Wicker Park Bucktown Insider's Guide

Save $10 at Mai Chi - Wicker Park's only Vietnamese French Restaurant - Tonight

Thyra DeCicco - Monday, April 16, 2012

Have you tried Mai Chi Restaurant and Lounge?

1401 N. Ashland Avenue - Wicker Park, IL

Tuesday - Sunday 11am - 11pm
Friday - Saturday Open late
Monday Closed
Meals served: Lunch,Dinner
Outdoor seating: Yes
Bar: Yes

Papaya Salad- Photo Credit MC Restaurant

Welcome to Mai Chi (MC) Restaurant & Lounge located at 1401 N. Ashland Avenue. MC Restaurant is Wicker Park's only Vietnamese & French restaurant, serving the finest ingredients for traditional authentic dishes from Vietnam. They feature a full bar, desert menu and smoothies. Each of MC Restaurant’s meat and vegetarian dishes have a rich unique fresh flavor you are sure to enjoy.

And right now, MC is offering a couple of great deals you just can't miss.

MC Restaurant was founded in 2010 by Julie Mai. After completing her culinary studies in France and America, Julie successfully launched her first Chicago restaurant ‘'Julie Mai’s Le Bistro.'’  Her creative dishes, attention to quality, and great customer service are just some of the reasons to stop by.

Crispy Banana with Vanilla Ice Cream. Photo credit: MC Restaurant

MC Restaurant is also one of the few Wicker Park restaurants that offers FREE parking for their customers. There is a parking lot directly next to the restaurant and in the warmer months the outdoor patio is open for business. They also offer FREE wi-fi.

MC also delivers and their amazing Banh Mi was featured in our Best Sandwiches Guide.

Your Wicker Park Bucktown Insider Weekend Guide 9-30-11

Thyra DeCicco - Friday, September 30, 2011
September 30, 2011

Hello and welcome to this week's edition of your Insider Weekend Guide. Although it's hard to believe it's October already, a great Fall weekend is ahead and we're happy to share information about the many terrific events planned throughout the neighborhood. This weekend is Festival Weekend and includes: Oktoberfest, The Coyote - Festival of the Arts, The Backyard Film and Music Fest, Moonshine's Rib-A-Que and The Empty Bottle's 5 day Adventures in Modern Music taking center stage but that's not all. You'll also find new gallery exhibitions, lectures, jazz and so much more. We also have a few exciting updates regarding new bar and restaurant openings just for good measure. Know of any others? Just let us know and we'll include them.


Moonshine's 4th Annual Rib Fest is the Saturday and it's going to be a fantastic event. Last year over 500 people attended and this year, we expect even more. With Prasino, Frontier Grill, The Smoke Daddy, The Bedford and more incredible chefs participating it's going to be a fun and delicious event. A perfect Fall Fest. This week, we've also included an update on new bars opening soon. The focus is on Division Street. Gourmet burgers and signature cocktails are heading our way. Last but not least, if you missed it last week, our top picks for fun Oktoberfest celebrations are included below. 

Mooshine's 4th Annual Rib-A-Que


  New Bars on Division Street

  Celebrating Oktoberfest



This Sunday don't miss the Bucktown 5k! Great exercise and its a terrific fundraiser for Gilda's Cub. On Monday, Christy Webber will be the speaker for the Wicker Park Garden Club's Lecture series. Buying an old pick up truck in in 1988 and a small amount of lawn mowing equipment, Christy began cutting grass around the Wicker Park neighborhood. With determination and hard work, she has become one of the largest landscape companies in Chicago and you can see her Monday.  Next up? Mark your calendars and hone those baking skills. The Bucktown Apple Pie Contest is just around the corner.

     The Bucktown 5k

     Christy Webber Lecture Monday

      The Bucktown Apple Pie Contest




At long last, The Coyote: The Wicker Park Bucktown Festival of the Arts is this weekend! For 3 days, 150 artists will be featured throughout the neighborhood and 24 musical acts will be featured at Bucktown's Club Lucky. But that's not all. Two new gallery exhibitions will also be opening this weekend. Element Flux features 53 artists and opens at Jackson Junge on Friday. Also this weekend, Park Schrek's new exhibition Blur opens with a reception Friday night from 7pm -10pm. Park Schrek is just steps from the Flat Iron so if you're heading to The Coyote, be sure to stop by.

New Gallery Exhibition Openings

Coyote - The Wicker Park/Bucktown Festival of the Arts




We have a wide variety of music options available this weekend. First, for something completely different, we love the idea of an evening packed with cool jazz & blues. And this Friday you can enjoy just that at the Blue Star Wine Bar. Reservations are recommended. Also this weekend, as part of The Coyote Festival, Club Lucky will be hosting 24 bands over a 3 day period. So stop by for great food, drink and music. The Lemonheads will be arriving at Double Door very soon and they will be playing the entire "It's A Shame About Ray" record.  Do you have your tickets? And last but not least, "Adventures in Modern Music"  is back at The Empty Bottle this weekend.


   Friday Night Jazz & Blues at Blue Star


   24 Bands at Club Lucky This Weekend

  Lemonheads - It's A Shame About Ray



A number of new restaurants are heading in to the neighborhood including - you guessed it - more sushi. Nori a Japanese/Sushi spot based in Lincoln Park is expanding into the Wicker Park and Rogers Park neighborhoods and is scheduled to open in mid-October. And unfortunately, MELT's opening has been postponed due to "city issues". Not uncommon. This week we've also included an Allergy-Friendly Directory. Lots of folks are looking for gluten-free and more. So we've compiled a handy guide to those eateries who are sensitive to food allergies. Many thanks to all who contributed to our Directory!

       New Neighborhood Restaurants

    Allergy-Friendly Eateries





We haven't seen an official press announcement but the word on the street is that the former owners of Wicker Park's Earwax Cafe have signed a lease with billion dollar company Dr. Martens.  The brown paper is officially up on the windows. As additional details become available, we will send them your way.  There have also been a number of new retail (clothing) shops who have opened their doors and we'll provide additional information on those new shops shortly. 

     New Doc Martens Store Coming to Wicker Park ?



The BackYard Fim & Music Fest is back on the north side this year after a brief hiatus on the south side last year.  And yes founder Fred Koschmann really did set up a projector in his backyard, hung a bed sheet for a screen, put out lawn chairs, and invited some 40 friends over to view two of his short films in 2008 when the fest first started. What can you expect on on Saturday?  From 2pm-6pm 16 local and international short films will be featured at the Wicker Park Arts Center. Additional details follow.  Also don't miss Cyrano. The quintessential Renaissance man is at The Chopin and you'll get your money's worth with a good old-fashioned sword fight included in the price of admission.

 Cyrano at The Chopin

Back Yard Film & Music Fest

These are just a few of the highlights for this weekend and beyond. We have 100s of special events on our website. So feel free to check in...often ...for the most updated information available. Or for additional neighborhood information throughout the week, please join our 6,000 followers on Twitter and Facebook where we post updates/information daily. We'd love to have you.


If you're a business and would like to be featured in the Insider's Guide or would like to renew your spot in 2012, be sure to contact us.  You don't want to miss this outstanding opportunity.  To the many who have already signed up, thanks so much. We're looking forward to a fantastic 2012 !


Have a great weekend and we'll see you in the neighborhood.    



The Wicker Park Bucktown Insider's Guide

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