Living in West Town
Why we love it
This cultural melting pot is known for its eclectic, artsy vibe. It’s one of the city’s up-and-coming hot spots, where you can uncover laidback taprooms, unique museums, old-school vintage shops, and tons of cool art — both in the galleries and on the streets.
Over the past century, West Town has seen waves of immigrants from all over the world. These global influences have shaped the neighborhood into the funky, creative enclave it is today. This is where you can find an Old-World pierogi joint, a nature-inspired brewery, and a contemporary omakase spot — all on the same street.
West Town encompasses the historic Ukrainian Village area, which brings tons of Eastern European heritage to the area. The Ukrainian National Museum houses an unparalleled collection of folk art and artifacts, and the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art presents works by internationally recognized artists from around the globe. And don’t miss the area’s many galleries and colorful outdoor murals by well-known artists.
If you’re spending a day in West Town, Chicago Avenue is a good spot to start exploring. Many of the area’s restaurants and bars are clustered around this area, like Chicago’s first botanic brewery (Forbidden Root), German-Southern fusion in a beer hall (Funkenhausen), a lush boho paradise (Beatnik), and a long-standing neighborhood gem with football-sized burritos (Tecalitlan).
Next, hunt for antique treasures at cool salvage shops like Urban Remains and Salvage One. Try a new brew at the area’s many craft breweries, like On Tour Brewing Company and Burnt City Brewing. And make time to catch a show at The Empty Bottle, a beloved live music venue known for showcasing local and touring acts.
Explore like a local
Explore a thought-provoking exhibit at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, which showcases the work of self-taught artists outside the mainstream. Order a whole alligator roast at Frontier. Experience traditional bath rituals in a historic building at AIRE Ancient Baths. Shop for cowboy attire, hats, and boots at Alcala’s Western Wear.