Chicago's Neighborhoods

Explore where to eat, shop, and go in the City of Neighborhoods!

As you think about ways to spend your time here at UChicago, your experience can go far beyond Hyde Park and the Loop: there are more than 200 distinct (and distinctive) neighborhoods that make up the 77 community areas in the city of Chicago! 

That terminology can be confusing. The community areas were mapped out by two UChicago sociologists, Robert E. Park and Ernest Burgess, in the late 1920s, grouping together neighborhoods and surrounding areas. Except for the addition of O'Hare in 1956 and Edgewater in 1980, the boundaries of these regions have been kept unchanged. Though some have questioned the proposed inevitability of physically-close areas forming a common bond and the consistency in boundary despite urban development and construction, most scholars and city officials still refer to the 77 community areas as dependable units when mapping out the city, and most publicly available data about the city also relies on these units.

For all of the areas' reliability, however, residents usually identify more strongly with their neighborhood, generally a smaller spatial unit that shares one or more common architectural, linguistic, economic, historic, and/or cultural identities. Community areas are distinct from but related to neighborhoods. For example, Wrigleyville is a neighborhood (located within the community area called Lakeview) defined by its proximity to Wrigley Field and its nightlife.  Just north of it, the Andersonville neighborhood (part of Edgewater) was originally known for its historic ties to Chicago's Swedish immigrant community. To its east is Boystown (also in Lakeview), home to a large concentration of bars and other establishments founded by Chicago's LGBTQ communities.  A few miles south along Halsted Street from Boystown, one can find Chicago's Chinatown (in the Armour Square community area) to the east, and Pilsen (in Lower West Side), an originally-Czech, then-Mexican, now broadly artsy neighborhood to the west.  Lower West Side also includes Heart of Chicago, East Pilsen, and still more neighborhoods -- each with its own unique history and singular stories!

Some Neighborhoods to Explore, Organized by "Side":

We want to give you an idea of what to do, where to visit, how to get around, and why you should visit these neighborhoods, though this list is only meant to highlight some of the Chicago neighborhoods. 

    Chicago Neighborhood Type Map

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    If you’re looking for off-the-beaten-path, under-the-radar Chicago, head to Rogers Park. You’ll find architectural gems, authentic global eateries, and a cutting-edge theatre scene, all nestled in this welcoming lakefront enclave.

    Rogers Park is one of Chicago’s most diverse neighborhoods, with approximately 40 different languages spoken. As you might expect, the neighborhood’s dining options are just as diverse. The area’s restaurants will take you on a journey from Mexico to Peru, Jamaica to Ethiopia, Korea to the Middle East, and beyond. If you want a taste of Chicago’s artsy side, check out the Glenwood Avenue Arts District, an inviting urban stretch with cobblestone streets, sprawling murals, three award-winning theatres, live music venues, art studios and galleries, and more. Head east until you hit the water to see the neighborhood’s sandy shoreline and peaceful waterfront vistas. Near the lake, you’ll find the Emil Bach House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Completed in 1915, it was one of Wright’s last Chicago commissions. 

    Take the Red Line northbound to Morse or the Purple Line northbound to Howard to visit Rogers Park!

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    Edgewater literally hugs the water’s edge, with miles of beaches and green spaces to relax in — and pretty stunning views over Lake Michigan from seven miles north of the Loop.

    Family-friendly Edgewater is an antique and vintage shopper’s haven. Browse for hours at Broadway Antique Market and nearby Edgewater Antique Mall, then continue the vintage vibe in the neighborhood’s Bryn Mawr Historic District, a charming reminder of 1920s Chicago. Edgewater’s global mix of cultures, which includes large pockets of African and Eastern European immigrants, makes the neighborhood a culinary feast. It’s also famous for authentic delis, boutique grocery stores, and specialty farm stands. Outside of food and antiquing, Edgewater is lauded for its storefront theatre district, where you’ll experience innovative productions in intimate, immersive 50 – 100 seat theatres.

    Take the Red Line northbound to Bryn Mawr to visit Edgewater! 

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    Lincoln Square is a little bit of Germany in the midst of the big city, so you can schnitzel and Berliner your heart out. You can wander the cobblestone stretch of Lincoln Avenue that’s packed with unique shops (like Merz Apothecary and Gene’s Sausage Shop & Deli) and traditional eateries (like breakfast-staple Pannenkoeken Cafe and French-inspired fare at Cafe Selmarie).

