For Loyola students looking to get out of the campus bubble but aren’t interested in a long ride on the CTA train, the area off the Jarvis Red Line stop offers just that. With cars parallel parked in front of condo buildings and little kids riding bikes down the sidewalk, this Red Line stop creates a neighborhood vibe for visitors and residents. The Jarvis stop is home to an area called Jarvis Square, which includes a charming cafe, an antique shop and a cozy Italian restaurant.
As the train came to a complete stop at Jarvis, a huge sign on the side of a building reading “Anto Pizza Chicago” loomed above orange-and-yellow-leafed trees. My stomach was practically growling as a result. On the left of the stop resides Anto Pizza and Pasta Chicago (1547 W. Jarvis Ave.), an eatery with delicious Italian street food.
The crust of the pizza can be either Napolitan or Roman style crust — Napolitan style is thin crust and Roman style is thick crust. With an exposed kitchen, eager restaurant-goers watch as their pizzas char in the oven. Wooden spatulas hung from the ceilings overarching the patrons as they devoured their pasta and pizza.
After a short wait, waiters brought out the pizza on a wooden pizza peel. With a combination of the decor, a chef with a thick, Italian accent and a kind staff, Anto’s created a second-home environment. Also with carry-out options, Anto’s sets itself up for the perfect option for a girls night in.
A one-minute walk from Anto’s, on the other side of the train exit, yellow pieces of wood with “treasures written on them hung in front of a small antique store. A vintage chair with wooden trims and golden fabric sat in the window, inviting customers to come find some delightful artifacts.
Inside Lakeside Treasures (1520 W. Jarvis Ave.), antiques were set up in small scenes. One table was set up with a mirror and perfume while another was for an afternoon tea. The pieces were displayed in an organized way, displaying antiques from cameras and jewelry to cards, books and photos.
The worker was helpful as she packaged gifts for my family. She learned my name and we had a nice conversation about my life here in Chicago.
Passing a bar and a winery, I finally found a place for all ages with metal table sets outside. At the corner of Greenview and Jarvis Streets sits a cute cafe called Charmer’s Cafe (1500 W. Jarvis Ave.). The 13-year-old cafe has a faux-tin ceiling, exposed brick walls and hanging light bulbs of different shapes and sizes. A large chalkboard menu hung high, displaying a variety of drinks and food items including sandwiches, soups, salads and ice cream.
With a smiling face, the employee helped me decide on a hot peppermint tea. Regular customers entered the cafe and were greeted by the employees on a first-name basis.
Grabbing my loose leaf tea in a paper cup, I walked to a booth and pondered on what ice cream I should get from the many options the cafe serves. The gourmet ice cream flavors include Oreo, mint, classic vanilla and chocolate.
With a full stomach and my warm tea in hand, I headed for the Jarvis station to go home. I felt satisfied with my findings — I even called my mom to tell her about the places I discovered.