Why we love it
Chicago’s largest Polish neighborhood is home to vintage charm and heaps of history. It’s also the location of the National Veterans Art Museum, where you’ll find thought-provoking art created by veterans.
Explore like a local
- Enjoy an elevated take on traditional Mexican cuisine at Tatas Tacos.
- Challenge your friends to a round of axe-throwing at Backyard Axe Throwing League.
- Indulge in authentic Colombian fare at family-owned steakhouse Las Tablas.
Portage Park, packed with classic Chicago-style bungalows, is named for its picturesque park. The natural area, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, famously hosted the Pan-American Games in 1959 and the U.S. Olympic swimming trials in 1972.
Today, the park is a beloved summertime hangout thanks to its lush landscaping, dog-friendly area, tennis courts, playground, cultural arts building, Olympic-size pool, and a regular farmer’s market. It’s natural beauty also makes it a popular spot for weddings. Nearby Chopin Park is another picturesque place to wander and picnic in the warmer months.
Heading indoors, the elegantly restored Portage Theater specializes in underground and silent film, while The Patio Theater screens first-run movies in an Art Deco building. The National Veterans Art Museum is a poignant must-see while you’re here. It’s the only museum in North America dedicated to exhibiting combat-inspired art, and showcases emotional works from veterans across generations. Finally, get a taste of the neighborhood’s Polish roots at Smakosz, serving up old-school comfort food in a cozy atmosphere.
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