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“Formerly Czech, now Mexican neighbourhood”
Review of Pilsen

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Private Guided SUV Tour for up to 4 Guests
Ranked #150 of 647 things to do in Chicago
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Owner description: Chicago's Mexican-American community.
Prague, Czech Republic
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Formerly Czech, now Mexican neighbourhood”
Reviewed 16 June 2014

Just few people know that the name Pilsen is the German (American) translation of "Plzen" a Czech industrial town famed for its excellent beer and Skoda machine industry. Pilsner beer (plzenske pivo) is the "mother" and model of all pilsner beers around the world. In the 19th and first half of the 20th century many Czechs and Slovaks emigrated to America in hope of better life. In the 1930s abou 100 thousand Czechs lived in Chicago, most of them in the Pilsen neighbourhood, hence its name coming from the famous Czech town and beer. The best known Czech in America was Antonin (Anton) Cermak, who became mayor of Chicago in 1931 and a great fighter against the mafia represented by Al Capone. In 1933 Cermak was assassinated in Florida during his common trip with President F.D. Roosevelt. It is not clear who was the real target, whether Cermak or the President. The longest avenue in Chicago was named after Cermak. Those who want to visit the Czech quarter Pilsen will be disappointed because the whole neighbourhood is now Mexican, full of Mexican restaurants, nevertheless there are still many houses coming from the Czech era. Interesting is also the small Museum of Mexican art and especially the numerous colourful murals in the streets.

Visited May 2014
7 Thank Dorka274707
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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44 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Brisbane, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Love Pilsen”
Reviewed 4 February 2014

I was lucky enough to be in Chicago long enough to explore some of the neighbourhoods and Pilsen was by far my favourite. It has the Museum of Mexican Art, so many great Mexican restaurants and bakeries, awesome vintage clothing stores and best of all....countless murals and street art. Every time I turned down a different street there would be another beautiful piece of art jumping out at me and I had a great time taking photos of them all. You can see there is a big history of culture here. I had heard that it used to be quite a dangerous neighbourhood but I felt completely safe walking around on my own. Good food, good shopping, great art and culture. Love Pilsen.

Visited December 2013
7 Thank vargasgirl1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois, United States
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 14 February 2013

Chicago is made up of neighborhoods. Pilsen is a one of a kind neighborhood that has so many roots from many generations of people. It has a rich Mexican history and awesome food...however it has an eclectic population full of artists, professionals, and working class people. Definitely on the neighborhoods to visit list!

Visited June 2012
1 Thank Martin A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Full of variety”
Reviewed 14 January 2013

Pilsen has great restaurants and an active art and theatre scene. The Chicago Fringe Theatre fest is held here every Fall, there are regular gallery exhibits, and the food is amazing and affordable. If you have a car, parking is easy. Local coffee shops have rich and delicious coffee and sandwiches.

1 Thank Peliroja82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Best area for authentic Mexican food”
Reviewed 5 January 2013

Every restaurant we have tried in Pilsen offers really authentic mexican at a grat price. We love Nuevo Leon which offers a free appetizer and as an added plus is BYO. A dinner for 3 (with a 4th entree of tamales to share) came to around $30. You can't beat that.

Visited August 2012
3 Thank christyml
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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