Distance from downtown: 4 miles Via: Pink Line Best for: Art, booze Go: Afternoon, evening
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF MEXICAN ART Founded in 1987 by a group of Chicago Public Schools teachers, the National Museum of Mexican Art is the only Latino institution accredited by a the American Alliance of Museums and a cultural hub of this gentrifying neighborhood.
18TH STREET PINK LINE STATION Murals abound in this primarily Mexican American community, and it’s reputation for world-class street art continues to abound. Start your tour at the 18th Street Pink Line station, covered in iconography itself, and then head in any direction; they’re not hard to spot.
SIMONE’S A Pilsen staple, this bar is worth visiting for its interior alone: the off-the-wall amalgam of found objects and repurposed materials has become a staple for insanely popular artist-but-mostly-restaurant-designer Davide Nanni. The restaurant itself too has been recognized for its sustainable practices (and great beer list).
THALIA HALL The latest iteration of Pilsen’s historic Thalia Hall, which was designed in 1892 by Faber and Pagels for tavern owner John Dusek, is a multilevel experience of music, cuisine, and mixology, with a music venue on the upper floor, a beer-inspired gastropub on the main level, and a punch bar in the basement.
LAGUNITAS TAP ROOM The deliciously hoppy, environmentally conscious brewer from Petaluma, California, opened its Chicago facility just last week (after several private events and spectacles). We’re glad to have the revered beer-maker in the city, so get your hands on a Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ while you’re here.