Chicago, Illinois


On Chicago's southwest side, Pilsen is one of the largest cultural centers in Chicago. The National Museum of Mexican Art, the West 18th Street commercial district, and the street art you'll find throughout the area are just some of the famous Pilsen destinations. Walking around the neighborhood, you'll quickly notice historical touches throughout the community, like single-family homes built one floor below street level (a relic of Chicago's architectural past). Pilsen also has the landmark St. Paul's Catholic Church, which was famously "built without a nail"; Harrison Park, which has a large field, sports courts, and a fieldhouse; and more authentic Mexican cuisine than you can shake a stick at. 

Art galleries are also plentiful. Gallery spaces like Circus and Pilsen Outpost have regular openings that showcase talent often from the surrounding area. Thalia Hall is one of Chicago's premier music venues and is just around the corner from nearly a dozen bars and restaurants like Skylark and Simone's.

Homes in Pilsen

Where To Live

Pilsen is made up of low-rise condos, single-family homes, and two-flats. The majority of homes display brick or vinyl siding exteriors and are within proximity to each other with minimal space in between. Homes along busy streets like Cermak Road, Halsted Street, Ashland Avenue, 18th Street, and Racine Avenue will experience traffic and noise more than homes located on the smaller side streets. You'll also see modern and new construction condos east of Racine Avenue.

Price Vibes

Pilsen has been on the rise for a while now, but is still more affordable than similarly sought-after neighborhoods like Bridgeport and University Village. As more people discover the walkability, accessibility, and fun things to do year-round in Pilsen, the demand for housing has only increased. Condo buildings line the main commercial corridor up and down 18th Street, but farther west and south of the main strip there are many more single-family homes with large, sunken yards. With a relatively reasonable price-per-square-foot, the amount of space you can afford compared to the Downtown and North Side areas is still unmatched in this South Side neighborhood. But you will want to move quickly to secure a home here—available houses are few and far between, and becoming more so in such a high demand area.

Around Pilsen

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.

Transportation Options

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.

Living Here

Locals Love

Close to Downtown Chicago • Local art and culture scene • Public transportation • Restaurants and bars

Residents Say

Pilsen is one of those places where the community is super engaged and wants their neighborhood to be the best it can possibly be. There are meeting spaces, community-organized events and public dialogues about the neighborhood every day. You can see the pride in the culture and the history on the streets whenever you look at one of the many murals. It is so expansive you almost have a city within the city. Family-friendly parks and activities, amazing restaurants, nightlife and entertainment, all while being less than 20 minutes from downtown Chicago.
- Pilsen Resident

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