    Beyond its German roots, Lincoln Square is also a great spot for local shopping, with an array of independently owned boutiques and specialty shops. For instance, check out toy emporium Timeless Toys and foodie haven The Chopping Block. Lincoln Square is also home to one of our favorite old-timey movie houses, the Davis Theater. A recent restoration of the 100-year-old theatre uncovered much of its former glory, like organ pipes hidden with dry wall and hand-painted ceiling covered by tile. 

    Visit the Old Town School of Folk Music, which launched the careers of many notable folk musicians. Check the events calendar for live performances by artists from around the world. And in the summer, the neighborhood’s love of all things German comes together for Maifest, where food, music, dance, and revelry fill the streets.

    Hop off the northbound Brown Line at Western to visit Lincoln Square!

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    Uptown is where Chicago’s rich history and international diversity intersect. The neighborhood is known for its vibrant music scene, vintage architecture, and amazing global cuisine.

    Uptown was a booming entertainment district in the 1920s and 1930s, with a thriving jazz scene that took off during Prohibition. The area’s recent renaissance has seen a number of its old-school movie houses and Art Deco buildings restored to their former glory. Undoubtedly, the Green Mill is the place to be when you’re here. This 100-year-old jazz club still has the same sultry feel of its Prohibition heyday. Grab a seat in the booth at the end of the bar — it was the regular spot for famous gangster Al Capone. Nearby, take your pick from indie rock, salsa concerts, wrestling events, and more at The Riviera or Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom. For a deep dive into history, visit Graceland Cemetery, a Victorian oasis of art, architecture, and landscape design that’s one of the city’s hidden gems. On Argyle Street and the surrounding blocks, you’ll find a treasure trove of Asian eateries, with restaurants serving up Peking duck, sushi, traditional dim sum, banh mi, and pho.

    Snack on international street food at the Argyle Night Market (July – September). Catch a show at the Black Ensemble Theater that’s guaranteed to have you up out of your seat. Take your pup out for fun in the sun at Montrose Beach dog beach.

    Take the northbound Red Line to Wilson to visit Uptown!

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    You can wander just about anywhere in North Center to find a bunch of laidback local hangouts, from casual venues with nightly live shows to bustling gastropubs and authentic international eateries.

    Timber Lanes is one of many resident favorites. This intimate bowling alley has a distinct Chicago vibe, with eight wood lanes neatly packed into what looks like a classic corner tavern. Oh, and you’ll need to score your own game by hand — that’s about as old school as you can get. Fringe theatre is another area where North Center really shines. There’s improv, avant-garde, experimental, and storefront productions gracing North Center stages all year round. A couple to check out include Bughouse Theater (led by a diverse group of actors, writers, and filmmakers) and Strawdog Theatre Company (a leading Chicago storefront theatre since 1988).

    Visit North Center by getting off the Brown Line at Addison and then hopping on the westbound 152 bus to Addison & Western! 

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    This charming, laidback “village within the city” is filled with casual taverns, independent shops, and cute cafes that spill out onto the sidewalks during the warm weather months.

    This cozy little pocket is an eclectic mix of unique boutiques, classic frame and brick homes, and locally owned eateries. It’s a wonderfully welcoming and quirky place. Case in point: popular comfort food spot Kitsch’n on Roscoe, where you can enjoy your brunch with a side of ’70’s-style kitsch. Check out Le Sud’s rooftop patio, where you can soak in the sun and laidback vibes with some French Mediterranean dishes. Shop a vintage clothing goldmine at Shangri-La Vintage. Come evening, head to Constellation, where you’ll find some of the city’s most progressive jazz, contemporary classical, and improvised music, founded by local drummer and Pitchfork Music Festival’s talent buyer.

    Take the Brown Line to Paulina to visit Roscoe Village!

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    Lakeview’s laidback atmosphere and picture-perfect shoreline make it a favorite hang out among locals. And spots like lively Wrigleyville and the Belmont Theater District make it a major entertainment hub, too.

    Anchored by a beautiful stretch of shoreline to the east, Lakeview melds several distinct areas — East Lakeview, Central Lakeview, Boystown, and Wrigleyville. Each spot has its own unique character, but they’re all pulled together by Lakeview’s casual, welcoming feel. Hit the bustling shopping districts along Broadway in East Lakeview, along Belmont near Boystown, and the bustling Southport Corridor for local boutiques, record shops, and vintage treasure hunting. 

    Lakeview is also known as a go-to for arts and culture — you’ll find live music venues, summer street festivals, and a thriving theatre, dance, and comedy scene. For example, Blue Man Group is a world-famous troupe that brings music, comedy, and performance art together in one unforgettable show (if you’re sitting in the “Splash Zone”, you’ll want to put on that waterproof poncho).

