Take a Stroll on Southport with Amanda

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A mini neighborhood hidden amongst the tree-lined streets of Lakeview, Southport Corridor is a true Chicago hidden gem ready to share it's wealth with the world.

Most people that haven’t heard of Southport Corridor wouldn’t know that the area is it’s own subset and micro neighborhood. However, thanks to seasoned Spaces agents like Amanda Chvatal who’s favorite place(s) can be found on Southport, our experiences can be shared with the world!

I begun our morning right as we buckled our seat belts in her cute new Jeep. I asked her the simple questions like how long has she lived in the city to which her answer was a long but fun six years. She came to the city right from college and started her new life here in no other than Southport Corridor! Just one of the many reasons why this area is held near and dear to her.

From that first apartment on, she knew she wanted to stay within the few miles of the area because there was really no where else she would rather live.

As we park the car and start walking to her first of many favorite spots in Southport, Amanda mentions one of the biggest “traits” that the area boasts: small town vibes with the perfect mix of commercialized and local. Whether it’s the Jewel – Osco or the JCrew to the small grocery store and boutiques, the people who live here get a little bit of everything within walking distance.

The excitement about the day grows as we walk into our first location: The Amazon Bookstore. Immediately, the quaint and quiet attributes of the store jump out, and I understand why this is one of the locations she wanted to show off. She talks about how to stay sane, she is part of a book club and comes here frequently to find the books she needs. The store is laid out perfectly, and it makes sense to why this would be any local’s go-to. We browse a few minutes longer, pass the little cafe with delicious-looking pastries, and head out.

The warm, afternoon sun hits us as we cross the street to one of Amanda’s (and Chicago’s) favorite spots: Cafe Tola. She talks about that even though it’s not really a “hidden gem” anymore, the mini empanada restaurant is just too good not to visit when in Southport Corridor.

A few iced coffees and HUGE empanadas richer, Amanda finds a seat outside to enjoy. I ask her about some advice she would give someone who just moved to the area or maybe are just visiting, and she tells me that besides eating at Tango Sur, the best thing anyone can do is just take a stroll! You can spend an entire day in Southport Corridor and STILL not go to every local bar or small shopping store.


Sweating and full, we decide to head to one of the cutest boutiques I have ever seen called US Apothecary. A store full of unique baby decor, room sprays, bath bombs, clothing and much much more kept us occupied for what seemed like forever. As Amanda picked up some cute sweaters, I asked her about Southport Corridor’s people…what are they like? What brings them back?

She tells me all about the shared passion for shopping local, staying a small sub community and giving off that “slower way of life” without having to go over to Wrigleyville or the busy streets in the heart of Lakeview. It can be a place for young couples or young, single professionals ready to build a life in Chicago close to, well, everything they need.

As we leave the store regretfully empty-handed and head towards her car I ask about the perfect day in Southport. Her opinion? DO EVERYTHING. From grabbing a bite to eat at Southport Grocery to indulging in a sweet treat at Jeni’s Ice Cream, to night capping at Southport Lanes with bowling and some beer, Amanda really means it when she says there is too much to do in just one day.

I see tree-lined streets and beautiful single-family homes, multi-level apartments and plenty of green yard space to go around. Southport Corridor really is a special little community hidden amongst the hustle and bustle of the north side.


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