Join Chicago Studies for a series of tours focused on the diverse neighborhoods of Chicago. Created and curated by long-time Chicago Studies intern Akwe McDaniels (AB '23, left), each of these seven tours contains a brief account of the history, important locations, and cultural traditions of each community—and a great restaurant to try to boot! Thanks to Akwe for producing this tours (Summer 2021) and to fellow intern Will Scarborough (AB '23) for his work in making them available on our site.
Want to learn about the city closer to home? Check out "Understanding Chicago," a staff-led stroll through the history of our city, our surrounding neighborhoods, and their complex relationship with our own University. The tour comes with a bibliography so you can learn more while you're recovering from the hike -- contact us to schedule for your House, RSO, class, or office.
A Tour Series curated by Akwe McDaniels & Chicago Studies
Located on the northwest side of Chicago, Humboldt Park is the center of Puerto Rican culture in perhaps the entire midwest. This tour highlights Mercado del Pueblo as the must-see local business, Nellie's Restaurant as the quintessential eatery, Urban Theater Company for culturally-informed entertainment, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center for neighborhood advocacy, and Humboldt Park as the crowned outdoor space.
To get to Humboldt Park from the University’s campus, take the Green Line towards Harlem/Lake and transfer to the Blue Line at the Clark/Lake stop. Get off the Blue Line at Division, and go west along Division Street to get into the heart of the Humboldt Park neighborhood.
As Hyde Park’s next-door neighbor, Woodlawn has shared in the legacy-building of Chicago’s south side. This tour highlights Robust Coffee lounge as the beloved local business, Daley’s Restaurant as the classic eatery, the 62nd Street Community Garden as a community-driven plot, F.L.Y and STOP for neighborhood activism, and Jackson Park as the historic outdoor space.
Given its proximity to the University’s campus, all one has to do to get to Woodlawn is walk until you are just west of Cottage Grove Ave and south of 61st Street.
Located on the northwest side of Chicago, Logan Square has a rich history of being a haven for immigrants. This tour highlights The Dill Pickle Food Co-op as the local business, L’Patron as the authentic eatery, The Logan Square Theatre for a vintage movie experience, the local farmer’s market for freshly-sourced produce, and the 606 trails as the historic and storied outdoor space.
To get to Logan Square from campus, take the Green Line towards Harlem/Lake and transfer to the Blue Line (towards O’Hare) at the Clark/Lake stop. Get off the Blue Line train at Logan Square, and you’ll find yourself in the heart of the neighborhood.
One of Chicago’s most historically rich neighborhoods, Bronzeville is located on the south side of Chicago. This tour highlights Bronzeville Winery as the up-and-coming local business, Yassa African Restaurant as the popular eatery, Carver 47 Food & Wellness Market as the perfect study spot, the South Side Community Art Center for Chicago-based artwork, the Black Metropolis National Heritage Area Commission for community organizing, and the Gwendolyn Brooks Memorial (technically in Kenwood) as the thoughtful outdoor space.
To get to Bronzeville from the University’s campus, take the Green Line towards Harlem/Lake and then get off the train at Indiana. This will take you to the northern boundaries of Bronzeville, close to a few of the tour’s featured locations.
Known to be one of the most linguistically diverse areas in Chicago, Albany Park is located on the city’s northwest side. This tour highlights a. favorite design as the unique local business, Chicago Kalbi Korean BBQ as the choice eatery (one of many in the neighborhood), Albany Park Theater Project for eye-opening entertainment, North River Commission for community advocacy, and River Park as the beautiful outdoor space.
To get to Albany Park from the University’s campus, take the Green Line towards Harlem/Lake and transfer to the Blue Line (towards O’Hare) at the Clark/Lake stop. Get off the Blue Line train at the Irving Park stop. From the Irving Park Blue Line Station, get on the 53 bus towards Peterson and get off at Pulaski & Lawrence.
A small but culturally rich neighborhood, Ukrainian Village is located on Chicago’s northwest side. This tour highlights Kasia’s Deli as the legendary local business, Shokolad as the indulgent local eatery, Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art as the marriage of heritage and artwork, Ukrainian National Museum for community preservation, and Saints Volodymyr & Olha Ukrainian Catholic Church for breathtaking architecture and spirituality.
To get to Ukrainian Village from the University’s campus, take the Green Line towards Harlem/Lake and transfer to the Blue Line (towards O’Hare) at the Clark/Lake stop. Get off the Blue Line train at Chicago and walk towards Chicago & Milwaukee. Take the 66 bus towards Austin and get off at Chicago & Oakley.
Known for its history of meatpacking, Back of the Yards is located on the southwest side of Chicago. This tour highlights Back of the Yards Coffeehouse as the buzzing local business, The Chunky Scone as the neighborhood’s vegan bakery, Plant Chicago Farmers Market for locally-sourced goods, Davis Square Park as the central outdoor space, Plant Chicago for community advocacy, and the Union Stock Yard Gate as the neighborhood’s must-see relic.
To get to Back of the Yards from the University’s campus, walk towards Cottage Grove & 60th Street and take the 4 bus towards Illinois Center; get off at Cottage Grove & 47th Street. From there, take the 47 bus towards Midway Orange Line and get off at 47th Street & Wood.