With summer in high gear, Dream Town Supports Small is highlighting locally owned businesses that will bring more sizzle to your summer! From city to suburb, here are some suggestions to make the most of your summer, from now until Labor Day and beyond.
Ice Cream, Hot Dogs & Other Summer Classics
lickitysplitchicago.com | 6056 N Broadway Ave & 7000 N Western Ave, Chicago
With their cool, casual vibe and tempting displays of old-fashioned candies, cupcakes and cookies, this is more than just a frozen custard shop. But in that department, you’ll always find freshly-churned chocolate and vanilla along with a tempting seasonal flavor!
Glenview Dairy Bar
glenviewdairybar.square.site | 1015 Harlem Ave, Glenview
Right across from the Glenview Public Library, this small but legendary walk-up ice cream stand has been drawing North Shore residents for more than 50 years. Still family owned, they offer all the soft serve classics from simple vanilla cones to sundaes, shakes and hard-shell dips in a wide variety of flavors.
tealiciousbubble.com | 1565 Sherman Ave, Evanston
Savory bites like Popcorn Chicken and Teriyaki Shrimp are complemented by a huge selection of cooling frosty treats, from Asian-style shaved ice and bubble teas to classic milkshakes and refreshing smoothies in traditional and exotic flavors like strawberry, mango, taro and red bean.
minimott.com | 3057 W Logan Blvd, Chicago
Made from Angus beef and dressed up with miso butter, hoisin aioli, sweet potato frizzles and more, the legendary burger created by award-winning Chicago chef Edward Kim is anything but ordinary! Craving a wiener? The Mott Dog features a gochujang glaze and bonito aioli slaw on a toasted miso-buttered brioche.
wolfyshotdogs.com | 2734 W Peterson Ave, Chicago
Family-owned for more than 50 years, this northside landmark is lauded for its technically flawless version of a fully-loaded Chicago-style hot dog. Beyond this classic, the menu also features, burgers, gyros, Italian beef, salads, and all the traditional sides – with shakes and sundaes to finish the perfect summer meal!
The Fat Shallot
thefatshallot.com | 800 Gillson Park Dr, Wilmette
North Shore natives Sam Barron and Sarah Weitz were among Chicago’s first food truck entrepreneurs when the city finally allowed cook-on-board licenses in 2012. Now just in time for summer, they have opened a seasonal location in the Gillson Beach House offering signature sandwiches like their Truffle BLT and Grilled Cheese with sauteed spinach and caramelized onions.
Grilling, Picnicking & Outdoor Entertaining
Backyard Barbecue Store
backyardbbqstore.com | 535 Green Bay Road, Wilmette
Since opening more than 18 years ago, Wilmette resident Dan Marguerite has established his store as THE go-to place for all your barbecuing essentials – from a huge variety of grills and grilling accessories to all the rubs, sauces and salsas you’ll need to up your grilling game.
homesteadmeatsevanston.com | 1305 Chicago Ave, Evanston
Sourced from family-owned, sustainable Midwestern farms, owner Ehran Ostrreicher and his team have been delighting home chefs and backyard grillers with their fresh meats and sausages, all from livestock raised in open pastures without hormones or GMO feed.
Publican Quality Meats
publicanqualitymeats.com | 825 W Fulton Market, Chicago
This popular West Loop butcher is your source for tempting charcuterie boards and custom-order special cuts. Want a Tomahawk Ribeye for your barbecue? Or maybe a skin-on porchetta roast that’s prepped and ready to cook? This is the place! They can even secure a whole goat for you to roast on a spit!
evetteschicago.com | 350 W Armitage Ave, Chicago
Planning an outing to Lincoln Park or the Zoo? Make it a picnic from this inviting eatery that’s conveniently located just a couple blocks away! Their unique menu features wraps, sandwiches, tacos and plates that uniquely blend the Mediterranean flavors of Lebanese cuisine with the rich culinary traditions of Mexico.
