Where To Eat
From coffee and craft beers to authentic tacos and BBQ dishes, Pilsen has it all. Along 18th Street, restaurants like Nuevo Lean Restaurant — which has been around for more than 40 years — offer fresh Mexican cuisine. You can also sink your teeth into a pulled pork sandwich from a BBQ restaurant that makes its sauce from scratch. Walk down Halsted Street to find a tequila bar where you can try a variety of cocktails and small plates. If craft beer is more your style, you’ll find several spots to grab a brew and pair it with traditional American cuisine. For dessert you can find plenty of cafes and bakeries in Pilsen that serve organic coffees and delicious treats like chocolate cake topped with flan.
Friday Night Fun
Start your night off by checking out one of the many art galleries in the neighborhood. East Pilsen's art district hosts a 2nd Fridays Gallery Night every month. For a casual and hearty meal, stop by one of the many authentic Mexican restaurants or enjoy an intimate dinner at a traditional American restaurant with fresh organic ingredients. Finish off the night with some craft beers, tequila-infused drinks, or specialty cocktails from one of the many bars in the area.
The Perfect Sunday
Take a stroll through the neighborhood to view the beautiful murals and get to know the people and culture of Pilsen. Grab a casual lunch at a local cafe and gallery where you can view artwork that changes monthly. Visit the highly regarded National Museum of Mexican Art, which has been around since 1987 and is home to one of the country's largest Mexican art collections. Enjoy the architectural beauty of the various churches that tower over the neighborhood. Relax at the Dvorak Park, which includes a community pool, baseball field, a basketball court, and green space.
The CTA Pink Line opened in 2006, finally giving commuters in Pilsen as an easy way to travel to the Loop and around the city. Built on the same tracks that used to carry the rush-hour express Blue Line trains, the Pink Line has three stops in Pilsen, which are situated along the neighborhood's main roads: 18th Street and Damen Avenue. There are three bus lines that service Pilsen, and bikeways on Blue Island Avenue, 18th Street, and Halsted Street. Street parking, especially near the commercial district, is difficult but not impossible. This is due in large part to the disproportionate amount of free parking along many of the major streets, a rarity in Chicago. Residents have ample permit-only parking on side streets.