Ravenswood’s tree-lined streets, diverse shopping and dining options, and historic corridor of creative and manufacturing industries make it a destination for both locals and travelers.
Located on the near North Side of Chicago, and easily accessible by Metra, CTA, bike, or car, we invite you to explore the neighborhood! Ravenswood features world-class cultural, shopping and dining options, and annual signature neighborhood events.
Getting Around Ravenswood
Ravenswood is a walker’s paradise. With plenty of transit options, bike shares, and street parking, it’s no wonder the neighborhood has a walk score of 90! There are also a number of bike racks throughout the neighborhood.
Check the weather – it can change by the hour here in Chicago. If you prefer some wheels, take your pick from bike shares, easy street parking, and convenient Metra and CTA stations.
Train and Bus Routes
If you are unfamiliar with Chicago transit, we suggest using the CTA’s plan your tip tool or the Transit app. Transit offers real-time information for the CTA, the Metra, bikeshare programs, and even Ubers.
Ensuring access to public transportation is ongoing. To date, 100% of Chicago’s buses and train cars are accessible and 103 of 145 rail stations are accessible. For information about accessible transit and to report issues, visit the Chicago Transit Authority accessibility page here.
You can purchase and load Ventra Cards (Chicago’s mass transit pass) at any train station, online, by phone, or over the counter at hundreds of retail locations around town. Transit rates and fare information can be viewed on the Chicago Transit Authority website here.
CTA: Brown Line
To get to Ravenswood using the CTA, take the Brown Line to Irving Park, Montrose, Damen, or Western.
CTA: Hop on a bus, Gus
You can also catch the #50 Damen bus, #81 Lawrence bus, #9 Ashland bus, and the #49/49b Western bus to and from the neighborhood. Check for alerts and local construction detours when planning your trip.
Additionally, Ravenswood is accessible from Downtown Chicago and the Suburbs via the UP-North Metra Line with a convenient Ravenswood Metra Station located at Ravenswood and Lawrence Avenues.
You will find bike racks throughout the neighborhood, making a spontaneous or planned trip easy and green!
The GRCC and SSA 31 launched our “Bike Ravenswood” initiative in 2014 as an eco-conscious local transit option. Since 2016, we have installed over 20 new bike racks throughout Ravenswood, helping to provide an alternate way for residents, commuters, and visitors to get around Ravenswood.
Don’t have a bike of your own? Not a problem! With over 20 stations throughout the neighborhood, you can rent a Divvy bike. Find a station near you.
Ravenswood Retail Corridors: Diverse Shopping, Dining, and Cultural Activities
An historic industrial corridor, Ravenswood is home to manufacturers, artists and film production studios, law firms, custom framers, restaurants and bars, event centers, pet groomers, and much more. Our business member directory is a convenient resource to find a local business, browse the directory here.
Damen Avenue (N / S)
Looking to indulge in a little retail therapy? Treat yourself to some window shopping along Damen Avenue. Right off of the Damen “L” stop are a number of boutique shops where you can find terrariums, original artwork, mid-century modern furniture, vintage guitars, and locally made candy! Don’t forget to stop and admire our large mosaic planter on Damen and Leland.
Ashland Avenue ( N / S)
Ashland Avenue is major road artery, gas stations and quick North/South travel its primary features. At Lawrence and Ashland, you’ll find Crafty Beaver to satisfy your home-improvement needs. Nearby, a few note-worthy stops include Co-Co’s Vietnamese Sandwich Shop and the Neo-Futurists Theater at Foster and Ashland.
Clark Street (N / S)
Clark Street is home to a wide variety of nifty retail shops, popular bars and restaurants like Hopleaf, as well as two cultural institutions: Black Ensemble Theatre and Japanese American Services Center.
Wilson Avenue (E / W)
As you drive down East or West Ravenswood, you’ll pass through Wilson Avenue. Tucked within the Industrial Corridor, Wilson is known for its numerous health and wellness businesses. You can enjoy a meal from a variety of local restaurants like Fin Sushi Bar or O’Shaughnessy’s Public House, take a music class, and relax with a massage, all on one block!
Lawrence Avenue (E / W)
Lawrence Avenue is known for their small businesses as well as a few nationally-owned ones too. The City of Chicago is invested in creating a more walkable Lawrence Avenue. Along with lining the streets with funky blue chairs and stained glass art on light-poles, bioswales were also added to help filter runoff and manage stormwater.
Montrose Avenue (E / W)
Montrose Avenue features pubs, cafés, and eclectic restaurants to entice your taste-buds, like Chicago’s first Cuban-Filipino Restaurant, Bayan Ko, or BienMeSabe’s arepas. After you’ve eaten, take a stroll to one of the local chic boutiques such as Hazel, Celtica Gifts, or the LillStreet Arts Center.
Chicago has a history of fostering art in public spaces including famous work by Picasso, Chagall, Miro, and more recently, the popular Cloud Gate sculpture by Anish Kapoor at Millenium Park. Ravenswood maintains this tradition through our SSA #31 public art and mural project programming.
The Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce also hosts several neighborhood tours and festivals like the annual Ravenswood on Tap in June and the Ravenswood ArtWalk and Taste of Ravenswood in the Fall. Local institutions like the Old Town School of Folk Music, LillStreet Arts Center, The Black Ensemble Theater, and several new art galleries on Damen Avenue, provide opportunities to experience art, theater, dance, and music throughout the year.
Check out our event calendar for the latest local happenings.
Where to Stay in Ravenswood
Not sure where to stay? Live like a local and follow AirBnb’s guide to Ravenswood and possible hosts. Currently, there is only one hotel in Ravenswood: Roscoe Village Guest House.
Further Reading and Resources
Chicago has fantastic restaurants, world-class art and music scenes, with many free ways to enjoy the city including public art and parks. Here are some additional links to city highlights:
- Chicago Cultural Center
- Chicago Public Library – Museum Passes