Chicago Neighborhoods: Humboldt Park

Due west of Chicago’s Loop is Humboldt Park. This is a Chicago neighborhood that is benefiting tremendously from the gentrification of the areas near the city’s center. People who are tired of the soaring prices of city real estate are taking up residence in its much more affordable homes and buildings.

Chicago’s Puerto Rican community welcomes visitors to this West Side neighborhood with two Puerto Rican flags, cast in steel and standing 59 feet tall, which frame a stretch of Division Street called ‘Paseo Boricua’. The neighborhood’s 207-acre namesake public park, designed by noted landscape architect Jens Jensen, provides a perfect setting for outdoor recreation, and features Chicago’s only non-Lakefront sand beach. Humboldt Park is also home to a spectacular Rose Garden and a pair of bronze bison originally cast for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.



  • Cultural Centers

AfriCaribe, a 10-year-old nonprofit, has been dedicated to celebrating the African influence in Puerto Rico and elsewhere in the Caribbean.

Free Admission | 2547 W. Division St. | 773.879.2123

Chicago Hot Glass

  • Art & Architecture

Chicago Hot Glass, the city’s sole public-access glassblowing studio offers several classes and workshops plus a gallery of professional artists’ work.

Free Admission | 1250 N. Central Park Ave. | 773.394.3252

Chicago Tribute Markers of Distinction

  • Other Attractions

Chicago Tribute Markers of Distinction commemorate notable Chicagoans by marking the places where they lived or worked. Since the program started in 1997, eighty markers have been placed across the city. This number will be increased to 100 markers placed by the end of 2009.

Free Admission | 78 E. Washington St. | 312.744.6630

Dance Academy of Salsa

  • Theater & Dance

Dance Academy of Salsa offers group and private classes in salsa, merengue, bachata, mambo, cha-cha and hip-hop dance for kids, teens and adults.

2725 W. Division St. | 773.395.8693

Humboldt Park

  • Parks & Gardens

In 1928, the West Park Commission constructed a fieldhouse in Humboldt Park. The structure was designed by architects Michaelsen and Rognstad, who were also responsible for other notable buildings including the Garfield Park Gold Dome Building, the Douglas and LaFolette Park Fieldhouses, and the On Leong Chinese Merchant’s Association Building in Chinatown. In 1934, Humboldt Park became part of the Chicago Park District, when the city’s 22 independent park commissions merged into a single citywide agency. You can see many attractions such as an audio tour, Boathouse, Lagoon, Stables, Prairie River and much more.

Free Admission | 1440 N. Sacramento Ave. | 312-742-7549

Humboldt Park Formal Gardens

  • Parks & Gardens

Formal floral gardens

Free Admission | 1400 N. Sacramento Blvd. | 312.742.PLAY (7529)

Humboldt Park Lagoon and Prairie River

  • Parks & Gardens

The central feature of Humboldt Park is its sprawling 20-acre lagoon and distinct prairie river. These features and miles of meandering paths make this an ideal location for a nature walk on Chicago’s west side.

Free Admission | 1440 N. Sacramento Ave. | 312.742-PLAY (7529)

Institute of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture (IPRAC)

  • Art & Architecture

IPRAC occupies a beautiful Humboldt Park building, which features two exhibition spaces, a performance stage, a gift shop, a photography classroom with lab and a central courtyard.

Free Admission | 3015 W. Division St. | 773.486.8345

Rumble Arts Center

  • Art & Architecture

Rumble Arts Center features a wide selection of fine art, dance and yoga classes, and events, such as parties and movie nights. Accessibility limitations. Please contact site for more information.

3413 W. North Ave. | 773.278.4441

Sea of Flags Mural

  • Art & Architecture

One of 50 or so murals in the area, Sea of Flags was painted by Gamaliel Ramirez and depicts a street packed with people waving Puerto Rican flags, and in the background, one of the steel Puerto Rican flags that delineates the Humboldt Park neighborhood.

Free Admission | 2500 W. Division St.

Specimen Products

  • Music

Specimen is a workshop that produces custom guitars, amplifiers and speakers for the serious audiophile. It was recently featured in the Chicago Reader and offers guitar repair classes. Accessibility limitations. Please contact site for more information.

Free Admission | 1240 N. Homan Ave. | 773.489.4830


  • Art & Architecture

Stampland sells scores of original fine art stamp designs and offers stamp-making classes with William “Picasso” Gaglione, a 20-year veteran stamp maker–collector, and owner of the establishment.

Free Admission | 2708 W. Chicago Ave. | 773.366.8934


Borinquen Restaurant

  • Latin American

This no-frills Puerto Rican restaurant was the first to bring the jibaro sandwich to Chicago from San Juan.

