4.3 out of 10

Pilsen

Ranked 56th best neighborhood in Chicago
41.8513019644105 -87.663268321191
Great for
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Parking
  • Public Transport
  • Internet Access
  • Eating Out
Not great for
  • Childcare
  • Pest Free
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Clean & Green
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Hipsters
  •  

Reviews

1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 1/5
Nov 03, 2016

"After 8 years in Pilsen happy to leave"

We now live in civilized safe and neighbor respecting Bridgeport.

What attracted us to Pilsen 8 years ago?
Proximity to loop and lake.
Less crowded than north side areas.
Not as commercialized, small businesses.
Medium rent rates , not the case in 2016.

We have resided in 6 Chicago neighborhoods.
Pilsen experience was the worst

BEWARE OF LAW BREAKING CHEATING LANDLORDS
One landlord, 23 year Chicago Firefighter, was going to Mexico with a friend periodically and smuggling
people into the country.
18th St and Carpenter.
I do not care about his smuggling business but he was putting as many as 8 adults and babies at a time in a
2nd floor 400 sq ft apartment.
Then come winter ,we start getting insane gas heat bills.
Called Peoples Gas and they said "Nope yours is the only meter there"
Long story short he was heating the smuggler apt and the stairwell on our gas.
hen e busted him and started to move out I made him cough up $1100.00 recompense or I file a police report.
He paid but we were threatened by his teenage sons until we left.
Also:
A criminal child sexual assault happened in the apartment upstairs
I reported the baby screaming when left alone with the 10 year old cousin.
DCFS came out and angrily told us "There is no problem"
6 months later and after we moved there was a news report.
The now 11 year old violent boy was arrested for repeated sexual assaults on his 3 year old cousin.
They were related to the landlord

We moved 2 blocks away to Miller Street.
Lived there 4 years, shootouts on a regular from an long time dope house on that block.
Very stressful, our pets became ill at times from the loud drug house and constant shootings.

RIPPED off again for electricity..to the tune of $300 the first year.
Landlord had his workshop power and a heat fan for an apt downstairs on our line.
Over time the drunk and violent husband left and the wife was even more ambitious about stealing our electricity.
Before the husband left I confronted him about it.
He became very verbally violent.
The next morning my car had a $600 dent in a side panel from a pipe or some object.

Pilsen apartments are often DANGEROUSLY out of code.
Especially wiring. You are really taking a chnace unless
the building is owned by a PROFESSIONAL realty company

12th District police are terrible.
More reserved handicapped parking spots than any area of Chicago.
Triple than most. Alderman CAN arrange for those in payment of favors.

Racist Mexicans.
Yes, Mexican hatred of Caucasians, Americans can be brutal at times.
They openly display this.
The most favorite way is spitting harshly as you walk by.
Sitting on the porch and 2 Mexican men are walking up the block and take the time
to spit in front on the sidewalk. That as on a regular basis.
They hate Americans and want you to know it.
It is a depressing and filthy neighborhood with high rates of domestic violence, gang violence and petty crime.
Trash stacked up outside of garbage cans in every alley. Go look.

Some areas have more educated homeowners and are less garbaged up.
If you are thinking of moving to Pilsen:
Go ahead and take a drive/bike inspect areas several times before you decide.
I had no idea how depressed we had become about our environment in Pilsen until we
moved to a ward of people who care and tend to their neighborhood.
Cons
  • Loud, definitely loud
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Sep 19, 2016

"Pilsen's (2nd, maybe 3rd...) Favorite Son"

18th St. My 'hood. Listen, if you want to experience Chicago for real, get your butt on the Pink Line and ride it to 18th St. Hop off and walk around near Harrison Park, Damen Ave, and relish in the fact that there exists a true to life complex racial mix that has learned to completely co inhabit in this city which is so often described as one of racial/ethnic separation. While yes the majority might be Mexican, Mexicans are open as long as you are. They are hard working Americans and to be god damn celebrated. Theres UIC nearby so young people, and parking easily, CTA Pink Line, buses, and this is where it is at in 2016. I don't mean to "blow it up" but truth be told, Pilsen is the best neighborhood in Chicago.
3/5
Apr 04, 2015

"Pros and Cons"

Close proximity to downtown is a plus for Pilsen.
Good grocery stores with low prices.
It is a good hood for people like us of low income jobs.
Rents are slowly increasing and for no good reason I can see.
Interesting mix of people.
Decent local library.
Alderman's assistant is good at replying to questions or issues
you may contact that office about.
Laid back neighborhood.
Lots of families and kids.


