Pilsen, Little Village and Humboldt Park, Chicago boasts some of the most
vibrant Latino communities in the country. This city boasts cultural
institutions like the National Museum of Mexican Art, jaw-dropping public
murals created by renowned Latino artists and delicious Hispanic-inspired
cuisine around every corner.
An Authentic Taste of Latin Cuisine
in 1962, Nuevo Leon Restaurant (1515 W. 18th St.) has developed into one of the Pilsen community's most
popular restaurants. With authentic Mexican cuisine and their famous New York
strip steak dish (Filete Nueveo Leon), this place offers a genuine taste of
Chicago's Hispanic flair.
their Tres Leches (three milk cake), Kristoffer's
Café & Bakery (1733 S. Halsted St.) is a true Mexican sweet shop
located on an art gallery-decorated stretch of the Pilsen neighborhood. Besides
their award-winning baked goods, Kristoffer's showcases specialty coffees from
throughout the world, including "La Perla de Oaxaca" from Mexico and "Los Inmortales"
from El Salvador.
is home to some of the city's trendiest restaurants, breweries and cocktail
bars. D'Noche (2710 N. Milwaukee Ave.), a celebrated Latin Fusion restaurant in
the neighborhood, is famous for its inviting atmosphere, powerful Latin flavors
and jibarito any time of day.
Ecuadorian fare on the Chicago's Northwest side, visit La Peña (4212 N.
Milwaukee Ave.) in Portage Park. Besides perfectly seasoned grilled steak and
unbelievable ceviche, La Peña often features live music in their spirited
steak at Las Tablas (4920 W. Irving Park Rd.) has been called the best in
Chicago, but this place offers more than wonderfully-spiced beef. Their
Columbian-inspired menu features an impressive collection of seafood and one of
the Midwest's most celebrated empanadas dishes.
steak, tilapia tacos and braised meats that remind you of Guadalajara check out
Lincoln Square's storefront eatery, Los Nopales Authentic Mexican Restaurant (4544 N. Western Ave.). Since opening
its doors in 2005, Lost Nopales's has developed a reputation for its explosive
flavors and charmingly relaxed dining environment.
With a Latin-inspired
menu that draws influence from Puerto Rican, Mexican, Cuban and contemporary
dishes, this charming café in the Pilsen neighborhood is a must-visit for
lovers of creative cuisine. From brie and pear quesadillas to hamburgers with
chipotle ketchup, May Street Café (1146 W. Cermak Rd.) mirrors its Pilsen
neighborhood by providing a Mexican flare to its diverse community.
"Chicago's Second Magnificent Mile"
Mayor Rahm Emanuel as Chicago's "second Magnificent Mile," this bustling
commercial district on 26th Street provides a variety of Latin-inspired
shopping, dining and nightlife options. Located in Little Village, the city's
largest Mexican community, this area offers an expansive and authentic Latin shopping experience. To explore this space, visit 26th St. from California Ave. to Kostner Ave.
The Public Art of Pilsen & Humboldt Park
Thanks to a
collaborative effort between the Chicago Urban Art Society, National Museum of
Mexican Arts and Pawn Works, Art in Public
Spaces was born. Art in Public Spaces turned otherwise neglected areas of
the Pilsen neighborhood into masterpieces of large-scale, public artwork.
Featuring glass-tile mosaics, graffiti art and enormous depictions of Mexican
icons, the Pilsen Murals are an inspiring symbol of the neighborhood's
unconquerable spirit. Visitors interested in exploring the Pilsen Murals should
walk the area bounded by 16th street to the north, the Chicago River to the
east and Western Avenue to the west.
cultural history is everywhere in the neighborhood, even its ‘L' stops.
Adorning the 18th Street and Damen Avenue Pink Line Stations are a
collection of murals by internationally renowned artist Francisco Mendoza and
students of Gallery 37. The murals illustrate various aspects of Mexican
culture, including a must-visit, multi-media mosaic by Angel Chavez called
"Vida Simple" at 2100 S. Damen Avenue.
Park Mural Program was created to restore decaying works of public art while,
simultaneously, showcasing the neighborhoods creative vision. Today, Humboldt
Park boasts more than 60 incredible works that proudly connect onlookers to the
area's rich Latino culture. Visitors interested in exploring the Humboldt Park Murals
should walk the area bounded by Western Avenue to the east, Division Street to
the south and Rockwell Street to the west.
In 1995, Chicago
gifted a pair of enormous metal Puerto Rican flags (Division St. at Western Ave. & Californian Ave.) that measure
almost 60 feet in height to the Humboldt Park neighborhood. These twin
sculptures are a proud symbol of the neighborhood's deeply rooted Latino pride
and serve as a gateway to Paseo Boricua, a stretch on Chicago's West Side
commonly called "little Puerto Rico."
Discovering Latino Culture
doors opened in 1987, the goal of the National
Museum of Mexican Art (1852 W. 19th St.) was to establish an
organization committed to accessibility, education and social justice. Today,
the museum is a national authority on Mexican art with a 48,000 square-foot,
state-of-the-art facility. Located in the Pilsen neighborhood, the Museum vaunts
more than 7,000 seminal pieces from ancient Mexico to the present, one of the
largest collections of its kind.
the best of Puerto Rico's rich history, the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture (3015 W. Division St.) is a
one-of-a-kind Chicago institution. Visitors can expect an active calendar of
visual exhibitions, films and fine art displays. The Institute of Puerto Rican
Arts & Culture recently underwent and multimillion dollar renovation to
turn the historical structure into one of the most architecturally
distinguished buildings in the area.