    On a nice day, walk east until you hit Lake Michigan. That’s where you’ll find a 1,200-acre outdoor oasis, featuring the scenic Lakefront Trail, a golf course and driving range, a boat harbor, tennis courts, and grassy fields perfect for picnicking.

    Have fun in Lakeview by taking the Red/Purple/Brown Line to Belmont!

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    This picturesque neighborhood is a nature lover’s dream — manicured gardens, a hidden lily pond, a historic indoor botanical garden, and tons of lakefront green space with sweeping city views. It also happens to be home to one of the country’s oldest free zoos and an acclaimed dining scene that includes one of the best restaurants on the planet.

    What really sets Lincoln Park apart is the area’s namesake park. That’s where you’ll find lushly landscaped grounds, the Lakefront Trail, Lincoln Park Zoo, Lincoln Park Conservatory, North Avenue Beach, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago History Museum, Nature Boardwalk, Farm in the Zoo, Theater on the Lake — there’s enough here to spend an entire day (or weekend, or week) exploring.

    Lincoln Park is also a shopper’s paradise. The charming area around Armitage and Halsted is where you’ll find tons of beautiful boutiques lined up in historic row homes. Create a custom leather bag at Laudi Vidni, find unique decor at Art Effects, or stock up on locally made snacks at Foxtrot Market.

    Eateries in Lincoln Park are just as enticing, from the bustling energy of Goose Island Brew House and Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!, to notoriously romantic fondue haven Geja’s Cafe and Michelin-starred Boka. For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, reserve a table at ultra-acclaimed Alinea. It’s often named one of the best restaurants in the world, thanks to its avant-garde tasting menus and interactive presentation.

    Take the Red/Purple/Brown Line to Fullerton and have fun in Lincoln Park!

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    Old Town is the birthplace of modern American improv, where you’ll find one of the world’s most legendary comedy clubs.

    It is home to comedy star-maker The Second City, which introduced the world to Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Gilda Radner, Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, Key & Peele, John Belushi, Jane Lynch, Tina Fey, Steve Carell, and…well, you get the picture. You can catch a live show every night of the week, featuring the city’s top up-and-coming talent. But Second City isn’t the only reason to explore here. This historic neighborhood is a picture-perfect place to shop on-trend boutiques, dine at historic restaurants, and admire homes in one of Chicago’s most luxurious residential districts. And in June, the Old Town Art Fair brings a ton of nationally acclaimed artists together to showcase their work, drawing a crowd of 30,000 art lovers.

    Visit Old Town by taking the Brown Line to Sedgwick!

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    The Gold Coast is a luxury lover’s haven. Charming homes on picture-perfect streets, high-end boutiques, and restaurants favored by celebrities past and present all give this neighborhood its star power.

    Nestled close to the Lake Michigan shoreline, the Gold Coast is luxury and romance personified (as the name implies, this is one of the country’s most affluent neighborhoods). Streets are lined with historic mansions, designer boutiques, celebrated restaurants, and historic hotels. Gold Coast is also known as an architectural jewel box. The Astor Street District features rows of 19th-century homes designed in various historical revival styles. Among the neighborhoods’s other notable buildings are the Charnley-Perksy House, designed by Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright, and the Former Playboy Mansion, legendary for Hugh Hefner’s star-studded parties.

    For an out-of-the-ordinary museum experience, head to the curiosity-laden International Museum of Surgical Science, the only museum of its kind in America. It’s housed in a stunning lakefront mansion, and features a tiny gift shop filled with fabulously quirky finds.

    Experience a new kind of steakhouse at ultra-modern Maple & Ash, where steaks are seared over a live wood fire. Visit humanities haven Newberry Library on lovely Washington Square. Dine in the light-filled courtyard of a historic building at 3 Arts Club Café.

    Visit Gold Coast by taking the Red Line to Clark/Division! 

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    It’s an ultra-stylish, ultra-urban district of sleek art galleries and studios, all tucked away into former warehouse buildings.

    River North is the go-to district for art and design lovers. The area is bursting with energy, with an array of fabulous art galleries and history-defining buildings like the twin corncobs at Marina City and the 330 N. Wabash skyscraper by Mies van der Rohe. Immerse yourself in the Gilded Age at the stunningly preserved Richard H. Driehaus Museum, aka Chicago’s “Marble Palace.”

    One of the neighborhood’s most famous landmarks is theMART, which sits on the award-winning Chicago Riverwalk. Inside, take a cooking classes at The Chopping Block and wander through high-end interior design studios. Outside, be awed by Art on theMART, the world’s largest video projection art installation that takes over the building’s massive facade in the evenings.

    Cultured by day, River North shifts into high gear by night. The dining scene is always buzzing, from authentic Italian food hall Eataly to high-end steakhouses like RPM Steak to the award-winning Pacific Standard Time. 

