What to eat, see, and do in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood

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Little Village, often referred to as “La Villita” by locals, offers a vibrant Mexican cultural experience without leaving Chicago. With nearly 1,000 locally owned businesses, their commercial corridor along 26th Street serves as the epicenter of this lively neighborhood, offering a diverse array of shops, eateries, and art.

Here’s what to eat, drink, and do during a day in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood.

What to eat in Little Village

La Catedral in Little Village
La Catedral in Little Village

Every restaurant in Little Village tells a story and offers something special to delight your palate.

If you want a heavenly brunch experience, La Catedral Cafe offers an enchanting blend of flavors and ambiance to transform your morning meal. Indulge in their signature homemade chilaquiles complemented by their iconic cafe de olla.

For tacos that pack a punch, look no further than La Chaparrita Restaurant and Grocery. Featured in Netflix’s Taco Chronicles, each palm-size taco is a testament to the restaurant’s authenticity. From spicy al pastor to tender barbacoa, every bite delivers an explosion of flavor that will leave you craving more.

For the ultimate Little Village dining experience, you can’t go wrong with Mi Tierra. Whether you want a traditional dish like mole or a fresh seafood delight, their menu caters to all preferences. Not to mention, their authentic live music and impressive drink selections truly elevate the ambiance, making every visit a memorable occasion.

No food experience would be complete without tasting some of the most delightful Mexican treats Little Village has to offer, such as artisanal candies from Dulcelandia, freshly made churros from El Churro Shop, and irresistible, sugar-coated conchas provided by many traditional bakeries including Rosy’s Bakery, Espiga de Oro, and Panaderia Coral.

Shopping in Little Village

Artesanias Elena is a must-visit destination for those seeking unique handmade treasures and traditional art. Showcasing work from Mexico and other Latin American countries, this family-owned business is an excellent spot to secure a memorable keepsake.

If creating music is your passion, stop by Ceasar’s Music of Illinois. This Latina-owned store offers a wide selection of custom instruments, from accordions to guitars to DJ equipment, inviting you to explore a world of musical possibilities.

Little Village’s newly renovated Discount Mall is your ultimate destination for a diverse shopping experience under one roof. Featuring an array of merchandise, including authentic western wear, quinceanera dresses, jewelry, cooking accessories, and more, Discount Mall has been a favorite shopping center for locals and visitors since 1991.

More things to do in Little Village

Little Village

Walking allows you to fully immerse yourself in Little Village’s vibrant culture. Admire the colorful murals that adorn the neighborhood’s buildings, each telling a story of heritage and pride. One mural you cannot miss is Celebrando Comunidad, the largest Day of the Dead mural in Little Village located on the southeast corner of 26th and Lawndale.

Explore more: Check out the annual Day of the Dead celebrations in Little Village and beyond.

Visit one of Little Village’s historic public spaces, Manuel Perez Jr. Memorial Plaza. Throughout the year, the plaza comes alive with a variety of events and festivities that celebrate the neighborhood’s cultural heritage. From the Mercado de Colores, a farmers market that takes place every Saturday during summer to the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony in December, something exciting always happens at the plaza.

Nightlife in Little Village

Osito’s Tap
Osito’s Tap

Osito’s Tap is the perfect cozy spot to unwind after a long day. This local community speakeasy not only celebrates the art of Latino fused craft spirits, beer, and cocktails, but their hearty entrees truly set them apart.

As one of the oldest Latinx drag bars in the country, La Cueva has been a staple in the LGBTQ+ community for decades. Whether you are looking for a night of dancing, karaoke, or fabulous performances of drag queens and kings, there’s never a dull moment at La Cueva.

At Jacaranda Bar, timeless charm meets laid-back vibes. With its small dance floor and jukebox, Jacaranda is the perfect place to unwind or let loose for a fun night with friends.

No matter how you spend your time, Little Village promises an unforgettable experience for all who visit.

Roxy Delgado

About Roxy Delgado

Roxana “Roxy” Delgado is a Chicago native, born and raised in the Little Village community. As a social media influencer, Roxy enjoys creating content that resonates with her Latina identity and life in Chicago. Follow Roxy on Instagram and Tik Tok @lavida_rox

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