Friday, March 19, 2010

Neighborhood Spotlight: Pilsen

This is the first in a series of neighborhood highlights that will be posted on a weekly basis. Plan where you'll visit once you land in Chicago, or if you're a local, explore a new area that you've never been before!

Though it was originally settled by German, Irish & Czechoslovakian immigrants, Pilsen now boasts the 2nd largest Mexican community in the USA. Throughout its history, it’s been a center for important social movements and workers strikes, as it has always been home to new immigrants. Come here to explore 18th Street, the busiest street in Pilsen, and explore Mexican-American culture through great restaurants, cafes, stores, and the National Museum of Mexican Art. On the east side of Pilsen (18th and Halsted), you’ll find a funky gallery corridor that has an open gallery night every 2nd Friday of the month from 6-10pm.

 KNOWN FOR: Latino Culture and food, colorful community murals, vibrant arts community

 DON’T MISS: Nuevo Leon (1515 W 18th St), the most famous Mexican restaurant in Pilsen; Simone’s (960 W 18th St), a unique bar/grill with a good night scene; National Museum of Mexican Art (1852 W 19th St) which is free and is the largest Mexican art museum in the nation; and Efebina’s Internet CafĂ© (1640 S Blue Island Ave) for coffee, local art, & free internet access.

 GET THERE: Take the Pink Line train to the 18th Street stop.

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