    Travel to River North by taking the Red Line to Grand or the Brown/Purple Line to Chicago!

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    There’s nothing not to love about stunning Streeterville. This buzzing enclave is home to historic Navy Pier, the provocative Museum of Contemporary Art, and a beautiful stretch of lakefront that offers easy access to everything Lake Michigan has to offer.

    Streeterville is where you’ll find Navy Pier, a family-friendly playland packed with amusement rides (including the 200-foot Centennial Wheel), gift shops and eateries, docks lined with sightseeing and cruise boats, sweeping lakefront views, summer fireworks displays, the Chicago Children’s Museum, outdoor movie screenings and live music, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and so much more.

    Beyond the Pier, you’ll find summertime fun at Ohio Street Beach and nearby Lakefront Trail. The Museum of Contemporary Art houses innovative and experimental exhibits, featuring everyone from David Bowie to Virgil Abloh. 

    Take the Red Line to Grand or the Green Line to Washington/Wabash to have fun in Streeterville!

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     Forest Glen and Jefferson Park have a rich cultural heritage, with lots of authentic Eastern European eats and festive celebrations of Polish culture, arts, and music.

    Every summer, festivals fill the neighborhood’s namesake park — and Taste of Polonia is one of the headliners. It’s the largest Polish festival in the United States, with tons of traditional Polish foods, live bands, and cultural performances. You’ll also find the Jeff Fest Arts & Music Festival here. This much-anticipated event brings in cutting-edge local and national acts every summer. If you’re a fan of pop art, head to the free Ed Paschke Art Center, which houses the largest collection of the Chicago native’s artwork on permanent public display anywhere in the world. One of Jefferson Park’s most distinguished destinations is the Copernicus Civic and Cultural Center. This beautifully restored performing arts palace is a tribute to the neighborhood’s Polish-American roots. The center’s main theatre, once a grand movie palace, is busy almost every night of the week with dance groups, theatrical activities, concerts and more.

    Stock up on traditional Polish sausage at Andy’s Deli & Mikolajczyk Sausage Shop (it’s been around since 1918). Snag tickets to a show at The Gift Theatre, known for their intimate space and high-caliber acting. View museum-quality art at Morgan Art Gallery, the oldest Polish gallery in Chicago.

    Visit Forest Glen & Jefferson Park by taking the Blue Line to Jefferson Park! 

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    Want to take a trip around the world all in one neighborhood? Then head to Albany Park, one of the most diverse spots in the United States.

    Mexican, South American, Filipino, Korean, Indian, Cambodian, Somali, Romanian, Middle Eastern, and Yugoslavian cultures, among others, all come together in this quintessential melting pot. As you might imagine, that means all good things when it comes to grabbing a bite to eat, especially if you’re craving perfect Persian rice, refreshing Mexican paletas, or Kyrgyzstani hand-pulled noodles. Indulge in flaky, pistachio baklava at Middle Eastern bakery Jaafer Sweets or snack on Filipino street food while you shop at Seafood City Supermarket, Albany Park can satisfy all your cravings! It also means all good things culturally. The Albany Park Theater Project, in particular, is the recipient of numerous accolades, with productions that perfectly represent its multi-ethnic namesake neighborhood.

    Take the Brown Line northbound to Kimball to get to Albany Park!

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    Portage Park, packed with classic Chicago-style bungalows, is named for its picturesque park. The natural area, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, famously hosted the Pan-American Games in 1959 and the U.S. Olympic swimming trials in 1972. Today, the park is a beloved summertime hangout thanks to its lush landscaping, dog friendly area, tennis courts, playground, cultural arts building, Olympic-size pool, and a regular farmer’s market. 

    Heading indoors, the elegantly restored Portage Theater specializes in underground and silent film, while The Patio Theater screens first-run movies in an Art Deco building. The National Veterans Art Museum is a poignant must-see while you’re here. It’s the only museum in North America dedicated to exhibiting combat-inspired art, and showcases emotional works from veterans across generations.

    Take the Blue Line to Irving Park and then hop on the 80 bus to Irving Park & Linder to get to Portage Park!

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    Iconic Chicago architecture lives in Irving Park, from Victorian mansions to turn-of-the-century bungalows — some buildings even predate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

    The first thing to do when you arrive in Irving Park is stroll The Villa District, a tiny residential pocket that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. “The Villa”, recognized as an official Chicago landmark district, is a collection of 126 bungalows on seven distinctive blocks that draw upon Arts & Crafts and the Prairie School architectural styles for inspiration. Don't forget to treat yourself to some of the city’s best Thai food at Arun’s Thai Restaurant, or travel to Tokyo at the modern Raisu Japanese Fine Dining. 

