Little Village, often referred to as the “Mexico of the Midwest,” is a dense community in the western and central areas of South Lawndale, with a major commercial district along 26th Street. The area was originally settled by Eastern European and Czech and Bohemian immigrants in the late 19th century after the Great Chicago Fire sent the population of Chicago rippling out from the city’s center to the outlying countryside. Jobs created by industrial development in the early 20th century also attracted residents to the area. Little Village saw a marked increase in Polish immigrants in the mid-20th century. Mexican and Chicano residents were pushed into the area by the mid-1960s due to segregationist policies in the city of Chicago. As African American residents were pushed into East Garfield Park and North Lawndale communities, this “forced Chicanos/Mexicanos south into Little Village” and the neighboring community of Pilsen. Scholar Juan C. Guerra notes that “the contiguous communities of Pilsen and Little Village merged and emerged as the newest and largest Mexican neighborhood in Chicago.” Pest Control Chicago
Little Village celebrates Mexican Independence Day every September with a parade down 26th Street. It is the largest Hispanic parade in Chicago. The Parade attracts thousands of spectators each year who flock to the neighborhood to show support and pride for their heritage.
If you’re looking for an authentic slice of Mexican life in Chicago, Little Village is the place to be. Known as the “Mexico of the Midwest”, this colorful enclave is overflowing with vibrant culture and cuisine.
Spend an afternoon exploring the neighborhood’s many traditional bakeries, family-owned restaurants packed with locals, burgeoning arts scene, unique local shops, and a welcoming community of friendly locals who have called the area home for generations.
When you get to Little Village (or La Villita as the locals affectionately call it), you’ll be greeted by the terracotta arch over 26th Street that reads “Bienvenidos a Little Village”. This is the neighborhood’s main drag and one of the busiest shopping districts in all of Chicago, Illinois. Take your time exploring this two-mile stretch that’s home to almost 500 businesses. There are global grocery stores, mouth-watering bakeries, eye-catching murals, and storefronts brimming with dazzling quinceañera dresses and leather Western wear.
Restaurants and Pubs
- Yolanda’s Restaurant is located at 3058 S Central Park Ave, Chicago, IL
- El Molino Restaurant is located at 3945 W 31st St, Chicago, IL
- Treviños Sports Bar is located at 4127 W 31st St, Chicago, IL
- Nick’s Beer Garden is located at 1516 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL
Check out other neighborhoods like Logan Square