Greenforest Fireplace & Patio
greenforestfireplaceandpatio.com | 3105 N Ashland Ave, Chicago
Keep this family-owned store in mind come winter for their wide range of gas, electric and woodburning fireplaces. But for now, stop by their showroom to peruse their stylish selection of outdoor patio and deck furniture including luxury collections from Gloster, Brown Jordan, Kingsley Bate, and Castelle.
Summer Sports & Shenanigans
WindyCity Kite Sports
windycitykitesports.com | Chicago, IL; Miller Beach, IN; Sheboygan, WI
Whether you’re a curious beginner wanting your first orientation or an experienced boarder seeking the certification level you need to kitesurf off Chicago’s Montrose Beach, WindyCity is the only professional, full-time, certified and insured kiteboard school in the Chicagoland area.
urbankayaks.com | 425 E Riverwalk South & 110 N Lakeshore Dr, Chicago
Founded by two Chicago brothers and their lifelong friend, Urban Kayaks offers a fun, new and delightful way to experience Chicago from the water. Join a guided tour on the Chicago River or along the lakefront from Monroe Harbor to the Museum Campus. Kayak and paddleboard rentals are also available.
Park & Field
parkandfieldchicago.com | 3509 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago
Founded by three Logan Square residents, this vintage-themed sports club and eatery offers farm-to-fork pub fare, craft beers and signature cocktails in a rustic yet refined and stylish space. Or book a table on the sprawling 6,000-square-foot patio where you’ll also find fire pits, bocce courts and a vintage camper bar. Sign up now for their Summer Boozy Bocce League or book the patio for the ultimate private party.
Pedego Electric Bikes
pedegoelectricbikes.com | 894 Green Bay Rd, Winnetka
Offering both sales and rentals of fun, breezy electric bikes, this locally-owned store offers excellent customer service from the experienced and knowledgeable owner and his team – whether you’re purchasing your first e-Bike or just renting a few for an afternoon outing with family and friends!
Out on the Patio & Up to the Roof
hopleafbar.com | 5148 N Clark St, Chicago
Since 1992, this locally-owned neighborhood pub has been a mecca for craft beer fans. Belgian-inspired mussels may be the house specialty, but their menu features a wide variety of sandwiches and entrees, accompanied by an ever-changing selection of fine beers, ciders, wines and cocktails. The tree-shaded patio is lovely and spacious, but note that reservations are not accepted.
piccolosognorestaurant.com | 464 N Halsted St, Chicago
Translated as “Little Dream,” the name of this delightful restaurant speaks as much to the fresh, seasonal rustic Italian cuisine as it does their patio. With plenty of greenery and bright yellow umbrellas, it’s a magical oasis in the heart of Chicago’s bustling River North/West Town neighborhood.
fredswinnetka.com | 574 Green Bay Rd, Winnetka
Though stylishly renovated, the old service station that now houses this popular restaurant can still be glimpsed in the industrial columns and linear lines of the roof that shelters the patio. Enjoy reimagined and elevated classics, complemented by an extensive drink list. Live music is featured on select evenings all summer long.
Hackney’s On Harms
hackneys.net | 1241 Harms Rd, Glenview
Locally owned since 1939, this North Shore landmark offers a gorgeous patio shaded by towering poplar trees. Their “Famous Hackneyburger” has been satisfying diners for 80 years, and now you can order lighter fare including salads, wraps and sandwiches. Their Friday Fish Fry is always a favorite!
Gene’s Rooftop Beer & Wine Garden
genessausage.com | 4750 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago
On top of this eponymous family-owned sausage shop and delicatessen in Lincoln Square, you’ll discover an inviting European-style beer and wine garden. Enjoy their seasonal menu of preservative-free sausages and bratwurst cooked on an open wood grill, accompanied by rotating beers on tap and wines by the glass.
Pearl’s Southern Comfort
pearlschicago.com | 5352 N Broadway, Chicago
It’s not large, but the inviting rooftop space of this Edgewater eatery offers ample charm and views to go along with their Creole & Cajun menu and inventive cocktails. Crawfish cheesecake, Mississippi catfish bites, smoked chicken gumbo, Louisiana jambalaya, and shrimp & grits are just some of the standouts.