Your favorite movie-night treat just got more exciting. Popcorn Asylum is now open in Lakeview. It’s a small, dad-owned shop that pops unique flavors like maple-vanilla and peanut butter-strawberry using all-natural ingredients. We dare you to find a kid that won’t love it.
The Owner & Shop
Law clerk-turned-popcorn connoisseur Ben Zion owns the joint. He originally started making and bringing caramel corn to court as a way to provide tasteful snacks for his comrades. Then he discovered his love for popcorn overruled his love for law. So along came the idea for Popcorn Asylum.
As a new father, Ben is well versed in keeping things child-friendly. In fact, he cites his son, Misha, as the official mascot of Popcorn Asylum and takes him to work a few days a week. With colorful painted portraits on the wall and a smattering of seats, the ambience is designed to be kid friendly. Plus, it’s just fun for kids to sit around munching popcorn somewhere other than a darkened movie theater.
Ben admits he has had the palate of a child his whole life (he eats candy on a near-daily basis). As mastermind behind each popcorn recipe, he ensures they’ll appeal to children. In each batch, he uses only real butter and no corn syrup.
Recipes change often because Ben likes to experiment. One favorite is a spiced maple made with maple syrup, agave and vanilla. The PB&J is a fun riff on a childhood essential and is crafted with peanut butter and dehydrated strawberries. For something dessert-like, the chocolate-caramel corn is a winner.
Ready to pop on over? You’ll find this snack haven on Lincoln Avenue by the Lakeview/Lincoln Park border. It’s accessible via the Diversey Parkway bus and it’s just a few blocks west of the Diversey Brown Line El stop.
2823 N. Lincoln Ave.
What do you think of this new snack stop? Let us know in the Comments section below.
— Matt Kirouac
Food photography by Chelsea Ross