Pilsen is an unsuspecting neighborhood that is home to one of Chicago’s most vibrant art scenes. You will see color everywhere- from inventive street art to the marketing graphics of the independently owned shops.

Settled at the bend of the Chicago River’s south branch, Pilsen was once home to Chicago’s large Eastern European population. The architecture is oddly charming in Pilsen- it’s gothic Bohemia past mixed with the modern urbanization of today. Some buildings are uniquely below ground, after the city raised the street levels throughout the southwest side.

Families, students, and professionals can be found perusing the streets of their neighborhood enjoying street festivals, sunny days, and the close-knit community. Add a little color to your life and join the Pilsen scene!

Here’s a handy guide on some of Pilsen’s highlights!


  • Dusek’s
    This American spot has some great oysters and a well crafted cocktail menu.
  • Hai Sous
    Vietnamese street food was never more available and delicious.
  • Alulu
    Go there for the fancy brews and stay for the inventive pub food.
  • Taqueria Atotonilco
    Get some traditional tacos at this long standing taqueria.
  • The Giant Penny Whistle
    This dive bar isn’t really a dive bar- featuring cocktails and live music.


  • Mestiza Shop
    This gift shop has quite the selection for homemade gifts. Gift or Treat yourself!
  • Shady Rest
    This shop is for the audiophiles and music addicts with their selection of goods.
  • Knee Deep Vintage
    If you are looking for vintage fashionista, this is your spot.
  • Irv’s Bike Shop
    Get some fancy new wheels to cruise around Pilsen.
  • Pilsen Community Books
    Used, new, rare, topical. This bookstore has most everything.


  • Thrill Jockey Records
    This recording company has a top notch studio to cut your hits.
  • Thalia Hall
    An amazing venue that has become a scene favorite, hosting a variety of acts.
  • Tack Room
    Piano bars never seemed so cool at this redux of a classic nightspot.
  • 606 Records
    A store and studio, this shop focuses on independent bands.
  • Pinwheel Records
    Another independent recording studio hyper localized in Chicago.

Things to Do

  • Skylark
    This bar has been in countless movies, but the vintage photobooth is where it’s at.
  • Street Festivals
    Pilsen is known for so many festivals. Every summer weekend is a blast!
  • Vertiport Chicago
    See Chicago from above in a helicopter from this helipad base.
  • Palmisano Park
    This large park overlooks 4 neighborhoods from atop a rare hill.
  • ChiTown Movies
    A drive-in theatre in the midst of Chicago? Yep!


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