1720 N. California Ave. | 773.227.6038

Café Colao

  • Latin American

Featured in Time Out Chicago and the Chicago Tribune, this casual café has a family atmosphere, reasonable prices and a small gift shop. Although known for excellent coffee, their menu of baked goods tempts as well.

2638 W. Division St. | 773.276.1780

Cemitas Puebla

  • Mexican

Cemitas Puebla was featured on the Food Network show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives for their cemitas sandwiches. Also unique to this Mexican eatery is another Puebla region dish, Tacos Arabes.

3619 W. North Ave. | 773.772.8435


  • Latin American

Coco is a fine dining restaurant offering a mix of traditional and contemporary Puerto Rican dishes amid Puerto Rican paintings and a sculptural mural.

2723 W. Division St. | 773.384.4811

Division Street Bar & Grill

  • Bar

Part of Paseo Boricua Puerto Rican Food Crawl by DSBDA, Division Street Bar & Grill specializes in burgers and sandwiches with a create-your-own option.

2525 W. Division St. | 773.252.2233

El Paisano Tacos

  • Mexican

A neighborhood Mexican restaurant, El Paisano Tacos is known by the locals for their tacos and salsa roja. Accessibility limitations. Please contact site for more information.

2429 W. Division St. | 773.292.1002


  • Diners

Feed has great diner food and a really cool country kitsch atmosphere. It’s small and a bit remote but worth the trip.

2803 W. Chicago Ave. | 773.489.4600

Flying Saucer

  • Diners

With vegetarian and vegan options, an emphasis on locally grown produce, classic diner food and great coffee, Flying Saucer specializes in breakfast but is also open for lunch. Accessibility limitations. Please contact site for more information.

1123 N. California Ave. | 773.342.9076

La Bruquena

  • Latin American

Part of Paseo Boricua Puerto Rican Food Crawl by DSBDA, La Bruquena is a little more expensive than other spots and is known for their mofongo, mashed plantains stuffed with meat or fish. Accessibility limitations. Please contact site for more information.

2726 W. Division St. | 773.276.2915

La Encantada

  • Mexican

La Encantana features the cuisine of Mexico’s Zacatecas region.

3437 W. North Ave. | 773.489.5026

La Plena Restaurant

  • Latin American

Part of Paseo Boricua Puerto Rican Food Crawl by DSBDA, La Plena Restaurant has live music on Friday and Saturday nights.

2617 W. Division St. | 773.276.5795

La Quebrada

  • Mexican

La Quebrada serves authentic, inexpensive and delicious Mexican food, including fresh salsa, served warm for a change.

4047 W. North Ave. | 773.489.9610

Latin American Restaurant

  • Dining

Part of Paseo Boricua Puerto Rican Food Crawl by DSBDA and self-proclaimed the “Finest Latin Restaurant in Chicago,” the Latin American Restaurant serves fresh fish, oysters, pork, chicken, beef and vegetarian options.

2743 W. Division St. | 773.235.7290

Maiz Anojitos y Bebidas

  • Mexican

Serving more modern Mexican cuisine, Maiz Anojitos y Bebidas is nicer than a taqueria.

1041 N. California Ave. | 773.276.3149


  • Latin American

Featured in Time Out Chicago as well as on the Paseo Boricua Puerto Rican Food Crawl, this neighborhood favorite specializes in Puerto Rican breakfast.

2458 W. Division St. | 773.252.5520

New China

  • Chinese

Serving standard Chinese fare, New China is a quick and inexpensive alternative to the Latin American cuisine that dominates Division St.

2438 W. Division St. | 773.394.9188

Papa’s Cache Sabroso

  • Latin American

Part of the Paseo Boricua Puerto Rican Food Crawl by DSBDA, Papa’s Cache Sabroso’s jibarito sandwich was rated #1 in Chicago by Café Media magazine tasters and heralded in the July 2009 article, “A Borin-Chicago Original”.

2517 W. Division St. | 773.862.8313

Roeser’s Bakery

  • Food Retail: Bakeries

After its 98th year in business and having been featured on the Food Network, Roeser’s Bakery shows no sign of stopping. They have a huge selection of pastries and cakes offered with Intelligentsia Coffee.

3216 W. North Ave. | 773.489.6900

Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar

  • Modern European

Rootstock has a very large wine, beer and liquor list (including large-bottle beers), and executive chef Remy Ayesh serving very interesting contemporary European and American cuisine.

954 N. California Ave. | 773.292.1616

San Juan Bakery

  • Food Retail: Bakeries

Specializing in Puerto Rican pastries, San Juan Bakery has a welcoming atmosphere and the usual: donuts, cakes, pastries and coffee.