    The Blue Line brings you to Irving Park at Addison/Irving Park!

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    Avondale’s industrial roots give it an urban, down-to-earth feel, while an influx of young residents and cool restaurants are breathing fresh life into the neighborhood.

    Check out the neighborhood’s historic buildings, like St. Hyacinth Basilica (one of only three basilicas in the city), or catch a show at Prop THTR, a long-standing storefront theatre that stages original works inspired by literature. Don't forget to order the Iron Maiden burger at Kuma’s Corner…while listening to Iron Maiden. 

    Take the Blue Line to Belmont to explore the neighborhood of Avondale!

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     Logan Square is a thriving community of artists, musicians, and the indie spirit. Its creative energy and urban vibe make it a go-to for locals looking for the next cool thing.

    Take a stroll down Logan Boulevard, which cuts through the heart of the neighborhood. It’s lined with regal limestone homes and anchored by the soaring Illinois Centennial Monument, designed by the same architect who created the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. Just a few steps away, you’ll find historic Logan Theatre. This vintage movie house opened in 1915 and has been revamped to include a cozy bar and lounge. The Logan, as the locals call it, screens everything from first-run films to cult classics to indie favorites. It also hosts the annual Chicago Underground Film Festival, the longest running underground film fest in the world.

    Among the neighborhood’s unique eateries you’ll find Michelin-rated spots, funky noodle shops, pizza places with cult followings, and unexpected fusion concepts. Hit the patio for fried chicken, ping pong, and negroni slushies at Parson’s Chicken and Fish. Support Sip of Hope, the world’s first coffee shop where 100% of the proceeds support proactive suicide prevention and mental health education, while enjoying coffee & conversation. Enjoy a seasonal, locally sourced meal at neighborhood favorite Lula Cafe, a pioneer of the farm-to-table movement. Hip coffee houses, minimalist boutiques, and a Sunday Farmers Market (held throughout the year) round out the Logan Square experience. 

    Enjoy everything Logan Square has to offer by hopping off of the Blue Line at Logan Square!

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    These artsy neighborhoods always have something cool going on. Wicker Park and Bucktown are hives of activity that draw shoppers hunting for unique finds and foodies looking for the trendiest eats.

    Start your day at the vibrant Six Corners area where North, Milwaukee, and Damen Avenues intersect. This is the always-bustling heart of the neighborhood, where you’ll find vintage stores, record shops, noodle joints, award-winning eateries, cool coffee houses, bookstores, art galleries, and more. Interested in a themed escape room adventure? Get trapped on an ‘L’ train at Escape Artistry escape rooms!

    A good way to see the area is on the 606, a repurposed rail line that gives you an elevated view of four distinctive Chicago neighborhoods: Wicker Park, Bucktown, Humboldt Park, and Logan Square. You’ll find walkers, joggers, bikers, public parks, art installations, overlooks, and more all along the 2.7-mile stretch.

    Take the Blue Line to Damen/Western to begin exploring these neighborhoods!

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    There are so many things to love about Humboldt Park, from its rich Puerto Rican roots, to its historic namesake park, to the pops of color from the neighborhood’s unique street art.

    You’ll know you’re in Humboldt Park when you pass under one of the monumental Puerto Rican flags that serve as gateways into the neighborhood. The metal sculptures are a not-so-subtle hint at the community’s proud heritage, which you can experience at the annual Puerto Rican Parade. The June event draws more than a million people a year, making it one of the highest attended Latino celebrations in the country. Or check out Fiesta Boricua in August, an annual block party that honors the community’s Puerto Rican identity.

    Throughout the year, you can visit the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, which celebrate Puerto Rico’s rich arts tradition with three galleries, performance spaces, arts classrooms, and more. The museum is housed in the landmark Humboldt Park stables, where visitors enter through a dramatic brick archway into the charming courtyard. That’s just one of the many picturesque spots in the park. Wander around the tranquil lagoon and stop by the historic boat house where you can snap photos, grab a bite to eat, and watch ducks idly paddle by.

    Mixed in with the neighborhood’s Puerto Rican pride is a thriving community of artists and young professionals. That means the streets here are filled with one-of-a-kind street art projects, bustling coffee shops, and more.

    Take the Green Line to Pulaski and Humboldt Park is just a few blocks north!

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    This cultural melting pot is known for its eclectic, artsy vibe. It’s one of the city’s up-and-coming hot spots, where you can uncover unique museums, old-school vintage shops, and tons of cool art — both in the galleries and on the streets.

