Roosevelt University's Student Life Blog

Exploring Chicago: Andersonville

Located right off the CTA Red line, Andersonville dates back to the 19th century when Swedish immigrants, who could not afford housing within the city limits after The Great Chicago Fire, began moving into the area. Over a century later, the Swedish roots of the community remain, as well as many of the buildings that were built in the 19th century. Although there are a lot of historical aspects to the neighborhood, there are also an abundance of pop culture aesthetics in the area. Andersonville is also known for their feminist and LGBTQ friendly atmosphere.  Here is a list of both historical and modern places to visit in the area. Budget-friendly of course!


Gethsemane Garden Center:

5739 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60660

This plant shop takes up two blocks on the border of Andersonville. Here you can roam through aisle after aisle of plants and garden items.

These are the succulents I picked out from the Gethsemane Garden Center, they were $3-5 each!


Women and Children First:

5233 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

This bookstore is the county’s largest feminist bookstore, with over 30,000 books in stock. They pride themselves in their ability to get any book you request within days.



Alley Cat Comics:

5304 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

Located in a narrow alley, Alley Cat Comics is a welcoming environment for all. You can browse comics or miscellaneous knickknacks! The store got its name because you have to go through an alley to get in, it’s not visible from the street.



Transit Tees:

5226 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

Transit Tees takes visuals from Chicago’s metropolitan landscapes and transforms them into fashionable artwork, accessories, home goods and more.

The $1 magnet I picked up from Transit Tees, it’s a mini map of the CTA Loop!



Brown Elephant Resale Shop:

5404 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

A cool thrift store to browse. All proceeds benefit LGBTQ health and fund care for the uninsured and under-insured at Howard Brown Health!


Strange Cargo:

5216 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

This store is known for making same day custom t-shirt prints, but is also full of…strange stuff. From Dwight Schrute car air fresheners to Freddy Mercury magnets, you will not want to leave empty handed!

View this post on Instagram

New greeting cards, for every occasion. 🤡

A post shared by Strange Cargo (@strangecargochicago) on



Swedish American Museum:

5211 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

As stated before, Andersonville is traditionally  Swedish, the museum showcases the history of Swedish-Americans and has a exhibit on immigration.

Admission is $4 for students (don’t forget your RU ID)! There is also free admission on the second Tuesday of every month.

Plan your visit here.



Ann Sather:

5207 N. Clark

Ann Sather restaurant has been around since 1997 and serves Swedish dishes along with diner classics. You can order classic Swedish potato pancakes and their popular cinnamon rolls or you can try their recipes at home, click here to check it out!



Lead Your Own Walking Tour:

If you have any interest in historical aspects of the neighborhood, below are links to a map along with a handout that explain the history of the buildings in the area. Some of these buildings were built before the 1900s and are still in use today! The historical handout below has information about the buildings in the area, you can learn the history of the building as well as what it is now being used for.

Click here for the map.

Click here for the historical handout.

Click here for the neighborhood guide.


What are your favorite spots in Andersonville? Let us know in the comment section below!


Sandy • September 12, 2019

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