Why we love it
Chatham is a friendly neighborhood filled with rich African American history, distinctive architecture, Black arts and culture, and a culinary corridor lined with locally loved, Black-owned restaurants. All that, plus a neighborly, friendly vibe makes it somewhere you’re going to want to stay awhile.
Explore like a local
- Start the day strong with a homemade apple fritter the size of your head from Dat Donut.
- Mahalia Jackson Court is an outdoor plaza that hosts holiday events, food trucks, live music, and more.
- Nearby, Justice of the Pies serves up slices of sweet and savory homemade pies.
Keep an eye out for historic homes: The Chatham neighborhood is filled with landmarks that commemorate its storied African American history. You’ll find the former residence of important figures like Thomas Dorsey, Emmett Till, Gwendolyn Brooks, Mahalia Jackson, Al Capone, and Ernie Banks.
Spot unique architecture around every corner: Explore the area’s unique architectural legacy in Chatham’s multiple historic districts. The Commercial District is known for its well-preserved terra-cotta facades, the Bungalow District holds more than 250 examples of this classic Chicago residence, and the Garden Homes District is a unique cluster of century-old houses.
Dive into the local art scene: Chatham is also home to a rising artistic community. Artists on the 9 houses a gallery and studio space for Black artists. And The Woodshop is a full-service art gallery and custom frame shop that has been showcasing Black artists for over 40 years.
Throughout the neighborhood, colorful murals pay homage to homegrown icons like Common, Jennifer Hudson, and Chance the Rapper.
Take a tour of 75th Street and beyond: On 75th Street, a well-established Restaurant Row is home to some of the neighborhood’s (and the city’s) best places to eat. Just a few of the excellent restaurants in this area: all-vegan Soul Veg City, casual favorite Mabe’s Deli, and James-Beard nominated Brown Sugar Bakery (don’t miss their signature cake flavors like caramel and pineapply coconut). And you can order rib tips and hot links from Lem’s Bar-B-Q, the oldest Black-owned barbecue restaurant in Chicago.
On the same street, swing by Fletcher’s One Stop, a go-to for classic records, cassettes, and other musical finds since 1955. Bring home a unique souvenir from Everything Premium, a locally owned clothing shop with Chicago-centric designs.
Off 75th Street, you’ll find plenty of other culinary gems to discover. Haire’s Gulf Shrimp serves up fresh Louisiana flavor, Oooh Wee It Is offers soul food with a twist, and iconic Garrett Popcorn serves up the city’s best sweet and salty combo.
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