    Over the past century, West Town has seen waves of immigrants from all over the world. These global influences have shaped the neighborhood into the funky, creative enclave it is today. It also encompasses the historic Ukrainian Village area, which brings tons of Eastern European heritage to the area. The Ukrainian National Museum houses an unparalleled collection of folk art and artifacts, and the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art presents works by internationally recognized artists from around the globe. 

    If you’re spending a day in West Town, Chicago Avenue is a good spot to start exploring. Many of the area’s restaurants are clustered around here, like a long-standing neighborhood gem with football-sized burritos (Tecalitlan). Next, hunt for antique treasures at cool salvage shops like Urban Remains and Salvage One. Make time to catch a show at The Empty Bottle, a beloved live music venue known for showcasing local and touring acts. 

    Explore West Town by taking the Pink/Green Line to Ashland or the Blue Line to Grand!

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    The West Loop is a foodie mecca. An explosion of excellent eateries have taken over this former industrial area, turning the historic warehouses into some of the city’s hottest restaurants.

    A former meat-packing district, the West Loop has become one of the most dynamic dining destinations in the city. In particular, a stretch of Randolph Street known as Restaurant Row is where you’ll find many of the neighborhood’s most celebrated spots, from high-end tasting menus to hidden ramen joints to fourth-generation sandwich shops.

    The West Loop is also home to Greektown, a bustling enclave overflowing with traditional restaurants, bakeries, and delis, and the National Hellenic Museum — the second oldest American institution dedicated to Greek culture.

    Nearby Fulton Market has a cool industrial vibe that bursts with activity, thanks to tons of trendy restaurants that have taken over the old warehouse spaces. Between meals, you can explore the West Loops’ art galleries, cool shops, and boutique hotels. 

    Get off of the Green/Pink Line at Clinton/Morgan/Ashland! Or take the Blue Line to Clinton/UIC-Halsted and visit Greektown!

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    Little Italy/University Village is a living legacy of Chicago’s Italian-American past, with homes, restaurants, and shops that have been part of the community for generations. It’s also home to University of Illinois at Chicago, infusing the whole area with a youthful energy.

    The true heart of the neighborhood is Taylor Street, where you’ll find long-time restaurants and delis that span generations. You can dig into homemade lasagna, stock up on freshly made breads, enjoy traditional dishes in a classic white-tablecloth joint, and order Italian baked goods by the bagful.

    The streets of Little Italy/University Village are also lined with eye-catching architecture and history, from Jane Addams Hull House Museum to The Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii and the Notre Dame de Chicago. After you fill up on authentic Italian fare, take a stroll along Lexington Street for an eyeful of Italianate architecture, including the John Coughlan House built in 1871. The neighborhood is also known for its many churches, like Saint Basil and Holy Family.

    Create a picnic with fresh sandwiches and salads from Conte de Savoia, a neighborhood staple since 1948. Hunt for deals at 100-year-old Maxwell Street Market every Sunday. See a statue of Christopher Columbus, made in Italy for the Chicago 1893 World’s Fair, at Arrigo Park.

    Take the Blue Line to UIC-Halsted or Racine to access Little Italy/University Village!

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    Rich in Latino culture, Pilsen is a neighborhood that overflows with music, art, culinary tradition, and nightlife. It is home to award-winning restaurants, iconic music venues, and sensational murals as far as the eye can see. 

    The first thing you’ll notice about Pilsen is the colorful street art. The buildings are covered in massive paintings that hint at the thriving arts community that exists here. Pilsen is also a haven for offbeat boutiques, hip eateries, and cool music venues standing alongside bodegas, panaderias, and family-owned restaurants serving authentic Mexican cuisine. Thalia Hall, one of the city's most beloved music venues, is where you can catch indie rockers, famed comedians, and live DJs in a striking space modeled after the Prague Opera House. 

    Satisfy your sweet tooth with gorditas dulces at Panaderia Nuevo Leon. Try modern versions of Vietnamese family recipes at HaiSous. Dig into flavorful tacos on freshly made tortillas at the no-frills Taqueria El Milagro. 

    Pilsen will not disappoint! Take the Orange Line to Halsted or the Green/Red Line to Cermak-McCormick Place/Cermak Chinatown and then the 21 bus to Cermak & Racine!

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    Baseball fans flock to Bridgeport to see the Chicago White Sox dominate on their home turf, but we also love the area’s burgeoning arts scene, globally inspired restaurants, and classic neighborhood taverns.