3335 W. North Ave. | 773.395.0099


  • Ukrainian

Shokolad is the perfect name for this café known for desserts: the word means “chocolate” in Ukrainian. Linger for a welcoming lunch or just stop in for tasty baked goods.

2524 W. Chicago Ave. | 773.276.6402

Star Lounge Coffee Bar

  • Dining

This cute, cozy café has sporadic art exhibitions and music performances, and delicious coffee from beans hand roasted on-site: small-batch, fluid, air-bed roasted coffee. Accessibility limitations. Please contact site for more information.

2521 W. Chicago Ave. | 773.384.7827

The Beetle Bar and Grill

  • Bar

Featured in Time Out Chicago, this bar and grill has great drink and food specials to accompany the themed nights held almost everyday of the week.

2532 W. Chicago Ave. | 773.384.0701


  • American (New)

Treat is a fine-dining restaurant with American and Indian fusion cuisine. Featured multiple times in Time Out Chicago and the Chicago Reader.

1616 N. Kedzie Ave. | 773.772.1201


Botanica Victoria

  • Bath & Body

This botanica carries a huge variety of both religious statuary from many different religions, and candles and soaps, herbs, bracelets and homeopathic remedies. Accessibility limitations. Please contact site for more information.

2510 W. Division St. | 773.252.0682

El Quijote Bookstore and Gift Shop

  • Bookstores

This shop (aka Books Plus Publications ) is owned by husband and wife and has been there for 30+ years. They have many educational books that they usually sell to schools but also sell to the public.

2546 W. Division St. | 773.227.5872


  • Various

Toys for grown-ups and kids, books, jewelry, scented oils and pocketknives are just a few of the things you will find at this eclectic gift shop.

2559 W. Chicago Ave. | 773.276.8229

Lily’s Record Shop

  • Books, Mags, Music & Video

This shop has been in business over 20 years and features a wide selection of Puerto Rican and other Spanish-language pop music and DVDs.

2733 W. Division St. | 773.252.7008

Luz a la Familia Christian Bookstore

  • Books, Mags, Music & Video

Christian Bookstore with mainly Spanish books.

2425 W. Division St. | 773.772.0954

One Strange Bird

  • Art

This Humboldt Park boutique offers unique handmade goods by artists across Chicago, as well as summer camps, adult classes and workshops. In addition, a small gallery space exhibits emerging Chicago artists, with shows that change monthly.

2515 W. North Ave. | 773.420.7254

Tommy’s Guitars and Café

  • Musical Instruments and Teachers

Tommy’s Guitars and Café has 300 guitars in stock as well as a couple cellos, ukuleles and mandolins.

2548 W. Chicago Ave. | 773.486.6768

Venus Harps

  • Musical Instruments and Teachers

“Venus Harps is the trade name for a full line of premium quality pedal harps manufactured by W&W; Musical Instrument Company in Chicago, Illinois.” —

3868 W. Grand Ave. | 773.278.4210


Bucktown, Humboldt Park & Logan Square

  • Bus,
  • Walking

This Chicago Neighborhood Tour takes you to experience the three distinct and uniquely Chicago characters that are Bucktown, Humboldt Park and Logan Square on the city’s Near West Side.

77 E. Randolph St. | 312.742.1190 (TTY: 312.744.2947)

Humboldt Park Audio Tour

  • Audio & Self-Guided,
  • Neighborhood Focus,
  • Walking

Explore Humboldt Park — look at its lovely features — and learn about the architects, artists and landscape designers who created it — most notably Jens Jensen. The Chicago Park District and Parkways Foundation present a free self-guided audio tour of Humboldt Park. You can either download the tour to an MP3 player, burn a CD, or listen to it online. The tour includes a map with stopping points that correspond with the audio tracks. If you visit each place and listen to the tracks, your walking tour will take approximately 1 hour.

Free Admission | 1359 N. Humboldt Dr. | 312.742.PLAY (7529)

Location & Area

  • North Boundary: 1600 N North
  • South Boundary: 800 N Chicago
  • East Boundary: 2400 W Western
  • West Boundary: 4000 W Pulaski
  • Primary Zip Code: 60647

Current Trends and Facts of Humboldt Park Chicago

Not far from the hipper neighborhoods of Wicker Park, Bucktown and Logan Square, Humboldt Park neighborhood has many eclectic and multi-cultural shops and restaurants on its own. It’s also home to the California Clipper, an out of the ordinary nightclub that is a throwback to Chicago’s prohibition years.

The area is built around the magnificent Humboldt Park neighborhood which features vast landscape designs, walking and running paths, and a picturesque pond. Overseeing the pond is the Humboldt Park Boathouse Pavilion, an exceptional example of the Prairie School style of architecture. It was designated a Chicago landmark in 1996.