The Run Down

A good neighborhood is one that can offer entertainment and good hangs at any time of day. We love West Town for that. Its nightlife scene continues to build and bustle, but the streets definitely aren’t dead before the sun sets. We filled a recent Sunday with brunch, beer drinking and shopping along Chicago Avenue. It’s the perfect “Sunday Funday” to replicate if you’re looking to have a great time, but still be home by 4 p.m.

1. Brunch @ Flo

2. Shop @ Seek Vintage

3. Cocktails and Beer @ Forbidden Root

1. Flo

We started with brunch at Flo early in the day. This isn’t just because it’s one of the best brunch options in the area, but also because everyone else knows that, too. The wait for this modern New Mexican can get a little long during Saturday and Sunday brunch service. (Pro-tip: Service runs from 9 a.m. until 3 or 4 p.m. Aim to get there early or late to beat the mid-morning rush.) It really is worth it though. Options include whimsical sweet treats like the Fruity Pebbles French Toast, southwestern style huevos and traditional lunch bites like a burger.

Brunch hours are Flo’s most popular, but we recommend stopping back in during lunch or dinner service on your inevitable second visit.  Its food isn’t the only thing that makes this restaurant a neighborhood favorite. Flo’s relaxed atmosphere and come-as-you-are attitude has attracted a slew of weekly regulars, ourselves included, over the years. Grab a seat at the bar to get to know them best.

2. Seek Vintage

Across the street from Flo is one of the multiple vintage shops that line Chicago Avenue and, frankly, it’s our favorite. Seek Vintage is the perfect post-brunch shopping destination. It holds a fun mix of art, clothes, glassware, furniture and likely whatever else you’re in the mood for. Need a board game from the 1970s, a cocktail dress and funky new rocks glasses for your next party? This your one stop shop.

The store owner, Chris (pictured), is behind the register most days and has an obvious eye for style. We’ve come to him clueless and in need of an outfit on more than one occasion. We have yet to be let down.

3. Forbidden Root

Now that we’ve brunched and shopped, it’s time to beer down. Forbidden Root is the immediate area’s only microbrewery, and we’re about a 10 minute walk from Seek Vintage.

Local breweries seem to pop up quicker than we can keep up with these days, but these beers do truly offer a unique element. Forbidden Root’s brewers make it a point to use botanical elements in their creations. Its strawberry basil hefeweizen is a favorite, but you’ll also find ingredients such as ginger, juniper and cantaloupe in the recipes.

Beer is front and center at this brewpub, but we appreciate that it doesn’t exclude the cocktail crowd. They do a great Old Fashioned using barrel aged maple and blood orange elixir and the five-dollar house shots will spoil you. The Cinn-Oak shot contains bourbon, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, orange and demerara. Soak up the last bits of the day by grabbing a window seat and sipping down a cold one.