Get out of downtown and into Chicago’s singular neighborhoods

Most of us conduct to Chicago for a prolonged weekend and check out a usuals: a Shedd Aquarium, a Museum of Science and Technology, Navy Pier, a theater, Lake Michigan, and of course, Chicago-style pizza.

Recently, interjection to a preference of Uber and Lyft, we motionless to try some other regions of a Windy City. If we demeanour closely enough, you’ll find dozens of neighborhoods that are like small cities themselves, any with a possess personality.

Choose Chicago ( offers a greeter module where a proffer will take you, for free, on a walking discuss of any area of a city we choose.

Kathleen Dragan, author of ”Rickshaw Reggie” a children’s book about Chicago neighborhoods, is one of those volunteers and loves introducing tourists to tools of a city they might not be informed with.

“I suggest people try a neighborhoods given we get to see pieces of story that we differently wouldn’t and see how people unequivocally live in a city,” Dragan pronounced in a phone interview. “It’s unequivocally exciting.

“Plus, we consider partial of a beauty of Chicago’s story is that we are a city of immigrants and many neighborhoods have defended a impression of a immigrants — so in a approach we are removing a ambience of a unfamiliar enlightenment though going abroad.”


Chicago’s Andersonville area has something for any interest. According to Dragan, “it has a good cohesive area vibe.”

The grill Big Jones might really good be during a core of that vibe. Known for a normal Southern cooking by cook and co-owner Paul Fehribach, Big Jones is within walking stretch (a prolonged walk) to a renouned Foster Street Beach, so diners can squeeze a punch before a day on a water. Big Jones creates some of a best boiled duck I’ve ever had, and what’s improved for a journey possibly during a beach or circuitously Winnemac Park than boiled chicken?


Everything on a charcuterie residence during Big Jones in Chicago’s Andersonville area is done in house. imitation by Brian Sirimaturos

Brian Sirimaturos

The restaurant, a tack in a area for 10 years, has a menu filled with favorites from a American South, from a turn on a packet julep, a lovely rhubarb julep, to shrimp and forage ($17). But it’s also a grill with an importance on internal mixture and creation all from scratch. Don’t skip a Boucherie Board ($22), where all from a charcuterie to a pickles to a preserves to a crackers is done in-house. (

So Andersonville is a bit of a aged south then, right? No, currently it’s a brew of ethnicities and backgrounds, though a roots are Swedish. In fact, a Midsommarfest, one of Chicago’s largest transport festivals (held in June), still honors a Swedish tradition of celebrating a summer solstice. Locally owned, mom-and-pop form stores seem to dot a blurb district. You’ll find a Middle Eastern bakery, a hip record store, antiques shops, wardrobe boutiques and a Gethsemane Garden Center, a end Chicagoans transport to from all over a city.

Fehribach, an envoy for a area, touts a many attributes, utterly a Hopleaf Bar down a road. “It’s a strange drink bar,” he says. “Make certain we go there.”

The Swedish American Museum, with a iconic blue and yellow H2O tower, contains artifacts of all types, including archival material, photographs, domestic items, textiles, musical and excellent art. It also has a children’s museum, that tells a story of immigration, including a 20-foot newcomer liner will take we on a tour to America. ($4,

A half-dozen or so museum companies call Andersonville home. The Raven Theatre is a prominence among them though also check out a pH Comedy museum and Barrel of Monkeys, that adapts student-written works.

Boundaries • The area is restrained roughly by Ainslie Avenue to a south, Victoria Street to a north, Ravenswood Avenue to a west, and Magnolia Avenue to a east.

More info •


The initial thing that we will notice about Pilsen is a art. Giant murals adorn homes, doors, businesses and other open spaces. But be certain to start on 16th Street, where transport art murals line a maintaining wall for during slightest a mile. Dragan says they call it El Museo del Barrio (the Museum of a Neighborhood). Some of a murals are 50 years old, some were put there illegally, some are utterly basic, others perplexing design of conflict scenes, chronological total and faces that tell stories. Some have an Aztec or Mayan influence. Others are domestic in inlet and have themes of amicable justice.