CONS
Lots of gang/macho culture.
Bike patrols where removed 3 years ago and yuo will rarely see a police cruiser
anymore either. We joke and say "Did u see that? A cruiser!"
We hear gunshots at 1 , 2 and 3 am in our gang heavy area near Morgan and Cullerton.
You will never see an area of the city with more\reserved handicapped spots.

If you rent an apartment in Pilsen beware of dangerous and faulty wiring/electricity
A building inspector was in place for years here who took bribes.
He was tossed out 5 years or ago and now you see legit permits are on display.
Many landlords refuse to abide by Chicago tenants rights laws and will enter
your apartment when you are gone whenever they feel like it.
Honestly there is a small portion of Mexican residents who don't take kindly
to Caucasian(life long Chicagoans) moving onto their block.
Choose your block carefully..
Many people of our ilk move in and then are gone 6 months alter??
We are middle aged working couple, residing in Pilsen for 7 years now.
Pros
  • Decent location
Cons
  • Not gentrified enough for Pilson to become primo real estate
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"For the loud, artistic type looking for atmosphere…"

Pilson is quickly becoming the new Wicker Park. I have some friends who used to live in Wicker Park, and they hated the gentrification going on, so they decided to move to Pilsen, which I would describe as a half artistic neighborhood, half Hispanic neighborhood. The population may be more on the Hispanic side, but the influx of artists and the whole bohemian vibe has given Pilsen a new life.
The housing prices are affordable, and Pilsen isn’t too far from the Loop, which makes it a prime location for many. There are a lot of art galleries in the area, which I really like, even though I never feel terribly comfortable going in. I just like walking by and seeing all the art. It makes the street feel a little classier, I guess.
For food, you’re mostly going to find Mexican food, and very fortunately it’s mostly very good. Try out Nueva Leon, it’s a really popular place, and there’s a reason, it is excellent. I haven’t been to a lot of restaurants in Pilsen, but Nueva Leon is one place worth multiple visits.
For shopping, there are a fair number of specialty stores, with a lot of stuff you won’t find elsewhere. I’m not a big retail guy, but you can find some gems if you walk around for an afternoon and give it a good look.
The nightlife is not exactly great. The one nice thing is you can get some cheap drinks, and many places aren’t that busy.
The only problem I’ve seen with Pilsen is the noise, and to a lesser extent, the trash. I haven’t lived there, but I’ve seen some loud parties out on the street, and I have no doubt it could drive some people off. I don’t know that I’d recommend the area for a families, but I’d say it’s safe, and has a great atmosphere for the artistic type, and maybe just for that artistic side of you.
Pros
  • Youthful energy
  • Decent location
  • Affordable, good places to live
  • artsy
Cons
  • Loud, definitely loud
  • Not gentrified enough for Pilson to become primo real estate
  • Nightlife isn't what you'd expect in such a young area
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
2yrs+

"Pilsen - Artistic With a Family Feel"

Pilsen is a great neighborhood, and will hopefully stay that way. It’s been a Hispanic neighborhood for a long time, and in recent years a ton of hipster/artist kids have been moving in.

Pilsen really feels like a community. Neighbors are friendly and families and kids are everywhere. Probably the best time I ever had in Pilsen was at a neighborhood block part on a friend’s street. Everybody from old ladies to little kids, moms and dads, young hipsters, was having a great time. There was food, music and games. AND live Mexican wrestling.

There are a ton of delicious Mexican restaurants in the neighborhood. The bars are mostly corner neighborhood joints. The Skylark is a spot that has become really busy and filled with a younger crowd on the weekends, and has really good food and beer.

