Why we love it
This close-knit neighborhood is home to loads of Hispanic culture and a burgeoning arts community. Originally a haven for European immigrants, Belmont Cragin is now known for its welcoming Latin population, relaxed residential feel, and thriving small business community.
The neighborhood is an off-the-beaten-path spot to enjoy shopping, dining, cultural events, and local theatre. It’s also the perfect place for a night out — feast on global cuisine, catch a new show, then wind down with a nightcap with the locals at a neighborhood bar or late-night dance floor.
Explore like a local
- Start your day off with a hot breakfast at Valle Lindo Coffee Shop, serving everything from omelets to empanadas.
- See a Spanish-language or bilingual show at Aguijon Theater, the city’s oldest Latino theatre.
- Admire more than 300 historic vehicles at the Klairmont Kollections Automotive Museum.
- Shop local retail, art, and food vendors at free open-air mercados throughout the year.
Belmont Cragin has long been known as an intergenerational, family-oriented community with a wealth of small businesses, beautiful parks, and local restaurants. It’s part of Chicago’s “bungalow belt”, known for its distinctive residential architecture.
Today, the area is fast becoming a hub for Chicago’s creative community, thanks to design-minded residents and incubators breathing new life into the neighborhood.
Dock 6 Collective is a group of independent designers and makers who have set up shop in a repurposed warehouse, offering public showcases and events. And the Crecer Business Incubator is a storefront featuring wares from the community’s up-and-coming entrepreneurs and small businesses.
The neighborhood has long nurtured an independent theatre scene. The Stahl Family Theatre is home to the Chicago Kids Company, which has been producing all-ages musicals for more than 30 years. And the Aguijon Theater encourages cross-cultural exploration with classic and contemporary performances that highlight issues affecting the Latino community.
Locals love Riis Park, a 100-year-old green space that’s a gathering place for the community. You’ll find a duck-filled lagoon, picnic areas, a running track, tennis courts, a soccer field, a waterpark, a large pool, and an ice rink in the winter.
When it comes to dining options, Belmont Cragin draws inspiration from its international roots. Order pierogies and other casual fare at Tasty Polish Food, enjoy a seafood feast at La Costa, try authentic Guatemalan cuisine at Latin Patio Restaurant, and sip pisco sours at Avenida Peru.
There’s also plenty of nightlife to experience, from beloved dive bars to laid-back lounges. Stereo Club is the neighborhood’s place for late-night fun, with DJs spinning everything from Latin beats to Reggaeton to Top 40 hits, so you can dance the night away.
Chicago Greeter: free guided tours
Taste, shop and explore the neighborhoods with a friendly local as your guide. Explore rich histories, diverse cultural traditions and hidden treasures. See sides of the city you may not have adventured out to on your own, and take away a truly authentic Chicago experience. Greeter visits are customized based on your choice of neighborhoods, language and interests.Request a tour with a Chicago Greeter