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Little Village
Dulcelandia; photo by Lucy Hewett

DNC Guide: Neighborhoods

Explore Chicago’s tapestry of neighborhoods

Chicago is proud to welcome visitors from around the world to our great city for the Democratic National Convention 2024. While you’re here, we invite you to come experience what makes Chicago a city like no other — and why we’ve been named the Best Big City in the U.S. for an unprecedented seven years in a row.

Chicago has always been a city of neighborhoods. We have 77 distinct communities that represent a diverse array of cultures, people, and experiences. You can visit an authentic taqueria in Pilsen, sip a cocktail in an Uptown jazz club, or explore the historic Pullman community. No matter where you go, there’s something new to see and do around every corner in this vibrant city.

We’ve created these Chicago guides with five specially curated activities to help DNC visitors experience different aspects of our great city. To delve deeper and make the most out of your time in Chicago, keep exploring with our guide at the link below.

Explore our neighborhood guide to Chicago

1. Step back in time in historic communities

Monument to the Great Migration

Explore a living monument to African American history in Bronzeville, the city’s “Black Metropolis.” Admire architectural gems that represent local African American history, like The Forum, Monument to the Great Migration, and the Supreme Life building. Make sure to check out the Robert W. Roloson Houses, the only row homes that Frank Lloyd Wright ever built, and stroll by the former residences of great entertainers like Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, and the Marx Brothers.

Pullman, the city’s first National Monument, is a must-see experience for history and architecture buffs. The historic neighborhood is a preserved time capsule, transporting you to the 1880s when Pullman was built as a planned industrial community. Stop at the Visitor Center for informational exhibits and see the A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum, which honors the significant contributions of Black railroad workers.

This lakefront neighborhood is famed for being home to the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, former President Barack Obama, and the University of Chicago. When in Hyde Park, visit Nuclear Energy, a bronze sculpture at the site of the world’s first nuclear reactor. Spend time wandering the Garden of the Phoenix in Jackson Park, a relic from the Japanese pavilion during the World’s Columbian Exposition

2. Travel the world with international enclaves

Friends enjoy dim sum in Chicago's Chinatown
Chinatown; photo by Adam Alexander

Chicago’s flourishing Chinatown neighborhood has been a hub for the city’s Chinese community for over 100 years. Stroll through colorful streets filled with traditional specialty shops, ornate architecture, storefronts packed with colorful wares and souvenirs, and family-owned restaurants serving their own takes on regional cuisines. 

Immerse yourself in Puerto Rican culture in Humboldt Park. You can feel the residents’ pride in their heritage and community along the neighborhood’s bustling cultural corridor, the Paseo Boricua. That’s where you’ll find family-owned dining options, a marketplace for local artisans, and tons of colorful murals and public artwork. 

Known as the Mexico of the Midwest, Little Village is home to one of the country’s largest Mexican American communities. Spend an afternoon exploring the neighborhood’s many traditional bakeries, beloved neighborhood restaurants, unique local shops, and a community of friendly locals who have called the area home for generations.

3. Feel the Pride in inclusive communities

The owners of Nobody's Darling bar in Andersonville
Photo by Susanne Fairfax

Northalsted is one of the country’s most inclusive LGBTQ+ communities and the oldest officially recognized gay neighborhood in the United States. It’s known for its welcoming vibe, nonstop nightlife, LGBTQ-owned businesses, and as the heart of Chicago’s annual Pride festivities.

A longtime refuge for immigrants and LGBTQ+ communities, Uptown is one of the city’s most diverse areas. Experience an array of inclusive entertainment, from casual neighborhood watering holes to over-the-top drag shows.

An area with deep Swedish roots, Andersonville is also home to one of Chicago’s largest LGBTQ+ communities and is integral to the city’s annual Pride celebrations. Grab cocktails at an award-winning queer cocktail bar, shop at a feminist bookstore, and make sure to come back for Midsommarfest each June.

Explore more LGBTQ+ Chicago.

4. Make the most of summer in green neighborhoods

Garfield

Chicago’s Garfield Park neighborhood is a nature lover’s paradise. The area is home to a sprawling chain of green spaces, with the historic Garfield Park Conservatory as its centerpiece. This century-old glass structure is overflowing with plants, flowers, and trees from all over the world and is surrounded by lush outdoor grounds. 

Lincoln Park is a picturesque waterfront featuring manicured gardens, a hidden lily pond, a historic indoor botanical garden, and tons of lakefront green space with sweeping city views. Spend time exploring the area’s namesake park, home to Lincoln Park Zoo, Lincoln Park Conservatory, North Avenue Beach, and more.

One of the best parts of the South Shore neighborhood is the shore. The area boasts a pristine stretch of lakefront that includes one of the city’s largest beaches. The South Shore Cultural Center is one of the neighborhood’s crown jewels, nestled on picnic-worthy grounds that include a nature sanctuary, a butterfly garden, and a nine-hole golf course.

5. Eat and drink in these foodie neighborhoods

A woman drinks a margarita on the patio at La Vaca Margarita Bar
La Vaca Margarita Bar

The West Loop is a foodie mecca. An explosion of excellent eateries has taken over this former industrial area, turning the historic warehouses into some of the city’s hottest restaurants. The neighborhood is home to some of the city’s most acclaimed restaurants, from sleek steakhouses to moody speakeasies to authentic international cuisine. 

Rich in Latino culture, Pilsen is a neighborhood frequently named among the coolest neighborhoods in the world. Naturally, its dining scene is second to none, featuring everything from authentic taquerias to acclaimed fine dining. Dig into modern versions of Vietnamese family recipes, feast on classic Mexican staples, and try elevated takes on globally inspired flavors.

Perennially hip, Logan Square is an artsy neighborhood that’s a go-to for cool nightlife, acclaimed dining, breweries, and more. Among the neighborhood’s diverse dining scene, you’ll find Michelin-rated spots, pizza places with cult followings, funky noodle shops, hip coffee houses, and unexpected fusion concepts. End the night with a cocktail at one of the area’s buzzing bars. 

Explore all Chicago DNC guides