Why we love it
Rich in Latino culture, Pilsen is a neighborhood that overflows with music, art, culinary tradition, and nightlife. It’s home to award-winning restaurants, iconic music venues, and sensational murals as far as the eye can see. Maybe that’s why it was named one of the “12 Coolest Neighborhoods Around the World” by Forbes.
The first thing you’ll notice about Pilsen is the colorful street art. The buildings are covered in massive paintings that hint at the thriving arts community that exists here. The neighborhood’s monthly 2nd Fridays Gallery Night, where galleries and artist studios open their doors free of charge, gives you an opportunity to discover emerging local artists.
Pilsen is also a haven for offbeat boutiques, hip eateries, and cool music venues standing alongside bodegas, panaderias, and family-owned restaurants serving authentic Mexican cuisine. Don’t miss the National Museum of Mexican Art while you’re there. This free museum immerses visitors in Mexican culture through a stunning collection of textiles, folk art, prints, photos, and more.
Pilsen is also home to one of the city’s most beloved music venues, Thalia Hall, where you can catch indie rockers, famed comedians, and live DJs in a striking space modeled after the Prague Opera House. The venue shares a historic building with Dusek’s Board & Beer (award-winning tavern fare), Punch House (’70s vibes and large format drinks), and Tack Room (live piano music in the building’s former carriage house).
Explore like a local
Satisfy your sweet tooth with gorditas dulces at Panaderia Nuevo Leon. Try modern versions of Vietnamese family recipes at HaiSous. Dig into flavorful tacos on freshly made tortillas at the no-frills Taqueria El Milagro.
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