On the northwest side of Chicago, with Diversey Parkway to the north and Bloomingdale Avenue to the south, sits one of the most dynamic neighborhoods in the city: Logan Square. The community center, the actual square of Logan Square, is at the popular three-way intersection of Milwaukee Avenue, Logan Boulevard, and Kedzie Boulevard. Here, you’ll find: bungalow homes, park-like historic boulevards, grungy bars, hipster shops, historic churches, gourmet coffee, and cheap eats. This is a diverse community, yet one that is gentrifying and rapidly changing — construction and reimagined storefronts seem to be happening on the regular. When exploring, make sure you check out our list of the top things to do in this neighborhood.
Survey the Squares
The Blue Line CTA stop lets passengers off right at the heart of Logan Square, where you’ll find the Illinois Centennial Memorial Column, named for American Civil War General John A. Logan, the neighborhood’s namesake. The tall, white, 70-foot Tennessee marble monument, topped by an eagle, was built to celebrate Illinois’ statehood. This square is the location of a summer art and music festival and it’s also where locals like to hang out.
Palmer Square, named for the 15th Governor of Illinois, John McAuley Palmer, is located between Kedzie Boulevard and Western Avenue. This 7-acre, family-friendly park and pocket neighborhood is full of deciduous trees and a playground inspired by "The Velveteen Rabbit."
The 606 is a lovely park built on top of the old abandoned Bloomingdale railway line — it mimics New York City’s Highline. Logan Square and neighboring Humboldt Park have eight access points to the trail, making it easy to hop on and off wherever you like. People come here to jog, bike, stroll and socialize. The 2.7-mile family-friendly path is flanked by flowers, plants and art installations and there are several spots to rest or picnic along the way. The views of the neighborhoods you pass through on The 606 are quite lovely.
Shop 'til you Drop
Thrift stores, record shops, boutique clothing stores — you’re likely to find something interesting in this neighborhood. Visit Wolfbait & B-girls for Chicago-made finds. Shop 1021 offers paper goods and interesting trinkets. Fleur is where to go for fresh flowers. Three Stars Resale Shop has secondhand and vintage items. Boulevard Bikes has used and new bikes so you can check out the neighborhood on two wheels. Finally, Toy de Jour has fun finds for the young and young at heart.
Wear Your Stretchy Pants and Eat
There are many fabulous places to fill your belly in Logan Square — way too many to list here, in fact. Start with this smattering of picks to wet your whistle and get your fill.
Lula Café: This is a popular café offers locally sourced breakfast, brunch, and dinner farm-to-table menus.
Bang Bang Pie Shop: The flavors of pies change regularly at this biscuit and pie shop, so there are always new things to try. And, isn’t it a charming idea to meet a friend for a serving of something sweet or savory?
Fat Rice: An open kitchen sets the pace at this southeast Asian comfort food restaurant, with loads of choices to satiate your palate.
Katherine Ann Confections: Visit for the specialty hot chocolate — viscous and delicious — and bring home some house-made candies.
Slippery Slope: Skee-ball and beer, a great combo, is on offer at Slippery Slope. Dance to the DJ here and the night will last forever.
Lonesome Rose: Light wood tables and chairs, white walls and ceiling, and bright green plants set the stage at this casual-chic Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurant.
Longman & Eagle: You can literally eat, sleep, and drink at this quirky favorite of Logan Square. Order something adventurous for brunch or dinner — the menu changes often depending on what is fresh and available — and don’t skip the dessert.
Appreciate Art, Dance, and Live Theater
The Charnel House, located on Fullerton Avenue in the heart of Logan Square, is a multi-arts, multi-use theater that showcases a variety of productions and shows. From burlesque variety shows to quirky or dark plays to dramatizations to art shows — you’re sure to see something you’ve never seen before here.
Take a trip back in time — 1915 to be exact — and see a show at this 906-seat movie house, where the décor is vintage. The unique stained-glass arch over the theatre’s entrance, as well as much of the theater's spaces, has been lovingly restored. Indulge in libations at the full bar and relax in the lounge. As an added plus adult movie tickets are only $9.
Chicagoans love a good farmers market, and the local outdoor shopping in Logan Square, located along the neighborhood’s historic boulevard, is a site to behold. Not only can you find fresh produce here, but also you can purchase crafts, oddities, homemade pizza, and other Chicago-centric items. The Logan Square Chamber of Commerce supports nearly 150 local businesses at this market, every Sunday throughout the year (it moves indoors during the winter), with the intention of fostering a strong community.
Listen to the Music Play
You can experience a wide variety of live music genres at the mid-sized Concord Music Hall, including: metal, dubstep, punk, electronic, indie rock, funk, jazz, and hip-hop. The main floor is standing room only, so wear your comfy shoes and arrive early to get a good spot. If you’re hungry, you can grab a bite at nearby Turbo Tacos Mexican restaurant.
See an Art Exhibit
If you’re looking for an art print or rock n’ roll gig poster or you just want to see some awesome street art, visit Galerie F. Emerging artists showcase their work here, many of which are locals to the neighborhood, and this art gallery works hard to launch careers in the space. Visit one of the monthly exhibitions or community drawing events, see a public mural project, and meet your artistic neighbors. The gallery is open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. every day except Tuesdays and Wednesdays. You can also purchase art online. If you’re an artist yourself — specifically talented in printmaking or street art — consider submitting your work for consideration.