    Bridgeport is home to the Chicago White Sox, one of Major League Baseball’s oldest franchises. The team won the World Series in 2005, led by Ozzie Guillén, the first Latino manager in history to win a World Series. (The Sox also won the World Series in 1906 and 1917.) If you’re catching a game, arrive a few hours early — you’ll want to make time to hangout at the tailgate party that takes over the stadium’s parking lot before each game.

    Along with baseball fever, you’ll find a hotbed of arts and history in Bridgeport. Spots to visit include the Bridgeport Art Center and Zhou B Art Center, which have both helped build Bridgeport’s vibrant arts scene. The neighborhood is also home to the Chicago Maritime Museum, which includes more than 6,000 objects that commemorate Chicago’s maritime past.

    Take the Red Line to Sox-35th for this adventure!

    Bridgeport and Armour Square Map -  Purchase a map here

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    Bronzeville is a center of African-American life and culture in Chicago. Historically known as the city’s “Black Metropolis”, it’s home to a diverse business community, historic landmarks, and lively events like the annual Bud Billiken Parade that draws more than one million spectators each August.

    This community is known for it’s rich history and flourishing modern-day renaissance. Bronzeville’s cultural contributions are vast — it brought the world Pulitzer Prize-winner Gwendolyn Brooks, civil rights activist Ida B. Wells, legendary musician Louis Armstrong, and more. Today, the area is embracing its legacy as a mecca for civil rights, jazz, blues, and gospel music. You’ll find an array of coffee shops, galleries, libraries, monuments, and restaurants, alongside spectacular Victorian-era architecture and 19th-century mansions.

    Make sure to check out the Robert W. Roloson Houses, the only row homes that Frank Lloyd Wright ever built. In the midst of all that history, look for striking modern public art installations, like a sculpture-adorned stretch of Martin Luther King Drive that features the Monument to the Great Northern Migration, The Bronzeville Walk of Fame, and The Victory Monument. Don't forget to dine on old-school Southern soul food at Pearl’s Place and admire works by emerging multicultural artists at Gallery Guichard inside the Bronzeville Artist Lofts.

    Take the Green Line to 43rd to visit Bronzeville!

    Bronzeville Map -  Purchase a map here

    Designed by Joe Mills. Purchase a map here.

    It’s home to the lakefront Museum Campus, where you’ll find three of Chicago’s biggest museums. In the South Loop, you will also find celebrated jazz clubs, a mix of crowd-pleasing restaurants, and vibrant historic areas like industrial Motor Row and charming the Prairie Avenue District.

    It’s a little mind-blowing arriving on the site of Chicago’s Museum Campus. The three gorgeous neoclassical buildings that house the museums are set against the blue waters of Lake Michigan on one side and the soaring skyline on the other. Take Shoreline Sightseeing Water Taxi’s Lake Route that lets you off right at Shedd Aquarium, home to more than 32,000 aquatic creatures from all over the plant. The Adler Planetarium — America’s first planetarium — is more than a museum; it’s a laboratory, a classroom, and a community exploring the universe together. And the monumental Field Museum is home to Máximo the Titanosaur, SUE the T. rex, and more than 40 million other artifacts.

    For a unique urban experience, venture to the Motor Row District along South Michigan Avenue, Chicago’s former automobile manufacturing hub. Now it’s home to an immersive theatre, international restaurants, and more. In the nearby Prairie Avenue District, you can stroll “Millionaire’s Row,” lined with mansions that once belonged to Chicago’s elite, including the historic Glessner House Museum. 

    To visit South Loop, take the Red/Green Line to Roosevelt!

    South Loop Map -  Purchase a map here

    Designed by Joe Mills. Purchase a map here.

    Hyde Park was the site of the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, home to former President Barack Obama, an incubator for Nobel Prize winners — basically, history is made in Hyde Park.

    This culturally rich neighborhood is bookended by two of the city’s most significant institutions — the Museum of Science and Industry to the east and the University of Chicago to the west. The largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere, the Museum of Science and Industry boasts more than 2,000 exhibits — from U-boats and airplanes to coal mines and tornados. It’s also housed in one of the last remaining buildings from the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, which was held in neighboring Jackson Park. And on the University of Chicago campus, you’ll find striking Gothic architecture, the free Smart Museum of Art, the Oriental Institute, the Court Theatre, and more. The university is known for world-changing discoveries, like the world’s first artificial nuclear reactor that was built below the school’s football stadium.

    The neighborhood’s cultural contributions don’t end there. It’s home to one of the most iconic masterpieces in American architectural design — Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also in Hyde Park, the DuSable Museum is the country’s first institution dedicated to African American history and culture. It resides within Washington Park, home to a bird and butterfly sanctuary and the much-photographed Fountain of Time. And the Hyde Park Art Center has been a powerhouse on the art scene for more than 70 years, claiming the title of oldest alternative exhibition space in Chicago.