One of a murals along 16th Street in a Pilsen area of Chicago. Photo by Amy Bertrand

Amy Bertrand •

A few blocks over, find a National Museum of Mexican Art. Outside, transport vendors sell trinkets and duros, a Mexican break food of puffed wheat. Inside a giveaway 48,000-square-foot museum, find 4 bedrooms of beautiful works of art by artists that tell a story from ancient Mexico to present-day triumphs and struggles. On a visit, shortly after a Pixar film “Coco” came out, a Day of a Dead vaunt was a highlight. A docent told me she’s seen some-more kids meddlesome in a art given a film came out. (

Pilsen is now a mostly Mexican-American neighborhood, though it got a start as a Czech neighborhood. And given it’s restrained by a tyrannise and a river, many of a Great Chicago Fire missed it.

“That’s because some of a oldest design in a city can be found there,” Dragan says.

The blurb district, generally down 18th street, is full of boutiques and restaurants trimming from Mexican to Vietnamese to a Honky Tonk BBQ, though substantially a many renouned is Dusek’s Board and Beer, a Michelin-starred grill in a heart of Pilsen. It’s partial of a building that houses a Tack Room, a brick-walled piano bar, a Punch House, a lower-level club, and Thalia Hall, a unison venue. Thalia Hall was built in 1892 as an show residence when Pilsen was essentially a Czech community. The skill was modeled after a Prague show house, and currently it hosts concerts and even film nights. It, and a church opposite a street, are good examples of aged antique architecture.

Dusek’s didn’t get that Michelin star for nothing. The food, formed on a anniversary menu, is both brave and familiar. The mussels are baked with smoked pimenton and served with harissa butter ($16). They have a plate called a Ordinary ($26). It’s a roasted lamb, with reddish-brown gnocchi, turnip greens, black wail mushrooms and is, of course, anything though ordinary. Dusek’s is famous for a rotating drink menu. Even a cocktails are beer-based. (

Boundaries • Halstead Street on a east; Ashland on a west, Cermak on a south and 16th Street to a north (there is some discuss on this).

More info •

Logan Square

At a core of Logan Square is not a square, though some-more of an oval with a Illinois Centennial Monument in a center. Designed by Henry Bacon of Lincoln Memorial fame, it’s a singular 70-foot Doric mainstay surfaced by an eagle. The area itself is utterly large, comprising blocks of lovable shops, fun restaurants, townhomes, single-family bungalows and greystone mansions along wide, park-like boulevards.

Logan Square is full of history. Frank Baum wrote “The Wizard of Oz” there (or really nearby, depending on how we pull a boundaries). Renovations are underway during a residence where Walt Disney lived before he changed to Marceline, Mo. William S. Paley lived in an unit there as a child, before he built Columbia Broadcasting System.

The streets are sincerely prosaic and not usually walkable though bikeable, with Divvy bikes we can lease on several transport corners. You can bound on a 606, one of Chicago’s newest parks, a rails-to-trail greenspace that connects 4 neighborhoods, or we could usually journey a streets. Stop in during one of a distilleries or breweries or check out a Viking, one of a best ski shops in a Midwest. There’s also a lovable imitation emporium called Steel Petal Press, specializing in old-style letterpress.

Oh, and there’s a playground school. Aloft offers classes inside a former church. The Logan Theatre, circa 1915, shows cinema and has a selected bar.

A accumulation of restaurants abound, though we listened so most about Fat Rice, we knew that’s where we indispensable to go. The rarely acclaimed grill whose influences are from Macao, consistent Asian and Portuguese flavors, didn’t disappoint.


Fat Rice grill in Logan Square facilities food from Macao, consistent Asian and Portuguese flavors. imitation by Brian Sirimaturos

Brian Sirimaturos

Try a arroz gordo (at $45, a plate meant to be shared). The paella-like plate facilities rice with curried duck thighs, sausage, pork, prawns, clams, pickles and olives and few other surprises. We were there for brunch and everybody in my family swore a peanut butter French toast was a best French toast they’ve ever had.

