Why we love it
Jefferson Park has a rich cultural heritage, which means lots of authentic Eastern European eats. Plus, great festivals that celebrate everything from Polish culture to envelope-pushing arts and music.
There’s something that feels a lot like home about residential, family-centric Jefferson Park.
Every summer, festivals fill the neighborhood’s namesake park — and Taste of Polonia is one of the headliners. It’s the largest Polish festival in the United States, with tons of traditional Polish foods, live bands, and cultural performances. You’ll also find the Jeff Fest Arts & Music Festival here. This much-anticipated event brings in cutting-edge local and national acts every summer.
If you’re a fan of pop art, head to the free Ed Paschke Art Center, which houses the largest collection of the Chicago native’s artwork on permanent public display anywhere in the world.
One of Jefferson Park’s most distinguished destinations is the Copernicus Civic and Cultural Center. This beautifully restored performing arts palace is a tribute to the neighborhood’s Polish-American roots. The center’s main theatre, once a grand movie palace, is busy almost every night of the week with dance groups, theatrical activities, concerts and more.
Explore like a local
Stock up on traditional Polish sausage at Andy’s Deli & Mikolajczyk Sausage Shop (it’s been around since 1918). Snag tickets to a show at The Gift Theatre, known for their intimate space and high-caliber acting. View museum-quality art at Morgan Art Gallery, the oldest Polish gallery in Chicago.
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