    Make an early morning stop at Valois Restaurant, one of Barack Obama’s favorite breakfast spots. Head to Jackson park to see the Garden of the Phoenix, a hidden Japanese garden, and SKYLANDING, Yoko Ono’s first permanent U.S. public art installation.

     

    Kenwood situates itself north of Hyde Park. As you wander its shady streets you’ll be awed by 19th-century mansions, charming coach houses, and stunning contemporary homes, all surrounded by lush lawns and meticulous garden landscapes.

    The neighborhood also boasts an impressive collection of Art Deco building from the early 20th century, particularly in the Indian Village district. That’s where you’ll find the Powhatan Apartments, an ornately decorated high-rise that was lauded as having “all the luxuries of an ocean liner” when it opened in 1929. There’s also the Hyde Park–Kenwood Historic District, recognized by the National Register of Historic Places. Kenwood counts some pretty big names among its former residents. which means you’ll be walking in the footsteps of Muddy Waters, Muhammad Ali, the Obamas, and longtime White Sox owner Bill Veeck.

    Take a Chicago Architecture Center tour of the area’s many hidden gems. Ramble along the Burnham Wildlife Corridor, the largest stretch of natural area on Chicago’s lakefront. Recharge with a superfood smoothie or a honey cortado at creative cafe Carver 47 — all proceeds go toward a local arts academy.

    No need for public transit to explore our surrounding neighborhoods!

    Hyde Park and Kenwood Map -  Purchase a map here

    Designed by Joe Mills. Purchase a map here.

    One of the best parts of South Shore is, well, the shore. The area is home to a pristine stretch of lakefront, not to mention sweeping skyline views, eye-catching architecture, and rich cultural offerings.

    Head to Rainbow Beach Park to get a sense of what South Shore has to offer. The gorgeous park features two parks, a community garden, and jaw-dropping views of Chicago. The beach itself is one of Chicago’s largest, and is a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing in the summer. Just north of Rainbow Beach Park, the South Shore Cultural Center is one of the neighborhood’s crown jewels. Housed in a former country club, the center is nestled on manicured, picnic-worthy grounds that include a nature sanctuary, a butterfly garden, and a nine-hole golf course. Inside, you’ll find a rich array of cultural programming, a restaurant run by the in-house culinary institute, and a theatre that hosts a variety of community groups like the Court Theatre and South Shore Opera. The center was also the site of Barack and Michelle Obama’s wedding reception.

    Get a glimpse of the area’s unique architecture in Jackson Park Highlands. This residential pocket features a hodgepodge of architectural styles and towering mansions. Don’t miss the striking Prairie-style home by Frank Lloyd Wright’s protege John S. Van Bergen (his only design in Chicago) at 7121 S. Paxton Ave.

    Walk through African American history at the Builders of the Cultural Present mural. Visit the Stony Island Arts Bank, a crumbling bank building transformed into a stunning cultural haven. Bring the kids to the Bronzeville Children’s Museum, the first and only African American children’s museum in the country.

    No need to rely on the CTA to visit Jackson Park Highlands or South Shore!

    South Shore Map -  Purchase a map here

    Designed by Joe Mills. Purchase a map here.

    We love Beverly for its Irish heritage and amazing architecture.

    Beverly’s deep Emerald Isle roots prevail on Western Avenue, the home of Chicago’s South Side Irish Parade, a massive, family-friendly celebration that’s been marking St. Patrick’s Day in Beverly for more than 40 years. As for architecture, Beverly Unitarian Church is one of the area’s most striking buildings. Set on a scenic green hill, the impressive structure borrows its design from a medieval castle once situated between Dublin and Belfast.

    Frank Lloyd Wright lives largely in Beverly, as do his contemporaries. The neighborhood is home to one of the country’s largest historic districts — just walk a few blocks in any direction to see eclectic array of residential architecture, from sweeping Prairie-style residences to brick Tudors to Spanish-inspired homes. 

    The multi-disciplinary Beverly Arts Center houses an art gallery, exhibition spaces, music and dance studios, and a 400-seat theatre. Check the events calendar for film screenings, concerts, and professional theatre performances. The neighborhood is also known for vast green spaces, like the scenic Dan Ryan Forest Preserve.

    Treat yourself to the Original Rainbow Cone — locals have been craving this Insta-worthy Chicago treat for more than 80 years. 

    Take the Red Line down to 95th/Dan Ryan and then hop on the 95 bus to 95th Street & Leavitt!

    Beverly Map -  Purchase a map here

    Designed by Joe Mills. Purchase a map here.