedicated to Latino arts. Located just west of the bustling 18th Street corridor in the colorful Pilsen neighborhood, the museum represents a crash course on the story of the Mexican experience: from indigenous Mayan and Aztec cultures through the colonial period, the Mexican revolution, and 20th-century equality movements. Entry is free all year long.

3 Ruxbin

Fine dining is broken down to the barest essentials at this 32-seat steampunk bistro on Ashland Avenue in West Town. The menu of Asian-tinged, eclectic American dishes changes seasonally, but staples include a daily crudo selection and maple-soy-glazed black cod. Somehow, the dining room’s vintage and repurposed aesthetic—making excellent use of old theater seats, church pews, and other design castoffs—radiates warmth, not pretentiousness.

4 Reno, Logan Square

The views of Logan Square’s historic, tree-lined boulevards make the pumpkin seed bagels at this rustic breakfast-lunch-dinner spot taste all the more perfect. Come back in the evening, when the wood-fired ovens crank out pizzas with creative toppings like savory-spicy pork belly carnitas.

5 Logan Theatre

Logan Square’s residents cheered the reopening of this 1915-built movie house, which has been refurbished in all of its Art Deco glory. Film showings range from new releases to indies and cult classics. Don’t forget to pop into the retro-tinged bar lounge for a post-flick pour from nearby craft brewery Revolution Brewing.

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