Boundaries • The Metra/Milwaukee District North Line tyrannise on a west; a North Branch of a Chicago River on a east; Diversey Parkway on a north; and Bloomingdale Avenue on a south. (There is some discuss here, also.)

More info •


When exploring Chicago neighborhoods, we can stay possibly in a city, shower in all a city has to offer and staying during hotels with story and character, though with that come a prices, a trade and a parking hassles. Another choice is to stay in a nearby suburbs. What we scapegoat in terms of trendiness and fad of a vast city, we make adult for in cost and convenience, especially, for St. Louisans, if we stay on a southwest side of a city.

The Talbott

20 East Delaware Place, Chicago; {a class=”fl r-ipnQ3o5hcR7c” title=”Call around Hangouts” data-number=”+13129444970” data-rtid=”ipnQ3o5hcR7c” data-ved=”0ahUKEwii9aH6yLvVAhVHOSYKHfEUBf0QkAgIoAEoADAQ”}1-312-944-4970;

The boutique hotel was renovated and reopened early this summer. The biggest change is a new bar and grill area, 20 East. And both drinks and food are value a stop even if we aren’t staying here. The new décor looks complicated nonetheless evokes an old-world feel. The biggest and here is that a bedrooms are large. For downtown Chicago, they are officious outrageous during 403 block feet for a fine double black we were in. Our room had a perspective of usually a section wall on a building subsequent to us, and we struggled to get a atmosphere conditioning working, though a staff was outstanding, and a hotel allows (and welcomes) pets. Rates start during $177.65; parking is extra.

Wingate by Windham Tinley Park

{div class=”mod” data-md=”1002” data-hveid=”180” data-ved=”0ahUKEwjS_rzkyonYAhVKSyYKHY4BCJAQkCkItAEoAjAP”}{div class=”_eFb”}{div class=”_mr kno-fb-ctx” data-dtype=”d3adr” data-local-attribute=”d3adr” data-ved=”0ahUKEwjS_rzkyonYAhVKSyYKHY4BCJAQghwItQEoADAP”}8421 North Creek Drive, Tinley Park, Ill.; {/div}{div class=”_mr kno-fb-ctx” data-dtype=”d3adr” data-local-attribute=”d3adr” data-ved=”0ahUKEwjS_rzkyonYAhVKSyYKHY4BCJAQghwItQEoADAP”}1-708-532-9300;{/div}{div class=”_mr kno-fb-ctx” data-dtype=”d3adr” data-local-attribute=”d3adr” data-ved=”0ahUKEwjS_rzkyonYAhVKSyYKHY4BCJAQghwItQEoADAP”} {/div}{div class=”_mr kno-fb-ctx” data-dtype=”d3adr” data-local-attribute=”d3adr” data-ved=”0ahUKEwjS_rzkyonYAhVKSyYKHY4BCJAQghwItQEoADAP”}

Part of Wyndham Hotel Group, Wingate by Wyndham hotels offer all a basis and a small more. Here, we get giveaway breakfast, Wi-Fi, business centers, indoor pool and examination center. What we appreciated were a incomparable guest bedrooms and a x-ray and mini-fridge in any room. It was right off Interstate 80, so we could get home to St. Louis or into downtown Chicago (about 30 minutes) really easily. In 2017, a code was ranked top in guest compensation in a midscale shred for a third uninterrupted year by J.D. Power. Rates start during $99.99. Parking is free. {/div}{div class=”_mr kno-fb-ctx” data-dtype=”d3adr” data-local-attribute=”d3adr” data-ved=”0ahUKEwjS_rzkyonYAhVKSyYKHY4BCJAQghwItQEoADAP”} {/div}{/div}{/div} {div class=”mod” data-md=”1006” data-hveid=”183” data-ved=”0ahUKEwjS_rzkyonYAhVKSyYKHY4BCJAQkCkItwEoAzAQ”} {/div}

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