Anna Zajac is a wedding photographer in Chicago with a background in graphic design. When she isn't working, she loves to spend time exploring all that the city has to offer. As a full-time freelancer, Anna recently started co-working at Workshop Chicago in the West Loop, which puts her close to everything wonderful off of the CTA Blue Line. She has lived in Chicago's Lincoln Square neighborhood for two and a half years.
One of Anna's favorite things about Chicago is that she can get almost anywhere without a car using public transportation. She writes: "The Blue Line even connects to and from Chicago O'Hare International Airport making it an ideal city to visit without having to rent a car." Below, Anna shares some of her favorite things to see, eat and do off of the CTA Blue Line.
The Logan Square Intelligentsia is my favorite place to grab a cup of coffee or have a morning meeting with a client. Conveniently located off of the Logan Square Blue Line stop, the atmosphere and lighting in the space is dreamy! The baristas are always so hospitable and knowledgeable about the coffee. My favorite thing to order is the macchiato or a fancy pour over.
After grabbing coffee, I normally head to Workshop Chicago off of the Chicago Blue Line stop a few days a week to meet up with other freelancers and get some serious work done. Working from home can drive me crazy sometimes, so it's nice to have another place that exists as a consistent office for me. Workshop's owner, Ben Skoda is all about creating a collaborative environment and he does such a fine job with the space.
When it's not a work day for me, my all time favorite place to go off the Logan Square Blue Line for any occasion is the OSB (Off Site Bar) behind Longman & Eagle. The vibe in there is the best and I've had so many good memories made there!!! I love ordering a Negroni or a few ounces of whiskey served neat.
I have a total sweet tooth when it comes to food. Bang Bang Pie off of the California Blue Line stop boasts some of the best hospitality and food around. They have a huge outdoor pie garden in the back of their space making it a perfect summertime destination.
One of my favorite things to explore in the city is the mural art found in unexpected places. JC Rivera is the local artist behind The Bear Champ murals. I always try to find them for my friend when I'm somewhere I haven't been before. This specific mural is located off of the California Blue Line stop on the side of Logan Square Tattoo. (Right across the street from a yum juice place called Owen + Alchemy.)
Two words: Buttermilk Bar. My mouth begins to salivate at any mention of this addictive donut. Stan's Donuts makes the Buttermilk Bar and can be found directly off of the Damen Blue Line stop in Wicker Park. I would eat a donut from here every day if I could. Definitely don't skip this spot when visiting Chicago.
After eating all of the donuts at Stan's, wander around Wicker Park for a little bit and grab lunch at Antique Taco. My best explanation of this spot: the visual experience of Anthropologie meets gourmet tacos and they make a baby :) Go all out for lunch and order margaritas with your meal. Besides the tacos, I love their creamed elote with a side of chips and guac.
I still freak out and pinch myself when I see this view of the city. Once you're done with lunch, take the Blue Line all the way into the Loop to get to Lake Michigan. You'll need to transfer from the Blue Line to the Red Line and then walk a little bit to get close to the lake, but Oak Street Beach and North Avenue beach are lovely spots in the summertime. Spend the afternoon by the water or ride Divvy bikes up and down Lake Shore path.
After a day of exploring, head over to Fulton Market District for a bunch of good food and drink options. I love the whole visual experience of The Allis at Soho House, but I'm telling you, there are SO MANY more good places to try right next door if The Allis doesn't have what you're looking for. Girl and the Goat, High Five Ramen, and Maude's Liquor Bar are just a few other favorite spots of mine within walking distance. Fulton Market District is off of the Morgan stop on the Green or Pink Line trains. (Very easy to transfer trains and get here when you're coming from downtown in the Loop)
See Anna's warm and sweet Chicago studio apartment in her house tour.
Follow Anna online:
Our "well-designed day" neighborhood guides are a visual tour of what a great day looks like from the perspective of a local.
You've loved the peeks inside gorgeous homes from around the world, so we thought we'd ask house tour stars to share their other homes—the neighborhoods and cities they live in. These are the stylish, colorful, bold and fun spaces that these locals would visit if they were designing a great day of stopping at favorite spots (or lounging around at home!). You can follow on our Instagram as we post images from their well-designed day and read more about this series.