Like neighboring Portage Park, the Northwest Side residential community of Belmont Cragin is home to a large number of Polish restaurants, shops and other businesses. Before it was annexed by Chicago in 1889, this town was named after the Cragin Brothers’ metalworking company. The neighborhood’s present-day name comes from that and Belmont Avenue, one of the area’s primary streets. Also predominantly residential, the Hermosa neighborhood is famous as the birthplace of Walt Disney.
Belmont Cragin and Hermosa are Chicago neighborhoods, largely residential, with little in common except proximity — they’re side-by-side — and a manufacturing base lured by the rail lines that help determine their borders.
Belmont Cragin is much larger. But Hermosa has Walt Disney’s birthplace. He was born here in 1901, in a second-floor bedroom of a house at the corner of Tripp and Palmer Avenues built eight years earlier by his carpenter father, who had come to Chicago to work at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition (Jackson Park neighborhood).
It is a simple two-story frame house, split now into upstairs and downstairs rental apartments. There is no marker.
- Theater & Dance
Aguijín Theater is a small independent Spanish-language performance theater that has been in the neighborhood for 20 years.
2707 N. Laramie Ave. | 773.637.5899
Childhood Home of Walt Disney
- Historical Landmarks
Walt Disney was born at 2156 N. Tripp Ave. (formerly 1249 Tripp Avenue) on December 5, 1901 and lived there until his family moved to Marceline, Missouri when he was 4 years old. The house has changed in appearance since the Disneys lived there, and it is now a private residence with no visible sign of its historic significance.
2156 N. Tripp Ave.
- Parks & Gardens
Riis Park, the largest park in the area, has sledding hills and an ice rink in the winter. It is named after Jacob Riis, the muckraking journalist and social reformer praised by Teddy Roosevelt.
Free Admission | 6100 W. Fullerton Ave. | 312.746.5363
Riis Park Ice Rink
- Other Attractions,
- Parks & Gardens,
- Sports & Recreation
Bring your own skates and skate for free at the Riis Park outdoor ice rink!
6100 W. Fullerton Ave. | 312.746.5735
This authentic Polish diner serves up hearty Eastern European specialties for very reasonable prices. Try their popular goulash and potato pancakes.
5221 W. Diversey Ave. | 773.836.9636
- American (New)
Bread Basket is a cafeteria style breakfast and sandwich restaurant with an eclectic menu, which includes traditional American food as well as Italian, Grecian, Mexican and Chicago-styled plates.
4725 W. Belmont Ave. | 773.427.7600
A Puerto Rican restaurant and nightclub, the two-storied Café 787 has a killer food menu and a stage for live music and dancing.
6019 W. Fullerton Ave. | 773.237.0787
This award-winning Greek restaurant has been open for over 30 years, and is known for its homemade gyros, souvlaki, and saganaki. Greek music and lovely Greece-themed decor add to the enticing atmosphere of Central Gyros.
3127 N. Central Ave. | 773.545.1276
Over the last 20+ years Central Starlite has been in business, it has perfected the All-American breakfast classics, such as skillets and bacon & egg combos.
5554 W. Fullerton Ave. | 773.745.7007
Gorski’s Bakery and Deli
- Food Retail: Bakeries
The bread at this Polish bakery and deli is so good that many local restaurants buy it wholesale. But don’t worry, you can still sample the bread, sausage, and other deli items directly in the store.
2835 N. Central Ave. | 773.736.0805
MaMa Luna’s Pizzeria & Restaurant
Open since 1960, Mama Luna’s boasts a nice old-fashioned dining room and some of the best pizza and Italian fare in the area.
5109 W. Fullerton Ave. | 773.889.3020
A true Mom & Pop shop loved by locals, with a small dining area decorated with religious statues, Mom’s Pizza has great pizza for dining in or delivery.
4138 W. Armitage Ave. | 773.276.0488
For a true taste of Cuba, stop by Señor Pan and choose from a great selection of breakfast options, sandwiches, and dinner entrees. If you are having trouble deciding between the options, try the Señor Pan Trio and taste your choice of three mini versions of their sandwiches.
4612 W. Fullerton Ave. | 773.227.1020
Sol de Mexico
Known for its variety of high quality moles (sauces), Sol de Mexico offers fresh, authentic Mexican dishes that go beyond the typical tacos and enchiladas. The menu changes every few months to cover styles of food from all the states of Mexico.
3018 N. Cicero Ave. | 773.282.4119
Taco & Burrito House Restaurant
Though its name suggests a fast food joint, Taco & Burrito House is actually a full service Mexican restaurant where patrons can sit down and enjoy their meal with a nice cold margarita.
2430 N. Central Ave. | 773.622.6926
This friendly, family-owned taqueria, open since 1987, is decorated in bright colors reminiscent of a Mexican pueblo. Accessibility limitations. Please contact site for more information.
4158 W. Armitage Ave. | 773.486.1424
Artesania Durango specializes in authentic Western wear, including hats, snakeskin boots, chaps and more.
5114 W. Fullerton Ave. | 773.637.7330
Bowlers Custom Pro Shop
- Sporting Goods
Bowler’s Custom Pro Shop sells bowling balls custom-fit to the buyer’s hand. The knowledgeable owner Ron can tell customers everything there is to know about bowling in Chicago.
3107 N. Central Ave. | 773.202.0492
Centrum Sport Soccer USA
This huge store is one of the best places for soccer apparel and gear in Chicago, and even sells Chicago Fire tickets. Centrum Sports Soccer has a giant selection of European and North, Central and South American replica jerseys.
5535 W. Belmont Ave. | 773.545.9777
D&Z; House of Books
A Polish Language bookstore, D&Z; House of Books carries American best sellers translated to Polish, books on Polish culture and history, and many children’s books.
5507 W. Belmont Ave. | 773.282.4222
Deco Trade International
Primarily a statue wholesaler, Deco Trade International that will also sell retail to individuals. Their large variety of statues includes depictions of tigers, Buddha, Marilyn Monroe, football players, and more.
2211 N. Cicero Ave. | 773.637.5933
Marathon Sports of Chicago
- Sporting Goods
In addition to general soccer accessories, Marathon Sports of Chicago sells authentic jerseys, including those of hard to find teams, such as AS Roma.
4315 W. Fullerton Ave. | 773.384.7777
Shamrock Imports has a plethora of merchandise reflecting Ireland and Irish culture, including jewelry, sweaters, memorabilia and imported snacks.
3150 N. Laramie Ave. | 773.286.6866