Why we love: Ravenswood

Stats: 3 bed, 2 bath condo + parking

This post has been a long time in coming, and I am so excited to finally feature one of my favorite neighborhoods...which also happens to be my home! Ashley and Dan love all the same parts that I do: diversity, parks, restaurants, quietness, and on and on. Ashley also happens to be the voice behind the incredible plant-based cooking blog Blissful Basil (and soon-to-be released cookbook!), so you won't want to miss her vegan restaurant recommendations. 

I also so love their approachable yet refined style, and think you will too. And then there's their bar...my hat is off. 

How long have you lived in your home?
We moved here from Lakeview in May 2013.

Why did you originally move here?
We were in search of more space to eventually start a family, and felt that our money went further up here. We also love Andersonville and the safe feel of the area. When we saw this place it all happened extremely fast: we walked into the open house, looked around and submitted our offer on the same day. 

How long do you plan to live here?
We're not entirely sure, but probably around five years. 

What is your favorite part of your home?
Ashley: The kitchen is what drew me here to begin with. I literally walked in, saw the kitchen and two seconds later knew that we had found our home. 
Dan: I really love all of the little upgrades the previous owners invested in like the custom cabinetry, beer refrigerator and wallpaper. 

What is your least favorite part of your home?
While we love our home, it's a pain living so far from friends. 

What is your favorite part of your neighborhood?
We love the diversity of the area and also the River Park, where we run all the time. 

What is your least favorite part of your neighborhood?
Living on a busy street, a lot of very noisy trucks drive by in a day, which gets old. Other complaints include the long walk to public transportation and the schools, which aren't the best. 

What are you favorite local establishments? 
Hopleaf BarOne of our favorite spots in the city let alone our favorite spot in the neighborhood. We love their curated selection of craft beers, Belgian style frites, and cozy atmosphere. We often stop in on our way home from a run or bike ride to grab a drink and small bite and it's our favorite spot to take visitors -- the perfect balance of charming, inviting, and impressive. 
Lincoln Square's Thursday night farmer's market: We love picking up fresh fruits and veggies before settling in to listen to whichever musician is featured that week.
Beans & Bagels: Great neighborhood coffee and bagel shop with an awesome bustling vibe. They also offer some vegan-friendly breakfast items, which I appreciate! 
AmpersandLovely and impressive wine bar. While it is not overtly vegan-friendly, they are incredibly accommodating and kind. The first time we went, they whipped up a feast of vegan dishes made with local ingredients and were so kind and attentive. 
Bar Ombra: Great atmosphere (especially the patio in the summer) and lots of awesome veggie-laden Italian small bites. 
Groundswell: Airy, open, good-vibe coffee shop on Damen that I love going to when I want to get some solid writing done. After canning the first three introductions to my cookbook, I wrote the fourth and final version (the one I had been wanting to write all along) from the comforts of Groundswell. It was one of the most cathartic writing experiences I've ever had, so this coffee shop holds a special place in my heart. And we just heard they're opening one on Lincoln just a block south of us!
Gather: A modern neighborhood restaurant with seasonal dishes, great wine selection, and creative cocktails. 
Tweet: Our favorite brunch spot! They have lots of healthy, delicious vegan (and gluten-free) brunch options and a bustling, lively atmosphere. Super kid-friendly too -- they offer kids their own individual basket of toys to play with while they're there!

How do you get to work?
Ashley: I drive to the Northern suburbs
Dan: I take an Uber to the Ravenswood Metra stop, and then ride the train to the Loop, which takes about 30 minutes. 

Where do you grocery shop?
Tony's Fresh Market for produce, and the Whole Foods and Trader Joe's in Evanston because they're close to where I (Ashley) work. 

Where do you plan to move next?
This is TBD. We love Ravenswood, so maybe a single family home here? 

Are you friends with your neighbors?
More like friendly. We don't hang out, but if any of us is hosting a party, we will invite each other. 

Does your neighborhood feel safe?
Very safe. We've heard cops say that the incidence of crime in our neighborhood is nonexistent. 

What is the general vibe of your neighborhood?
Relaxed, chill, urban yet suburban, neighborhoody, welcoming, independent. 

Are some areas of your neighborhood more favorable than others? 
We personally wouldn't want to live much further north or on Western or Foster Ave because they're so busy.  


Editor's note: If you or someone you know is thinking of buying or selling in Ravenswood, I'd love to help!