Art is a major attraction in Pilsen. First, there’s the National Museum of Mexican Art. Next, there are a ton of art galleries that have opened up near Halsted and 18th Street. No Coast is a really cool shared art studio and gallery that sells posters, clothes, all kinds of stuff. Last, there are murals EVERYWHERE. A walk through the neighborhood is filled with colorful images both amateur and professional.

Farther west there’s local shops, groceries, a couple of decent vintage stores, and the Textile Discount Outlet – a gigantic warehouse filled with every fabric you could possibly imagine.
Pros
  • artsy
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Hipsters
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Affordable, but not for everyone"

Pilsen is a largely Hispanic area on the wide side of Chicago. The area has a rich history and was originally settled by Germans and Czechs, but today is home to a large hispanic and Mexican population. As a result, Mexican restaurants in the area have been a focal point of activity. In fact if you are in Chicago and want some authentic Mexican food, then you will want to take a look at the numerous options that the Pilsen area has to offer.

In addition to its restaurants, the large Mexican population has contributed to enriching the Pilsen area in other ways as well. The National Museum of Mexican Art is definitely worth the time and should be on your list of things to do when you visit Chicago. In October, the museum has a great Day of the Dead exhibit that features artists from all over the world.

Anyone looking to see a side of Chicago that is often missed by visitors from around the world should stop by the Pilsen dinner. On more than one occasion, I had dinner in a very authentic Mexican restaurant after spending a couple of hours at the National Museum of Mexican Art. This is a good way to spend an afternoon, as you will get to see some great art and have some of the best Mexican food outside of Mexico!
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Hipsters
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
2yrs+

"The Midwest Mexico"

Even as city neighborhoods go, Pilsen is on the loud side – as well as on the dirty side. Rumor has it that Pilsen is the largest Mexican community in the entire Midwest – and I can't help but believe the tale. Besides that, there is a large artist population here, which has brought with them a number of galleries that are a must-see for any collector.

I would recommend this neighborhood to both tourists (who can check out the neighborhood’s colorful murals and galleries) and locals (at least, those who want to join the area’s artist community).

One of the coolest things that goes on here is the Pilsen Art Walk – on the second Friday of every month local artists play gallery hosts in the area around South Halsted and 18th Streets. It’s completely free and there are about 30 or so galleries that take part.

And as this is one of the most Mexican places around, it’s a good suggestion to take in some of the local food fare at places like Taqueria El Milagro (check out the chile relleno taco) or Nuevo Leon Restaurant (good service and decent prices).

Since many Chicagoans find Pilsen on the sketchy side, take more than the usual precautions. The area where Pilson meets Little Italy is especially unsafe, being full of vacant lots and train tracks. Pilsen is a neighborhood that is best driven to - and from.
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 1/5
2yrs+

"Pilsen is loud and dirty, but so far i love it."

I have lived in Pilsen for about three months as I was sort of priced out of Logan Square. I've had friends in Pilsen for years so I'd spent a decent amount of time in the area before I moved. The two biggest things i notice to be problematic are the cleanliness and the noise levels. My neighbors to both the right and left are huge buildings filled with kids and about 3 adults each. This makes for total chaos, trash wise and noise wise. It seems people suck it up and deal with the smells, mostly i am referring to the alleys, which accumulate an unfathomable amount of crazy trash. I know it's a city, it's supposed to be smelly and dirty...but this is crazy. I could write crazy stories about the stuff i find in my backyard. Summer is also tricky in Pilsen because the fireworks never stop. never. If you are sensitive to noise or can't just crank up the volume and mask it this could be really annoying. I personally would not find Pilsen quite as charming without all of it's loud block parties and jumpy castles. Sometimes i feel like i'm living in Sesame Street. As a girl who lives alone, i feel quite safe. I have classes late and have to come home late at night, and still feel pretty comfortable. Rent is cheap, and it's way closer to downtown than Logan Square. I do miss the boulevards though!


P.S. I also find this neighborhood's lack of trees to be a downer.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles

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